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  • Data futures and Sustainability

    Talk from our series "Sustainability is better business" by Nate Wyne from Floodlight Invest about the Data Industry and it's connection to sustainability. Everyone says data is the new oil, but oil was simple. You light it on fire and then harness its energy. Data is much more challenging, because many companies don't have the track record or motivation to even track the data that is most important, let alone the data that could signal to investors "buy me!" or "run for the hills!". In our session with Nate Wyne, Co-founder and CEO of Floodlight - a data company for ESG/Sustainability themed in this year's Kickstart cohort, Nate will walk us through the birth of the data industry for investors, and it's more recent adoption as the hottest trend in FinTech attracting trillions of dollars/francs/pounds/euros etc. each year. Download the presentation See the recording

  • Barriers to behavioural change

    Talk from our series "Sustainability is better business" about the psychological barriers that hinder behavioural change. Given by Dr. Robert Tobias from University Zürich. Many problems can be mitigated by changing individual behaviours, e.g. to improve health or promote a more sustainable lifestyle. However, such change is often faced with obstacles. This talk will present an approach to classify psychological barriers to behaviour change and provides a glimpse on classes of psychological behaviour-change techniques. Download the presentation See the recording

  • How can finance have an impact on sustainable development?

    Talk from our series "Sustainability is better business" by Mathilde Sohet of Inyova Impact Investing - How can finance have an impact on sustainable development? The global financial system is a powerful force for our planet – it has huge potential to steer money into sustainable activities and make economies more climate-friendly. Where the capital goes today determines how we live tomorrow. In this talk about the potential of sustainable finance Mathilde Sohet, Inyova’s senior marketing manager will show how even small investors without any financial knowledge can be part of the world’s shift to sustainable finance. Download the presentation See the recording

  • The first ever Hirslanden Hackathon

    From the 14th-15th of May, 42 Hirslanden employees took part in the first ever Mediclinic Group Hackathon, supported by their new Innovation Centre - Ouroboros Solutions. The teams came from all over Switzerland and were tasked with executing an innovative solution using a lean startup mindset, to tackle a challenge defined by company. After 36+ hours of creative thinking, pushing boundaries, collaborating, and learning together, each of the eight teams pitched their innovative solutions to management and experts for the opportunity to accelerate their idea further. Huge congratulations to the winning team “Innosity”! It was fantastic to collaborate with Ouroboros Solutions, Mediclinic, Hirslanden & Impact Hub Bern to host & deliver this incredible session. Mediclinic Middle East and Mediclinic Southern Africa hackathons are still to come. Good luck to all!

  • Why Switzerland is a frontrunner in #foodinnovation

    It was very inspiring to see Switzerland live up to its true potential as one of the frontrunners in #foodinnovation (and efficiency!) earlier this month, with several big events hosted during the same week. To kick off, our Food & Retail vertical co-lead Suzanne van der Maarel had the privilege of presenting Kickstart’s open innovation approach to a delegation of Chilean startups in the food & agri space, hosted by the Trade Commission of Chile in the buildings of S-GE. As we continue to expand internationally, it is always encouraging to meet like minded individuals equally determined to promote sustainability and innovation in the food sphere. Next up was an exclusive event hosted by Kickstart program partner Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley, who welcomed us at the brand new Impact Hub location Beaulieu Circulaire in Lausanne. The event focused on the journey of transforming our food system to a sustainable one through startup support and acceleration, as well as highlighting Switzerland as a Food Innovation Nation. We were spoilt by various presentations and discussions with some of the biggest players in the Swiss Food Ecosystem, with both Suzanne and our CEO & Co-Founder Katka Letzing taking the stage to talk about our mission towards sustainable innovation and collaboration in this sector. Thoroughly warmed up, we arrived at the sold-out FoodHack Summit, a 2-day event filled with inspiring speakers discussing the pressures on our current food system and more importantly how we can tackle them, top-notch networking with key players in the food industry, and meeting some of the most innovative startups breaking ground in the food space. To wrap up an eventful week, Suzanne summarized a few takeaways for us: Health and nutrition continues to be a massive theme in this space, with a lot of startups working on clean label products, natural vitamin supplements, improving gut health etc. Although more funding and support is needed, there are some very cool developments taking place in terms of sustainable packaging & reduction / removal of plastics. Alternative protein continues to boom and it seems we are fast approaching regulatory advancement in terms of cultured meat, which would allow for startups in this space to finally start commercializing their products and receive consumer feedback. All in all, an amazing week for food and the FoodTech ecosystem in Switzerland. Congratulations to all involved in organizing the amazing events of last week and looking forward to what the rest of the year will bring! Learn more about Kickstart's Food & Retail Vertical here.

