40 innovations in FinTech, EdTech, HealthTech, Food & Retail Tech, Smart City and Cybersecurity are gaining strong momentum from cooperation with leading corporations and organizations.
After four months of intense preparations and collaboration, Kickstart has the great honour to announce the innovation partnerships closed between the participating startups and intrapreneurship teams and Kickstart’s partner corporations and organizations.
Partnerships in the field of Cybersecurity:
Swiss Mobiliar has developed churn models for insurance customers. These models rely on personal identifying information of customers. The technology developed by Statice (Germany) enables the on-the-fly generation of statistically similar synthetic data containing no personal data – thus it protects the original data and enables more people to work with the data without conflicting privacy issues. This technology might be more widely used in the future within Swiss Mobiliar, enabling further data sharing and speeding up development and testing processes.
Swiss Mobiliar considers using XM Cyber’s (Israel) platform to strengthen the security posture of its own infrastructure in the context of “red teaming” in case a PoC is successful. At the same time, Swiss Mobiliar will test the platform’s features in the area of products for cyber insurance.
Panter from Zurich, a software agency supporting digital transformation at leading Swiss corporates, and Statice (Germany), a Berlin-based company offering ML-based data anonymization solutions today announced a business collaboration to enable privacy-preserving data innovation within the Swiss business ecosystem.
PostFinance and Statice (Germany) intend to collaborate together in a joint PoC in the area of data anonymization.
Partnerships in the field of EdTech & Learning:
Klubschule Migros is testing in cooperation with Taskbase (CH) a prototype that provides personalized feedback – based on artificial intelligence – on exercises the students have completed. The aim is to use these automated and yet differentiated feedbacks on the current learning platform of Klubschule Migros in order to increase the student’s learning success. Both parties are looking forward to the collaboration.
Swisscom and Area9 Lyceum (Denmark) are joining forces in Learning & Development. In the cooperative project, an adaptive learning offering will be created for approx. 300 managers that allows reviewing expertise in various categories such as IT portfolio, sales and digital literacy. Area9 Technology & Analytics also create opportunities for employees to self-reflect and develop a growth-oriented mindset. In addition, Area9 will also support the development of critical skills of the L&D function through hands-on training sessions in Learning Engineering.
Education Alliance Finland (Finland) offers a pedagogy-based evaluation process for digital learning solutions which shall be provided to the Swiss educational ecosystem. In cooperation with Mercator Foundation Switzerland, Swiss EdTech Collider and profilQ, Swiss teachers are evaluating some educational learning products. The pilot project facilitates experience about the quality of the learning solutions and the evaluation process.
Taskbase (CH) enables personalized feedback using artificial intelligence. This results in new learning approaches. Taskbase is developing a prototype for automated feedback in complex learning situations of project work with the support of the Mercator Foundation Switzerland, LerNetz and the project team of the “MakerSpace: Space for Creativity” cooperation project between the Teacher University of Thurgau and the St. Gallen University of Applied Sciences. The pilot project should make new didactic possibilities visible and serve the further development of the product.
Kickstart has partnered with Stroofy (Ireland) to support the wellbeing and productivity of its employees, starting with a pilot at its Zurich location. Kickstart will assess the suitability of Stroofy’s analytics and employee coaching solution in supporting entrepreneurial community organizations, specifically by helping team members mitigate workplace distractions and work in a more focused and sustainable manner.
Partnerships in the area of FinTech & Digital Assets:
AXA and Annanow (CH) are intensively evaluating a PrePoC together with iKlinik. The aim is to offer customers in property insurance (consumer electronics, especially mobile phones) a free pick-up and drop-off service in the claims process. The customer will have his mobile phone picked up at a location of his choice within a few minutes and taken to the repair shop. The mobile phone is then returned to the location selected by the customer. Furthermore, we are examining whether property-specific insurance can be offered on the Annanow platform.
Coop (Bau+Hobby and Interdiscount) and Annanow (CH) are conducting a pilot project to evaluate the delivery of purchases within 60 minutes from the store directly to customers’ homes (last mile). Customers will have the option to get their Click&Collect order delivered within 60 minutes, or at any other desired time. The solution will include payment and insurance options.
