Five start-ups secure Proof of Concepts with Europe’s leading corporates as Kickstart Accelerator launches its final demo day
ZURICH, 4 November 2016 – As Kickstart Accelerator hosts its Investor and Final Demo Days, it also announces six Proof of Concepts (PoCs) between some of the programme’s corporate partners, including UBS, Credit Suisse, PwC Switzerland, Swisscom and Raiffeisen Switzerland, and some of the 30 participating start-ups, from the programme’s four verticals; Fintech, Smart & Connected Machines, Future & Emerging Technologies and Food.
Six PoCs Confirmed with Leading European Corporates
·Credit Suisse, Swisscom and UBS, have partnered with Notakey, which provides solutions allowing users to securely notarise digital transactions to explore its suitability as a cross-industry platform. Such a “digital identity-ecosystem” would allow for consumer use cases: for instance, in the future a registered banking client could sign a mobile phone contract without further identification and vice versa.
·PwC Switzerland and Veezoo, a conversational Artificial Intelligence technology that enables users to search their company’s data, will conduct a PoC for internal PwC use. The intention is to further develop and validate the Veezoo solution for deployment in corporate environments.
·EY has launched a cooperation with Nivaura in Switzerland and the UK. The aim is to test Nivaura’s innovative blockchain-based platform, which enables complex financial products to be issued, executed and administered. EY sees great potential for synergies with its business partners and clients globally.
·Swisscom is also partnering with lenditapp, the fintech company active in the U.S. and Switzerland, for a 4 month PoC, which will see the two firms develop a technology solution that includes machine learning, data aggregation and underwriting models to automate and reduce the risk in lending to small & medium sized enterprises.
·Raiffeisen Switzerland has agreed a PoC with lenditapp to use their solution for the automated digital processing of balance sheets, to bring more convenience and outstanding quality into the credit process.
·Raiffeisen Switzerland has also agreed a PoC with LastMile to explore the possible uses of Chat Bots in their support organisation based on text and voice in all Swiss national languages and dialects
Further to the PoCs, Coop and Migros have agreed to pilot tests with Faitron, which is developing a portable HeatsBox that heats up meals on the go and in the workplace. The trials will test the acceptance, performance and convenience of the product. The test results will be shared with Faitron to make further improvements to the device and determine possible commercialisation. Coop has also been working with Essento, a Swiss food production company that uses insects, within the framework of the Coop Sustainability Fund. Coop will indirectly work with EntoCube, the producer of crickets through, EntoCube’s collaboration with Essento in a joint venture.
Patricia Schlenter, Programme Lead at Kickstart Accelerator, said:
“Our ambition has been to give the participating start-ups the opportunity to test their products at scale with some of Europe’s largest corporates. The corporate partners’ willingness to collaborate and share their infrastructure, data and expertise with the start-ups is a win-win for industry innovation and the creation of an ecosystem that lives beyond the programme.
“The international talent in this year's cohort highlights the potential of Switzerland as a recognised digital tech hub on the European stage. We hope to continue building on our strengths in fintech, robotics and food among others and the increasingly supportive business and regulatory environment in Switzerland to enable entrepreneurs and established industry titans to come here to collaborate, innovate and grow their businesses."
20 International Investors descend on Zurich
Kickstart hosted an exclusive Investor Day comprising keynotes from André Borschberg, CEO at Pilot of Solar Impulse which created the first solar-powered airplane to circumnavigate the earth in July 2016, Anna Ukhanova, Technical Programme Manager at Google’s EMEA Research Centre and a roundtable discussion with leading international corporates, high net worth individuals, family offices, institutional investors and venture capital firms.
The 30 participating start-ups will also present their final products to a range of corporate partners and investors including AXA, World Economic Forum, Credit Suisse, Swisscom and UBS at the sold-out Final Demo Day to secure further investment in their businesses. Joachim Schoss, founder of the Scout Group, investor in companies such as ResearchGate and Moneybookers will give a keynote to the 2016 cohort. Representatives from institutional investors and top venture capital firms, including Balderton Capital, E Ventures, Hoxton Ventures, Index Ventures and Mosaic Ventures, will attend both the Investor and Final Demo Days. The Final Demo day will be live streamed on Kickstart Accelerators’ Facebook page today at 9:00 – 20:00 CET.
Rob Moffat, Partner of Balderton Capital, said: "Switzerland has the raw materials to become a leading European hub for both financial and insurance technologies. Zurich and Geneva are long-standing financial centres, but are yet to realise their full fintech potential. It is very positive to see the emergence of collaborative accelerators such as Kickstart, and innovative legislative moves such as the proposed 'fintech licence', as both will add fuel to Switzerland's fire."
2016 Cohort Facts and Figures and Kickstart Accelerator 2017
The 2016 Kickstart Accelerator launched on 22 August, with 30 start-ups comprising 89 entrepreneurs from 19 countries moving into ewz Unterwerk Selnau. In addition to the existing structure, the accelerator used 21 tons of steel, 150m2 of wood and 15,000 screws to turn this old transformer station to a working space for innovators. During the 11- week programme the cohort was mentored by 25 corporate partners to develop their products via 250 mentoring sessions and 80 open office hours. The start-ups received 150 introductions made by the programme to leading corporates and opened its doors to over 300 external visitors, including the US Ambassador to Switzerland and the Mayor of Zurich. The participants also drank an impressive 3,933 cups of coffee throughout the duration of the programme.
From 2017, a life sciences accelerator programme, BaseLaunch, will be offered by BaselArea.swiss in partnership with the Kickstart Accelerator. BaseLaunch will be based in the Basel region and is focused on healthcare start-ups.
For more information, please visit: www.kickstart-accelerator.com.
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The Kickstart Accelerator is the most ambitious Swiss start-up program to date. Never before has Switzerland or Europe had a multi-corporate and equity-free accelerator program welcoming over 60 founders from around the world. Backed by academia, corporates and the local startup ecosystem, it aims to put Switzerland on the map by bringing some of the most promising early-stage start-ups in the verticals FinTech, Smart & Connected Machines, Food and Future & Emerging Technologies to Switzerland for 11 weeks.
Kickstart was founded in 2015 and is the flagship initiative of digitalswitzerland, a cross-industry association which aims at making Switzerland a leading digital innovation hub in Europe. It is operated by Impact Hub Zurich, which is part of the largest network of entrepreneurship and innovation centers across the globe. Kickstart Accelerator's corporate partners are Credit Suisse, Coop, digitalswitzerland, EY, Gebert-Rüf-Stiftung, Global Fintech Association, Migros, PwC Switzerland, Raiffeisen Switzerland, Swisscom, Swiss Life and UBS. It is also supported by ABB, Accenture, AXA, ETH Zürich, Helbling, Helsana, KTI, Maxon Motors, Metall Zug, Ringier, SIX, Stäubli and Wenger & Vieli.