Swiss Trust Tech Startup Acceleration program is now open for applications

Swiss Trust Tech Startup Acceleration program is now open for applications

29.8.2019 – The application phase for the Tech4Trust Accelerator is now open. The acceleration program has been launched in Lausanne to connect the startups offering innovative solutions and the organizations facing problems such as disinformation, cyberthreats and global misuse of private and personal data problems. Registration closes on September 7th.

Today, organizations face many challenges, among others : access to sensitive data need to be controlled more efficiently; authentication methods need to be of utmost reliability with the least possible user experience cost; exchange of information needs guaranteed security, and privacy must be preserved.

The challenges faced are numerous, and the solutions exist. There is a need to connect the different actors offering solutions with the organizations facing problems in a collaborative manner. The goal of the program is to help start-up companies to refine their go-to-market process strategy, to introduce them to potential customers through the network of corporates and to provide them with personalized technical and business coaching.

Four months to accelerate Trust Tech

The program consists of expert mentoring, specific workshops related to the industry, and networking activities with companies and experts in the field that will boost the selected startups business development. Startups will be able to meet investors during the demo days, learn to clarify their needs and improve their pitching skills. Last but not least, 9K CHF Cash Prize will be awarded to selected startups.

The program will start in October 2019 and finish in January 2020. The Tech4Trust startup acceleration program is funded by the canton of Vaud through the SPEI, with the wish to connect the actors of the industry by involving most of the big corporates and academia active in the sphere of trust. It is also part of a series of vertical acceleration programs of la Forge, the EPFL Innovation Park’s incubator.

The program 

The program consists of expert mentoring, specific workshops related to the industry, and networking activities with companies and experts in the field that will boost the selected startups business development:

  • 4 Roadshow events to increase visibility & sales: Startups will showcase their product country-wide, connect with new potential customers and access our partners networks, including solution integrators. This is also a great opportunity to create synergies with research departments from corporate companies or joint research projects with labs & professors from universities.
  • Mentoring: 9h of exclusive 1-1 coaching over 6 sessions given by a pool of experts to accompany the startups during the program.
  • Fundraising opportunities: Startups will be able to meet investors during our demo days, learn to clarify their needs and improve their pitching skills.
  • 9K CHF Cash Prize: 3 x 3’000 CHF will be awarded to selected startups.
  • 4 Workshops led by industry experts will be given on tech, sales, management, legal aspects and fundraising skills.

Timeline

The program will start in October 2019 and finish in January 2020 and lasts for 4 months.

Strong interests in both public and private sectors

Following the recent introduction of new data regulation (GDPR and LPD) and scandals such as Cambridge Analytica, building trust and protecting privacy has become a major societal issue.

In Switzerland, both the public and private sectors have shown a strong interest in connecting all actors related to the trust industry. In particular in the canton of Vaud, universities flourished with initiatives addressing the topic: the Center for Digital Trust (C4DT) from EPFL was launched, together with the cybersecurity competence center Y-Security from HEIG-VD and the Université de Lausanne (Unil) who have also developed a lot of expertise in the domain.

A first in Switzerland

The Tech4Trust startup acceleration program is part of a recent and ongoing broader initiative from academics and the Canton de Vaud through the SPEI, involving most of the big corporates and other actors active in the sphere of trust. It is also part of a series of vertical acceleration programs of la Forge, the EPFL Innovation Park’s incubator.

This program is unique! With its strong historical background of neutrality, integrity, privacy and excellence in terms of quality, Switzerland is the perfect location to breed trust-focused companies.

The canton of Vaud and more generally in the Lake Geneva area benefits from a unique ecosystem with a large diversity of actors active in the sphere of trust: start-ups, scale-ups, SMEs, large corporations, universities and NPOs.

This allowed us to build an outstanding team of coaches and mentors expert in the industry, who all come with their network and sharp understanding of the challenges related to the wide area of trust-related technologies. Their background is very diverse: university professors, successful trust-related startup founders and corporate executives.

Finally, the topic of trust-related technologies is very new and it is one of the first time in the world that a startup acceleration program focuses exclusively on trust building problems in a broader sense, and not only on the cybersecurity aspects.

Application & eligibility

Applications are already open. The deadline for applying is September 7th. Selected startups will be notified on September 13th, 2019.

All startups are welcome to apply to this program. However, the program leaders (Lan Zuo Gillet and Bastien Rojanawisut), will select the startups and give priority to those best matching the following criteria:

  • Incorporated in Switzerland for less than 7 years.
  • Already have a product ready to be sold.
  • Are in the phase of acquiring their first customers.
  • Are in the field of cybersecurity, authentication, access control, data privacy, anti-counterfeiting, traceability, GDPR, authenticity verification or related.

Next steps

The program Kick-Off Ceremony is planned for October 9th, 2019 in Lausanne (to be confirmed).

Selected startups will be announced on September 13th, 2019.

Questions and further resources

To read more about the program or to apply, visit the program websitewww.epfl-innovationpark.ch/trust

For all questions, please contact the program coordinator: Bastien Rojanawisut