Kickstart opens applications for a new cohort of tech startups

Kickstart is welcoming applications for the fifth iteration of its annual B2B scale-up programme aimed at late-stage startups interested in entering the Swiss market.

Around 100 entrepreneurs will join the three-month programme in September to connect and create specific pilots and commercial projects with one of Kickstart’s 50 corporate and public sector partners, which include businesses like AXA, Roche, Credit Suisse and Lafarge Holcim.

“What we found really valuable about the Kickstart was not just the advice and support we received throughout, but the high level access we were given to some of Switzerland’s top businesses,” said Vic Arulchandran, Co-founder from FinTech Nivaura and format Kickstart participant. “In three months, Kickstart opened doors for us that would have taken three years on our own.”

Kickstart welcomes applications from all over the world and is particularly keen to hear from businesses applying deep tech to one of its five key verticals: EdTech and New Work, FinTech and InsurTech, Food and Retail, HealthTech, and Smart City and Technology. This year for the first time there will be a strong focus on the Circular Economy across the whole programme.

Successful applicants will connect closely with executives from leading Swiss corporations, universities, municipalities, foundations and other partners to develop innovative partnerships that solve real business challenges. Participants will learn about business development and scaling in the Swiss market.

“Switzerland is a very attractive market for later-stage startups: We are regularly recognised as a world leader for innovation and our leading organisations have a big appetite for new technologies and solutions,” explained Katka Letzing, Co-founder of Kickstart.

“It can be challenging for aspiring entrants to gain access to the Swiss market, and promising opportunities for collaboration can be lost. Kickstart aims to overcome this hurdle by bridging the gap between startups and organisations, allowing them to tackle real world solutions and to innovate together.”

Kickstart is a spin-off of Impact Hub Zurich and was founded by digitalswitzerland. To date, it has been supported by more than 140 of Switzerland’s biggest businesses, enabling the programme to be offered free of charge and to take no equity in participating startups. 

For more information, and to apply, please click here. The window for applications closes on 4th May 2020. 

Startup Details

Startup Details



Kickstart is an ecosystem innovation platform that bridges the gap between startups, corporates, cities, foundations and universities to accelerate deep tech innovation. Science and engineering-driven technologies have the potential to solve humanity’s biggest challenges. 

Kickstart is a spin-off of Impact Hub Zürich and was initiated in 2015 by digitalswitzerland. What has started as a startup accelerator for early-stage startups has developed into a B2B program fostering innovation through collaboration between later-stage startups and established corporations and organisations. 

  • Headquarters Regions
    Zürich, Switzerland
  • Founded Date
  • Founders
    Marc Walder
  • Operating Status
  • Number of Employees