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Startups secure more than 30 PoCs & partnerships at Kickstart Accelerator 2017

Kickstart Accelerator, Zurich-based technology accelerator programme ends tonight with the announcement of numerous Proof of Concepts and other partnerships

ZURICH, 17 November 2017 – Over 30 Proof of Concepts (PoCs) and partnerships have been secured at Kickstart Accelerator, one of Europe’s largest no equity, multi-corporate accelerator programmes that culminates today – most of them with leading corporations. Coop, Credit Suisse, Empa, EY, Helsana, Migros, PwC Switzerland, Raiffeisen, Swisscom as well as UBS have entered into partnerships with the entrepreneurs participating in this year’s acceleration programme.


At tonight's grand Closing Ceremony the established PoCs and other partnerships will be announced in addition to the winners in each vertical, who will receive a 25`000 CHF grant. The accelerator – an initiative of digitalswitzerland and operated by Impact Hub Zurich – saw 29 startups as well as an intrapreneur team from AXA Winterthur and Swisscom working in collaboration for 11 weeks in the specially designed co-working space Kraftwerk. Their goal was to develop, scale and promote their business in the Swiss innovation ecosystem with the guide of industry experts and unparalleled access to internationally recognized corporations. The programme also supported by C4DR and evitive, focused on the fields of FinTech, Food, Smart Cities as well as Robotics & Intelligent Systems, which is reflective of Switzerland’s heritage innovation sub sectors.


PoCs to deliver better air quality, blockchain-based e-voting-systems and ways to avoid food waste

(Details at the bottom of the press release)


In the Fintech vertical, 14 PoCs and other partnerships were secured with Kickstart Partners:

  • Credit Suisse and Swiss-based Startup PriceHubble are exploring a cooperation in the field of mortgage business.

  • Credit Suisse is looking into how to use Adjoint`s blockchain technology to improve compliance processes in their FX operations.

  • Credit Suisse is discussing potential for a cooperation in the field of compliance with Zurich-based Apiax.

  • Credit Suisse and Blocko are collaborating to explore opportunities in the field of blockchain-based e-voting systems.

  • EY and Apiax are going to intensify discussions about a possible partnership.

  • EY is collaborating with US-startup Adjoint to develop a PoC in the field of blockchain for a global insurance client.

  • Helsana insurance and Fjuul are joining forces to further improve functionality and user experience of the new Helsana+ App.

  • PwC Switzerland has signed a Letter of Intent with Zurich-based Apiax to intensify the discussion about joining forces to work on digitising compliance processes in the financial industry.

  • PwC Switzerland and Finnish startup Fjuul have signed a Letter of Intent to further evaluate the option of jointly bringing exciting digital solutions to insurance companies.

  • Swisscom is planning a PoC to integrate services that PriceHubble offers into their existing banking service.

  • Swisscom cooperates with Apiax as well as SoBA on a PoC to work in the field of Open Banking.

  • UBS and AAAccell, a University of Zurich spin-off working in the field of risk- and asset management, will start a PoC project to build a smart risk-based engine.

  • UBS and PriceHubble, a startup offering innovative real estate software-as-a-service solutions, agreed on a common PoC to further develop UBS`s offering in the mortgage business.

  • UBS and CityFALCON have worked closely together to explore different opportunities on how to leverage a potential partnership. Nothing has been agreed yet, however, it can be confirmed, that UBS sees value in exploring CityFALCON`s offering in a potential PoC.


The Food vertical saw four PoCs resulting from the programme:

  • Coop has announced a collaboration with Swiss company KITRO. The two firms plan to test KITRO`s solution to prevent food waste at several Coop restaurants within a PoC next year.

  • Raiffeisen Bank has acquired a Living Farming tree by the Italian Food startup Hexagro Urban Farming as the first step of a PoC and will validate a potential use in Raiffeisen offices.

  • Coop and Migros have both agreed on individual PoCs with FlavorWiki. Their technology allows food producers, retailers and others to collect detailed data about consumer taste preferences. Coop and Migros will both test this technology internally.


The Smart Cities vertical resulted in seven PoCs and other collaborations:

  • Swisscom Broadcast will work together with Zurich-based startup Antavi on a PoC to develop a smart tracking solution for public safety.

  • Swisscom has signed a PoC with uHoo. The ICT-provider will integrate the indoor air quality device by the Singapore-based company in the Swisscom TestLab in Biel.

  • Swisscom and Hawa Dawa have signed a PoC to develop a real-time data model of air quality in Zurich. The German startup is leveraging open data from the city of Zurich and is using big data analytics and machine learning algorithms to model the air quality in the whole city.

