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Kickstart program meets milestone of over 200 innovation deals

Scale-ups from 11 countries including Switzerland enter into 50 pilots and commercial projects with renowned Swiss companies and institutions.

Digitalization and sustainability are becoming strong drivers of innovation.
20211011_Press release Kickstart Innovation Closing (Main-ENG).docx
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ZÜRICH, 10. November 2021 - Kickstart Innovation, one of Europe's leading innovation platforms, has achieved over 200 innovation deals since its inception with the announcement of this year's 50 Proofs of Concepts (PoCs) and other partnerships between start-ups, scale-ups and established companies and organizations. "We naturally hope that among the new partnerships there will be just as successful ones as we have seen, for example, with Planted, Coop and Migros, Axa and Veezoo or PostFinance and decentriq in the past years," explains Katka Letzing, co-founder and CEO of Kickstart Innovation. Since 2015, over 200 such collaborations have been launched in the application areas of Circular Economy, EdTech & New Work, FinTech & InsurTech, Food & RetailTech, HealthTech, Smart City & Technology, with great success. "On the one hand, digitalization and sustainability are drivers in innovation; on the other hand, it shows that the early transformation of processes through digital and other innovative solutions provides a competitive advantage for this. Large companies are increasingly interested in cooperating with high-growth start-ups and developing together here," Katka Letzing continues. This year, 13 Proofs of Concept come from Switzerland, 37 from abroad.

Among the renowned Swiss companies and institutions that have entered into a cooperation are AXA, Coop, Migros, Swisscom, la Mobilière, Stadt Zürich, PostFinance, Credit Suisse, ETH Zurich, Sanitas, Canton de Vaud, Mava Foundation and other organizations. A new Kickstart partnership is confirmed with ​CSS,​ one of the largest health insurance companies in Switzerland. "W​e are excited to collaborate with Kickstart in 2022!" says ​​Michael Rieger, Head of Strategy & Corporate Services at CSS. “We want to help shape the future of healthcare and are therefore constantly working on innovative ideas on how we can accompany our customers even better. The cooperation with Kickstart is intended to help us move forward in this process.”

The Partnerships 2021 at a glance: (Details on the Kickstart Website. Download the press release here)

Partnerships in the EdTech & New Work Focus Area: (6)

  • La Mobilière and Cognician plan to explore the usage and effectiveness of multi-day challenges to enable the adoption of changed behaviors and mindsets, for example around the topic of dealing with uncertainty.

  • La Mobilière and Mentessa plan to collaborate in order to develop and test a skill-based community to measure and identify upskilling employee needs for work transformation.

  • La Mobilière and Evrlearn will explore the advantages of a digital platform for lifelong learning to support skill management and to enable employees in transformation processes.

  • Migros and Evrlearn will pilot an innovative learning solution that allows Klubschule Migros Ostschweiz to distribute its learning opportunities on a digital matchmaking platform for lifelong learning.

  • Kickstart and Mentessa are pleased to announce a cooperation starting in 2022 in order to enhance community building and exchange of public and private organizations as well as investors and others.

  • PostFinance plans to use Cognician’s platform to support the development of trust building and communication skills for leaders without direct reports. Cognician would be used in a blended learning approach, based on an innovative eduScrum framework, bringing the best of agile to the challenge of corporate learning and development.

Partnerships in the FinTech & InsurTech Focus Area: (13)

  • Coop is launching a strategic Proof of Concept with Unsupervised to provide a unified view of complex data sources and the power of unsupervised AI to increase unit sales.

  • AXA and Unsupervised are exploring use cases for a Proof of Value. The main prospects are pattern recognition use cases in the area of insurance risk and customer interactions.

  • La Mobilière and Neuroprofiler are starting a collaboration aiming to assess how the proposed solution could cater for the legal requirements applicable to La Mobilière products, as well as simplifying the relevant processes in a gamified way.

  • Swisscom and Canveo will collaborate in the area of e-contracts. Canveo will integrate the Qualified Electronic Signature of Swisscom Trust Services and the parties intend to work together to offer an end-to-end digital contracting solution to Swiss businesses.

