Kickstart Accelerator, one of Europes largest multi-corporate, an initiative of digitalswitzerland and Impact Hub Zurich, has today announced that applications are open to international startups for its second programme, predominantly based out of ewz-Unterwerk Selnau, the old transformer station in the city centre.

Kickstart Accelerator will select a shortlist of up to 30 startups who will participate in an 11-week programme designed to help them develop their ideas and products across one of the programmes verticals: Food, FinTech, Robotics & Intelligent Systems and Smart Cities. In order to tap into unexplored innovation potential, Kickstart Accelerator has entered into a partnership with Base.Launch (initiated and operated by BaselArea.swiss) to offer a healthcare-specific vertical in the life sciences hotspot Basel.

Successful applicants will be international startups with promising business ideas that have the potential to disrupt the chosen verticals and benefit the wider society. The accelerator will be operated by Impact Hub Zurich, which is part of the largest international network of entrepreneurship and innovation centres, giving the startups access to the brightest talent across the globe.

The 2016 cohort led to 6 partnerships being secured, with applicants for 2017 having the opportunity to secure a Proof of Concepttrial with one of the corporate partners in order to test the application and scalability of their products in a demanding corporate environment. The trial will also provide the startups with the best possible chance of exploring long-term commercial partnerships with leading corporate titans and the opportunity to further develop their market offering.

Startups will have an opportunity to win up to 25000 CHF per vertical and get support from mentors, monthly stipends, a shared office space and fast-track access to relevant industry partners and the Swiss startup ecosystem.

The program culminates in a Demo Day, where each team will have the opportunity to present their business idea to investors, corporate leaders and the media. Unlike most other accelerators, Kickstart Accelerator takes no equity. Click here to start your application now!

Why joining an accelerator? In a recent study published by VentureBeat, it is stated that companies graduating from top accelerators returned 11.3x on capital invested. Additional research also indicates companies that complete an accelerator grow faster than those who dont. Ruedi Noser, Council of State of Zurich and President of the Steering Committee of Kickstart  endorses the program: Switzerland is bursting with incredible resources for young startups. We have countless established, high-level organizations that are interested in assisting young startups both financially and via mentorships. Kickstart is a really exciting opportunity for international startups to experience all of the incredible expertise Zurich has to offer.

The application cycle for the Kickstart Accelerator, one of Europes largest corporate accelerators, will close on April 30th.  If you are an eager startup considering joining an accelerator this year, there is not a better place to spend your fall than Zurich. Apply and meet some of the best industry experts and mentors in the world.

Natascha Tummeley

Author Natascha Tummeley

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