Developing a business idea is always challenging and common knowledge says more than 90% of startups fail. But studies show the survival rate of companies that go through accelerators might be three times that of companies that don’t.

As a startup founder, you know you need support, and at some point, some funding.

There are thousands of accelerators worldwide but Kickstart Accelerator might have what you’re looking for. And guess what? They’re looking for Portuguese early stage startups.

Kickstart AcceleratorKickstart Accelerator is an ambitious accelerator program in Zurich, Switzerland, that’s backed by Kick Foundation in cooperation with DigitalZurich2025, with the support from academia in the form of the ETH, Switzerland’s top technical University, corporates and the local startup ecosystem.

The 3-month program, that’s kicking off this July, is open for early-stage startups with a business idea in 4 verticals, that represent key Swiss innovation areas:

  • Food
  • FinTech
  • Smart & Connected Machines
  • Future & Emerging Technologies

Each team accepted into the program will receive up to 25,000 Swiss Francs (more than €22k) and 1,500 Swiss Francs per month for living expenses  (more than €1300). No equity is taken, but startups are invited to put an option on 2% of their equity into a “shared equity pool”, which is administered by Kickstart.

Each batch gets their own pool. In case of a liquidity event such as an exit or an IPO by a startup the proceeds will be entirely split between the startups from the batch and their mentors. Neither Kickstart nor any of its partners will benefit financially from this.

Ruedi Noser, Council of State of Zurich and President of the Steering Committee of Kickstart, believes this program will help international startups, through Swiss expertise:

We have countless established, high-level organizations that are interested in assisting young startups both financially and via mentorships. Kickstart is a really exciting opportunity for international startups to experience all of the incredible expertise Zurich has to offer.

Teams will be encouraged to pair up with a mentor who will give them advice in building and scaling their startup, will have access to a wide network of industry experts and will attend workshops and speeches delivered by experts.

This program is for startups with global ambition that can start their path by accessing the Swiss business ecosystem. Portuguese startups might find here an opportunity to learn and grow.

Applications for Kickstart – The Swiss Accelerator are currently open and close on April 30, 2016.