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Ten reasons NOT to apply to Kickstart

We’re building Kickstart, Switzerland’s most ambitious acceleration program for startups, which will happen for the first time this summer in the beautiful city of Zurich. We can promise you that it will be amazing — but it might not be the right thing for every startup. So to help you decide, we have put together our top ten reasons of why you shouldn’t apply:

  1. Your company wants to be the “next Google” or the “next Facebook”. Don’t get us wrong — we love the ambition. But Google and Facebook have already been built, and they’re successful at what they’re doing. We’d much rather have you focus on building something that doesn’t exist yet.

  2. Your startup doesn’t fit into one of our four thematic verticals. If you are building a great company in a different field, Kickstart is not for you. However, feel free to reach out to us, and we will help you find an accelerator program that might be a better fit. There are so many great ones out there!

  3. Your product will only work once you have a million users. Dream big, but start small. If the first ten users or customers of your product aren’t madly in love with it, the remaining nine hundred ninety nine thousand nine hundred ninety will never show up.

  4. You’ve spent the first three months building a pitch deck instead of a product. We don’t want to hear about how you will change the world. We want to see you f**king do it.

  5. Your startup is one of your hobbies. Getting started is hard. And we have tremendous respect for people who build companies while still working their day jobs. But to get the most out of our program, you should be able to focus at least 80% of your time on your idea. We hope that the support we provide you will at least ease some of the pain that initially causes. And we promise it will be worth it!

  6. Your plan is to sell your startup for a ton of money two years from now and then retire on a yacht. Because startups aren’t only about making money. They’re about solving problems. (Not that there’s anything wrong with making tons of money of course.)

  7. You want us to sign an NDA before you apply so no one can steal your idea. Because it’s not about the idea. It’s about executing it flawlessly.

  8. You don’t believe in supporting other startups. At Kickstart, we believe in community. That’s why we ask our startups to put 2% of their equity into a shared pool. If they are successful, the other startups from the batch (and their mentors) will benefit from it. (Yes, that’s the only equity we ask you to give up, and no, we don’t benefit from it.)

  9. You run a startup that is already incredibly successful. Your product is amazing, your growth is through the roof, and investors are basically camping in front of your house to invest in you. In that case, congratulations — you probably don’t need us. However, we’d love to have you give back a little and join us as a mentor or expert. Email us! (Seriously.)

  10. You don’t like chocolate, cheese and amazing mountain views. Because we have plenty of those ready for you!

If none of these apply to you, and you’re ready to build your startup, we’d love for you to apply to Kickstart! If you have any more questions, you can email, facebook, tweet, linkedin, call or text us at anytime.


26 June 2024


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