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Global innovation platform Kickstart launches new application round for startups


  • Collaboration opportunities with major corporates and other industry leaders for the next step
  • Numerous success stories: Planted, Cord, Keyless, Huma
  • Focus on sustainability including circular economy

Zurich, May 9, 2022 – Since 2016, Kickstart, one of Europe’s leading platforms for open innovation, has supported over 400 later-stage startups from over 80 countries, facilitating over 200 deals in the form of collaborations and commercial partnerships. So far, Kickstart alumni have collectively raised investments of more than CHF 2 billion, for example Planted, Cord, Keyless and Huma. Now, international scaleups (startups in a more mature business phase) have the opportunity to apply for the 2022 program. Selected companies will benefit from tailored introductions and direct access to Kickstart’s vast Swiss and Austrian network, with the goal of landing commercial partnerships and deals with partner organizations, cities, universities and more.

Scaleups offering original, disruptive solutions, looking to tap into new revenue streams, and committed to delivering meaningful impact are encouraged to apply. “The topic of sustainability has now become the core of all activities. Innovation without sustainability considerations has no chance in the future,” explains Katka Letzing, Co-Founder and CEO of Kickstart Innovation.

The search for the solutions of tomorrow takes shape in the form of  six verticals: Health & Wellbeing, Finance & Insurance, Food & Retail, New Work & Learning, Smart Cities and Intrapreneurship. Each vertical has a core focus on leading innovation trends as well as the needs of Kickstart’s established partners. In addition, Kickstart unveils a brand new global identity, portraying the company’s evolution into an international enterprise committed to fast-forwarding innovation for a better future. Many well-known companies such as AXA, Coop, Swisscom, La Mobilière, PostFinance, Sanitas, The City of Zurich, Canton de Vaud, Credit Suisse, Galenica, CSS Insurance, have already recognized the added value that can be gained from such an enterprise.

This September, successful applicants will join Kickstart’s intense 10-week open innovation program to scale their business through deals with our partner organizations. Over 100 entrepreneurs representing around 50 top quality scaleups will connect closely with executives from leading partner organizations to develop innovative partnerships that solve real business challenges and result in meaningful impact at scale. Participants will benefit from business development and scaling in both Swiss and international markets. “Kickstart really helped us connect to key clients that grew our business, and we continue working with them to this day.” Alex Beck, CEO & Co-Founder of Clara.

In addition to building partnerships, Kickstart also provides access to a diversified investor network for later-stage startups and alumni raising funding rounds. Partners with corporate venture arms are actively involved, including Swisscom Ventures, AXA Venture Partners and others.

2022 Timeline:

26.4. – 24.5.        Application phase                                27.7.                 Startup announcement

10.5 – 20.6.         Selection phase                                  7.9. – 17.11.      Collaboration sprint

For more information, and to apply until 24th May 2022, please visit:

About Kickstart

Kickstart is one of Europe’s largest zero equity, multi-corporate open innovation platforms. Our mission is to build  innovation ecosystems with purpose, by fast forwarding innovation. We bring together public and private  organizations, startups, investors and experts, with the shared ambition to deliver next-generation products and  services and have a meaningful impact at scale. Each year, Kickstart engages 100 entrepreneurs to collaborate  with key players for proofs of concept, pilot and commercial projects and other innovation partnerships. Additionally,  through the intrapreneurship program Kickstart helps established organizations to promote and accelerate internal  innovation.  

Kickstart is a spin-off of Impact Hub Zurich and was launched in 2015 by digitalswitzerland. In 2022, Kickstart runs  six verticals: New Work & Learning, Finance & Insurance, Food & Retail, Health & Wellbeing, Smart Cities; and an  Intrapreneurship together with partner organizations across industries: AXA, Coop, Swisscom, La Mobilière, PostFinance, ETH Zürich, CSS, Galenica, City of Zurich, Credit Suisse, CSEM, Empa NEST, Sanitas, University  Hospital Zurich, Axpo, Panter, SATW, Impact Hub Switzerland, Canton de Vaud, Santenext, Swiss Federal Office  of Energy SFOE, Swiss Healthcare Startups, Growpal, Switzerland Global Enterprise, Ringier, Wenger & Vieli AG, Google for Startups, Nespresso, Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd., South Pole, WECOCO, Day8, HealthTech  Cluster Switzerland, Pepicon, Climate Lab, Atos Austria, Wien Energie, MAVA, Swiss Leap, EPFL, gfm and more.

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