Deadline: April 30, 2016 | Apply here
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3 months
Eligibility: International startups
Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Got a great business idea? Make it happen in Zurich this summer!

Kickstart your business idea in Switzerland!

Kickstart – The Swiss Accelerator is a fast-track gateway for entrepreneurs from near and far to access the Swiss innovation ecosystem. It is the first accelerator in Europe that leverages the combined strength of academia (represented by the renowned ETH Zurich), globally competitive corporations and the ambitious local startup ecosystem.

Their 3-month program is open to the best international early-stage startups with a promising business idea within our 4 verticals: Food, Smart & Connected Machines, FinTech and Future & Emerging Technologies. For 3 months selected founders and their teams live and work in Zurich, Switzerland, the most innovative country in the world (source: wipo). They provide founders with up to 25’000 Swiss francs in seed-funding, a monthly founder stipend, mentoring, a shared office space and fast-track access to relevant industry partners and the Swiss startup ecosystem. The program culminates in Demo Day where each team presents to investors, corporate leaders and the media. Kickstart charges no fees.

Kickstart Accelerator program
Kickstart is the most ambitious Swiss startup program to date. Never before has Switzerland or Europe had a multi-corporate and equity-free accelerator program welcoming founders from around the world. Backed by academia, corporates and the local startup ecosystem, it aims to put Switzerland on the map by bringing some of the most promising early-stage startups from different fields to Switzerland for three months, and doing everything in its power to make them succeed. Kickstart was founded in 2015 and is an initiative by the Kick Foundation in cooperation with DigitalZurich2025.


  • 3 months of free office space in Zurich.
  • Up to CHF 25k in seed-funding
  • CHF 1500 monthly founder stipend
  • Top mentors
  • Fast-track access to the Swiss innovation ecosystem.
  • Top industry experts advising your team.
  • Workshops on how to build, validate and scale your business.

The program

The 3-month program accelerates your early-stage startup to higher growth. To make that happen, their program is made up of the following pillars:

  • Workshops and training sessions
  • Weekly Founders’ Dinner with an inspiring special guest
  • Top mentors selected to your needs who will be on-site every week
  • Industry experts who are bookable for office hours
  • Support to identify your route to access the European market
  • Demo Day with an investor and media audience
  • Shared office space in walking distance to leading market players and decision makers


  • Food
    Does your business tackle the problem of how can food be exciting, diverse, healthy – and affordable? Kickstart is interested in business ideas for the most radical food innovations, from production to distribution, and from packaging to services to gastronomy.
  • Smart & Connected Machines
    Kickstart is looking for the most exciting smart machines, be it in robotics, drone technology, or machine learning/AI. We are especially (but not exclusively) interested in applications in the fields of Smart Home, transportation, mobility and logistics.
  • Future & Emerging Technologies
    Future & Emerging Technologies go beyond what is known. Visionary ideas can open up promising avenues towards powerful new technologies or business models. This vertical is not focused on a single theme.
  • FinTech
    With Zurich as a global financial centre, Switzerland is well positioned to play an important role within the FinTech industry. Kickstart will focus specifically on applications of distributed ledger & smart contracts technology, innovations in wealth management, and digital identity & privacy.

8 Reasons to Accelerate your Startup in Zurich

  • Location of Top Global Banks
  • Entry door to Europe’s market
  • Top Universities
  • Top Protection of Intellectual Property
  • World-class Robotics Institute
  • Easy access to corporate HQs
  • World’s #1 in Innovation
  • Vibrant & dynamic startup scene


Startup teams from anywhere in the world and Swiss intrapreneurs can apply provided they fullfil their requirements:

  1. The commitment to building a business
  2. A promising business idea in: Food, Smart & Connected Machines, FinTech or Future & Emerging Technologies
  3. A minimum viable product or working prototype
  4. An entrepreneurial and innovative team
  5. An international mindset
  6. The desire to scale and learn

For more business and career opportunities, check our opportunities section and subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


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