In our complex, hyper-connected, technology-driven world, we need to work together across industries and sectors like never before. Ecosystem Innovation describes the process of new solutions and technologies emerging from collaboration and partnerships within a system of many organizations and individuals. This book is a collaborative effort of 31 co-authors from multiple organizations. It is the follow-up of Volume 1 “Kickstarting Collaboration” published in 2018.

Ecosystem innovation requires a certain mindset and humility, skills and capabilities, and experiences for corporates, startups, SMEs, municipalities, universities, philanthropic organisations and politicians to work together. Ecosystem innovation is not yet a clearly defined term and you will read multiple definitions and uses of the concept in this book. Yet, what all articles have in common, is at the core of the metaphor “ecosystem”: one species (or organization) can only thrive, if other species (or organizations) thrive as well. 

Ecosystem Innovation – How to create successful partnerships between high-growth startups and established organizations. Vol II.

Published in November 2019 by Kickstart.

In partnership with Engagement Migros, digitalswitzerland and Impact Hub Zürich.

Download “Ecosystem Innovation” as pdf!

Content:

and much more … 

Contributors:

Umberto Annino, SATW; Prof. Dr. Andrea Back, University of St.Gallen; Babar Baig, WriteReader; Dr. Angela Beckenbauer, ZHAW School of Management and Law; Dr. Christoph Birkholz, Kickstart & Impact Hub Zürich; Nicolas Bürer, digitalswitzerland; Manuela Disch, Swisscom; Dr. Matthias Filser, ZHAW School of Management and Law; Guillaume Gabus, digitalswitzerland; Ingeborg Gasser-Kriss, 21st century innovation agent; Prof. Oliver Gassmann, University of St.Gallen; Dr. Ben Graziano, ZHAW School of Management and Law; Dr. Holger Greif, PwC Switzerland; Prof. Gudela Grote, ETH Zürich; Till Haug, Veezoo; Kathrin Hoesli, Swisscom; Philip van Hövell, PwC Switzerland; Nora Varesco Kager, ETH Zürich; Peter Kasahara, PwC Switzerland; Dr. Tim Lehmann, Kickstart; Katka Letzing, Kickstart; Prof. Adrian W. Müller, ZHAW School of Management and Law; Raimund Neubauer, Kickstart; Dr. Lukas Peter, Swisscom; Kathrin Puhan-Henz, you advance GmbH; Josephine Ritzel, Kickstart; Christina Senn-Jakobsen, Kickstart; Dr. Jennifer Sparr, ETH Zürich; Thomas Vellacott, WWF Switzerland; Tina Werro, Swisscom; Dr. Christian Westermann, PwC Switzerland.

Design by Grafik2.

Three Kickstart participants; three scenarios. Altoo, YUKKA Lab and AAAccell have two things in common: all three were selected to participate in the Kickstart Accelerator program, which connects its participants with leading organizations and all three have embarked on collaborative projects.

German company YUKKA Lab and Switzerland-based Altoo, together with Swisscom, explore the opportunities of Open Banking for the Swiss financial sector, as well as the integration of YUKKA Lab´s News & Trend service into the Altoo platform. YUKKA Lab is also collaborating with University of Zurich spinoff and Kickstart 2017 alumni AAAccell, to create a joint sentiment-quant engine.

We asked Oliver Berchtold, CPO at YUKKA Lab, Maximilian Adelmann, Senior Quant Engineer at AAAccell, and Martin Stadler, CEO at Altoo AG, how these collaborations started, what makes the Kickstart program so special and what advice they have for startups and scaleups concerning the initiation of cooperation.

How did you meet your collaboration partners? What was the exciting element that motivated you to talk about cooperation?

Martin: We met with the participants and their different backgrounds and exciting business ideas as part of the Kickstart Accelerator Program. This get together provided the inspiration thinking about teaming up.

Oliver: Kickstart Accelerator did connect us! We met Martin from Altoo there, and we both knew right away that we could integrate our Sentiment Indicators into their Portfolio view, as well as offer our News Lab to their UHNWI clients, as an expert research tool with state-of-the-art analytics and high-quality news. 

Whereas, we met Sandro and Max from AAAccell through a client who thought it would make sense to combine the two applications in POC.

Maximilian: Yes, it was at the site of one of AAAccell’s clients. Andreas and Oliver were presenting YUKKA Labs sentiment engine there.  

Oliver: We continued the discussion directly after the meeting and elaborated the benefits of a potential collaboration, since the two services just blended so well together. As a next step, we tested our data to see if it would enhance their results. Sandro and Maximilian were so happy with the result that we decided to cooperate and, on the spot, drafted the fair terms of our partnership. We put those terms into a formal contract, signed it, and immediately started the development of our combined product offering.

