Inspired by Sean, from Dublin and some kind of startup insider, I loosely follow the Swiss startup scene. What surprised me is that Switzerland is under the top 5 innovative/supportive countries in Europe (even #1 according to some sources).
An excellent financial basis is definitively helping, but certainly only one aspect. What is needed is a community and comprehensive facilitation. A comprehensive overview about startup awards and support was recently published at startwerk.ch, which itself is a portal/blog around the Swiss startup scene.
Whenever reading about starting a company one of the first advices given is “understand your market”; obviously. So an immediate question would be about size, for instance size of the addressable market in Switzerland for business software (no surprise, I work for a biz software company). One interesting aspect in such research are birth-death rates (growth/shrink patterns). So the question comes down to: how many companies are taking off and how many file insolvency?
According to research by D&B Schweiz, the number of new Swiss company registrations in 2010 is 33550 and the number of insolvencies is 5619, with 1645 of them being a legal artifact with no immediate consequence, so to be ignored (details can be found in the report). Note, 4000 effective losses is a stable figure since 2006.
Given this one (slightly over-simplified) conclusion a healthy survival probability of p~(1-4000/33550)~0,88 along with a plus of 25000 companies per year in terms of market size.