  • Kickstart partners with IMD to deliver course in Sustainability

    Together with IMD Business School, Kickstart piloted a joint course for executives responsible for innovation and sustainability for organizations around the world about Sustainable Innovation. Here’s how it went: After two years of promoting Circular Economy with the help of Mava Foundation and Impact Hub, in 2021 Kickstart counted more than 40% of the project outcomes of our core program qualifying for the circular economy principles. This motivated us to take the next step toward our mission: using an open innovation approach to help our partners become more sustainable. We measure this impact using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN through creating pilots and commercial projects by tailor-matching the needs of our partners with the solutions of our scaleups, to successfully accelerate sustainable innovation at scale. But how do we achieve the ‘scale’ element? In the framework we developed, education has become a very important component. Not just for us as a team, but also for our partners - consisting of commercial organizations as well as public sector actors in Switzerland, Austria and beyond. When we first approached Julia Binder, Professor of Sustainable Innovation at IMD, she immediately agreed on a partnership, followed by Prof. Louise Moudi joining our effort. The two-day concept we decided to pilot on together was simple: On day one, we focus on Sustainability by learning from examples of global businesses that have been going in this direction in recent years and sharing the approaches that have worked and those that have not so far. On day two, we narrow in on how to successfully collaborate in an open innovation environment. We invite representatives from startups and partner organizations that collaborated as a result of the Kickstart process. These representatives present their success journeys to partners on IMDs Nexus program (executives responsible for innovation and sustainability for organizations around the world), and we learn from particular examples and outcomes. This concept was approved, and became part of the official IMDs Nexus program, held on May 5th and 6th. Among the participating case studies were Coop & tideocean, Cognizant & Oxygen at Work, City of Zurich & Akenza, Swisscom & Clara, Mobiliar & Fjuul and Axa & Veezoo. So, what did we learn? Here are a few highlights: Sustainability is not only about saving the planet, but about being more successful as a company. Also in regards to finding and retaining talent and competitive access to capital. Sustainable products don’t win through features, but by being attractive to consumers. The importance of system thinking so as to not create trade-offs. Alignment of layers of execution with shared vision and values is key to success. Even if sustainability is about greater goods, successful collaboration happens between humans which sets focus to common goals, vocabulary and value systems. Kickstart’s approach to funding innovation can be one of the tools that can achieve the right innovation! And of course, that’s just skimming the surface. Many thanks to Julia and Louise from IMD for #makingithappen with us and for sharing our ethos of innovation, sustainability and growth for a better future. 🌍💪🏼