Maximilian: I was impressed by the power of their approach and how well they could visualize the strength of their product. Right away, I saw the vast potential that YUKKA Lab’s sentiments could have to improve our quant engine. Fortunately, Andreas and Oliver’s view of our product was similar, so we started talking about collaborating on the first day that we met.

Oliver: It just makes sense to combine AAAccell’s price-based portfolio optimization with our sentiment indicators. Moreover, there is no one on the market with a similar offering yet. Also, the skill sets of the two companies complement each other well.

In general, it is exciting to work with other startups, because they are agile and can make decisions very quickly. It’s great to launch projects that show fast results and then enhance products based on new affiliations.

How did you find out that you and your projects fit together? Was it based more on having compatible ideas or was it a decision based on compatibility and getting along with each other? What role did the mentors and Kickstart play?

Maximilian: YUKKA Lab was aiming to enrich their sentiment signals with quantitative models, while we at AAAccell considered adding sentiment to our quant engine. So, instead of going through the time and resource-consuming process to build up knowledge in a new field, it felt like a natural decision to profit from the strong expertise of a collaborative partner.

The fact that both YUKKA Lab and AAAccell are startups in a similar phase made the collaboration easier. The whole process moved very fast, and both sides are working in the same spirit. YUKKA Lab’s excellent product was the primary reason for us to collaborate, but the good fit on the personal level with Andreas and Oliver was also essential to us.

In our case, Kickstart didn’t have a direct role in the collaboration, also because we participated in different years. However, Kickstart Accelerator Company label is definitely a factor that enriches trust in the collaborator.  

Oliver: I totally agree. I think both components are equally important. Obviously, the idea and products need to match and combined, create an additional value that none of the companies could individually deliver. That is the charm of cooperation: To offer something new and innovative to the market that meets the customers’ needs. However, of course, the personal fit is key to such collaboration. Trust is the foundation cooperation is built on. If there is no personal fit, it is unlikely that a collaboration lifts off.

Exploring collaboration opportunities at one of Kickstart’s main events at Kraftwerk (Foto: Anja Wurm, Ringier)

How was it for you, Martin, and for Altoo?

Martin: Our mission at Altoo is to provide simplicity for complex wealth, enabling our clients to get simple insights, to better understand and control what’s going on with their total wealth, and to know where to set their focus. This perfectly matches the YUKKA’s technological capabilities to create more transparency in the flood of investment news and find the most important information for our clients’ investments. As Oliver said, ideas and products need to match.

And of course, the support at Kickstart was great. The mentors were all very experienced, which created the perfect environment to enable collaborations with incumbents and other Kickstart participants.

Could you give us an outlook on some tangible results your cooperation will bring?

Maximilian: Currently, we work with YUKKA Lab on building a sentiment-quant engine with very high potential. This engine is supposed to turn into a product that both companies can offer to their clients.

Oliver: It will allow our customers to benefit from improved performance and risk management through a unique combination of quant models and sentiment.

Martin: As part of the Proof of Concept with YUKKA Lab, we are not only exploring the technical feasibility, but also testing the client response for such a news feature. This will define how our cooperation is set in the future, focusing on creating added-values for our clients.

What do you get out of a collaboration like this, that you can’t get from just investing enough money?

Martin: Living co-creatorship and fostering innovation is a key pillar of Altoo’s corporate strategy. Living it in the daily business with other companies showcases to our clients how agile we are at approaching different aspects of wealth management in new ways.

Oliver: Combined with the additional value for the customer, it brings more marketing and sales power through joining forces and uniting each other’s talents.

Maximilian: Uniting each other’s talents is an important factor. We instantly get strong expertise and data in a field that has high value to us. Even with investing a lot of money into building a sentiment engine, it would have taken us months or even years to get sentiment of comparable quality. Collaborating with YUKKA Lab gives us the possibility to roll out a product in a short period and gain a first mover advantage.

Do you have practical advice on how to start exploring potential collaboration partners and how to decide which partner is a good fit?

Oliver: It all starts with having a good idea for a combined product vision, that meets a specific client need. Then, you need to strip it down and see if you can feasibly integrate each other’s offering. The hardest part is to find a fair business model that satisfies both parties.

Maximilian: I advise having a good network, knowledge of the relevant markets, and always an open mind for opportunities. I would base my decision to collaborate on several factors:  the product of the potential partner, the organization, accomplishments, clients, and lastly, the personal fit between the collaborators.