  • PostFinance and Canveo are considering collaborating towards supercharging the procurement process with e-contracts to increase speed, reduce costs, and improve risk control.

  • PostFinance and Unsupervised plan to collaborate in the area of automated analysis in order to find exciting use cases for the contact center team.

  • Technology Law Firm EMBARK.LAW and Canveo will work towards the introduction of e-contracts for Swiss clients, in order to increase the speed of delivery of legal services and shorten the time needed to get contracts negotiated and signed.

  • Floodlight has booked a PoC with a Swiss Family Office to create and automate a novel sustainability report across the family’s holdings.

  • Swisscom is collaborating with myEGO to digitize higher-valued documents using the advantages of SSI.

  • Floodlight and Kickstart committed to work on developing and implementing a new sustainability impact measurement.

  • Acodis will have the opportunity to discuss their solutions and possible use cases with Coop.

  • Tooyoo (Kickstart alumnus) has grown in the Swiss market and has raised its community to more than 12'000 users. Tooyoo is currently extending its partner network and signed four B2B collaborations with Visana, Profond, Bank Linth, Ylex to offer its innovative solution to their customers.

  • PostFinance, SwissPost and alumnus decentriq (Kickstart alumnus) will work towards a prototype of a Secure Address Verification Ecosystem for financial institutions, leveraging the latest advancements of confidential computing.

Partnerships in the Food & Retail Tech Focus Area: (9)

  • Hitzberger clients can now preorder and pay from everywhere with the new Yoordi webshop. This enables the Migros daughter company to validate the digital sales channel.

  • Coop and Plant Jammer intend to implement dynamic recipes on, so customers can substitute ingredients in the recipes and personalize their dishes.

  • After successful initial product trials, Migros is carrying out further developments with KernTec to launch innovative, sustainable and tasty products in different product categories like sweet goods, bakery and others.

  • Coop and KernTec intend to develop a unique and more sustainable muesli product using KernTec's upcycled ingredients, a more sustainable resource than almonds.

  • Coop and #tide intend to jointly develop the first travel luggage and the first packaging for cosmetics and home care made from ocean-bound plastic.

  • Migros is planning a consumer acceptance test with BRüSLi and would like to upcycle side streams from their industrial bread production to produce more BRüSLi.

  • Migros and Aqua Cultured Foods plan to assess consumer acceptance in Switzerland of their plant based seafood alternative.

  • Kraftwerk in Zürich accomplished testing and moved to a commercial deal with two CE startups, KernTec and Brüsli, to incorporate their upcycled products into their restaurant menus.

Partnerships in the HealthTech Focus Area: (8)

  • La Mobilière and Finnish startup Fjuul started a Proof of Concept to test personalized and gamified health management services for SMEs in Switzerland in order to keep their workforce healthy.

  • CSS Insurance and Remente will set up a pilot project to validate how the coaching experience at CSS can create more impact and last longer in the minds of coaches by using the digital solution of Remente.

  • Medbase is performing individual PoCs with Oto and Clever.Care to continue its effort to bring innovation into healthcare and to foster inter-professional cooperation.

  • AXA is in ongoing discussions regarding collaboration opportunities with this year's Kickstart cohort in the area of mental health after already having partnered with Kickstart alumni Klenico & HelloBetter to launch a mental health self-test last summer - with the aim to foster mental wellbeing and offer low threshold access to help.

  • Clever.Care and Stadt Zürich are committed to exploring a pioneering project to explore how to better support, empower and relieve family caregivers, in order to foster aging-in-place of the steadily growing oldest population group in the City of Zürich.

  • Sanitas and Regimen will collaborate to test whether Sanitas health insurance customers are open to using a preventive health tool offered by Sanitas to take control of their intimate health.

