First start-ups selected for ZHdK’s new incubation programme


Gaming with a New Focus, Ageing Society and Digital Publishing: these are the activity fields of the three outstanding projects which will be supported by the new “What’s next_Project” programme.


The Zurich University of the Arts’ (ZHdK) in-house incubator, the Z-Kubator, supports entrepreneurial projects by ZHdK graduates with the newly launched “What’s next_Project” programme. A jury comprised of internal and external experts selected three outstanding projects to participate in the first edition of the programme starting in January 2020. That four out of the five participants are female and the selected projects combine entrepreneurial potential with forward-looking and socially impactful purposes, is already cause for celebration. With support from the Z-Kubator these initiatives will make a real contribution to innovation in game mechanics for a female audience, the needs of an ageing society and feminist strategies in digital publishing. Each project will receive a grant of CHF 20’000 combined with further support measures such as infrastructure, mentoring and coaching. The selected projects include:   5am Games - Selina Capol, Martina Hotz and Aleksandra Iakusheva The three game designers graduated from the Bachelor of Design in Game Design at the ZHdK in 2018 and since then have been building up the indie game studio 5am Games. In their first game «Letters - a written adventure» they are breaking new ground when it comes to the use of text in games. They are currently running a Kickstarter campaign and plan to release the game in 2021. Age Lab - Stefan Zahler With Age Lab, Stefan Zahler, together with a network of experts and partner organisations, is developing solutions to make self-determined and dignified ageing possible. Age Lab is both a service company and a Think Tank, combining human-centered design with systemic thinking. Age Lab began as Stefan Zahler’s graduation project in the Master of Design at the ZHdK in 2019. In November 2019 he was awarded the Design Prize Switzerland in the Research category. The company is in incorporation. Futuress - Corinne Gisel "A digital library of feminist books yet to be written" - this is the motto by which the future graduate of MA Art Education, Corinne Gisel, together with the researcher and design curator, Nina Paim, are developing Futuress, a publishing platform that aims to close gaps in feminist design literature with a crowdsourcing approach. The original platform, intended as a cultural statement, was met with a very positive response when it first went public, and now the aim is to implement the vision and pursue new strategies in the field of digital publishing. (Press release)