Martin: In general, to be efficient, collaboration needs to be a natural fit; one that is worthwhile to invest time in. Nonetheless, thinking out of the box has helped us to create either more/new ideas or to redefine the focus of our company’ roadmap.

 

Oliver Berchtold is CPO, CBD and Co-Founder of YUKKA Lab AG , Berlin and Zurich-based FinTech for AI-derived insights for the financial industry. YUKKA Lab, a 2018 Kickstart company, works with Altoo exploring the opportunities of “Open Banking” with Swisscom for the Swiss financial sector, as well as on the integration of YUKKA Lab´s services into the Altoo platform.

 

 

 

Maximilian Adelmann is Senior Quant Engineer at AAAccell, a spinoff startup of the University of Zurich, that develops innovative AI / ML solutions for the financial service industry and a Kickstart 2017 alumni. Together with YUKKA Lab, they are working on a sentiment-quant engine to optimally combine YUKKA Lab’s sentiment with state-of-the-art quant models. 

 

 

 

Martin Stadler is CEO of Altoo AG, a company that provides simplicity for complex wealth, enabling their clients to interact intuitively with their total wealth in a totally new way.  Altoo, a 2018 Kickstart company, elaborates with YUKKA Lab on how to integrate the YUKKA News & Trend Lab into the Altoo platform.

We’re delighted to announce the collaborations between the #kickstarters18 startups and established organizations. More than 35 PoCs and partnership projects have resulted from the program.

Kickstart, a program of Impact Hub Zurich, launched in 2015 by digitalswitzerland, bridges the gap between later-stage startups, corporations, cities, universities, and institutions to accelerate deep tech innovations with positive impact. For the third edition, 30 Swiss and international tech startups had moved into the collaboration space Kraftwerk in Zurich, where they met with leading corporations and organizations aiming at launching joint projects. More than 70 such partnership projects have emerged from the programme since its inception. 

Here is the overview of the 2018 pilot projects and partnerships:  

(Details in the Media Release)               

The EdTech & Learning Vertical saw 10 collaborations:

 

 

In the Fintech & Crypto Vertical, 10 collaborations with Kickstart partners were agreed on:

 

 

The Food & Retail Tech Vertical saw 9 collaborative projects resulting from the programme:

 

 

The Smart Cities & Infrastructure Vertical Vertical resulted in 6 cooperations:

 

 

“It is exciting to see such a great number of collaborations between the startups and the partners that are growing the Kickstart Community,” said Kickstart Co-Lead, Katka Letzing. “This shows that Kickstart has the potential to truly connect technology startups from all over the world with the Swiss innovation ecosystem.”

Next to the cooperation between the startups and the large partners, some of the startups have also initiated partnerships with each other: For example, Sharing Academy (Spain) and TEACHY (CH) agreed on a PoC to combine their forces of business and software development with the purpose of improving education in Switzerland. In the FinTech Vertical, ResonanceX and Altoo AG  are teaming up for a joint exploration in providing next-generation post-trade information for structured product investments to wealthy individuals. Kickstart alumni PriceHubble and Altoo explore possibilities on real estate valuation based on machine learning for comprehensive digital wealth management. And YUKKA Lab AG has entered into a partnership with the Kickstart alumni AAAccell.

In addition, Mondays has partnered with Diversify to offer corporates and startups the opportunity to tangibly deliver on their top level diversity goals, by providing women’s essential products in the workplace. In the meantime, Kickstart supported the startup AVUXI from UK in closing a partnership deal with 3 Swiss online travel companies, including Nezasa and Bedfinder. Swiss startup vlot. got support to work on closing two partnership deals in the field of InsurTech.

Furthermore, during the few weeks of  Kickstart 2018, the startups have raised 6.5 million CHF funding from international and Swiss investors.

 

New Cybersecurity Vertical in 2019 in cooperation with SATW

In the coming year, Kickstart aims at tapping into new technology areas: Together with the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences SATW, the program will launch a Cybersecurity Vertical in order to foster innovation in the fields of IT-, information- and data security. Additionally, Kickstart is in advanced conversations for a vertical on health technologies in Zurich.

The program has already agreed on several partnerships for the 2019 edition: Coop, Swisscom, Stiftung Mercator Schweiz, Axpo, Stäubli, Gebert Rüf Stiftung, CSEM,  and others have been confirmed as partners for next year’s program.

 

Fotos by Anja Wurm, Ringier

The deep technology age requires much more collaboration between unlikely allies. Yet, collaboration is hard. The book “Kickstarting Collaboration” is building on research from ETH Zurich and University of St. Gallen, case studies from Kickstart Accelerator, as well as many more experiences from digitalswitzerland, University of Zurich, corporates and startups to provide hands-on recommendations for partnering between deep tech startups and large organizations.

