Kickstart launches 4th acceleration program


The application phase for the 4th Kickstart program is now open. The accelerator program brings together successful startups and established organizations to build partnerships to innovate conjointly. Up to 50 growth ventures in deep-tech fields from Switzerland and all around the world will join the program. Registration closes on 17 May.


The Kickstart program has brought more than 75 business partnerships into effect in the past three editions. In the fourth edition, the organizing committee aims to continue to foster innovation through partnerships between later-stage startups and established companies and organizations. The program focuses on deep technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Big Data across different verticals: EdTech & Learning, FinTech & Digital Assets, Food & Retail Tech and Smart City & Technology. For the first time, the Kickstart program introduces two new verticals; the Cybersecurity Vertical launched in partnership with SATW, Mobiliar, and other organizations, and the HealthTech vertical with launched together with Swiss Healthcare Startups SHS and other partners. “The platform has developed into what we consider a key element linking our own innovation initiatives and the ecosystem,” says Stefan Schöbi, Head of Engagement Migros. "We are building on this success story, now bringing it to a newly established HealthTech and Cybersecurity Vertical." “Deep technologies have a great potential, which can only be fully exploited through the cooperation between different partners. These new technologies can contribute to solving some of the biggest challenges of our time. Established players are increasingly looking to work with tech startups. Successful innovation doesn't happen in isolation – it needs cooperation. That's what Kickstart stands for“, says Kickstart Co-Lead Katka Letzing. Applications openBoth national and international tech companies may now submit their applications to become one of the 50 companies in the 2019 cohort. Intrapreneurship teams (innovation teams from companies, cities or universities) are also eligible for the program The selected startups will meet and work together with leading corporations and organizations to launch innovation partnerships and pilot projects. The participating organizations include AXA, Coop, Migros, Swisscom, Mobiliar, Credit Suisse, ETH Zürich, Gebert Rüf Foundation, Mercator Foundation Switzerland, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE, the cities of Zurich, St. Gallen and others. Further, the cohort will get direct access to key decision-makers of Kickstart’s partner corporations and organizations, support in cooperation with these partners and access to a broad network of experts. Kickstart covers up to CHF 10,000 of business development expenses during the program and grants access to a dedicated partnering fund. As in previous years, the program will take place at the innovation space Kraftwerk in Zurich. The application deadline closes on May 17. (Press release/ran)Photo: Thomas Meier