Last Friday the closing ceremony of the Kickstart Accelerator was held. The Kraftwerk Selnau in Zurich was crowded and the event started a few minutes late – for a good reason: The juries who had to select the winner of each of the four verticals had a hard time. The result was that in total more winners and runners-up were awarded than initially planned. The winners in each vertical will receive a 25`000 CHF grant. The selected start-ups included:
Winner: FlavorWiki (Switzerland). FlavorWiki’s patent pending technology quantifies individual taste perception and preference in real time and at a fraction of the cost of existing methods. Food retailers and producers use this data to improve customer targeting, create better products and deliver a more engaging food experience to consumers.
Runner-up: Farmerline (Ghana). Farmerline is a Ghanaian social business working to transform the lives of millions of farmers. The start-up deploys mobile and web technologies that bring farming advice, weather forecasts, market information and financial tips to farmers who are traditionally out-of-reach due to barriers in connectivity, illiteracy, and language. Farmerline plans to open an office in Switzerland.
Winner: Apiax (Switzerland). Apiax combines legal and compliance expertise with cutting-edge technology to help clients, from banks to FinTech companies, transform complex regulations into digital compliance rules and manage regulations digitally. The platform consists of digital rule sets, which are kept up-to-date and verified; and, a regulatory cockpit for legal and compliance teams to manage regulatory updates, review and deploy them.
Winner: Fjuul (Finland): The Fjuul app tracks physical activities and tells the user which of them have most impact on their health and fitness. Based on the intensity and duration of the movement, Fjuul points measure that impact and are aligned to meet reference values. This allows users to consistently compare their days and progress, pursue goals that suit their fitness level or ambition, and compare with others. Fjuul plans to open an office in Switzerland.
Runner-up: AAAccell (Switzerland): AAAccell combines high-end quantitative finance and mathematics, econometrics, artificial intelligence, statistics and stochastics to develop cutting-edge individual and practical solutions for its clients. The start-up has developed a complex quantitative model for asset management based on scientific research.
Robotics and Intelligent Systems
Winner: iFuture Robotics (India): iFuture is an industrial robotics company building robots for smart logistics. The company operates from the time goods are received in the warehouse to the point goods exit the warehouse. Its fully automated systems deliver very high through put efficiency and increase storage space of the warehouse leaving smaller footprint.
Runner-up: Radical (USA): RAD was founded to develop the world’s most powerful computer vision technology focused on detecting, interpreting and measuring the human body in digital images. The company aims to offer AI-powered 3D motion capture for media, entertainment, robotics and smart cities.
Winner: Hawa Dawa (Germany). Hawa Dawa provides real-time data from its IoT based, cost-effective sensor network, combining it through machine learning techniques with external data, such as weather and traffic data. The result are real-time air quality heat-maps that visualize air quality everywhere and anytime.
Runner-up: Spark Horizon (France / Switzerland). Spark horizon has developed a charging column for electric vehicles with a large touch-screen and equipped with various sensors. Thanks to its sensors, it can provide data on air pollution and traffic flow as part of a smart city concept. At the same time, the screen can display information about the city or even personalised advertising.
Runner-up: uHoo (Singapore). uHoo’s air detector helps customers to understand the air they breathe and empower them with knowledge to create a healthier home and office environment. uHoo contains various sensors that track everything from temperature and relative humidity, to particulate matter (dust particles) and to air quality such as volatile organic compounds and carbon dioxide.
Outlook for 2018
Apart from the award ceremony, Christoph Birkholz, responsible for Program and Steering at Kickstart Accelerator, and Pascale Vonmont, CEO Gebert Rüf Stiftung, provided a first impression of what is planned in 2018. With more than 30 PoCs and partnerships the accelerator program was a huge success and the plans for the next years builds on this success. “Our goal is to make Kickstart the world’s largest PoC accelerator”, said Christoph Birkholz. Pascale Vonmont unveiled plans for two additional deep tech bootcamps in 2018. The first – a three day camp for international early stage startups – is planned for spring, the second – a week long “Tour de Suisse” for scale-ups with meetings, workshops and PoC negotiations is planned for August.
Picture: Kickstart Accelerator / Anja Wurm