  • Kickstart HealthTech Alumnus HelloBetter, which is offering digital therapy courses for the prevention and treatment of a broad variety of mental health conditions, completed a Series A financing round. The effectiveness of the solution has been scientifically proven by numerous clinical studies. In collaboration with Medbase, HelloBetter seeks to expand access to digital mental health care by developing integrated care models and corporate health solutions for the Swiss market.

Partnerships in the Smart City Focus Area: (14)

  • La Mobilière and RUNWITHIT Synthetics, a Canadian company, are partnering up for a Proof of Concept “Synthetic Zurich Risk-based Modelling Capability Brief.

  • Quandify (ex Labtrino) and La Mobilière have launched a PoC to detect and prevent expensive water damage in apartment buildings at an early stage. As part of the PoC, Quandify's intelligent leakage prevention platform will be introduced to existing and new La Mobilière customers. Furthermore, the adapted sensors (CubicMeter 2.0) will be tested for their marketability in Switzerland.

  • Quandify (formerly Labtrino) and EMPA plan to launch a PoC to monitor the total water usage (tap water and sewage) and potential water leaks in order to further improve circular usage of water.

  • EMPA and Builtrix will collaborate in order to test Builtrix's Energy intelligence platform to uncover energy-saving opportunities in the NEST intelligent building.

  • AXA and Quandify (formerly Labtrino) are in discussion to launch a possible PoC to prevent extensive and costly water damage in the real estate sector.

  • AXA and Soobr have initiated a project to implement demand-oriented facility cleaning. For more efficiency, transparency and flexibility of facility services.

  • AXA and Univrses are considering doing a joint technical PoC to investigate the use of computer vision in the motor insurance business.

  • Coop is excited to announce a pilot together with the Swedish computer vision company Univrses to bring efficiency and performance insights to Coop Logistics using Univrses' 3DAI City platform.

  • Builtrix is pleased to support Coop in achieving its energy efficiency and decarbonization goals by providing a solution that can benchmark and detect energy deviations in Coop retail stores.

  • Coop and Soobr are testing Smart Cleaning in a retail store in Winterthur to achieve better efficiency, transparency and flexibility in facility services.

  • City of Zurich and Soobr intend to start a pilot project at the Stadtspital Triemli. For more transparency, efficiency and sustainability in building cleaning.

  • FoldAI and CSEM intend to collaborate to bring deeptech solutions to the fields of forestry and biodiversity conservation.

  • EMPA and the INFRABOX Intrapreneurship Team (Swisscom) are partnering up to support the CO2 climate targets of the City of Zurich and the project has started already.

  • The City of Zürich is interested in a cooperation with RunwithIT and in further exploring the format and exact content of the cooperation.

For more information, please contact: Suki Dusanj - Lenz Global Senior 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 the 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 build bridges and bring 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 concept, pilot projects and other innovation partnerships. Additionally, through the intrapreneurship program Kickstart helps established organisations accelerate internal innovation. Kickstart is a spin-off from Impact Hub Zurich and was launched in 2015 by digitalswitzerland. Kickstart's locations and program this year are the innovation space Kraftwerk in Zurich and Impact Hub Lausanne together with Impact Hub Geneva hosting hybrid events. Kickstart runs five focus areas, EdTech & New Work, FinTech & InsurTech, Food & Retail Tech, HealthTech, Smart City & Technology, plus Intrapreneurship and Circular Economy being multi focused together with partner organizations across industries: AXA, Coop, Migros, Swisscom, la Mobilière, PostFinance, ETH Zürich, City of Zürich, Amt für Wirtschaft und Arbeit, MAVA Foundation, Credit Suisse, CSEM, Diabetes Center Bern, Empa NEST, Sanitas, Universitätsspital Zürich, Axpo, Panter, SATW, Impact Hub Switzerland, Canton de Vaud, Santenext, Swiss Healthcare Startups, Growpal, Ringier, Wenger & Vieli AG, Google for Startups, Nespresso, MLL Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Froriep AG, South Pole, evitive, WECOCO, Magnolia, Day8, HealthTech Cluster Switzerland, CSS Insurance, GFM, Switzerland Global Enterprise and more.


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