The Swiss innovation acceleration program Kickstart culminates tonight with the announcement of numerous technological partnerships and Proof of Concepts.
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 Potential.ly (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.
The Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Zurich will collaborate with Potential.ly (UK) in a pilot project to promote digital skills training of its employees.
In the Fintech & Crypto Vertical, 10 PoCs and other collaborations with Kickstart partners were agreed on:
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.
The Food & Retail Tech Vertical saw 9 collaborative projects resulting from the programme:
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.
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.
The Smart Cities & Infrastructure Vertical Vertical resulted in 6 collaborations:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. At 8pm, Kickstart opens the Kraftwerk doors for the public to join the final party.
For more information, please contact:
Program Manager Kickstart
+41 (0)79 858 57 00
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.