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Established organizations and tech startups are shaping the future

In its fifth year, Kickstart’s initiative for later-stage tech startups takes a fresh look at the Circular Economy and expands into the Romandy
20200331_Kickstart Innovation_Media Release_Application Launch_Final
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Zurich, 6 April 2020 – Since its launch in 2015, Kickstart has grown into one of the largest European innovation platforms, implementing open-innovation for later-stage startups with numerous leading Swiss and global companies. This year, it is expanding into Romandy. "We are increasingly expanding our network with our current and new partners across Switzerland to grow the hub for deep technology and sustainability," says Katka Letzing, Co-Lead of Kickstart Innovation, explaining the move. The application period for this year's innovation program is from 6 April to 4 May. “Sustainable solutions for the challenges of the digital and globalized age cannot be discovered in isolation. Rather, innovation needs different players. Only the fusion of the technological vision of the startups combined with the expertise of successful companies and institutions can move us forward," Letzing continued. The platform is open to high-growth start-ups from Switzerland and abroad in the fields of Circular Economy, EdTech & New Work, FinTech & InsurTech, Food & Retail Tech, HealthTech, and Smart City & Technology.

Focus: Circular Economy

This year, Circular Economy is a new initiative, tackling new solutions across all verticals.

This will be implemented in cooperation with Impact Hub Switzerland,​ as part of the ​Circular Economy Transition initiative. “The goal is to support startups working with the organizations in public and private sectors in Switzerland and beyond, to implement more circular models and practices. Innovations based on technologies can significantly accelerate the transition to a circular economy in Switzerland,” according to Holger Schmid, Swiss Director of MAVA Foundation, which supports Kickstart.

Growing number of Partnerships

In the last four years, Kickstart has initiated more than 120 pilots and commercial projects between start-ups and established organizations from various industries such as AXA, Coop, Migros, Mobiliar, Swisscom, City of Zurich, ETH Zürich, PostFinance, Credit Suisse and many more. Mobiliar has been a partner of Kickstart for the second consecutive year with increasing engagement across all verticals. "Kickstart connected us with many interesting startups and we did Proof of Concepts with Statice and Swiss-based advaisor AG last year. We are looking forward to even more projects in the fields of InsurTech and others," says Christoph Hunziker, Innovation Lead at Mobiliar.

The number of partners has continued to grow from year to year, and to date over 140 partners have been actively involved in the Kickstart program. In addition, more than CHF 200 million have been raised by alumni of Kickstart.

Kickstart Key Dates 2020:

July 6 -July 7: Final Selection

Aug 31 - Sep 4: Planning Sprint

Sept 28 - Nov 6: Collaboration Sprint

For more information, please contact:

Sasha Steinmann, Communications Manager

+41 77 529 63 26

About Kickstart

Kickstart is one of Europe's largest zero equity, multi-corporate ecosystem innovation platforms that runs a scale-up program for high-growth startups with a goal to accelerate deep tech innovation in Switzerland. Science and engineering-driven technologies have the potential to solve humanity’s biggest challenges. They require unprecedented collaboration between established organizations and the most audacious entrepreneurs out there. Kickstart is committed to building bridges and bringing various organizations such as startups, corporates, cities, foundations and universities together. Each year, Kickstart brings up to 100 entrepreneurs to Switzerland to collaborate with key players for proofs of concepts, pilot projects and other innovation partnerships. Additionally, through an intrapreneurship program Kickstart helps established organisations to accelerate internal innovation.

Kickstart is a spin-off of Impact Hub Zurich and was launched in 2015 by digitalswitzerland. In 2020, Kickstart runs five verticals: EdTech & New Work, FinTech & InsurTech, Food & Retail Tech, HealthTech, Smart City & Technology; an Intrapreneurship program and the Circular Economy Initiative together with partner organizations across industries: AXA, Coop, Migros, Swisscom, Mobiliar, ETH Zürich, City of Zurich, Gebert Rüf Stiftung, Holcim Schweiz,


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