FAQ – Questions & Answers
APPLICATION & PROGRAM
What are the application requirements?
Applications are welcome from startups based anywhere in the world or within Switzerland, provided they meet these requirements:
- Aspiration to become a leader in your sector/industry
- Minimum viable product or working prototype
- Strong core team
- International mindset
- Desire to scale and learn
- Have not previously participated in the sister initiative Venturekick
As well as a promising business idea in one of the following sectors:
- Robotics & Intelligent Systems
- Smart Cities
What if I don’t fit in any vertical? Which one I should apply?
Promising tech startups from outside the five verticals are encouraged to apply as well. Hence just choose one that is closest to what you do and we’ll make sure we look at your project!
We are not based in EU – can we apply?
Yes! We encourage startups from all over the world to apply.
What is included in the program?
- Entrepreneurial support for each team: Mentors are at the heart of Kickstart Accelerator. We think of mentoring as building a relationship with someone who accompanies and inspires you along your journey. Being entrepreneurs themselves and having a proven track record of building their own company, they are familiar with the challenges startups are facing. The mentor’s role is to have open ears for startup, leverage their networks and share relevant learnings from their own experience. To ensure full commitment, mentors are financially compensated for their work and we do hope that long-lasting relationships will be established between startups and mentors.
- Content providers & topic-specific support: In addition to their mentor, startups have access to a wide network of industry experts for bookable 1:1 sessions on relevant topics: Fundraising, Product Development, Admin, Marketing & Sales, Business Development and many more.
- Proof-of-concept facilitation: Global partners offer a chance to do a Proof of Concept (PoC) with the startups in the program. That is, together with the mentors and Corporate Partners representatives, you can evaluate if and what kind of pilot activity has the most potential for working together with the corporates. PoCs may already start during the 11-week program or they are planned for after the program.
- Industry leaders & ecosystem angels: In addition to our mentors and experts Kickstart works with leading executives in the field of our verticals. These top executives made up of business leaders and researchers are working with vertical cohorts and startups.
- Final Demo Day: The 11 weeks acceleration program will prepare you for the final demo day where you’ll have the opportunity to present your business to a wide audience of investors, executives and other key players of the Swiss startup ecosystem.
What are key dates & events?
- Feb 1 // Applications open
- Apr 30 //Applications close / Deadline
- Jul 10 – 11 // Bootcamp
- Jul 17 // Startups selected
- Sep 4 // Accelerator Program Kick-off
- Sep 6 // Partner Fair & Presentations
- Sep 7 // Opening ceremony
- Sep 27 // CEO & Founders dinner
- Nov 17 // Final Demo Day
What will be happening at the Bootcamp?
The top startups of each vertical will be invited to a Bootcamp, where the participating startups for Kickstart Accelerator 2017 will be selected:
- Monday, Jul 10 – morning: arrival of startups // 2pm-4pm: introduction session // 5pm-8pm: corporate safari & apéro
- Tuesday, Jul 11 – 9am-5pm: startup pitches (~30min slots: 5min pitch, 20min Q&A) // 7pm: award ceremony & celebration
What is the best way to apply?
Right here: www.kickstart-accelerator.com/apply
What are the selection criteria?
- Team: presence of business & technological knowledge, diverse, innovative and with strong entrepreneurial mindset
- Traction: minimum viable product or working prototype with first test users. Having revenue is an advantage.
- Potential: promising and innovative ideas, that has potential to disrupt various industries and sectors
How does the selection process work?
It consist of 2 stages:
- Screening of all applications incl. online Q&A and selection for bootcamp participation
- Bootcamp in Switzerland and selection for Kickstart Accelerator 2017 participation
Where will the Accelerator take place?
In Zurich, except Healthcare vertical, which will take place in Basel.
Is office space provided?
Yes, coworking space is provided in the heart of Zurich.
Are the days inside the co-working space are full time?
Yes, the program and co-working space is full time.
Will there be a chance to get topic-specific support?
Yes, each team gets a mentor that engages with them on the weekly basis. In addition to that, we provide access to experts on variety of topics as well as masterclasses provided by industry experts.
After the weeks spent together there will be another phase?
There is no official phase after the Final Demo Day, however we will continue to provide support on PoC management, access to local ecosystem and you’ll get a free coworking space access for 3 months.
How many people can we bring to the program?
The program is optimized for 2 full time members per team. We require at least one member of the founding team to be present during the whole program, but feel free to have your team members come and go depending on your needs.
Can we participate online and come just for important events?
We require at least one founder to be physically present during the whole 11-weeks program
FINANCE & LIVING IN SWITZERLAND
Do you take equity?
No. Thanks to our corporate partners, we are able to offer you the program totally equity free.
How much does it cost to participate in the program?
The program does not cost for startups to participate if they are selected and are actively participating in the program.
How much funding do I receive?
All chosen startups receive up to CHF 15’000 in grant funding per team. Plus you have a chance to win up to CHF 25’000 at the Final Demo Day.
Will you cover my living costs?
You are responsible to cover your living costs. However, you are free to use your CHF15k funding as you wish including using it for accommodation, travel, etc. The size of the funding is optimized for 2 founders per team to be able to fully support themselves for 3 months in Switzerland.
For the Bootcamp we cannot guarantee any support for living and accommodation costs. However, we’ll be sharing affordable suggestions.
Will you cover my travel costs?
We will cover part of your travel costs for Bootcamp as well as for the program itself.
Do you provide lodging or do I need to find the accommodation myself?
We will provide you with affordable accommodation options, but spaces are limited.
The possibility to win 25k of CHF depends on the final pitch?
Yes and it will be awarded to the best startup of each vertical.
Is the funding going to be awarded upfront or during the program?
Of the guaranteed CHF 15’000, first CHF 5’000 is going to be paid at the beginning of the program,next CHF 5’000 is to be paid out in October and last CHF 5’000 in November.