Behind the scenes of Kickstart Accelerator’s bootcamp

Selecting 30 startups from over a 1500 of applications is something we take really seriously and we knew that seeing startups in person and giving them a chance to present their ideas could help us to make better decisions. No one can argue that seeing the passionate pitch helps you to understand the idea much better than a multi-page application. That’s why last week we invited 60 startups from all over the world to join us in the 2-day Bootcamp in Zurich.

And we’re happy we did it – the bootcamp was a great success, we received a lot of positive feedback and of course, completed our main objective: selected 30 startups to join the main programme in September.

On the first day of the bootcamp, we gave startups a chance to settle in and meet representatives from our corporate partners and our team during the Partner Safari. It was a great way to make the first connections, ask questions for the first time and get more comfortable with the new environment. The second day, however, was all about pitching. There were only 30 slots and more than 60 ambitious entrepreneurs, competing for a chance to join one the largest zero-equity, multi-corporate accelerators in Europe! Coming from all over the world, they had the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to Kickstart Accelerator’s juries, comprised of corporate partners, investors, experts and mentors. Check out the photos on Facebook.

At the last hours, choosing the startups was not an easy task for the jury members. The aspects jury members really looked at was the startup traction, scalability, potential, innovation, market fit and how likely startups were to take advantage of Kickstart Accelerator’s benefits. After lengthy discussions, conclusions were made and we congratulated the 30 startups who made it through.

We are very excited to welcome the new batch of startups from around the world – and will announce them tomorrow morning, so stay tuned!

Highlights from the bootcamp

During the bootcamp we talked to some of our team members, startups and jury members and got their insights about the event. We also collected some behind the scenes stories for you, as well as some of the highlights:

“It is an excellent environment for different stakeholders (startups, corporate partners, investors, public authorities…) to get together, in order to identify, help and accelerate 21st century Smart Cities ventures”.

Joshua von Gabain, CEO AC & friends, investor, Smart Cities jury member

“I really enjoyed the day: great ideas, lots of potential, very happy with the results. Looking forward to September.”

Anton Michailovsky, Credit Suisse, Fintech jury member

I am so happy we have Bootcamp as part of our selection process. Nothing beats seeing entrepreneurs pitching their ideas and answering questions live. And for those that made it to the final program, it’s a great way to start getting to know Switzerland too. For others – they should just keep going!

– Tauras, Marketing Lead at Kickstart Accelerator

“I am glad I came to the bootcamp. Now I know how to develop a global mindset, following the principle “Think global, act local”. I know how my solution works in my country, now I can think of how to incorporate my solution to different scenarios and deliver greater value. I would like to better understand the European market”.

JackieKnight Yap, HiGi, startup founder and participant in the bootcamp

“The best was the proximity between the startups and the corporations to talk and discuss. The exchanges were very beneficial for everyone. Partners being part of the jury come with a mindset to collaborate and make things happen”

– Thibault Castagne, Spark Horizon, startup founder and participant in the bootcamp

After thoroughly reviewing hundreds of promising startup applications we finally got to meet the teams – the caliber of the entrepreneurs was remarkable! Pitches were formidable and they did a good job answering the to-the-point questions from the jury members

– Ruth Armalé, Smart Cities Vertical Lead at Kickstart Accelerator

“What was really cool was the discussion we had when all jury members met. It was focused, topic-oriented, pragmatic, results-oriented, not too formal”.

– Hans-Jörg Dohrmann, CEO M-Way, Smart Cities jury member

It was great to finally meet all the startups – the vibe was exhilarating – we saw many promising ideas in the Fintech vertical!”

– Patricia Schlenter, Program Manager at Kickstart Accelerator

Thank you everybody who joined the bootcamp and made it a success.