Kickstart supports your startup in scaling your business in Switzerland. Each year we run an open innovation program, affectionately known as a collaboration sprint, in Switzerland. The program brings together later-stage startups with corporations, foundations, universities and cities in order to forge meaningful partnerships and foster deep tech innovation. Kickstart has a global scope and 70% of startups are international, while 30% are Swiss businesses that are developing and/or applying deep technologies.

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What is Kickstart?

Kickstart
Kickstart is a yearly run ecosystem innovation program in Switzerland.
Program
Each year, we connect late-stage startups from all over the world with Swiss corporations and institutions (our partners).
Focus Areas
Our partners are looking for tech startups in the areas of: EdTech & New Work, HealthTech, FinTech & InsurTech, Food & Retail Tech, Smart City & Technology as well as Circular Economy.
Timeline
The program features a period between September and November, where startups meet our partners on-site in Switzerland to work on their partnerships – no worries, we know you’re busy and we make this as efficient as possible, no need to spend all of the time in Switzerland.
KPIs
Our main KPI is the number of successful partnerships we realise during the program – we care about your success.
Partnerships
By partnerships, we mean pre-proof-of-concept, proof-of-concept, pilot or commercial projects. So you’ll really get your hands dirty with our partners and work towards long-lasting relationships.
Startup-Stage
We do not focus on early-stage startups but on more mature startups ready to collaborate with big corporations (eg. existing product, experience working with B2B customers).

What is in for you!

Partnerships
High potential for partnerships as our paying partners are actively looking for solutions – your chance to set foot in Switzerland.
Access to C-Level Executives
Access to a host of senior executives and decision makers.
Business Develop
Kickstart is basically your business developer, we know what our partners need and we connect them with you as we are convinced you are the right match.
Fun :)
And finally, it’s actually fun as well.

What we offer

No equity and no fees
The program is fully funded by our partners, we do not take equity or any fees.
Access to Partnership Fund
Kickstart created a fund and has set aside a budget to work on initial pilot projects or proofs-of-concept with you, making sure the projects are funded.
Collaboration training and facilitation
Your personal advisor
An advisor supports you while visiting Switzerland with access to her/his network and shares market knowledge.
Access to experts
You might want to engage with our experts on 1:1 basis to tackle questions in specific areas (eg. market entry, legal and ip, branding and communications).
Connection to investors
While not a focus, Kickstart has access to a broad network of investors, VC funds and family offices, your chance to connect for the next round.
Free office space and infrastructure
Work at our beautiful locations while visiting Switzerland.
Networking and community events
Immerse into the Swiss innovation ecosystem with networking and community-building events throughout the program and create strong bonds with fellow startups.
Media exposure
Be covered in various local and national media outlets, newsletters and on social media.
Swiss startup and innovation ecosystem

Impressions

Requirements

Applications are welcome from startups based anywhere in the world or within Switzerland, provided they meet these requirements:

  • A product or technology is available (preferably with patent)
  • Previous investment has been secured
  • The venture is ready for collaboration with Kickstart partners
  • At least one of the founders or senior executives to be present during key events (Final Selection, Planning Sprint, CEO Dinner, Opening and Closing Ceremony, key partnership negotiations)
  • At least one team member to be present 50% during the whole Collaboration Sprint

As well as a promising product or technology in one of the following sectors:

EdTech & New Work

FinTech & InsurTech

Food & Retail Tech

Smart City & Technology

HealthTech

Circular Economy

Apply Here

Focus Areas

Check out the Focus Areas, there you'll learn more about: 

  • Which Partners are joining the Focus Area
  • The Collaboration Opportunities in the Verticals
  • The Technologies we are focusing on.

Selection

The selection of participating startups will be based on the following criteria

Team
Presence of business & technological knowledge. Diverse, innovative and with a strong entrepreneurial mindset.
Traction
Product with critical mass of user or proven technology. Having revenue is an advantage.
Potential
Promising and innovative product or technology that has the potential to disrupt industries and sectors.
Collaboration readiness
Potential to enter into PoC or other partnership with one (or more) partners.
Execution
Ambitious and convincing roadmap.

All applications are reviewed and selected by our partners, experts and the Kickstart team.

Timeline

Apr 15 - May 17

Applications open for startups

  • Extended to 01.06.2021
Jul 5 - 7

Final Selection

Sep 6 - 10

1:1 Planning Sprint

Sep 11 - Nov 12

Collaboration Sprint

Nov 10

Closing Ceremony