  • The city of Bern provides Hawa Dawa in a PoC with data to establish a profound data model and to calibrate their instruments.

  • Swisscom starts a partnership with BikeLook: The Irish startup will use Swisscom’s Low Power Network to have an improved battery lifetime.

  • Empa will be launching a PoC with Zurich-startup Parquery that is working in the field of smart parking management.

  • The cities of Zurich, Bern and St. Gallen, are discussing further collaboration and sharing of knowledge with different startups, e.g. with BikeLook from Dublin.


The Robotics & Intelligent Systems vertical saw one confirmed partnership:

  • Coop has defined a PoC with Indian startup iFuture Robotics to test the startup`s autonomous robots to automate certain processes within Coop’s retail warehouses.


In addition to the cooperation between the startups and corporate partners, some of the startups have also started to cooperate with each other. For example, the intrapreneur team Rent`n`Share has partnered with the UK/Switzerland based startup Spark Horizon to offer a sustainable mobility solution. The FinTech startups AAAccell, Blocko and Coincube confirmed partnerships to work on two individual blockchain pilots. Zurich-based Apiax is going to work with South African startup Libryo in the field of legal and insurance solutions. Meanwhile, CoinCube and CityFALCON will be working together on AI/blockchain solutions and London-based startup Nivaura, that took part in the 2016 programme, is starting a joint project with Adjoint from this year's batch focusing on blockchain solutions.


“It is great to see the number of partnerships between the startups and the corporates has increased significantly compared to last year,” said Patricia Schlenter, Programme Manager at Kickstart Accelerator. “This shows that Kickstart Accelerator has the potential to truly support international startups to gain access to the Swiss innovation ecosystem.”


International tech companies anchor in Switzerland


Several of the participating startups have already or are planning to bring units of their businesses to Switzerland. For example, the Ghana-based food tech startup Farmerline is planning to base their third office in Zurich and US-startup RADiCAL is opening the first office outside New York in Zurich to attract talent in the areas of AI and autonomous systems, with the Zurich office expected to serve as the company's research and development lab. In addition, US-startup COINCUBE is incorporating in Switzerland to implement projects in the digital asset space. More incorporations are being planned.


International and local funding floods in: More than 8 million CHF raised in 5 months


Furthermore, since the start of the programme in July this year, the Kickstart Accelerator startups all together have raised more than 8 million CHF funding from international and Swiss investors. “At the beginning of the programme, we set ambitious goals - and we are overwhelmed to even have exceeded them. Besides the promising cooperation agreements, several of the startups are also hiring Swiss employees or even plan to open a new office here," Programme Manager Patricia Schlenter said. "In addition, the quality of this year's startups was exceptionally high - as for example shown by the investor funds raised since the programme started. We are convinced that Kickstart Accelerator 2017 has once again contributed to strengthening the Swiss innovation ecosystem.”


Kickstart Accelerator 2017 ends tonight with the official Closing Ceremony. It will be live streamed on Kickstart Accelerators’ Facebook page today from 4:15 PM to 7:15 PM CET.


PoCs and partnerships with the corporate partners of Kickstart Accelerator


PriceHubble and Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse and PriceHubble are exploring a cooperation in the area of the power of insights generated from big data, wrapped into appealing visualisations to a mortgage process fit for the 21st century.


Adjoint and Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse is looking into how to use Adjoint`s UpLink blockchain technology to improve compliance processes in their FX operations.


Blocko and Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse and Blocko are collaborating to explore opportunities to empower e-voting systems based on Blocko's blockchain technology.


Apiax and Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse and Zurich-based Regtech company Apiax are discussing potential for a cooperation.


Apiax and EY

EY and Apiax had interesting discussions and will continue and intensify discussions about a possible partnership over the next weeks.


Adjoint and EY

EY is collaborating with US-startup Adjoint to develop a PoC for a blockchain-based treasury token and associated management system for a global insurance client.


Apiax and PwC Switzerland

PwC Switzerland and Apiax signed a Letter of Intent to intensify the discussion about joining forces. Together they aim to digitise today's compliance processes in the financial industry.


Fjuul and PwC Switzerland PwC Switzerland and Fjuul signed a Letter of Intent to continue to evaluate the option of jointly bringing exciting digital solutions to insurance companies. Together they aim to take significant steps towards customer focused ecosystems for the insurance industry.


