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Switzerland Becomes a Leading Centre of FinTech Innovation

The two largest Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse, Switzerland's leading ICT provider Swisscom, the provider of comprehensive retirement provisions and financial solutions Swiss Life and the global consultancy firm Ernst & Young (EY) are joining forces to put Switzerland on the map as one of the world's leading locations for establishing a FinTech start-up. Under the umbrella of the Kickstart Accelerator, the partner companies are launching a FinTech accelerator programme with an international target audience. The programme is aimed at the most promising FinTech start-ups worldwide that are still in an early stage. The first cohort starts in summer 2016.

During CeBIT in Hanover, where Switzerland is this year’s partner country, UBS, Credit Suisse, Swisscom, Swiss Lifeand EY announced today that they are launching an international FinTech accelerator programme located in Zurich. The initiative is supported by the two local FinTech associations “Swiss Finance Startups” and “Swiss Finance and Technology Association”. The programme starts in summer 2016 and aims at developing promising business ideas in Zurich. It is mainly focused on Wealth Management, Digital Identity and Block Chain (e.g. distributed ledger and smart contracts), for which Switzerland offers location advantages.

The FinTech programme is part of the Kickstart Accelerator, an initiative of DigitalZurich2025 which aims at promoting Switzerland as one of the leading locations for digital companies. The Kickstart Accelerator will run three other focus programmes in parallel, namely in the fields of Food, Smart & Connected Machines and Future & Emerging Technologies. Between the four programmes an active exchange will take place and synergies will be used. The Accelerator programme has been set up to run for several years and serves as a flagship project to strengthen the attractiveness of Zurich as a location for digital innovation.

To participate in the accelerator programme, teams from all over the world have to go through a rigorous application process. Successful applicants receive financial assistance for three months, a workplace in Zurich, mentoring by world leading professional experts as well as experienced entrepreneurs and are introduced to investors. In addition, the start-ups benefit from the expertise of the partner companies and get direct access to the financial industry.

Interested start-ups can apply immediately at www.kickstart-accelerator.com/

DigitalZurich2025 is a cross-industry initiative which aims at positioning the greater Zurich area as an attractive location for digital start-ups, companies and talents as well as supporting Swiss companies in overcoming digital challenges. The initiative was set up in 2015 by well-known companies, associations and political representatives.