 

 

Kickstarting Collaboration – How to create successful partnerships between high-growth startups and established organizations

Published in November 2018 by Kickstart Accelerator and digitalswitzerland

Download “Kickstarting Collaboration” (pdf) here!

 

 

 

 

Content:

Contributors:

Dr. Christoph Birkholz, Kickstart Accelerator & Impact Hub Zürich; Nicolas Bürer, digitalswitzerland; Daniel Ginter, digitalswitzerland; Prof. Dr. Gudela Grote, ETH Zurich; Katka Letzing, Kickstart Accelerator; Dr. Maria Olivares, University of Zurich; Lukas Peter, Swisscom & University of t. Gallen; Dr. Jennifer Sparr, ETH Zurich; Katrin Winiarski, University of Zurich; Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler, Swisscom.

Design by Grafik2.

The Kickstart Accelerator 2018 startups are selected! 30 promising tech companies from 12 countries will come to Zurich this fall to work together with Swiss corporations, universities, cities and foundations in order to drive deep technologies. Next to them, also 5 intrapreneur teams will participate in this year’s program – more than ever before.

Kickstart Accelerator has chosen 30 technology startups for its 2018 program. The companies will come to Zurich for seven weeks this autumn, where they will meet with Swiss corporations, cities, universities and foundations aiming at initiating successful innovation partnerships and joint pilot projects. No other program in Switzerland is bringing together as many established organizations with technology startups as Kickstart Accelerator.

The following startups participate in Kickstart Accelerator 2018:

EdTech & Learning

CodeAll (Poland) is a coding-platform that addresses people that want to get the first steps in programming in general and master the basics of programming and algorithmic, connecting software with sensory hardware in a similar way to Lego Robots.

Differ (Norway) brings your classes, study groups and professional networks closer together, so you can learn more, teach better and get things done with a little more fun – based on AI. 

Gnowbe (Singapore) is a mobile micro-learning platform that enables enterprises to onboard and train employees more efficiently and effectively with over 60 clients in 17 countries.

Labster (Denmark) has developed revolutionary life-sciences (VR+ Desktop) simulations, customizing learning programs with the world’s leading universities and licensing globally, potential applications as well in leadership training.

Potential.ly (UK) is a skills-driven continuous-professional-development platform with smart career readiness features.

Sharing Academy (Spain) is a peer-to-peer tutoring marketplace that allows students to offer and to find peer tutoring classes from any course within his degree and university.

TEACHY (Switzerland) helps apprentices & pupils to increase their grades at school significantly by providing a completely new kind of personal or online 1-1 tutoring.

WriteReader (Denmark) is a global literacy platform that enables children (3-10 years) to become creators and authors by using 21st-century skills.

FinTech & Crypto

Altoo (Switzerland) empowers wealthy individuals and their families to consolidate and interact with their total wealth in a simple and intuitive way, including crypto. 

Asteria (Sweden) automates cash flow forecasting and give feedback to understand clients’ business cash flow and help make more data driven business decisions.

Fintechdb (Norway) is a service that helps FinTech buyers to understand the FinTech market, so that they can make the right choices when it comes to finding partners, analyzing competition and trends, or just getting a broad overview.

Gauss Algorithmic (Czech Republic) combines internal and external data to understand the motivation behind users purchasing financial products like loans and using advanced analytics methods like machine learning to find new “similar” customer. 

Reportix (Germany) helps businesses to bring real contracts into Blockchain technology – legally sound, for humans, machine processable. 

ResonanceX Ltd. (UK) is a digital platform enabling the end-to-end automation of the price discovery, issuance and administration of Structured Products.

Trakti (UK) is the first contract negotiation and management platform enabling the possibility to run deals/contracts negotiations using different protocols and interaction models on a self service base and automate the obligation management of the contract via smart contract and blockchain. 

vlot (Switzerland) is a B2B2C platform opening up an agile and integrated world of risk analysis, coverage and life planning.

YUKKA Lab AG (Germany) is a technology leader in the field of Augmented Language Intelligence and context-based text analysis for the financial industry.

 

Food & Retail Tech

Alver Golden Chlorella (Switzerland) aims to improve consumers’ health as well as our environment by offering foods that are healthy, tasty and sustainable containing plant protein and the micro-algae Golden Chiarella®.

Besso (Germany) is an unconventional socially-minded brand, created by a barista to give to tea the attention it deserves.

Mondays (Switzerland) is a monthly subscription service delivering 100% plastic free period products to your door.