  • Kickstart Innovation and Climate Lab announce their strategic partnership

    MEDIA RELEASE Kickstart and Climate Lab launch a pilot in Austria to enable startups to join the climate-neutral efforts of leading corporations - Atos and Wien Energie Climate Lab and Kickstart Innovation announce their strategic partnership to enable climate-focused startups to join the efforts of leading corporations in achieving a climate-neutral future 16th May 2022 - Climate Lab and Kickstart Innovation have joined forces to direct their shared expertise and network towards solutions to accelerate change addressing the climate crisis. In March 2022, Climate Lab was launched as a collaboration between the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund together with Wien Energie, EIT Climate-KIC and Impact Hub Vienna. Its mission is to enable innovative, bold alliances to achieve climate neutrality goals as quickly as possible. Climate Lab is matching leading corporations that have committed to net zero emissions with the startups, scientists, NGOs, and public sector organizations that can help make it happen. Clear synergies were found between this mission and the work of Kickstart Innovation, an open innovation platform and spin-off of Impact Hub Zürich that has facilitated more than 200 partnerships between well-established startups and large corporations to drive sustainability and positive impact since their inception. This year’s pilot is in alliance with Wien Energie and Atos in Austria, next to all partners in Switzerland. The goal is to explore sustainable solutions connected to reducing CO2 levels at scale: building and construction, energy, and e-mobility for this year. Climate Lab and Kickstart Innovation are accepting applications from startups around the world working in the Smart Cities industry currently until 24th of May. The startups will have an opportunity to engage with the partners in Switzerland and Austria during the program between September and November. Kickstart: “Since 2016 we've been creating innovation impact by matching startups and corporations to address society’s challenges, with industry leaders including AXA, Swisscom, PostFinance, Coop, La Mobiliere and many others. We are committed to the open innovation process to tackle the increasing sustainability challenges, and are excited to do so in partnership with Climate Lab as well as engage in Austria even more.” said Kickstart Innovation CEO and Co-Founder Katka Letzing. Climate Lab: Impact Hub Co-Founder and Climate Lab Director Hinnerk Hansen agrees: “We see the commitment from a number of big companies to lead the change to a net zero future - and their willingness to do so in collaboration with others. By partnering with Kickstart Innovation we are excited to create many such opportunities between companies in Austria and climate startups from around the world.” More info and the application link. For more information, please contact: press@kickstart-innovation.com About Kickstart 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. About Climate Lab Towards net-zero, together. Climate Lab is the place for innovative, bold alliances to achieve climate neutrality goals as quickly as possible. At Climate Lab, we offer community, space and programs to put competition aside, find effective solutions to collaborate and build a climate-neutral future across sector and industry lines. With a special focus on the fields with the biggest potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions energy, mobility, and construction we are matching leading corporations that have committed to net zero emissions with the startups, scientists, NGOs, and public sector organizations that can help make it happen. Climate Lab started in March 2022 as an initiative of the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund together with Wien Energie, EIT Climate-KIC and Impact Hub Vienna.

  • New ways to make a better tomorrow start here - 7th Kickstart innovation program launched

    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. More info and the application link. For more information, please contact: press@kickstart-innovation.com About Kickstart 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.

