7th Kickstart innovation program launched with increased focus on sustainability
Over 40 renowned companies and organizations are creating future solutions with local and international startups for Switzerland, Austria and beyond
Application phase for startups begins today
Zurich, 26th April, 2022 - Kickstart Innovation, one of Europe's leading open innovation platforms, launches its seventh program today. Every year, Kickstart has attracted some of the world’s best startups providing solutions to the biggest challenges for the society. This is accomplished in partnership with major industry players, including AXA, Coop, Swisscom, La Mobilière, PostFinance, Sanitas, The City of Zurich, Canton de Vaud, Credit Suisse, Galenica, CSS Insurance. Kickstart has supported over 400 startups and facilitated over 200 deals in the form of pilots and commercial projects coming from over 80 countries, raising more than CHF 2 billion in investments so far including Planted, Neustark, AAAcell and others.
The program has taken place annually since 2016 with digitalization and sustainability becoming strong drivers of innovation across industries. "Startups offer a wide spectrum of solutions for companies that are looking for new technologies and other innovative solutions for their further development. At the same time, these partnerships promote the growth of startups with pools of experts and integration opportunities," explains Katka Letzing, Co-Founder and CEO of Kickstart Innovation. "In the meantime, the topic of sustainability has become the core of all activities. A major change has taken place in recent years, as shown through the doubling of deals in connection to circular economy in the last twelve months.”
The goal of Kickstart’s program is to facilitate deals in the form of pilots or commercial collaborations between later-stage startups and established institutions who are looking to scale their products and services, find fresh revenue streams and invest in forward-looking models and practices.
The search for the solutions of tomorrow takes place in six verticals: Health & Wellbeing, Finance & Insurance, Food & Retail, New Work & Learning, Smart Cities and Intrapreneurship. Each vertical has a core focus on specific innovation trends and needs of each Kickstart vertical partner. In addition, Kickstart unveils a brand new global identity, portraying the company’s evolution into an international enterprise committed to fast-forwarding innovation for a better future. Next to building partnerships, Kickstart also provides access to a diversified investor network for startups and alumni raising financing rounds. Partners with corporate venture arms are actively involved, including Swisscom Ventures, Axa Venture Partners, and others. “We were able to connect with great startups in the past years and gain collaborations as well as investments including companies like Labster and Unsupervised. I am looking forward to more such collaborations this year with increased focus on sustainability topics.” said Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler, Chief Digital Officer, Swisscom.
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Kickstart is one of Europe's largest zero equity, multi-corporate open innovation platforms. Our mission is to build innovation ecosystems with purpose, by fast forwarding innovation. We bring together public and private organizations, startups, investors and experts, with the shared ambition to deliver next-generation products and services and have a meaningful impact at scale. Each year, Kickstart engages 100 entrepreneurs to collaborate with key players for proofs of concept, pilot and commercial projects and other innovation partnerships. Additionally, through the intrapreneurship program Kickstart helps established organizations to promote and accelerate internal innovation.
Kickstart is a spin-off of Impact Hub Zurich and was launched in 2015 by digitalswitzerland. In 2022, Kickstart runs six verticals: New Work & Learning, Finance & Insurance, Food & Retail, Health & Wellbeing, Smart Cities; and an Intrapreneurship together with partner organizations across industries: AXA, Coop, Swisscom, La Mobilière, PostFinance, ETH Zürich, CSS, Galenica, City of Zurich, Credit Suisse, CSEM, Empa NEST, Sanitas, University Hospital Zurich, Axpo, Panter, SATW, Impact Hub Switzerland, Canton de Vaud, Santenext, Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE, Swiss Healthcare Startups, Growpal, Switzerland Global Enterprise, Ringier, Wenger & Vieli AG, Google for Startups, Nespresso, Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd., South Pole, WECOCO, Day8, HealthTech Cluster Switzerland, Pepicon, Climate Lab, Atos Austria, Wien Energie, MAVA, Swiss Leap, EPFL, gfm and more.