Venture Kick has 4.35 Million for 75 Startups in 2019

19.12.2018 11:07
Growth

Venture Kick’s successful growth continues, with 600 spin-offs from Swiss universities receiving 25 million francs in seed capital since 2007. Next year 36% more money – 4.35 million francs – will be available for 75 innovative, new projects. This record amount accompanies a new support model that will offer as much as two tranches of 150,000 francs for each startup.

Venture Kick has proven to be an effective program to launch and support successful spin-offs in Switzerland. Over the past 11 years juries of successful entrepreneurs and investors have chosen 600 startup projects from more than 3,400 applications. The competitive, three-stage acceleration program has invested 25 million Swiss francs in seed capital. Most supported projects incorporate, with 80 percent surviving their critical first years. To date these startups have raised more than two billion francs from investors and created north of 5,000 jobs.

“We see an increase in the quality of applications every year. This was particularly noticeable this year, as several high-quality startups couldn’t be supported within the 2018 budget,” said Pascale Vonmont, who presides Venture Kick’s strategy board. The philanthropic Venture Kick Foundation has been supported by a private consortium since its inception. “I’m delighted that all key partners share the need to continue this successful program, and have maintained or increased their donations.”

Kicking-off 2019 with a new support model
Venture Kick plans for 18 juries to select 75 winners in 2019. At stage 2 Venture Kick will offer winners 40,000-franc convertible loans, at startup-friendly conditions. At stage 3 winners will be offered 100,000-franc convertibles, again at friendly terms. These loans will come on top of the 10,000-franc cash grants that winners receive at stage 1.

“Convertible loans will give entrepreneurs more flexibility as they raise additional capital from investors,” Venture Kick’s co-managing director Beat Schillig said. “And the increase to 40,000 francs, from 20,000, at stage 2 will strengthen their business development and accelerate their market validation. This is critical to convince investors.”

Venture Kick’s maximum support therefore increases to 150,000 francs. Candidates passing stage 1 can qualify for an additional grant of 150,000 francs from Gebert Rüf Stiftung’s InnoBooster program, thus offering Swiss startups as much as 300,000 francs in seed financing.

Much more than just money
Juries comprising experienced venture capital investors and successful entrepreneurs provide an invaluable network for Venture Kick startups. Every jury asks tough questions and gives direct feedback. Between jury sessions Kickers Camps provide hands-on business support for those selected for the next stage.

Kickers Camps give very targeted help, discussing specific cases. You leave the bootcamp with a complete recipe of what to do next, the precise milestones and the strategy to implement,” said Resistell AG chief executive Danuta Cichocka, whose Basel-based company is developing a faster tool to identify which antibiotics will treat infections best. “The quality of the network is extremely high, half of the investors in our seed round came from the Venture Kick jury.”

Venture Kick is on a mission
The team behind Venture Kick has set themselves high goals. “The new model supports our ‘Mission 2027’: Our target is to create a portfolio of 1,000 high-tech startups in Switzerland, generating 15,000 jobs, with total revenue exceeding 2.7 billion francs,” said Jordi Montserrat, Venture Kick’s co-managing director. Recent headlines about Venture Kick alumni show the program is well on track: in the last few months startups Amal Therapeutics, Ava, Climeworks and Scandit closed financing rounds exceeding 30 million each.

More information including a list of all supported start-ups can be found on the website of Venture Kick.

(Press release)

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