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More than 35 collaborations between startups and established corporations and organizations


The Swiss innovation acceleration program Kickstart culminates tonight with the announcement of numerous technological partnerships and Proof of Concepts.

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ZURICH, 9 November 2018 – The innovation acceleration program Kickstart 2018 has led to more than 35 collaborations between the participating startups and established organizations. After four months of intense work, the Proof of Concepts (PoCs) and other partnerships with Coop, Credit Suisse, Migros, Swisscom, City of Zurich, ETH Zurich, Mercator Foundation Switzerland, Mondelēz International, University of Zurich, ZHAW and many more will be announced tonight at a grand Closing Ceremony at Kraftwerk.

Kickstart, a program of Impact Hub Zurich, launched in 2015 by digitalswitzerland, bridges the gap between later-stage startups, corporations, cities, universities, and institutions to accelerate deep tech innovations with positive impact. For the third edition, 30 Swiss and international tech startups had moved into the collaboration space Kraftwerk in Zurich, where they met with leading corporations and organizations aiming at launching joint projects. More than 70 such partnership projects have emerged from the programme since its inception. This year's program focused on FinTech & Crypto, Food & Retail Tech, Smart Cities & Infrastructure and, for the first time in Zurich, on EdTech & Learning. In addition to the 30 startups, five intrapreneurship teams from Credit Suisse, Migros and Swisscom participated in the program.

Here is the overview of the 2018 pilot projects and partnerships:

(Details at the bottom of the media release)

The EdTech & Learning Vertical saw 10 collaborations:

  • ETH Zurich and Differ (Norway) collaborate to build digital learning communities for (ETH) students by testing Differ's software in a pilot project with one ETH bachelor course engaging more than 500 students.

  • ETH Zurich and (UK) explore a collaboration to support (ETH) students' professional development paths and career-readiness in the scope of a pilot with selected students doing company internships.

  • Mercator Foundation Switzerland is executing a joint pilot project with WriteReader (Denmark), a platform that helps children to learn reading and writing by creating their own books at school, as well as Jacobs Foundation and Dybuster (CH) with different schools.

  • Migros Club School will start a PoC with Labster (Denmark) aiming at evaluating a new method for creating digital language learning content in 3D Virtual Reality environments and the impact of such content on client engagement.

  • Swisscom and TEACHY (CH) are collaborating in a PoC to explore opportunities in the field of 1on1 personal learning between Swisscom experts and Swisscom employees.

  • The University of Zurich will cooperate with Labster (Denmark) to explore laboratory simulations and virtual reality in university science instruction.

  • The Career Services of the University of Zurich is developing application opportunities with (UK) to use the platform to increase career readiness of students at UZH.

  • The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Zurich will work with Differ (Norway) to increase collaboration amongst students and teaching assistants by using the platform.

  • The Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Zurich will collaborate with (UK) in a pilot project to promote digital skills training of its employees.

  • ZHAW is planning a PoC with the Bernese educational startup TEACHY (CH) in the field of student tutoring to promote the educational careers of its students.

In the Fintech & Crypto Vertical, 10 PoCs and other collaborations with Kickstart partners were agreed on:

  • Credit Suisse and the Switzerland-based company Altoo AG, offering solutions for wealthy individuals, stated their intention to work together in the area of future private banking platform solutions.

  • Credit Suisse and Asteria (Sweden) intend to test opportunities in cash flow advisory for small & medium-sized corporate clients.

  • Credit Suisse and Gauss Algorithmic (Czech Republic) intend to work together in the area of data analytics.

  • Credit Suisse and Reportix (Germany) are exploring the potential for digitization and automated processing of documents and forms using non-proprietary Ricardian Contracts (human and machine-readable contracts).

  • Credit Suisse and YUKKA Lab AG (Germany) intend to collaborate with regards to Yukka’s value proposition to use augmented language and machine learning to analyze global financial news from trusted sources.

  • Swisscom is exploring the opportunities of “Open Banking” for the Swiss financial industry with the Fintech companies Altoo AG (CH) and YUKKA Lab AG (Germany).

  • Swisscom is launching a PoC with the Norwegian startup Fintechdb (Norway) to better map the Swiss FinTech ecosystem.

  • AXA is collaborating with Reportix to explore opportunities for new insurance products providing trust, transparency and automation created by blockchain-based platforms.

  • PwC Switzerland and YUKKA Lab AG (Germany) signed a Letter of Intent to progress the development of joint business cases in the field of Augmented Language Intelligence for the financial industry.

  • C4DR and Trakti (Italy) have agreed to test the Trakti Smart Contract platform with C4DR’s Blockchain-powered Supply Chain Finance Business and Security Token Factory.

The Food & Retail Tech Vertical saw 9 collaborative projects resulting from the programme:

  • Coop and Alver (CH) are looking into integrating Alver branded products into the Coop assortment as well as into using their innovative vegan protein for product development.

  • Coop and LuckaBox (CH) are running two Proofs of Concepts to explore potential benefits of a new ultra-local urban distribution model as well as using LuckaBox' cloud-based technology for effective last mile deliveries.

  • Coop and microPow (CH) are collaborating with the goal to bring enhanced, shelf-stable, natural microPow aromas into a variety of food products.

