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kickstart

About Us

Kickstart builds innovation ecosystems with purpose – by fast forwarding innovation that creates a more sustainable future.

To do this, we bring together public and private organizations, startups, investors and experts.

Our shared goal is to deliver next-generation products and services and have a meaningful impact at scale.

Crowd of Kickstart startup people standing in front of shipping containers

Contact Kickstart

By Mail

Kickstart Innovation AG

P.O. Box 1661

8021 Zürich

Switzerland

By Post

Locations

Our impact

Our impact encompases innovation, sustainability and growth. Kickstart participants benefit from a collaborative, open innovation process and access to a community of like minded entrepreneurs and innovators.

Startup and Intra Teams supported through the program

Startup solutions in 2021 Smart Cities and Food & Retail verticals related to CE & sustainability

Proofs of Concept and commercial partnerships secured since 2016

Countries are engaged in our open innovation platform

Kickstart timeline

2016

In the making since 2015, Kickstart Accelerator was launched as an initiative by digitalswitzerland in collaboration with Impact Hub Zurich, with its first verticals being: FinTech, Future & Emerging Technologies, Food.
 
Through collaboration across verticals and industries as well as between startups and corporates, Kickstart Accelerator 2016 put Switzerland on the international map of startup and digital innovation hubs. It offered foreign entrepreneurial talent fast-track access to the Swiss startup ecosystem and corporate partners, establishing long-term relationships across the globe.

2017

Kickstart Accelerator becomes an Impact Hub program, gaining access to a global network  that connects more than 16,000 entrepreneurs, creatives and techies into a collaborative ecosystem across 100+ Impact Hubs.
 
Only 1 year after its launch, Kickstart Accelerator gathers the support of more than 60 partner organizations and launches 2 new verticals: Robotics & Intelligent Systems and Smart Cities.

2018

Kickstart Accelerator officially launches its 6th vertical - EdTech & Learning, and engages an ever increasing diversity of partners.
 
We introduced our first Investor Summit, bringing together over 100 investors (Business Angels, Family Offices, Venture Capital, Corporate Venture Capital, Funds of Funds), startups and partners to participate in the summit, profiling first-rate speakers and top pitches. From 6 collaborations each year in 2016 and 2017, Kickstart Accelerator facilitates 35 collaborations in 2018 between startups and partners!

2019

Kickstart Accelerator becomes Kickstart Innovation - as an independent program with a stronger focus on commercial collaborations with late-stage startups

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30% of international startups stay in Switzerland after completing the Kickstart program, confirming Kickstart’s contribution to the enhancement of Switzerland as an attractive market for innovative startups.
 
Kickstart entered a collaboration with South Pole, a leading provider of global sustainability financing solutions and services, to become carbon neutral.

Launch of Ecosystem Innovation book, a collaborative effort of 31 co-authors from multiple organizations and the sequel of Volume 1 “Kickstarting Collaboration” published in 2018.

2020

Despite the hybrid and online engagement formats, Kickstart reaches a new record in number of PoCs per edition since launch - 40, as well as a new record in people engaged through activities: 1’500.

Kickstart and Impact Hub Switzerland join forces to launch the Circular Economy cross-vertical in the Kickstart program, to support technological innovations for sustainable development.

2021

Kickstart Program Meets Milestone of Over 200 Innovation Deals since launch. Startups participating in the program since launch raised over 2 billion together.
 
New partners join Kickstart, amongst which CSS, Galenica and Sanitas. 40% of deals struck during the 2021 program met sustainability criteria. 
 
Launch of Kickstart’s  “Sustainability is Better Business” series, with talks from inspirational thought leaders to raise awareness in the different fields of sustainability.