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Kickstart 2022 achieves more than 55 new innovation partnerships

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Foto: Zamir Loshi (17.11.2022) Zürich (CH) Kickstart Closing Ceremony

  • Partnerships to support market entry for startups from 11 countries including Ukraine, Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria, Norway, Germany, USA
  • Collaborations with established Swiss and Austrian companies and institutions focus on climate change, technology advancements, and the circular economy
  • World’s leading pharmaceutical company MSD announces partnership for 2023
  • Launch of Kickstart Academy

ZURICH, 21 November 2022 – Kickstart Innovation, one of the leading innovation platforms in Europe, announced this year’s 55 partnerships in the form of Proofs of Concepts (PoCs), pilots, and commercial projects between startups, scaleups, and established companies and organizations in Switzerland and Austria. “Ten intense weeks are behind us, during which established Swiss companies and institutions, such as AXA, Coop, Swisscom, La Mobilière, PostFinance, Sanitas, the City of Zürich, Canton de Vaud, Credit Suisse, Galenica, CSS Insurance, and other organizations, explored new solutions with startups from sixteen countries,” shares Katka Letzing, Co-Founder and CEO of Kickstart Innovation. “I’m looking forward to following their successes as we have seen in the past years, for example, with Planted, which has collaborated with Coop. Other successful partnerships have been formed between Veezoo and AXA, and decentriq and PostFinance.”

Fifty-two startups, thirteen of them from Switzerland, as well as intrapreneurship teams have brought solutions for the future to Switzerland. They are diverse and range from a software platform for decarbonizing supply chains to sustainable insulation packaging made from recycled wastepaper to solar thermal and photovoltaic collectors that achieve one of the highest energy densities in the world. In total, Kickstart has generated more than 270 innovation deals since its inception in 2016.

Helping partners identify key themes, Kickstart provides opportunities for open innovation. An exclusive number of the best national and international startups and scaleups are selected annually to participate in the ten-week program in the fields of New Work & Learning, Finance & Insurance, Food & Retail, Smart Cities, Health & Wellbeing, and Intrapreneurship.

A new Kickstart partnership is confirmed with MSD​, a leading global pharmaceutical manufacturer. “We believe in the power of innovation to save and improve lives around the world. We are excited to join forces with Kickstart and leverage its network to bring healthcare innovations to the Swiss society and beyond” shared Ans Heirman, Managing Director at MSD Switzerland.

Kickstart has engaged in the past seven years to support not only local and global scaleups, but also employees of organizations in the public and private sectors via Intrapreneurship Program. This year, initiated projects include  Gridsteer’s multi-year and EU-wide research project in partnership with EPFL, local operator Romande Energie and the fast charging station operator GOFAST to demonstrate the technical and economical value of its multi-service controller for large scale battery energy storage systems. Last week, Kickstart launched the Kickstart Academy with more support for organizations with access to hackathons, innovation sprints, expert sessions, and more. Organizations engaged have included: Credit Suisse, Hirslanden, Swisscom, CSEM, La Mobilière, AXA, Holcim, PostFinance, Axpo, and energie360.

Synopsis of 2022 partnerships:

(details on the Kickstart website)   

Partnerships in the Finance & Insurance Vertical:

  • Coop aims to increase business productivity, and therefore customer satisfaction, by piloting Typewise‘s text prediction software to increase writing speed and improve the quality of emails.
  • Coop and finmarie will collaborate in the area of financial wealth-being. Coop employees can collaborate with financial coaches on their goals, as well as benefit from financial literacy training focused on topics like managing cash and debt, saving for education expenses, and planning for retirement.
  • AXA and Boomerang Ideas are in discussion to launch a Proof of Concept to get representative market feedback on social media faster and more cost-efficient.
  • Galexis AG, a Galenica Group company, and Unique AG will do a Proof of Concept with Unique’s sales intelligence AI to automatically summarize customer service conversations into CRM and analyze topics to inform sales proactively and increase customer satisfaction.
  • La Mobilière and Unique AG automatically record consultations for the purposes of a Proof of Concept in order to test the quality of the transcript or summary with the aim of improving the efficiency of the preparation and follow-up of consultations.
  • Typewise shall in the context of a Proof of Concept increase the efficiency and quality of written correspondence at La Mobilière subsidiary Protekta Legal Protection Insurance Ltd significantly.
  • La Mobilière has conducted a Proof of Concept with Boomerang Ideas for brief opinion surveys in the Swiss social media population and can now collect high-quality findings very rapidly.
  • PostFinance and Unique AG will do a Proof of Value with Unique’s sales intelligence AI to analyse, summarize, and document client meetings, and therefore reduce admin work for PostFinance’s corporate- and retail client advisors while increasing the quality of the data.
  • PostFinance and Yuh are exploring a collaboration with Boomerang Ideas in order to start market research on social media to receive rapid feedback on prototypes and conduct market analysis.
  • VNTR | Innovation & Venturing by PostFinance and Typewise plan to collaborate in order to increase efficiency in the customer center thanks to the help of the start-up’s on-premises AI text prediction software.
  • VNTR | Innovation & Venturing by PostFinance is exploring collaboration opportunities with AIDONIC in the area of impact banking.
  • Swisscom B2B and Unique AG will run a Proof of Concept with Unique’s sales intelligence AI to automatically summarize and analyze conversations with the goal to reduce the time needed to document sales calls and follow-up.
  • localsearch, a Swisscom company, and Unique AG will do a Proof of Concept with Unique’s sales intelligence AI to coach the salespeople live in the sales call as well as with after-call analytics in order to reduce the onboarding time of new hires.
  • Swisscom and Boomerang Ideas have launched a pre-Proof of Concept to collect quick, cost-effective, and relevant market feedback through social media.
  • Swisscom and Surfly are outlining a partnership in the field of digital trust through co-browsing, videochat and secure e-signatures.
  • Kickstart and Klimate will partner on exploring the removal of carbon emissions associated with the program.
  • Klimate and Sympower (alumnus) have joined forces to support Sympower in their decarbonization efforts with carbon removal, as well as their ambitious plans of compensating for all of its historical emissions, as well as future emissions.

Partnerships in the Health & Wellbeing Vertical:

  • AXA and Health Yourself are exploring a potential Proof of Concept by offering SME employees the possibility to do laboratory tests from home.
  • TOM Medications and City of Zurich intend to set up a pilot project to determine whether the use of TOM Medications’ Medi-Check can improve medication safety for senior citizens.
  • Galenica AG and TOM Medications will partner up to conduct polymedication checks in a pilot for TOM App users, in order to increase patient safety.
  • Sanitas and Health Yourself will collaborate to test whether Sanitas health insurance customers are willing and capable of using do-it-yourself healthcare services offered by Sanitas to take control of their health.
  • Following the successful pilot, Sanitas did with Kickstart alumnus Regimen, their program has been integrated as a health offering in the “Health” section of the Sanitas Portal App since the beginning of November 2022.
  • La Mobilière Insurance and Fjuul have launched a cooperation to establish a digital marketplace to promote health services for corporate customers.
  • TOM Medications and Health Yourself will make remote monitoring of chronic disease indicators available to TOM users with lab tests from home.

Partnerships in the Smart Cities Vertical:

  • Coop and Naked Energy are evaluating the use of Virtu PVT, a hybrid solar collector providing both heat and power, to increase the energy efficiency at the Tropic House Frutigen.
  • Coop and LEDCity have initiated a project to implement an intelligent lighting system that reduces energy consumption while collecting building information such as air quality and occupancy for future efficiency improvements.
  • MClimate and CSEM plan to install and operate a POC at a school in the City of Neuchâtel in 2023, where MClimate’s smart thermostatic LoRaWAN valves Vicki will be used to implement the need-based heating control optimization validated by CSEM in the frame of the EC project DOMOS with envisaged savings of up to 30% (POC supported by Schweiz Energie).
  • The City of Zurich and Nudgd want to team up in a pilot project in the field of recyclables collection in public space. The aim is to build knowledge about the use of nudging elements on public grounds in the city of Zurich.
  • The City of Zurich is testing the use of the smart LoRaWAN thermostat heads and the web-based management platform from MClimate. The aim is to test the handling of the solution and identify potential areas of application. According to MClimate, up to 30% of heating energy can be saved with the intelligent control of heating radiators.
  • The City of Zurich and GRIN want to team up in a pilot project to investigate incentivized separate collection, as well as vendor-independent return boxes of reusable containers. It shall be examined how the population uses and interacts with GRIN return boxes.
  • The City of Zurich and SolarGaps will work together to test the use of solar blinds to properly measure their potential for urban buildings.

Partnerships in the Food & Retail Vertical:

  • Coop and Nordic Umami Company intend to upcycle Coop’s food manufacturing side products and develop a vegan umami product range to sell in retail and/or use in food production to enhance vegan meals and achieve a better taste experience.
  • Coop is pursuing sustainable retail equipment with Purcell, testing plastic-free, smart refill systems for food and everyday essentials.
  • PlasticFri will provide sustainable plastic alternatives such as compost bags to Coop through a Proof of Concept to expand its sustainability efforts in retail.
  • Swiss vegan creamery New Roots and Coop have initiated a Proof of Concept to run a retail test environment for a new innovative plant-based cheese starting in 2023.
  • SUPASO and MediService AG, a Galenica group company, have agreed to collaborate in the development and implementation of a sustainable, cellulose-fiber-based insulated shipping solution for pharmaceutical products.
  • Kraftwerk and Swiss vegan creamery New Roots are working together on creating an additional plant-based cake and dessert options, as well as a Signature Dish with New Roots’ plant-based cheese to be available on the menu.
  • Planted (alumnus) intends to use SUPASO’s sustainable cold-chain packaging solutions made from recycled waste paper for B2C shipments of its innovative plant-based dishes.
  • Ampliphi will collaborate with SUPASO and Purcell to simplify access to sustainable packaging, saving time and money for consumer brands.
  • New Roots is collaborating with Ampliphi to pilot a data-driven approach to sustainable packaging and responsible plastic management.
  • SUPASO will utilize PlasticFri’s award-winning biodegradable film to further increase the sustainability and efficiency of its innovative insulation packaging to provide customers with a price-competitive insulated shipping solution based 100% on cellulose fiber.
  • Ampliphi and Swisscom will partner to facilitate data collaboration using Swisscom’s TrustRelay SaaS platform, increasing efficiency, improving security, and reducing legal risks associated with data sharing.

Partnerships in the New Work & Learning Vertical:

  • La Mobilière and Leadbacker agree on a collaboration to further develop the Scrum Master, Design Thinker & Facilitator community.
  • La Mobilière and eevie will start cooperation to raise climate awareness amongst its employees (stakeholders) and reduce business carbon emissions, in line with their climate ambitions.
  • PostFinance and Skyhive will collaborate on a skill management pilot to unleash human potential in order to future-proof its IT workforce.
  • Leadbacker and Get More Brain will collaborate to generate a new user experience and lead to an improved up-skilling of key workforces by combining the two platforms.

About Kickstart

Kickstart is one of Europe’s largest zero equity, 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 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 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, MLL, South Pole, WECOCO, Day8, HealthTech Cluster Switzerland, DealStation, Climate Lab, Atos Austria, Wien Energie, MAVA, SwissLEAP, EPFL, Hirslanden, Mediclinic, IMD, gfm and more.

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