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.
What is Kickstart?
Kickstart is a yearly run ecosystem innovation program in Switzerland.
Each year, we connect late-stage startups from all over the world with Swiss corporations and institutions (our partners).
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.
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.
Our main KPI is the number of successful partnerships we realise during the program – we care about your success.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Be covered in various local and national media outlets, newsletters and on social media.
Swiss startup and innovation ecosystem
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
The selection of participating startups will be based on the following criteria
Presence of business & technological knowledge. Diverse, innovative and with a strong entrepreneurial mindset.
Product with critical mass of user or proven technology. Having revenue is an advantage.
Promising and innovative product or technology that has the potential to disrupt industries and sectors.
Potential to enter into PoC or other partnership with one (or more) partners.
Ambitious and convincing roadmap.
All applications are reviewed and selected by our partners, experts and the Kickstart team.
Apr 15 - May 17
Applications open for startups
- Extended to 01.06.2021
Jul 5 - 7
Sep 6 - 10
1:1 Planning Sprint
Sep 11 - Nov 12