LuckaBox (Switzerland) is a cloud-based platform for on-demand deliveries and warehousing to provide retailers with what their customers increasingly demand: on-demand deliveries.

microPow (Switzerland) is an all-natural delivery system for aromas and flavors which drastically improves the storability and enhances the release of contained aroma and flavor compounds.

Yarok Microbio (Israel) provides a new fast testing technology for the food industry. Detect & count bacteria (E.coli, Listeria, Salmonella, etc.) in 45 minutes instead of days.

 

Smart Cities & Infrastructure

AVUXI (UK) is working on the conversion of geo big data for indexing the popularity of every place on earth.

Block Dox (UK) is working on occupancy and indoor environmental tracking sensors and data analytics.

Fleco Power AG (Switzerland) is a technology platform for decentralized energy systems consisting of control system and IoT-based hardware.

Hivemind (Switzerland) is an IoT platform including a collection of web services to connect, manage, and maintain IoT devices.

Kido Dynamics (Switzerland) is a data analytics platform with reconstruction and forecast techniques for smart cities focussing on mobility patterns.

Pedius (Italy) has developed a text-to-speech/ speech-to-text solution for deaf and hard of hearing people using voice recognition and speech synthesis.

The Energy Audit (Italy) is an AI-based energy management software with real-time data acquisition and predictive models for energy consumption.

 

In autumn, the selected startups will come to the innovative premises of Kraftwerk located in the centre of Zurich, where they will work on accelerating their projects in close exchange with Coop, Credit Suisse, Migros, Swisscom, Department of Education of the Canton of ZurichETH Zurich, Gebert Rüf Stiftung City of St. Gallen, City of Zurich,  Mercator Foundation Switzerland, Mondelēz InternationalSwiss Federal Office for Energy SFOE, University of Zurich, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences and many more partners of Kickstart Accelerator. 

 

Intrapreneur Teams

Next to the 30 startups, also 5 intrapreneur teams will participate in the program – more than ever before. Intrapreneurs are “entrepreneurs within a company”; although being integrated in a corporation, they act as autonomous teams on innovative projects – very similar to a startup. Credit Suisse, Migros and Swisscom are bringing intrapreneur teams into the program:

Credit Suisse: Open banking project to enable efficient and secure payment processing for e- and m-commerce.

Menu Casa (Migros): Home delivery service of healthy, varied and delicious food for people in the prime of life who are not able or willing to cook for themselves.

OLIQ (Migros): Innovative and liquid supplements combining vitamins, minerals and natural plant extracts, e.g. for strengthening the immune system or boosting the energy level.

Migros Klubschule: Online coaching platform for personal and professional development with more than 7`000 teachers and experts of Migros Klubschule.

Robo VC (Swisscom): Software as a Service based on Artificial Intelligence to support investors in the venture capital industry in planning and making their investments.

Kickstart Accelerator is operated by Impact Hub Zurich, which is the largest local community within the global Impact Hub network worldwide. The program, which was launched 2015 by digitalswitzerland, takes place from July to October, including a one-week Planning Sprint in September and a six-weeks Collaboration Sprint from October 1st to November 9th, during which the international teams will be on site in Zurich.

Photos by Anja Wurm, Ringier. 

We have just extended our deadline for applications! Startups and scaleups from Switzerland and all around the world can apply until June 10th. Still wondering whether or not apply for Kickstart Accelerator 2018? Here are the reasons why you should.

As one of the 30 selected startups for Kickstart Accelerator, you will get the chance to enter into innovative collaborations with leading Swiss corporates, cities, universities and foundations. We will support you every step of the way to make this happen! Your benefits include:

Access to senior executives: Kickstart gives participants the opportunity to connect with its partners‘ senior executives. More than 30 CEOs, decision-makers, movers and shakers of Swiss corporations and institutions have confirmed their participation to one of Kickstart’s main events. Find out more about our C-level engagement here.

Quarter of a million in partnership budget: Participants get the chance to access funding for successfully initiated collaborative projects with Kickstart partners.

Bringing together founders and C-level executives. 

Collaboration training and facilitation: Kickstart is actively fostering collaborative projects between the startups and the accelerator’s partners.

Program stipends: Kickstart participants can expect a program stipend of up to CHF 10’000 per startup.

Your Personal Mentor and access to Experts: Entrepreneurial mentors are at the center of Kickstart Accelerator. We think of mentoring as building a relationship with someone who accompanies and inspires you along your journey and helps you to navigate within the Swiss market. In addition to mentoring, startups have access to a wide network of experts in varied industries, for 1:1 sessions.

Focused access to investors: Kickstart facilitates connections with national and international investors.

