Swiss innovation platform Kickstart opens applications for a new cohort

Zurich based innovation platform Kickstart has opened applications for its fifth iteration of its annual B2B scale-up programme aimed at late-stage start-ups interested in entering the Swiss market. African startups can enter too.

In a statement last week, the Swiss organisation said it will select about 100 entrepreneurs to join the three-month programme, which kicks off in September.

Applicants will create specific pilots and commercial projects with one of Kickstart’s 50 corporate and public sector partners, which include businesses like AXA, Roche, Credit Suisse and Lafarge Holcim.

Applications close on 4 May.

Swiss organisation Kickstart will select about 100 entrepreneurs to join its next three-month programme

“What we found really valuable about the Kickstart was not just the advice and support we received throughout, but the high-level access we were given to some of Switzerland’s top businesses,” said Vic Arulchandran, co-founder from Nivaura. “In three months, Kickstart opened doors for us that would have taken three years on our own.”

Kickstart welcomes applications from all over the world and is particularly keen to hear from businesses
applying deep tech to one of its five key verticals: edtech and new work, fintech and insurtech, food and retail,
healthtech, and smart city and technology.

This year for the first time there will be a strong focus on the circular economy across the whole programme.

Successful applicants will connect closely with executives from leading Swiss corporations, universities, municipalities, foundations and other partners to develop innovative partnerships that solve real business
challenges. Participants will learn about business development and scaling in the Swiss market.

Explained Kickstart co-founder Katka Letzing: “Switzerland is a very attractive market for later-stage startups: We are regularly recognised as a world leader for innovation and our leading organisations have a big appetite for new technologies and solutions.

“It can be challenging for aspiring entrants to gain access to the Swiss market, and promising opportunities for collaboration can be lost. Kickstart aims to overcome this hurdle by bridging the gap between startups and
organisations, allowing them to tackle real-world solutions and to innovate together.”

Kickstart is a spin-off of Impact Hub Zurich and was founded by digitalswitzerland. To date, it has been supported by more than 100 of Switzerland’s biggest businesses, enabling the programme to be offered free of charge and to take no equity in participating startups.

Featured image: Aerial view of Zurich, Switzerland (422737 via Pixabay)



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