From education to employment

Kickstart 2022 achieves more than 55 new innovation partnerships

  • Partnerships to support market entry for startups from 11 countries including Ukraine, Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria, Norway, Germany, USA
  • Collaborations with established Swiss and Austrian companies and institutions focus on climate change, technology advancements, and the circular economy
  • World’s leading pharmaceutical company MSD announces partnership for 2023
  • Launch of Kickstart Academy

Kickstart Innovation, one of the leading innovation platforms in Europe, announced this year’s 55 partnerships in the form of Proofs of Concepts (PoCs), pilots, and commercial projects between startups, scaleups, and established companies and organizations in Switzerland and Austria. “Ten intense weeks are behind us, during which established Swiss companies and institutions, such as AXA, Coop, Swisscom, La Mobilière, PostFinance, Sanitas, the City of Zürich, Canton de Vaud, Credit Suisse, Galenica, CSS Insurance, and other organizations, explored new solutions with startups from sixteen countries,” shares Katka Letzing, Co-Founder and CEO of Kickstart Innovation. “I’m looking forward to following their successes as we have seen in the past years, for example, with Planted, which has collaborated with Coop. Other successful partnerships have been formed between Veezoo and AXA, and decentriq and PostFinance.”

Fifty-two startups, thirteen of them from Switzerland, as well as intrapreneurship teams have brought solutions for the future to Switzerland. They are diverse and range from a software platform for decarbonizing supply chains to sustainable insulation packaging made from recycled wastepaper to solar thermal and photovoltaic collectors that achieve one of the highest energy densities in the world. In total, Kickstart has generated more than 270 innovation deals since its inception in 2016.

Helping partners identify key themes, Kickstart provides opportunities for open innovation. An exclusive number of the best national and international startups and scaleups are selected annually to participate in the ten-week program in the fields of New Work & Learning, Finance & Insurance, Food & Retail, Smart Cities, Health & Wellbeing, and Intrapreneurship.

A new Kickstart partnership is confirmed with MSD​, a leading global pharmaceutical manufacturer. “We believe in the power of innovation to save and improve lives around the world. We are excited to join forces with Kickstart and leverage its network to bring healthcare innovations to the Swiss society and beyond” shared Ans Heirman, Managing Director at MSD Switzerland.

Kickstart has engaged in the past seven years to support not only local and global scaleups, but also employees of organizations in the public and private sectors via Intrapreneurship Program. This year, initiated projects include  Gridsteer’s multi-year and EU-wide research project in partnership with EPFL, local operator Romande Energie and the fast charging station operator GOFAST to demonstrate the technical and economical value of its multi-service controller for large scale battery energy storage systems. Last week, Kickstart launched the Kickstart Academy with more support for organizations with access to hackathons, innovation sprints, expert sessions, and more. Organizations engaged have included: Credit Suisse, Hirslanden, Swisscom, CSEM, La Mobilière, AXA, Holcim, PostFinance, Axpo, and energie360.

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