PriceHubble and Swisscom

Swisscom has agreed on a PoC with PriceHubble. The project aims to examine the integration of PriceHubble services into the existing Swisscom Banking service eVoja. eVoja is an innovative consulting tool that enables customer advisers of banks to interact in a new way with their clients. Together with PriceHubbles approach of applying state-of-the-art machine learning techniques, the enrichment of the Banking Service is a logical step.


Apiax and Swisscom as well as SoBa

Swisscom strongly believes in Open Banking and therefore cooperates with the Fintech startup Apiax and Baloise Bank SoBa in a PoC. The Swisscom Open Banking Hub connects SoBa with Apiax through a secure platform exchanging digital information within the financial ecosystem. The Open Banking Hub is offering every market player access to all available APIs on the hub through one single connection.


PriceHubble and UBS

UBS and PriceHubble, a startup offering innovative real estate software-as-a-service solutions, agreed on a common PoC following PriceHubbles' Kickstart Accelerator 2017 participation. Amongst other capabilities, PriceHubble analyses real estate offerings in the Swiss market using modern machine learning and big data methods. UBS plans to leverage these valuable insights for further development of its digital offering in the mortgage business.


AAAccell and UBS

UBS and AAAccell, a spin-off company of the University of Zurich, intend to collaborate on a common PoC to build a smart risk-based engine. As part of the collaboration, AAAccell will bring the latest research achievements in quantitative finance and machine learning thanks to its strong connection to leading worldwide academia. UBS will contribute to this partnership with business and process knowledge, IT skills, training and data back testing to calibrate a new set of machine learning algorithms.


CityFALCON and UBS

UBS and CityFALCON, which provides personalised financial and business news using AI, have worked closely together to explore different opportunities on how to leverage a potential partnership. The discussions are still ongoing and nothing has been agreed yet, however, it can be confirmed, that UBS sees value in exploring CityFALCON`s offering in a potential PoC.


Fjuul and Helsana

Helsana insurance and Fjuul are joining forces to further improve functionality and user experience of the new Helsana+ App.


Antavi and Swisscom

Swisscom Broadcast and Antavi have conducted a PoC to develop a smart tracking solution for public safety organizations using both the Low Power Network (LPN) and the mobile network (4G). The platform combines the permanent tracking of security officers’ cars over LPN and is combined with a high accuracy tracking mobile app which is activated only on-demand in case of emergency.


uHoo and Swisscom

Swisscom will be integrating uHoo’s indoor air quality device in the Swisscom TestLab in Biel, which makes it possible to rapidly test market demand in Switzerland. With this PoC, uHoo will get over hundred customer interactions in less than a week, in order to validate a potential commercial joint offer with Swisscom.


BikeLook and Swisscom

Swisscom’s Low Power Network, a complementary IoT network that delivers the ideal communication platform for Internet of Things applications, is also being used by other Smart City startups from this year’s batch. BikeLook’s devices, for instance, will get an improved battery lifetime due to the optimized network for IoT.


Hawa Dawa and Swisscom as well as City of Zurich

Swisscom and Hawa Dawa have signed an agreement to develop a real-time data model of air quality in Zurich. Hawa Dawa is leveraging open data from the city of Zurich and is using big data analytics and machine learning algorithms to model the air quality in the whole city. The new Swisscom Insights platform, used by civil administrators, tourism and marketing professionals, and others, will use these air quality insights directly into the tool allowing taking even better decisions and planning, combining these insights with unique mobility information.


Hawa Dawa and City of Bern

The city of Bern provides the startup with Open Government Data, detailed Geo Data as well as existing environmental Data, to enable Hawa Dawa to establish a profound data model and to calibrate their own instruments. In a next step, the municipal network of monitoring stations shall be complemented in a pilot project with Hawa Dawa instruments.


Parquery and Empa

Parquery will be launching a PoC with Empa, covering the parking spots in front of the innovation building NEST to demonstrate the efficiency of Parquery’s artificial intelligence algorithm for the management and optimization of the parking spot.


KITRO and Coop

Coop announces a collaboration with Food-startup KITRO to undergo a PoC in multiple Coop restaurants as of June 2018. The project intends to test the functionality of the hardware and the scope of the analysis of the reports needed to change behaviours towards food waste.


FlavorWiki and Coop as well as Migros

Coop and Migros have both agreed on individual PoCs with FlavorWiki. Their technology allows food producers, retailers and others to collect detailed data about consumer taste preferences with its patent pending online survey tools. By combining these data with existing digital touch points such as Facebook, YouTube and loyalty programmes, FlavorWiki can help their customers to develop food and drink products that are perfectly suited for market tastes and can therefore assist marketing and advertising professionals in creating more customized campaigns. Both Migros and Coop are currently conducting independent internal trials to validate FlavorWiki’s technology and identify various use cases across their different business units.