Free office space and infrastructure: Kickstart provides office space and infrastructure to all participants at an extraordinary innovation and collaboration space: Kraftwerk. The rebuilt, former electronic transformer station lies within a few minutes from Zurich’s main railway station. Kraftwerk offers various event-, workshop- and meeting rooms; as well as a large special event space and a lively café, spread over 1200 m2.

Collaboration and Innovation Space Kraftwerk. 

Networking and Community events: Weekly networking events at Kraftwerk and external locations allow participating startups to fully emerge themselves into the Swiss innovation ecosystem. Community building events throughout the program aim at establishing strong bonds between the vertical cohorts in order to enable peer-support across the program.

Media exposure: Startups get the chance to be covered in various local and national media outlets, newsletters and on social media.

Startup and Innovation Ecosystem: Overall, participating startups can benefit from a fast-track access to Swiss startup and innovation ecosystems.

And the best part: Kickstart Accelerator takes zero equity and charges zero fees.

Have a look at these great examples of successful collaborations that were initiated within the last two years: Next to 30 PoCs and partnerships that resulted out of last year’s program, a couple of weeks ago we were able to announce another PoC between the AI-startup DCBrain and our partner Swisscom. Additionally, the insurance company AXA and Veezoo, an alumni startup from our very first program in 2016, announced that they have deepened their relationship and established a successful partnership. We are looking forward to making these kind of stories possible again this year – together with amazing partners such as Coop, Credit Suisse, Migros, Swisscom, Department of Education of the Canton of Zurich, the cities of St. Gallen and Zurich, ETH Zürich, Gebert-Rüf-Stiftung, Mercator Foundation Switzerland, Swiss Federal Office for Energy, University of Zurich, AXA, EY, Stäubli, Swisslinx, PwC Switzerland, Helbling and more.

If you are a startup or scaleup with a promising technology, product or business idea in the fields of EdTech & Learning, FinTech & Crypto, Food & Retail Tech or Smart Cities & Infrastructure, then apply until June 10th and become a #kickstarters18.

In case you have any questions, feel free to contact our Vertical Leads: Katka Letzing for FinTech & Crypto, Tim Lehmann for EdTech & Learning, Christina Senn-Jakobsen for Food & Retail Tech and Ruth Armalé for Smart Cities. We are looking forward to working with you!

Kickstart Accelerator connects international startups with corporates, cities and universities to accelerate collaborations for deep technologies. However, we are not the only ones. Several such programs exist claiming to offer a platform for innovation partnerships. So, as an aspirational founder, how to make your choice about which program actually brings your company forward vs. which program offers just a bit of “startup circus” for corporate managers? Here’s a hint: Check how serious the corporates’ CEOs are taking their role in the accelerator. Do they even care?

Kickstart Accelerator offers exceptional access to the main decision-makers of our corporate, city and university partners. With our C-Level Engagement Strategy, we ensure that the CEOs and executives of our partner organisations are personally participating in Kickstart Accelerator in order to meet the startup founders and initiate joint proof-of-concept projects and other deep tech innovation partnerships.

The CEO- and Founder-Dinner / Foto: Philippe Rossier

Hence, for the 2018 batch, we are proud to announce that the CEOs and Country Heads of AXA, Credit Suisse, Swisscom, Migros, Stäubli, ewz, Ringier, IBM, UBS, Swiss Post, Raiffeisen, Generali, SBB, valora, and 15 more corporates have already confirmed their participation in the program – along with the presidents of our university partners as well as political leaders of Switzerland.

Switzerland provides an outstanding ecosystem for startups – especially, for those that aim to collaborate with corporates, cities and universities. And Kickstart is the accelerator to facilitate innovation partnerships between later-stage startups developing deep technologies and established players considering startup founders as serious business partners.

For the entrepreneurs, we pay your stipends, you keep all your equity, we connect you with top VCs and we help you leverage Switzerland’s exceptional business ecosystem for deep tech innovations.

Sounds like a plan? – Apply now.

 

by Christoph Birkholz

DCbrain, Teilnehmer des letztjährigen Kickstart Accelerators, möchte in einer Zusammenarbeit mit Swisscom aufzeigen, wie künstliche Intelligenz die Energieeffizienz in Rechenzentren optimieren kann.