Swisscom, a leading provider of infrastructure and operation services for more than 170 banks in Switzerland, is teaming up with the Fintech companies atpar (CH) and swisspeers to explore the opportunities of a debt token and new financing and distribution models for the Swiss financial industry. The Kickstart 2019 participant atpar uses smart contract technology to tokenize and service the entire lifecycle of financial assets. Building on the universal standard ACTUS, atpar thereby supports a wide variety of debt instruments. swisspeers develops and operates a direct lending platform enabling companies to raise capital directly from private and institutional investors. swisspeers’ highly automated marketplace manages loan contracts as smart contracts on a blockchain.
Swisscom and Assetyze (CH) are working together on a PoC in order to convert tangible assets such as fine art, watches, jewellery, vintage cars and other precious collectibles to creditworthy bankable assets by tokenization. The goal of the project is to set the tokenization „gold standard“ for the, so far, non-bankable assets, starting with the tokenization of fine art. The tokenization will provide tangible assets with a unique digital identity, captured in a decentralized electronic register based on blockchain technology. This will allow the owners to prove the ownership of their tokenized assets at any time, incontestably, to lend against collateral and trade them as bankable assets.
Swisscom used Contract Vault’s (CH) DocIQ platform to complete both a pilot project to process legal documents as well as a PoC aimed at facilitating dynamic and digital estate administration.
PwC Switzerland and Annanow (CH) have signed a Letter of Intent to evaluate joint business cases based on Annanows’s unique FinTech platform and PwC’s market position and access. Both companies are committed to continue the initiated talks, to refine their ideas and to enter a joint business relationship.
PwC Switzerland, Tax and Legal Services, and Helios Data (USA) have signed a Letter of Intent to evaluate a joint going to market cooperation for the innovative clean data platform of Helios Data Inc. in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Both companies are committed to continue the initiated talks to refine their cooperation and to enter a joint business relationship.
Partnerships in the Food & Retail Tech sector:
Coop (Eisberg) and NiceFiller (Italy) are working on a PoC testing the shelf life extension of packaged, freshly cut fruits. NiceFiller incorporates new materials in the food packaging for shelf life extension.
Coop (Bell) and Posidonia (Belgium) are working on a PoC exploring the opportunity of lowering the salt content of meat produce. Posidonia’s salt alternative helps people to reduce their sodium consumption without sacrificing on taste.
Coop and Rebel Meat (Austria) work together on a pilot project to test consumer acceptance of more sustainable meat products consisting of organic beef blended with mushrooms. The products help consumers reduce meat consumption while at the same time offering a new and exciting taste experience.
Coop (Eisberg) and SwissDeCode (CH) are working on a Proof of Concept around rapid testing of pathogens in salads. SwissDeCode provides rapid and portable DNA detection solutions that detect contaminants and adulterants harming product quality.
M-Industry is working together with Posidonia (Belgium) to provide tasty products with lower salt content. As the Swiss population consumes twice as much salt as recommended by the WHO and with 1,5 million Swiss suffering from hypertension, Switzerland aims to reduce salt consumption by 30% by 2025. By working with Posidonia, M-Industry aims to take a further step in committing to consumer’s health. Posidonia’s ingredient is a naturally low sodium sea salt that helps to reduce the salt level while keeping the taste and quality of food products.
M-Industry will test Kaffe Bueno’s (Denmark) ingredients in a variety of products within personal care and food. Kaffe Bueno upcycles spent coffee grounds, through an innovative process, into oil, aromas, flour and other ingredients for cosmetics, functional foods and nutraceuticals. This process helps reduce food waste, while at the same time providing natural ingredients.
M-Industry and NiceFiller (Italy) will be exploring the use of shelf-life prolonging packaging together. NiceFiller’s solution has protective and anti-microbial properties, which are tailor-made to lower product-specific spoilage. Both parties aim to reduce food waste caused by spoilage of fresh products.