Hexagro UF and Raiffeisen

Raiffeisen has acquired a Living Farming Tree as the first step of a PoC to validate a potential business model and use of Hexagro’s technology in Raiffeisen offices.


iFuture Robotics and Coop

Coop is testing the Ark Robot, a product of iFuture Robotics, one of India’s leading Robotics startup, to automate certain processes within their retail warehouses in a PoC. Ark Robot will handle Coop’s inventory totes by sorting them as per different Retail stores. Upon finding a suitable concept for the retail warehouse in Chur the project is moved into a more extensive test and is potentially rolled out to other warehouses.



Further partnerships and collaborations


City PartnershipsThe cities of Zurich, Bern and St. Gallen are discussing further collaboration and sharing of knowledge with different startups. For example, they will share their experiences with the Irish startup BikeLook in order for them to adapt their offering to enter the Swiss market.Intrapreneur-Team: Rent`n`Share An intrapreneur team – composed of Swisscom and AXA Winterthur – used the Kickstart Accelerator programme to progress their idea of an alternative to car ownership via a flexible and digital subscription model. With Rent`n`Share, they went live with the first prototype of their product, defined their go-to-market and strategy with the ambition to scale their user base in a next phase. Startup Cooperation: Rent`n`Share and Spark HorizonWhilst in the programme, Rent`n`Share collaborated with a fellow startup, Spark Horizon: Rent`n`Share provided an electric car that is being fueled by the charging station that Spark Horizon has installed in front of Kraftwerk.Startup Cooperation: AAAccell and CoinCubeAAAccell and CoinCube announced their strategic cooperation in offering investors a solution to reduce the risks of crypto-currency investments. US-based CoinCube offers a crypto currency platform to enable investors easy and comfortable access to crypto-currency portfolios while AAAccell optimizes the risk and returns within the different investments. Startup Cooperation: AAAccell and BlockoAAAccell and Blocko announced a strategic cooperation to offer blockchain-based risk- and compliance solutions to the financial service industry. While Blocko has extensive experiences in blockchain application, AAAccell has deep knowledge in asset- and risk management. Startup Cooperation: Apiax and LibryoZurich-based Apiax is going to work with South African startup Libryo in the field of legal and insurance solutions.Startup Cooperation: CoinCube and CityFALCONUS-based crypto currencies-startup CoinCube will integrate personalised financial news for Bitcoin and other currencies from UK-startup CityFALCON.Startup Cooperation: Adjoint and NivauraLondon-based startup Nivaura, participant of the 2016 programme, will be testing their issuance and administration platform for structured notes on the Adjoint blockchain infrastructure within the FCA Regulatory Sandbox.



For more information, please contact:


Kickstart Media Contact:

Prosek Partners

+44 (0)20 3786 2641

pro-kickstart@prosek.com


digitalswitzerland Media Contact:

Nicolas Bürer

+41 (0)79 542 92 56

nicolas@digitalswitzerland.com



About Kickstart Accelerator:


Kickstart Accelerator invests in solutions that work for problems that matter. The programme, an initiative of digitalswitzerland and operated by Impact Hub Zurich, is one of Europe's largest zero equity, multi-corporate accelerators with the aim of putting the Swiss innovation ecosystem on the global map of entrepreneurship.


For 11 weeks, 50 startups come to Switzerland where they are provided with coworking space, seed funding as well as direct access to leading corporate partners, investors, mentors and experts. The programme is open to the best international startups within the following six verticals: FinTech, Food, Smart Cities, Robotics & Intelligent Systems, EdTech and Healthcare. EdTech vertical is in partnership with EPFL and operated by venturelab. It will end on November 23 with a Final Demo Day. To offer the healthcare-specific vertical, Kickstart Accelerator has entered into a partnership with BaseLaunch (operated by BaselArea.swiss). The vertical will start into a second phase in January.


Kickstart Accelerator's corporate partners are AXA Winterthur, Coop, Credit Suisse, EY, Gebert-Rüf-Stiftung, Migros, PwC Switzerland, Raiffeisen Switzerland, Swisscom and UBS. The programme is also supported by ABB, Accenture, Empa, ETH, Global Fintech Association, Helbling, Helsana, Hilti, Maxon Motor, Metall Zug, Stäubli, Swiss Life as well as the city of Zurich, city of Bern and city of St. Gallen.


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