DCbrain, ein europäischer Anbieter von AI-gestützter Software zur Netzoptimierung, hat sich zur Durchführung einer dreimonatigen Machbarkeitsstudie (Proof of Concept) mit dem Schweizer Telekommunikationsunternehmen Swisscom zusammengetan. In dieser Machbarkeitsstudie will DCbrain demonstrieren, wie dessen revolutionäre Technologie Energieeffizienz mit betrieblicher Optimierung kombiniert, ohne dass dies den Investitionsaufwand in komplexen Netzwerken wie Rechenzentren erhöht. Dank der Partnerschaft mit DCbrain kann sich Swisscom besonders intensiv mit dem Thema maschinelles Lernen auseinandersetzen. Das Projekt war während des Kickstart Accelerators im Herbst 2017 zustande gekommen und läuft seit Ende Februar.

Swisscom macht mit bei der AI-Revolution

Bigna Salzmann, Senior Corporate Responsibility Managerin bei Swisscom sagt: „Der Kickstart Accelerator ermöglicht es uns, Startups und ihre Technologien im Bereich Smart City kennenzulernen. Wir freuen uns über die Zusammenarbeit mit DCbrain, um die Energieeffizienz in unseren Rechenzentren zu erhöhen und damit einen Beitrag zu unserer Corporate Responsibility Strategie zu leisten.“

Die Partnerschaft mit DCbrain unterstreicht das Engagement von Swisscom für die Energiewende dank der Verwendung neuer Technologien. Neue Technologien wie die von DCbrain ermöglichen es dem Telekommunikationsanbieter, den Energieverbrauch eines Rechenzentrums besser nachzuvollziehen, insbesondere was die Kühlgeräte betrifft. Mit der Software von DCbrain können die Ingenieure von Swisscom den Energieverbrauch besser überwachen, während datengesteuerte Entscheidungen dafür sorgen, dass die Sicherheitsmargen gleich bleiben.

“Zu sehen, wie sich die Partnerschaft zwischen unserem Partner Swisscom und DCBrain entwickelt, ist motivierend“, sagt Ruth Armalé, Smart Cities Verantwortliche beim letztjährigen Kickstart Accelerator. “Die Anwendung neuer Technologien wie die der Künstlichen Intelligenz im Bereich Energieeffizienz hat in meinen Augen grosses Potenzial.”

Das Team von DCBrain

 

Über DCbrain

DCbrain bietet eine AI-basierte Software zur Optimierung und Modellierung verschiedener Arten komplexer Netzwerke (Strom, Kühlung, Wärme, Öl) an. Das Unternehmen analysiert Strömungsdaten (Flow Propagation) und hilft dadurch Managern, ihr Netzwerk besser zu verstehen und schneller bessere Entscheidungen zu treffen. Insgesamt steigert die Lösung von DCbrain die betriebliche Effizienz. Sie wird inzwischen von Branchengrössen wie Total, Engie oder ID Logistics eingesetzt.

DCbrain hat gerade eine Finanzierungsrunde über 1,5 Millionen Euro abgeschlossen, um in der Schweiz, Deutschland und den Benelux-Staaten zu expandieren und seine Technologieführerschaft in Frankreich weiter auszubauen.

 

Über Swisscom:

Swisscom ist der führende Telekommunikationsanbieter der Schweiz und gehört auch im Bereich IT zu den führenden Unternehmen. Der Hauptsitz befindet sich in Ittigen nahe der Hauptstadt Bern. Swisscom orientiert sich kompromisslos an den Kundenbedürfnissen, setzt auf Service und Qualität und investiert massiv in die Netze der Zukunft.

Das Swisscom Netz wird zu 100 % aus einheimischer erneuerbarer Energie betrieben. Ihre Telefonzentralen kühlt Swisscom mit Frischluft statt Klimaanlagen. Swisscom verpflichtet ihre Lieferanten überdies zur Einhaltung sozialer Standards.

 

Über Kickstart Accelerator:

Der Kickstart Accelerator bringt Startups, Grossunternehmen, Städte, Stiftungen und Universitäten zusammen, um gemeinsam technologische Innovationen voranzutreiben. Neue, wissenschaftsbasierte Technologien haben das Potenzial, einige der grössten Herausforderungen unserer Zeit zu lösen. Sie setzen voraus, dass einflussreiche, etablierte Unternehmen und innovative Jungunternehmen mit mutigen Ideen zusammenarbeiten. Der Kickstart Accelerator bringt jedes Jahr bis zu 100 solcher Jungunternehmer und -unternehmerinnen mit führenden Akteuren für Proof-of-Concepts (PoCs), Pilotprojekte und andere Innovationspartnerschaften in der Schweiz zusammen. Das Programm bietet den teilnehmenden Startups Zugang zu den Führungskräften und Entscheidungsträgern der Partner-Organisationen. Es werden weder Gebühren noch eine Eigenkapital-Beteiligung der Startups verlangt.