Coca-Cola Switzerland and Kickstart have co-developed a cultural transformation program to further drive entrepreneurial behaviour at Coke. Through the program the employees are adapting the entrepreneurial way of working including personal ownership, agility, courage, using the external network and yet keeping the strengths lying within a large corporate.
Partnerships in HealthTech:
AXA and OneDoc (CH) have agreed on a pilot project to enable online booking of therapists. Finding the right therapist and fixing an appointment outside opening hours is a nightmare today. With the solution of OneDoc the booking becomes convenient – and the cost coverage by the AXA health insurance will be guaranteed.
AXA and Selfapy (Germany) run a pilot project for a news service for SMEs. The aim is to prevent and detect absences from work because of psychological problems early. Thanks to Selfapy and AXA, SMEs provide their employees with free anonymous access to a 12-week online program with therapy modules tackling topics such as stress, depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
Klubschule Migros and Braive (Sweden) will work together to investigate the demand on the Swiss market for online Mental Health programs and more especially for psychosocial education. Klubschule Migros wants to expand its wide range of fitness, dance and relaxation through an online offer. Braive wants to test the demand for online programs for prevention, therapy and follow-up of mental health in the Swiss market through Klubschule Migros. Both partners are looking forward to the cooperation.
Klubschule Migros and the Migros health initiative iMpuls have partnered with Selfapy (Germany) with the aim of exploring the demand and acceptance by the Swiss market for mental health online therapy courses. Klubschule Migros wants to add an online product to its rich existing offering in fitness, dance, relaxation and nutrition. iMpuls is also interested in launching an online mental health service. Selfapy wants to be more active in the Swiss (self-payer) market thanks to Klubschule Migros, and later through iMpuls. All partners are looking forward to the cooperation.
Medbase is performing PoCs with several startups from Kickstart Innovation to continue its effort bringing innovation into healthcare. With the company Medicus AI (Austria) for example, Medbase is testing their AI-based platform that interprets and convert health data and reports into personalized and easy-to-understand explanations. Furthermore, Medbase is evaluating smart textile solutions to measure HRV and ECG together with the Swiss-based startup Nahtlos (CH). Additionally, Medbase works with Selfapy (Germany) to evaluate online therapy for mental health. Also, Medbase will integrate Onedoc’s (CH) online booking platform into their service.
Partnerships from the Smart City area:
Swisscom and BeON Energy (Portugal) examine together the possibilities to make Swisscom’s mobile network more sustainable and energy-efficient. The project will explore the potential of using solutions from BeON in a number of locations in the Swisscom network.
Oxygen at Work (CH) and the City of Zurich work together to improve the indoor air quality of the city’s office spaces, identify optimization potential and reduce the energy consumption of its office buildings. The overall goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of the city’s employees and help to achieve the city’s sustainability goals.
The City of Zurich and Totemi (CH) jointly implement a new type of guidance system for museums and public institutions. In order to add more value to the actual exhibition and gather interest from a wider public, Totemi will deploy its solution within the NONAM museum in Zurich. By combining a physical and connected signage, augmented reality and a conversational user interface Totemi will provide a complete solution that will extend the experience outside of the Museum for visitors and schools. The tools provided by Totemi will ensure autonomy and flexibility to address new uses cases within the public institution.
Indoor plants help to reduce pollutants indoors and to increase humidity. In order to leverage those effects for the automation of smart buildings Oxygen at Work (CH) and Empa will research together at NEST and conduct various tests and experiments. The goal is to minimize the energy consumption of the building and reduce its carbon footprint.
Kraftwerk Zurich will deploy Breeze Technologies‘ (Germany) solution in order to show the public how indoor air conditions look like and how the digital measurement of air in a building works. By combining a miniature IoT Indoor Air Quality sensor and a Cloud analytics platform Breeze will measure the amounts of pollutants in the big event hall of Kraftwerk and showcase the results for every visitor during the final Kickstart Events in real-time transmission. By this, Kraftwerk and Breeze want to pinpoint on the importance of air quality for our health and well-being and promote the interest in IoT products for all interested parties.
