Kickstart, one of the largest innovation platforms in Europe, welcomes applications for the fifth iteration of its annual B2B expansion program for advanced start-ups interested in entering the Swiss market.
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A hundred entrepreneurs will join the three-month program in September to connect and create specific pilot and commercial projects with one of Kickstart’s 50 corporate and public partners, which include companies like AXA, Roche, Credit Suisse and Lafarge Holcim.
“What we found to be really valuable about Kickstart was not only the advice and support we received throughout, but the high level access that we have been given to some of the best companies in Switzerland” said Vic Arulchandran, co-founder of FinTech Nivaura and participating Kickstart format. “In three months, Kickstart opened doors for us that would have taken three years for us.”
Kickstart welcomes applications from around the world and is particularly keen to hear companies apply advanced technology to one of its top five verticals: EdTech & New Work, FinTech & InsurTech, Food & Retail, HealthTech and Smart City & Technology. This year, for the first time, the focus will be on the circular economy throughout the program.
The successful candidates will establish close links with leaders of companies, universities, municipalities, foundations and other leading Swiss partners to develop innovative partnerships that will allow them to meet real business challenges. Participants will learn about business development and scaling up in the Swiss market.
“Switzerland is a very attractive market for advanced start-ups: we are regularly recognized as a world leader in innovation and our main organizations have a great appetite for new technologies and solutions”, explains Katka Letzing, co-founder of Kickstart.
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“It can be difficult for applicants to enter the Swiss market, and promising opportunities for collaboration may be lost. Kickstart aims to overcome this obstacle by bridging the gap between startups and organizations, allowing them to tackle real-world solutions and innovate together. “
Kickstart is a spin-off of Impact Hub Zurich and was founded by digital Switzerland. To date, it has been supported by more than 140 of the largest companies in Switzerland, allowing the program to be offered free of charge and to take no stake in participating startups.