"The first two programs resulted in over 30 ambitious proof-of-concepts (PoCs) and collaborations," says Kickstart Co-Lead Katka Letzing. "In our view, genuine and sustainable innovation is only possible through cooperation across sector and company boundaries. That's why we are focusing even more on these partnerships this year".
The next Kickstart Accelerator program begins this fall on 4th October with an opening ceremony and closes on 9th November. In addition to existing verticals of FinTech & Crypto, Food & Retail Tech and Smart Cities & Infrastructure, this year’s program includes the field of EdTech & Learning. Later-stage startups preparing to accelerate their technologies, business models and market access with the help of such collaborations can now apply for the program. For effective collaboration with limited regulation- and other hindrances, the program is designated mainly for startups from Europe; however, startups from all other parts of the world may also apply. Registration deadline expires on 27th May.
The selection team will nominate 30 startups and intrapreneur teams (innovation teams from companies, cities and universities) that are developing or applying deep technologies – science and engineering driven technologies such as AI, Big Data, Blockchain, Robotics among others.
With the support of the Kickstart team, the startups will have the opportunity to take their products or technologies to the next level. They will meet with partners such as Credit Suisse and Swisscom in the area of financial technology. Retailers Coop and Migros aim to work with startups in the area of food and retail, while universities such as ETH Zurich and University of Zurich will focus on education and learning technology. The City of Zurich and AXA Winterthur will seek out and support pilot projects and proof of concepts in the area of Smart Cities.
“Looking back at the success of the past two years of Kickstart Accelerator, Credit Suisse has benefited tremendously from the ideas and technologies generated through this program”, says Thomas Saler, Digital Solutions – Head of Fintech Partnerships at Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd. “This year, we are excited to commit again to continue our support to the innovation ecosystem.”
Photo: Kickstart Acclerator final demo day, by Philippe Rossier, Ringier.