Panter, a software agency specialized in innovation projects, and Totemi (CH) offering unique urban customer experiences through creative tours, announced today a business collaboration aiming at introducing innovative technologies like augmented reality (AR) and machine learning (ML) to enrich Totemi urban tour experiences as well as conducting joint sales and joint development activities.
Partnerships and projects in the Intrapreneurship Vertical:
Swiss Mobiliar plans to use advaisor‘s Client Centricity Module to improve customer friendliness in individual and mass correspondence. The tool works like a spell-checker for client-centricity to improve quality of templates used in outbound communication.
After the successful pilots of UPTO car subscription for private individuals and fleet management for corporate customers, the AXA management has given the go-ahead for the rollout throughout Switzerland! The next step: growing and scaling through an AXA owned spin-off.
Photos by Thomas Lüthi, Ringier.
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:
ETH Zurich and Differ (Norway) collaborate to build digital learning communities for (ETH) students by testing Differ’s software in a pilot project with one ETH bachelor course engaging more than 500 students.
ETH Zurich and Potential.ly (UK) explore a collaboration to support (ETH) students’ professional development paths and career-readiness in the scope of a pilot with selected students doing company internships.
Migros Club School will start a PoC with Labster(Denmark) aiming at evaluating a new method for creating digital language learning content in 3D Virtual Reality environments and the impact of such content on client engagement.
Swisscom and TEACHY (CH) are collaborating in a PoC to explore opportunities in the field of 1on1 personal learning between Swisscom experts and Swisscom employees.
The University of Zurich will cooperate with Labster(Denmark) to explore laboratory simulations and virtual reality in university science instruction.
The Career Services of the University of Zurich is developing application opportunities with Potential.ly (UK) to use the platform to increase career readiness of students at UZH.
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Zurich will work with Differ (Norway) to increase collaboration amongst students and teaching assistants by using the platform.
The Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Zurich will collaborate with Potential.ly (UK) in a pilot project to promote digital skills training of its employees.
ZHAW is planning a PoC with the Bernese educational startup TEACHY (CH) in the field of student tutoring to promote the educational careers of its students.
In the Fintech & Crypto Vertical, 10 collaborations with Kickstart partners were agreed on:
Credit Suisse and the Switzerland-based company Altoo AG, offering solutions for wealthy individuals, stated their intention to work together in the area of future private banking platform solutions.
Credit Suisse and Asteria (Sweden) intend to test opportunities in cash flow advisory for small & medium-sized corporate clients.
Credit Suisse and Reportix (Germany) are exploring the potential for digitization and automated processing of documents and forms using non-proprietary Ricardian Contracts (human and machine-readable contracts).
Credit Suisse and YUKKA Lab AG (Germany) intend to collaborate with regards to Yukka’s value proposition to use augmented language and machine learning to analyze global financial news from trusted sources.
Swisscom is exploring the opportunities of “Open Banking” for the Swiss financial industry with the Fintech companies Altoo AG (CH) and YUKKA Lab AG (Germany).
Swisscom is launching a PoC with the Norwegian startup Fintechdb (Norway) to better map the Swiss FinTech ecosystem.
AXA is collaborating with Reportix to explore opportunities for new insurance products providing trust, transparency and automation created by blockchain-based platforms.
PwC Switzerland and YUKKA Lab AG(Germany) signed a Letter of Intent to progress the development of joint business cases in the field of Augmented Language Intelligence for the financial industry.
C4DR and Trakti (Italy) have agreed to test the Trakti Smart Contract platform with C4DR’s Blockchain-powered Supply Chain Finance Business and Security Token Factory.
The Food & Retail Tech Vertical saw 9 collaborative projects resulting from the programme:
Coop and Alver (CH) are looking into integrating Alver branded products into the Coop assortment as well as into using their innovative vegan protein for product development.
Coop and LuckaBox (CH) are running two Proofs of Concepts to explore potential benefits of a new ultra-local urban distribution model as well as using LuckaBox’ cloud-based technology for effective last mile deliveries.