Der Kickstart Accelerator ist eine Initiative des Impact Hubs Zürich und wurde 2015 von digitalswitzerland ins Leben gerufen. In Zusammenarbeit mit etablierten Partner-Organisationen wie Coop, Credit Suisse, Migros und Swisscom sowie AXA Winterthur, Bildungsdirektion des Kanton Zürich, ETH Zürich, EY, Gebert-Rüf-Stiftung, Stadt Zürich, Stäubli, Stiftung Mercator Schweiz, Swisslinx und Universität Zürich, fördert das Programm 2018 Startups in den vier Bereichen EdTech & Learning, FinTech & Crypto, Food & Retail Tech sowie Smart Cities & Infrastructure.

 

DCbrain, Kickstart Accelerator 2017 alumni, has partnered with Swisscom to demonstrate how Artificial Intelligence can be used to optimize energy efficiency in Data Centers.

DCbrain, a European AI-powered grid optimisation software provider, has partnered with the Swiss main telecommunication firm Swisscom for a three months Proof of Concept (PoC). The PoC will help DCbrain to demonstrate how its disruptive technology can combine energy efficiency with operational enhancement without increasing capital expenditure in complex networks such as data centres. The partnership will also allow Swisscom to engage intensively with the topic of machine learning on a real-life basis. The project was initiated at Kickstart Accelerator in fall 2017 and is running since late February.

Swisscom engaging in the AI revolution

Bigna Salzmann, Senior Corporate Responsibility Manager at Swisscom: “Kickstart Accelerator allows us to get to know startups and their technologies in the domain of smart city. We are looking forward to cooperate with DCbrain to improve the energy efficiency in our data centers and contribute to our strategy in corporate responsibility.“

With this partnership Swisscom shows its commitment towards energy transition using new technologies. New technologies such as the one offered by DCbrain will enable the telecommunication provider to have a better understanding of its main data centre’s energy consumption, especially with cooling units. DCbrain’s software will enable Swisscom’s engineers to better monitor energy consumption while maintaining the same safety margins thanks to data-driven decisions.

“It is very encouraging to see this partnership between our corporate partner Swisscom and DCbrain emerging”, says Ruth Armalé, Kickstart Smart Cities Vertical Lead 2017. “I am convinced that applying Deep Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence in the field of energy efficiency has breakthrough potential”.

DC Brain Team

 

About DCbrain

DCbrain, a Microsfot AI factory incubated startup, offers an AI-based software dedicated to various types of complex networks (electricity, cooling, heat, oil) optimisation and modelisation. Our technology digitizes our clients’ networks and enables network managers to visualize in real-time their grid performance, simulate what-if scenarios to refine maintenance plans and to optimize the overall network’s performance as a result of Machine Learning and Graph-based algorithms.

DCbrain turn data into flow propagation and this way helps grid managers to better understand their network and take better decisions faster. Overall, DCbrain’s solution enhances operational efficiency. Our solution is now used by industry leaders such as Total, Engie or ID logistics.

DCbrain has just completed a €1.5 milion funding round in order to expand internationally in Switzerland, Germany and Benelux and to reaffirm its technological leadership in France.

 

About Swisscom:

Swisscom is Switzerland’s leading telecom provider and one of its foremost IT companies, headquartered in Ittigen, close to the capital city, Bern. Swisscom brooks no compromise when it comes to serving customer needs; it focuses on service and quality and invests massively in the networks of the future.

The Swisscom network is fully powered by renewable domestic energy. We cool our data centres with fresh air rather than air conditioning. We require our suppliers to meet social standards.

 

About​ ​Kickstart​ ​Accelerator:

Kickstart Accelerator bridges the gap between startups, corporates, cities, foundations and universities to accelerate deep tech innovation. Science and engineering driven technologies have the potential to transform humanity’s biggest challenges into solvable problems. They require unprecedented collaboration between powerful established organizations and audacious entrepreneurs. Each year, Kickstart brings around 100 such entrepreneurs to Switzerland to collaborate with key players for proof-of-concepts, pilot projects and other innovation partnerships.

Kickstart Accelerator is an initiative of Impact Impact Hub Zürich and was launched 2015 by digitalswitzerland. In 2018, Kickstart runs four verticals (EdTech & Learning, FinTech & Crypto, Food & Retail Tech and Smart Cities & Infrastructure) together with established partner organizations across industries and the private and public domain: Coop, Credit Suisse, Migros and Swisscom as well as AXA Winterthur, City of Zurich, Department of Education of the Canton of Zurich, ETH Zürich, EY, Gebert-Rüf-Stiftung, Mercator Foundation Switzerland, Stäubli, Swisslinx and University of Zurich.