Kickstart Accelerator: the benefits for Switzerland are becoming apparent

Kickstart Accelerator is on the way to achieving a lasting, sustainable effect. Several foreign start-ups are thinking of settling in Switzerland and there is the continuing interest of foreign media.

Dalou, one of the 30 companies in Kickstart Accelerator, received its first order at the end of September. The start-up aims to shake up traditional catering by offering a flexible breakfast service: businesses or other organisations can order breakfast or brunch for a meeting from Dalou’s website, choosing from a variety of products sourced from local producers. The invitation-based system also allows meeting participants to select the products they would like for their breakfast, thus not only enhancing the enjoyment, but also reducing food waste.

Dalou shows just how international start-ups are today. Although the two founders Wladimir d’Harcourt and Stanislas Jallot (picture above) are French, initially they established their start-up in London. Now Kickstart Accelerator has drawn them to Zurich and last week they started their business there. “Thanks to the accelerator’s contacts, we have now found our five pilot customers,” says d’Harcourt.

Dalou is not the only foreign start-up to which the accelerator has brought tangible results. Peter Spence, founder of UK IT firm Tio, found a CTO through the accelerator, and New York-based fintech start-up Lenditapp is in advanced negotiations with a Swiss investor.

The tenor of the start-ups is consistently the same. If Switzerland can provide concrete collaborations with large companies, business partners or investors, it is possible that a branch will be established or even the headquarters relocated to Switzerland. And the opportunities are good: Dalou has decided that its next expansion step will again be in Switzerland. “We are planning to launch in a second Swiss city,” says d’Harcourt.

The country benefits from Kickstart Accelerator not only through the potential relocations, but also from the impetus the start-ups bring. German company Lastmile led a Swiss Bot Tech Summit with Google, to which more than 100 visitors came to learn and discuss the automatically operated computer programs. There are also regular reports in prestigious foreign media, such as Forbes, through which Switzerland is becoming internationally known as a start-up hotspot.