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:
- 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.
- Mercator Foundation Switzerland is executing a joint pilot project with WriteReader (Denmark), a platform that helps children to learn reading and writing by creating their own books at school, as well as Jacobs Foundation and Dybuster (CH) with different schools.
- 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 Gauss Algorithmic (Czech Republic) intend to work together in the area of data analytics.
- 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.
The Smart Cities & Infrastructure Vertical Vertical resulted in 6 cooperations:
- 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.
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
Kickstart Accelerator, Zurich-based technology accelerator programme ends tonight with the announcement of numerous Proof of Concepts and other partnerships
Over 30 Proof of Concepts (PoCs) and partnerships have been secured at Kickstart Accelerator, one of Europe’s largest no equity, multi-corporate accelerator programmes that culminates today – most of them with leading corporations. Coop, Credit Suisse, Empa, EY, Helsana, Migros, PwC Switzerland, Raiffeisen, Swisscom as well as UBS have entered into partnerships with the entrepreneurs participating in this year’s acceleration programme. At tonight’s grand Closing Ceremony the established PoCs and other partnerships will be announced in addition to the winners in each vertical, who will receive a 25`000 CHF grant. The accelerator – an initiative of digitalswitzerland and operated by Impact Hub Zurich – saw 29 startups as well as an intrapreneur team from AXA Winterthur and Swisscom working in collaboration for 11 weeks in the specially designed co-working space Kraftwerk. Their goal was to develop, scale and promote their business in the Swiss innovation ecosystem with the guide of industry experts and unparalleled access to internationally recognized corporations. The programme also supported by C4DR and evitive, focused on the fields of FinTech, Food, Smart Cities as well as Robotics & Intelligent Systems, which is reflective of Switzerland’s heritage innovation sub sectors.
Foto: Philippe Rossier
PoCs to deliver better air quality, blockchain-based e-voting-systems and ways to avoid food waste.
In the Fintech vertical, 14 PoCs and other partnerships were secured with Kickstart Partners:
– Credit Suisse and Swiss-based Startup PriceHubble are exploring a cooperation in the field of mortgage business.
– Credit Suisse is looking into how to use Adjoint’s blockchain technology to improve compliance processes in their FX operations.
– Credit Suisse is discussing potential for a cooperation in the field of compliance with Zurich-based Apiax.
–Credit Suisse and Blocko are collaborating to explore opportunities in the field of blockchain-based e-voting systems.
– EY and Apiax are going to intensify discussions about a possible partnership.
– EY is collaborating with US-startup Adjoint to develop a PoC in the field of blockchain for a global insurance client.
– Helsana insurance and Fjuul are joining forces to further improve functionality and user experience of the new Helsana+ App.
– PwC Switzerland has signed a Letter of Intent with Zurich-based Apiax to intensify the discussion about joining forces to work on digitising compliance processes in the financial industry.
– PwC Switzerland and Finnish startup Fjuul have signed a Letter of Intent to further evaluate the option of jointly bringing exciting digital solutions to insurance companies.
– Swisscom is planning a PoC to integrate services that PriceHubble offers into their existing banking service.
– Swisscom cooperates with Apiax as well as SoBA on a PoC to work in the field of Open Banking.
– UBS and AAAccell, a University of Zurich spin-off working in the field of risk- and asset management, will start a PoC project to build a smart risk-based engine.
– UBS and PriceHubble, a startup offering innovative real estate software-as-a-service solutions, agreed on a common PoC to further develop UBS`s offering in the mortgage business.
– UBS and CityFALCON have worked closely together to explore different opportunities on how to leverage a potential partnership. Nothing has been agreed yet, however, it can be confirmed, that UBS sees value in exploring CityFALCON`s offering in a potential PoC.
The Food vertical saw four PoCs resulting from the programme:
– Coop has announced a collaboration with Swiss company KITRO. The two firms plan to test KITRO’s solution to prevent food waste at several Coop restaurants within a PoC next year.
