DigitalZurich2025 is launched. The founding members formally founded the DigitalZurich2025 association on 4 September 2015. The association aims to position the metropolitan Zurich region as an attractive location for digital start-ups, companies and talent. Motivated by this goal, DigitalZurich2025 launched the KickStart Accelerator in collaboration with the Kick Foundation, which will promote and accelerate a variety of business ideas from home and abroad for four months in Zurich starting from the summer of 2016. The other four projects of DigitalZurich2025 – notably the Investor Summit, the WORLDWEBFORUM, CeBIT and the Digital & Creative Academy – have made important progress.
DigitalZurich2025 is a cross-industry association, created from the shared vision of the founding members to make Zurich a leading location in Europe for digital innovation. Marc Walder, President of the Steering Committee and the initiator of DigitalZurich2025, emphasized at the founding meeting: “Virtually every industry and every business is challenged by digitization. Zurich has an historic opportunity to develop into a center for digital innovation in Europe. This is the goal of this initiative.”
The following companies and institutions are on the founding committee of DigitalZurich2025: Ernst & Young Switzerland, ETH Zurich, Google Switzerland, Leonteq, Migros, Die Mobiliar, Oliver Wyman, Ringier, SBB, Swiss Post, SIX, SWISS, Swiss Life, Swisscom, UBS, Wenger & Vieli and ICT entrepreneur and FDP National Councilor Ruedi Noser. The city of Zurich, represented by Mayor Corine Mauch, the canton of Zurich, represented by Councilor Carmen Walker Späh and the economic umbrella organization economiesuisse, represented by Heinz Karrer, are acting as patrons of DigitalZurich2025. ETH Zurich is represented by President Lino Guzzella and Markus Püschel, Department Head of Computer Science. Sunnie J. Groeneveld has been named managing director of DigitalZurich2025.
Marc Walder (Ringier) is presiding over the steering committee, which is responsible for strategic decisions. Other members of the steering committee are: Lino Guzzella (ETH), Heinz Karrer (economiesuisse), Ruedi Noser (FDP National Councilor), Patrick Warnking (Google), Susanne Ruoff (Post), Andreas Meyer (SBB), Urs Schäppi (Swisscom), Ivo Furrer (Swiss Life) and Lukas Gähwiler (UBS).
Within the context of the General Assembly, various activities and projects have also been initiated, which are subject to the five founding measures:
- The flagship project is the KickStart Accelerator. This concerns an initiative of the Kick Foundation, which is being carried out in collaboration with DigitalZurich2025. Sunnie J. Groeneveld is responsible for overall project management of the Accelerator, and she is also the managing director of DigitalZurich2025. The goal is to set up a four-month “acceleration program” for a variety of business ideas, which come from home and abroad to Zurich, by the summer of 2016. Applications for the program will be accepted at the beginning of January 2016. Initial information is already available at kickstart-accelerator.com.
- The WORLDWEBFORUM, a Swiss B2B conference on «Digital Transformation & Leadership» for decision-makers of Swiss business, has signed up important new main partners from the DigitalZurich2025 founding circle, namely Leonteq, Ringier and Swiss Life in addition to the already existing Swisscom and Post. The WORLDWEBFORUM was also recently able to confirm John Sculley, former CEO of Apple, as keynote speaker. The conference will take place in Complex 457 in Zurich on 28 January 2016. Tickets and further information can be obtained at worldwebforum.ch.
- Planning for the Investor Summit, a half-day conference, which will take place at Zurich Airport on 19 January 2015 in advance of the World Economic Forum (WEF), is already well underway. At the Investor Summit, four to eight startups with global growth ambitions will meet with 30-50 international investors and 50-80 Swiss CEOs and C-level executives.
- DigitalZurich2025 will also be active at CeBIT for Zurich. The association will play a crucial role in supporting the organization of the media trip of German journalists, which will take them from Geneva to Zurich in November.
- The Digital & Creative Academy is currently working out a mapping of digital training and further education possibilities as well as the challenges for companies in the digital sector. Based on that, training and courses will be developed that aim to complement existing services and fill gaps and consequently offer more people the possibility to receive further training in the digital domain.
DigitalZurich2025 is also a partner of HackZurich, Europa’s largest hackathon, which will take place in Technopark Zurich 2-4 October and be opened by Mayor Corine Mauch, who is also a founding member of DigitalZurich2025.