  • Interactive InsurTech map records large influx of startups

    After only one year, the number of start-ups that have registered their profile on Europe's first InsurTech map has doubled The highest representation of start-ups come from Germany (135), Switzerland (54), Austria (12) and Liechtenstein (3) Technology focus at 71 percent on process digitization/automation/ robotics Zurich, 12. April 2022 - One year ago, the InsurTech Map was launched in the DACH region as a virtual map to make innovative insurance solutions from startups more visible. In just 12 months, the map grew from 100 company profiles to nearly 200. The map is intended to act as a guide for companies and investors looking for innovative startups in the InsurTech sector. Initiators are the House of InsurTech Switzerland (HITS), F10 and the global open innovation platform Kickstart Innovation. To this date, there is hardly any reliable and accessible data as well as information about startups in the InsurTech sector. In a clear presentation, the startups are divided into value chains, business areas and technologies, which can be searched for using filters based on demand. The largest technology offering is currently in the area of process digitization/automatization/robotics. Almost two-thirds of the startups have their focus here. In second place with 22 percent is analytics/AI as well as IoT and DLT solutions, which are used for blockchain, for example. A country-specific analysis shows that process digitization accounts for the majority of startups in Austria and Germany with 67 and 78 percent, respectively. In Switzerland, this share is significantly lower at 54 percent. Instead, a stronger diversification can be seen with higher shares of analytics/AI startups as well as IoT and DLT technology focus. Switzerland's largest online bank "Swissquote" has announced that it will develop its own trading platform for digital currencies by the end of the first half of 2022. The Swiss have always been world leaders not only in the classic money business. The country, which is going its own way in Europe, is also a leader in the field of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. This initiative is sponsored by Generali, Swiss Life Labs and Innopeaks. The InsurTech ecosystem is expected to grow further in 2022. Sponsors have the opportunity to become part of this initiative and can contact the initiators if interested. Startups that are not yet on the list can sign up for the next release here. The map will be updated quarterly. About HITS- House of InsurTech Switzerland House of Insurtech Switzerland AG (HITS) is the subsidiary of Generali (Switzerland) Holding Ltd. and operates as an independent AG since 01.12.2019. HITS is an InsurTech hub based in Zurich, where startups can work together on customer-centric solutions for companies. With early-stage investors and partners from the InsurTech industry as well as universities, it creates a perfect environment to turn innovation into action. About F10 F10 is a global innovation ecosystem with hubs in Zurich, Singapore, Madrid and Barcelona. With its incubation and acceleration programs in FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech and DeepTech, F10 supports and guides startups in transforming their ideas into successful businesses and fosters collaboration with international organizations. About Kickstart Kickstart is one of Europe's largest ecosystem innovation platforms, running a scaleup program for high-growth startups with the goal of accelerating deep tech innovation in Switzerland and beyond. Kickstart's mission is to build bridges and bring together different organizations such as scaleups, companies, cities, foundations and universities and has built over 170 deals in the form of partnerships to date. Contact: TE Communications Caroline Jansen cja@te-communications.ch +41 71 841 40 00

  • InsurTech Map Celebrates Its One Year Anniversary!

    The InsurTech Map launched in March 2021 as an initiative of Kickstart, House of InsurTech Switzerland (HITS) and F10, with over 100 featured startups from all over Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Today, the Map counts close to 200 InsurTech startups, and gives unprecedented insights into the main technologies, value chain, and business lines of the listed startups. After a year of growth and consolidation, the Map provides insights into geographical differences within the DACH region, including the prevailing technologies, value chain analysis and business lines of the represented startups. Germany boasts the largest number of entries, followed by Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein. When taking into account the number of startup entries compared to population, Switzerland overtakes Germany. Considering the overall distribution of technology-focus in the Map, numbers show a strong representation from Process Digitalization, Automatization and Robotics, followed by Analytics & Artificial Intelligence and growing implementation of IoT and DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology / Blockchain) solutions. We do however see differences across geographies: When narrowing in on each country, Process Digitalization, Automatization and Robotics make up almost 70–80% of startup entries from Germany and Austria. In Switzerland, however, this percentage is much lower at 54%. Instead, we see more diversification, with higher proportions of Analytics/AI startups, as well as focus on IoT and DLT. The mission of the InsurTech Map remains the same: Bringing much needed visibility to the InsurTech space, connecting the relevant players and being a key part in helping further grow a thriving InsurTech ecosystem. This year, the Insurtech Map creators will take this mission an important step further. Stay tuned for an exciting new initiative connecting the InsurTech ecosystem that we will be announcing soon…! The Insurtech Map is a co-creation by HITS — House of Insurtech Switzerland, Swisscom, Clara, and Institut für Finanzdienstleistungen Zug IFZ. With the contribution of InsurTech Hub Munich, Swiss InsurTech Hub, InsurTech.Rocks, Swiss Healthcare Startups, Oliver Wyman, Policen Direkt Versicherungsvermittlung GmbH, and operated in collaboration with Kickstart and F10. This initiative has been kindly co-sponsored by Generali Switzerland, Generali, Swiss Life Labs, and InnoPeaks.