Homepage: Kickstart Accelerator

Kickstart Accelerator -
one of Europe's largest multicorporate, zero equity accelerators

An initiative of digitalswitzerland 
Operated by Impact Hub Zürich 

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.

Our 11-week 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 11 weeks selected founders and their teams live and work in Zurich, Switzerland. We provide founders with up to 25’000 Swiss francs in prize money, 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.

How the program works

Our 11-week program accelerates your early-stage startup to higher growth. To make that happen, our program is made up of the following pillars:

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


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.


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.

Kickstart will pick quality over quantity and work with a few hand-selected mentors per vertical that will benefit from payment. Our all have first-hand experience of building a successful company being entrepreneurs themselves. Our startup teams will be encouraged to pair up with a mentor who will give them advice in building and scaling their startup, but also to motivate. In addition to these mentors startups have access to our wide network of industry experts and will attend workshops and speeches delivered by thematic experts. Browse through our mentors and industry experts below.

 Startup teams from anywhere in the world and Swiss intrapreneurs can apply provided they fullfil our 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

3 months of free office space in Zurich.

Fast-track access to the Swiss innovation ecosystem.

Top industry experts advising your team.

Workshops on how to build, validate and scale your business.

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

Global Partners

Supporting Partners

Fellow Partners

Masterclass Providers

Insurance Partner

Legal Partner

Agile & Dev Partner

Venue & Accommodation Partners

Media Partners

Supply Partners

Physical Activity Partner

Investor Engagement