The world needs innovation to thrive

Kickstart’s corporate and institutional partners leverage and cultivate open innovation to develop new products, services and solutions. With our programs, we connect international later-stage tech startups with leading corporates and institutions in Switzerland, we accelerate intrapreneurship teams and we push an open innovation culture on all levels.

Developing innovation partnerships

We support our partners in identifying key topics and opportunities for open innovation, we bring up to 50 of the best startups and scaleups to Switzerland and we run a four months program to facilitate collaborative innovation partnerships and commercial deals.


Accelerating intrapreneurship teams

Together with our group of experts and advisors, we encourage, select and coach intrapreneurship teams of our partner companies to grow from prototype to MVP and from MVP to scaling. 

Building a culture of open innovation

Throughout each year, we engage hundreds of employees of our partner companies and institutions on all levels - from top executives joining our CEO Dinner for peer learning and networking, to open innovation managers as well as product and technology leads.

Focus on Partnerships
We don’t accelerate startups, we accelerate partnerships: Joint PoCs (Proofs of Concept), commercial partnerships and impactful collaboration projects. Our #1 KPI is “the number of high-quality partnerships” and to date we helped building over 100 of them.
Accelerating Intrapreneurship
We accelerate intrapreneurship teams working alongside top startups in an entrepreneurial environment to boost their internal innovation and product development.
High Growth, Deep Tech Startups
We focus on later-stage companies that aim to collaborate with multinational corporations, cities, universities, foundations and other leading institutions in the field of deep technologies (AI/ML, robotics, sensors, big data, etc.) and real business innovations.


Media ​coverage

  • Over 500 ​articles and media clippings including ​Forbes, Guardian, Bloomberg, Financial Times, SRF, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Handelszeitung, Le Temps, RSI, and others covering Kickstart
  • 100k website page visitors annually
  • 12k followers ​on ​Social ​Media > Constant growth on all channels: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram
  • Yearly reach on Social ​Media: 3+ million across all channels
  • Newsletters: Regular newsletters and Weekly Digests during program
  • 1-2 Blog posts per month 

Our Collaboration

Your Benefits

  • Higher quality and speed working with startups and scaleups through structured Partnership Acceleration Process (scoping, matching, negotiating, delivery, demos, scaling)
  • Cross-industry and cross-sector learning, best practice sharing and receiving the ‘outside- view’
  • C-Level Engagement with participation of Switzerland’s top CEOs
  • Accelerating internal innovation and product development projects and increasing entrepreneurial capabilities of corporate managers 
  • Creation of convincing stories to demonstrate the innovation capacity and attract top talents


Your Outcomes

The Partnership Acceleration Process 
typically generates: 

  • Proofs of Concept (PoCs) & pilot projects
  • Pre-PoCs
  • R&D collaborations
  • Commercial partnerships


Apr 15 - May 17

Application Period

  • Extended to 01.06.2021
Jul 5 - 7

Final Selection

Sep 6 - 10

Planning Phase

Sep 11 - Nov 12

Collaboration Phase

Nov 10

Closing Ceremony

5 Focus Areas on 1 Stage

The Kickstart program focuses on innovation areas in which Switzerland has a competitive advantage. We are looking for scaleups that are developing and/or applying deep technologies in and around the areas of EdTech & New Work, FinTech & InsurTech, Food & Retail Tech, Smart City & Technology, HealthTech, Circular Economy and Intrapreneurship.

We are also accepting applications from intrapreneurship teams from the organisations of our partners. The main part of the program will be running at Kraftwerk in Zurich from September to November 2021.

Take a virtual walk through the Kraftwerk venue!

Focus Areas