Coop and microPow (CH) are collaborating with the goal to bring enhanced, shelf-stable, natural microPow aromas into a variety of food products.
Migros will start two PoCs with LuckaBox (CH). The Migros Cooperative Zurich launches a pilot project with the startup and thereby expands its range of services. From November 2019, customers of Migros City will be able to have their purchases delivered directly to their home.
M-Industry will start a PoC with Besso (Germany) aiming at testing Besso tea pads in the Swiss market.
Mondelēz International and Alver (CH) are exploring the application of a new sustainable plant-based protein source in different snack forms.
Mondelēz International and microPow (CH) are looking at opportunities to better preserve high-value ingredients in snacks to make their benefits fully available to consumers.
Empa is collaborating with BlockDox (UK) to implement their IoT and AI-driven sensor analytics solution at the NEST research and innovation building.
Empa and Fleco Power (CH) collaborate to assess the potential and technical implementation for using the electricity consumption flexibility of Empa NEST demonstrator to help stabilize the local electricity grid in Dübendorf.
ewz is collaborating with BlockDox (UK) to implement their patented IoT and AI-driven sensor analytics solution at the collaboration space Kraftwerk in Zurich Selnau.
ewz and Fleco Power (CH) are performing a pilot project to test a control unit in a charging station for electric vehicles operated by ewz.
ewz is collaborating with Hivemind (CH) to set up different IoT/LoRaWAN use cases and implement and visualize them on the Hivemind-IoT platform.
The City of Zurich and Pedius are in final discussions to agree on a collaboration to make calls for selected services accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing. During the process of establishing the project, Impact Hub Zürich will continue to support Pedius.
“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.
Many startups have a fixed time horizon within which they need to attract funding. Their own resources may enable them to get quite a long way. To develop a demo, an app, a website, a business plan. All of course informed by a vision, talented team and a customer need to solve for. So isn’t this enough? Simply put the startup in front of an investor, articulate the vision and the startup can then obtain the funds they need to start and to grow?
It is unfortunately not that simple. Investors will demand to see current users and to understand how quickly the startup is growing. If the startup’s answer is “I don’t have a use case or user base, that’s why I need the funding” – the feedback will not normally be positive for the startup. Usually it will be that they are not ready to raise venture funding before the validation of the technology, which often requires investment for development and runway – a vicious Catch 22.
Furthermore, many potential customer companies are conservative by their nature. They often like to see evidence of a direct or indirect peer company having worked with the startup, before they engage / become customers of the startup. This process is time consuming if starting with smaller customer companies and gradually increasing the size of the customer company to achieve any market capture.
So, to kick-start development and market validation, an accelerated path can start with a Proof of Concept (PoC) with an established company, as part of the startup’s journey to developing customers and attracting investment.
Moreover, as Andrea Alunni, Senior Advisor at Oxford University Innovation, states, it will also significantly benefit the startup as they focus and improve their product or service:
“PoC is instrumental to take novel ideas into practice, supporting inventors’ business confidence and releasing drivers to innovation embedded in the tacit knowledge of the inventors. The ultimate outcomes of proof of concept investments depend on the ability of the supported technologies to reach the market and generate returns”.
The PoC should be correctly framed and agreed up front with the partner(s). What’s the agreed specification? How long is the development period? How is it to be funded? What are the conditions around the use of the resulting IP? What are the startup’s rights to publicise the association with the partner company and the resulting developments? How does the longer term engagement get structured after a successful PoC?
At the Kickstart Accelerator, startups benefit from access to many of the largest and most successful companies in Switzerland and beyond. These companies can also benefit by deploying the startups’ ideas and agility onto commercial challenges they are facing. In addition, the programme is also supported by leading, global Management Consultancies who can facilitate access to their numerous clients. And so provide potential win-win-win opportunities for the startups, the consultancies and their selected clients.
Successful PoCs are a key part of a startup’s journey and are also fundamental to their stakeholders. We believe that we will see numerous PoCs progressed from the Kickstart Accelerator programme. A key statement of the progamme’s value and results.