– Raiffeisen Bank has acquired a Living Farming tree by the Italian Food startup Hexagro Urban Farming as the first step of a PoC and will validate a potential use in Raiffeisen offices.
– Coop and Migros have both agreed on individual PoCs with FlavorWiki. Their technology allows food producers, retailers and others to collect detailed data about consumer taste preferences. Coop and Migros will both test this technology internally.
The Smart Cities vertical resulted in seven PoCs and other collaborations:
– Swisscom Broadcast will work together with Zurich-based startup Antavi on a PoC to develop a smart tracking solution for public safety.
– Swisscom has signed a PoC with uHoo. The ICT-provider will integrate the indoor air quality device by the Singapore-based company in the Swisscom TestLab in Biel.
– Swisscom and Hawa Dawa have signed a PoC to develop a real-time data model of air quality in Zurich. The German startup is leveraging open data from the city of Zurich and is using big data analytics and machine learning algorithms to model the air quality in the whole city.
– The city of Bern provides Hawa Dawa in a PoC with data to establish a profound data model and to calibrate their instruments.
– Swisscom starts a partnership with BikeLook: The Irish startup will use Swisscom’s Low Power Network to have an improved battery lifetime.
– Empa will be launching a PoC with Zurich-startup Parquery that is working in the field of smart parking management.
– The cities of Zurich, Bern and St. Gallen, are discussing further collaboration and sharing of knowledge with different startups, e.g. with BikeLook from Dublin.
– Coop has defined a PoC with Indian startup iFuture Robotics to test the startup’s autonomous robots to automate certain processes within Coop’s retail warehouses.
In addition to the cooperation between the startups and corporate partners, some of the startups have also started to cooperate with each other. For example, the intrapreneur team Rent’n’Share has partnered with the UK/Switzerland based startup Spark Horizon to offer a sustainable mobility solution. The FinTech startups AAAccell, Blocko and Coincube confirmed partnerships to work on two individual blockchain pilots. Zurich-based Apiax is going to work with South African startup Libryo in the field of legal and insurance solutions. Meanwhile, CoinCube and CityFALCON will be working together on AI/blockchain solutions and London-based startup Nivaura, that took part in the 2016 programme, is starting a joint project with Adjoint from this year’s batch focusing on blockchain solutions.
“It is great to see the number of partnerships between the startups and the corporates has increased significantly compared to last year,” said Patricia Schlenter, Programme Manager at Kickstart Accelerator. “This shows that Kickstart Accelerator has the potential to truly support international startups to gain access to the Swiss innovation ecosystem.”
International tech companies anchor in Switzerland
Several of the participating startups have already or are planning to bring units of their businesses to Switzerland. For example, the Ghana-based food tech startup Farmerline is planning to base their third office in Zurich and US-startup RADiCAL is opening the first office outside New York in Zurich to attract talent in the areas of AI and autonomous systems, with the Zurich office expected to serve as the company’s research and development lab. In addition, US-startup COINCUBE is incorporating in Switzerland to implement projects in the digital asset space. More incorporations are being planned.
International and local funding floods in: More than 8 million CHF raised in 5 months
Furthermore, since the start of the programme in July this year, the Kickstart Accelerator startups all together have raised more than 8 million CHF funding from international and Swiss investors.
“At the beginning of the programme, we set ambitious goals – and we are overwhelmed to even have exceeded them. Besides the promising cooperation agreements, several of the startups are also hiring Swiss employees or even plan to open a new office here,” Programme Manager Patricia Schlenter said. “In addition, the quality of this year’s startups was exceptionally high – as for example shown by the investor funds raised since the programme started. We are convinced that Kickstart Accelerator 2017 has once again contributed to strengthening the Swiss innovation ecosystem.”
Kickstart Accelerator 2017 ends tonight with the official Closing Ceremony. It will be live streamed on Kickstart Accelerator’s Facebook page today from 4:15 PM to 7:15 PM CET.
Read the official press release for more information about the PoCs and partnerships in detail.