Getting in touch with the right person at the right time is sometimes rather difficult. Especially, when you are an international startup trying to connect with the right person within a Swiss corporate. Or when you have an international startup that wants to gain foothold within Switzerland. The same goes vice versa.

That is the reason why digitalswitzerland launched the Market Entry Bootcamp. We see us as an enabler who can make this first connection as easy as possible – by bringing the corporate innovation managers and the startup co-founders together in one room (or in this case – one Kraftwerk). The vision was to create a lean and effective way to evaluate the potential of future collaboration. Therefore, together with Impact Hub Zurich, we  invited 52 international startups, over 20 corporates and 7 of the leading Swiss accelerator programmes to the Kraftwerk Zürich. In just two very short and intensive days, the startups got a deep dive of what the Swiss startup ecosystem has to offer.

A Deep Dive into the Swiss Startup Ecosystem

Day one was all about the Swiss ecosystem: Startups had the chance to get deeper insights of what the kind of accelerator programs we have in Switzerland and get to know them personally.

Building bridges

The focus on day two was all about enabling the first face to face between the corporations and the startups. After a short pitch, the bootcamp continued with a speed-dating like matchmaking. In just a couple hours we arranged around 200 One-on-One meetings.

As an enabler we set up the first contact and collaboration push, from there on the corporates and startups assess by themself if there is a potential match or not. The playground of how they want to continue this collaboration in the future is wide open and ranges all the way  from market insights to future Proof of Concepts. However, it is crucial to understand the bootcamps for what they are – a lean and efficient matchmaking. The success of future collaborations lies in the hands of the corporates and startups. Digitalswitzerland made the first contact  possible and built the bridge, how the story will continue is up to the participants.

As our Managing Director Nicolas Bürer stated in a conversation with Startup-Ticker on the experience from a startup-perspective: “The format of the Market Entry Bootcamps is unique in Switzerland. In short but intensive two days, Swiss companies and accelerators are able to establish contacts with international and innovative start-ups, create new collaborations and thus create added value for the Swiss innovation ecosystem.”

The Bootcamp Format – A Success Story?

4 bootcamps in total, 4 different locations, over 400 rich One-on-One meetings and lots of positive feedback from both sides. The first iteration of our Market entry and Scale up Bootcamp series was a great success. Furthermore, we received great insights from startups and corporates and key take-aways on what to improve in the future.

Digitalswitzerland is looking forward to bringing to life again a unique series of Bootcamps next year. And we will continue fostering the Swiss startup ecosystem and pursue the goal of establishing it as one of the top five worldwide.

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Author Matthias Zwingli, digitalswitzerland

Matthias Zwingli is in charge of the Startup Enablement pillar at digitalswitzerland. He works as an ecosystem enabler and connects startups, corporates, hubs and investors. As an innovation and entrepreneurship enthusiast he loves to work in a fast paced environment who shapes the future and questions the status quo.

More posts by Matthias Zwingli, digitalswitzerland
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