  • Migros will start two PoCs with LuckaBox (CH). The Migros Cooperative Zurich launches a pilot project with the startup and thereby expands its range of services. From November 2018, customers of Migros City will be able to have their purchases delivered directly to their home.

  • M-Industry will start a PoC with Besso (Germany) aiming at testing Besso tea pads in the Swiss market.

  • Mondelēz International and Alver (CH) are exploring the application of a new sustainable plant-based protein source in different snack forms.

  • Mondelēz International and microPow (CH) are looking at opportunities to better preserve high-value ingredients in snacks to make their benefits fully available to consumers.

The Smart Cities & Infrastructure Vertical Vertical resulted in 6 collaborations:

  • Empa is collaborating with BlockDox (UK) to implement their IoT and AI-driven sensor analytics solution at the NEST research and innovation building.

  • Empa and Fleco Power (CH) collaborate to assess the potential and technical implementation for using the electricity consumption flexibility of Empa NEST demonstrator to help stabilize the local electricity grid in Dübendorf.

  • ewz is collaborating with BlockDox (UK) to implement their patented IoT and AI-driven sensor analytics solution at the collaboration space Kraftwerk in Zurich Selnau.

  • ewz and Fleco Power (CH) are performing a pilot project to test a control unit in a charging station for electric vehicles operated by ewz.

  • ewz is collaborating with Hivemind (CH) to set up different IoT/LoRaWAN use cases and implement and visualize them on the Hivemind-IoT platform.

  • The City of Zurich and Pedius are in final discussions to agree on a collaboration to make calls for selected services accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing. During the process of establishing the project, Impact Hub Zürich will continue to support Pedius.

“It is exciting to see such a great number of collaborations between the startups and the partners that are growing the Kickstart Community,” said Kickstart Co-Lead, Katka Letzing. “This shows that Kickstart has the potential to truly connect technology startups from all over the world with the Swiss innovation ecosystem.”

Next to the cooperation between the startups and the large partners, some of the startups have also initiated partnerships with each other: For example, Sharing Academy (Spain) and TEACHY (CH) agreed on a PoC to combine their forces of business and software development with the purpose of improving education in Switzerland. In the FinTech Vertical, ResonanceX and Altoo AG are teaming up for a joint exploration in providing next-generation post-trade information for structured product investments to wealthy individuals. Kickstart alumni PriceHubble and Altoo explore possibilities on real estate valuation based on machine learning for comprehensive digital wealth management. And YUKKA Lab AG has entered into a partnership with the Kickstart alumni AAAccell.

In addition, Mondays has partnered with Diversify to offer corporates and startups the opportunity to tangibly deliver on their top level diversity goals, by providing women’s essential products in the workplace. In the meantime, Kickstart supported the startup AVUXI from UK in closing a partnership deal with 3 Swiss online travel companies, including Nezasa and Bedfinder. Swiss startup vlot. got support to work on closing two partnership deals in the field of InsurTech.

Furthermore, during the few weeks of Kickstart 2018, the startups have raised 6.5 million CHF funding from international and Swiss investors.

New Cybersecurity Vertical in 2019 in cooperation with SATW

In the coming year, Kickstart aims at tapping into new technology areas: Together with the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences SATW, the program will launch a Cybersecurity Vertical in order to foster innovation in the fields of IT-, information- and data security. Additionally, Kickstart is in advanced conversations for a vertical on health technologies in Zurich.

The program has already agreed on several partnerships for the 2019 edition: Coop, Swisscom, Stiftung Mercator Schweiz, Axpo, Stäubli, Gebert Rüf Stiftung, CSEM, and others have been confirmed as partners for next year’s program.

Kickstart 2018 will end tonight with a grand Closing Ceremony, starting at 5pm (doors open at 4pm). Interested journalists can register for the event via At 8pm, Kickstart opens the Kraftwerk doors for the public to join the final party.

For more information, please contact:

Zsofia Molnar

Program Manager Kickstart

+41 (0)79 858 57 00

About Kickstart:

Kickstart bridges the gap between later-stage startups, corporations, cities, universities, and institutions to accelerate deep tech innovations with positive impact. Science and engineering driven technologies have the potential to transform humanity’s biggest challenges into solvable problems. These challenges require unprecedented collaboration between powerful established organizations and audacious entrepreneurs (you can find insights on collaborations between startups and corporations in the guide “Kickstarting Collaboration”). Each year, Kickstart brings around 100 such entrepreneurs to Switzerland to collaborate with key players for proof-of-concepts, pilot projects, and other innovation partnerships. The program is free of charge (no fees, no equity) for selected growth ventures and provides exceptional access to the executives and decision-makers of Kickstart's partners.

Kickstart is a program of Impact Hub Zürich and was launched 2015 by digitalswitzerland. In 2018, Kickstart runs four verticals (EdTech & Learning, FinTech & Crypto, Food & Retail Tech and Smart Cities & Infrastructure) together with established partner organizations across industries and the private and public domain: Coop, Credit Suisse, Migros and Swisscom as well as City of St. Gallen, City of Zurich, Department of Education of the Canton of Zurich, ETH Zürich, Gebert-Rüf-Stiftung, Mercator Foundation Switzerland, Mondelēz International, Swiss Federal Office for Energy, University of Zurich, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, AXA, csem, Empa, EY, Helbling, PwC Switzerland, Stäubli, Swisslinx and more.


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