Inspire 925 Pushes Zurich’s Digital Transformation Forward 

In 2015 Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier, Switzerland’s largest media corporation, succeeded in unifying 20 of the most powerful corporations, academic institutions and political leaders of Switzerland for one vision: to turn Switzerland into a leading digital innovation hub of Europe. As a sign of personal commitment and dedication, the founding members behind DigitalZurich2025 promised to the public the launch five main projects by 2016, focusing on three key areas: attracting outstanding digital talent, helping existing companies master digital challenges and significantly strengthening the Swiss startup ecosystem.

The 20 founding members – among them the President of ETH Zurich, the Country Director of Google, the CEO of Migros, Ringier, SBB, Swiss Post, Swisscom and UBS, the  as well as the city and canton of Zurich represented by the mayor, a Cantonal Councillor and a Council of State – selected Inspire 925 and managing partner Sunnie J. Groeneveld to build up the association’s office and deliver the overall project management of the five main initiatives. 

Impact of Main Initiatives

We delivered the overall project management for DigitalZurich2025’s five main initiatives from 2015-2016.

Investor Summit

  • 1.7 M investment raised thanks to connections established at the inaugural Investor Summit 2016
  • 110 international investors & C-level executives attended
  • 7 startups made 28 valuable connections with investors
  • One startup visited and pitched to Mr. Tata in India

Project Website: Investor Summit

WORLDWEBFORUM

  • Established a strong, strategic partnership between WORLDWEBFORUM and DigitalZurich2025 
  • 2 seats in the board of WORLDWEBFORUM AG
  • Representation of DigitalZurich2025 with Ruedi Noser on the main stage among Silicon Valley speakers in 2016
  • Frontcover feature in digital leadership edition of Handelszeitung 

Project Website: WORLDWEBFORUM

CeBIT

  • Brought 8 Swiss hightech startups to CeBIT 2016
  • 2 startups pitched to Angela Merkel herself
  • Organized 50+ talks and panels on digital transformation in the Swiss Arena

Project Website: CeBIT

Kickstart Accelerator

  • 900+ applications from 40 countries for 2016 edition
  • Majority of startup teams are international
  • 20+ corporate partners – some even competitors – work together in the name of innovation

Project Website: Kickstart Accelerator

Education Digital

  • Successful press conference for launch in September 2016
  • 21 education partners recruited from across Switzerland
  • 250+ courses uploaded to the platform in all things digital

Project Website: Education Digital

Top Press Mentions

Which regions will build the Silicon Valleys of the future?

“With sponsors such as the Nordic bank Nordea, which launched an accelerator to accelerate fintech innovation in 2015, Europe is trying to remedy the risk-averse culture. Also, the Swiss market is boosting its presence in the fintech space and will soon compete with London through its Digital Zurich 2025 initiative.”

Zurich’s Digital Ambitions

“Zurich has advantages that include a liberal labor market, proximity to investors and banks, and plenty of qualified workers in the region. It’s also home to ETH Zurich, one of the leading universities for science, technology and engineering, whose graduates who often end up founding startups.”

A tale of two cities: How Zurich and Tel Aviv can help each other grow in innovation

“By playing to each country’s strengths, Switzerland and Israel can help each other grow in leadership and innovation. The wealth and expertise of Switzerland combined with the entrepreneurial Israeli spirit has the potential to produce incredibly successful companies that will lead the way into the future.”

Switzerland to open its vaults for a few good start-ups

“Backed by DigitalZurich2025, Kickstart is the largest and most ambitious start-up programme to launch in Switzerland. It aims to bring international start-ups to Zurich to help foster an appetite for entrepreneurship and innovation in that country.”

Vor dem WEF noch schnell ein Startup kaufen

“In der Startup-Szene hört man oft, dass sich spätere Finanzierungsrunden hierzulande schwierig gestalten. Ein Schweizer Investor bestätigte diesen Eindruck; ab 20 Mio. Fr. werde die Luft dünn. Er fand den im Rahmen des Projekts «Digital Zurich 2025» durchgeführten Anlass daher wertvoll: Es brauche mehr Aufmerksamkeit für das Unternehmertum.”

Zurich’s path will be different from the one Silicon Valley started down 70 years ago.

“We should not attempt to imitate something that already exists. Zurich’s path will be different from the one Silicon Valley started down 70 years ago. It will be a new, highly exciting and highly innovative one – of that I’m sure.” – Sunnie Groeneveld

INITIATIVES SUPPORTED

Besides the five main initiatives, we supported with DigitalZurich2025 close to 50 additional projects across the Greater Zurich Area between 2015 and 2016.

Founders Panel @Exit Accelerator

Founders Panel @Exit Accelerator

June 21, 2016

Informatiktage

Informatiktage

June 4, 2016

Launch of the Report by SIX & Swisscom

Launch of the Report by SIX & Swisscom

May 25, 2016

Startup Grind Zurich May 2016

Startup Grind Zurich May 2016

May 24, 2016

DigitalZurich2025 @Ringier Management Conference

DigitalZurich2025 @Ringier Management Conference

May 10, 2016

Launch Urban Farmers App

Launch Urban Farmers App

May 10, 2016

The Piik

The Piik

May 4, 2016

Zurich Startup Guide

Zurich Startup Guide

May 3, 2016

Swiss Fintech & Digitization Day

Swiss Fintech & Digitization Day

May 2, 2016

International Corporate Startup Summit

International Corporate Startup Summit

April 28, 2016

Startup & Innovation Event at the German Embassy

Startup & Innovation Event at the German Embassy

April 10, 2016

Panel Discussion at START Summit St. Gallen

Panel Discussion at START Summit St. Gallen

March 24, 2016

Innovation & