The Swiss innovation platform turns Covid-19 into an opportunity to give startups additional opportunities to apply until June 8th.
Kickstart, one of Europe’s largest innovation platforms, has extended the application period for the fifth round of its annual B2B scaleup programme to 8 June. The planned meetings in July will also be held online due to the situation caused by Covid-19 worldwide, the program has been changed to run virtually until the end of August. ”We know that our partners and startups are facing very special challenges in these times,“ says Katka Letzing, co-lead of Kickstart, explaining the extension. “Due to Corona, startups have – in addition to the many existing tasks – added others that they have to tackle at short notice and tie up resources. That’s why we want to give them more time so that they have a real chance of a successful application”. The program is aimed at later-stage domestic startups and those who are interested in entering the Swiss market. Around 50 later-stage startups will be selected for a three-month program in September to develop specific pilots and commercial projects with one of 70 partners from the corporate and public sectors, including companies such as AXA, Coop, Migros, Mobiliar, Swisscom, the City of Zurich, ETH Zurich, PostFinance, Credit Suisse. Already more than 600 applications have been received since 6 April as estimated. “This is a very positive result and shows that innovation platforms can make an important contribution in these times”, Katka Letzing continues.
Applications are possible from all over the world and especially for startups that focus on deep tech in one of the five vertical areas in collaboration with Impact Hub Switzerland: EdTech & New Work, FinTech & InsurTech, Food & Retail Tech, HealthTech and Smart City & Technology. This year, for the first time, there will be a strong focus on Circular Economy throughout the entire program.
Successful applicants will work closely with executives from leading Swiss companies, universities, communities, foundations and other partners to develop meaningful business partnerships that solve real business challenges. Participants will also learn about business development and scaling in the Swiss market.
Kickstart is a spinoff of the Impact Hub Zurich and was founded by digital switzerland in 2015. To date, it has been engaged by more than 140 of the largest Swiss companies, so that the programme can be offered free of charge and no equity capital is required from the participating start-ups. Further information and the application form can be https://kickstart-innovation.com/program/
Kickstart Key Dates 2020:
July 6 -July 8: Final Selection
Aug 31 – Sep 4: Planning Sprint
Sept 28 – Nov 5: Collaboration Sprint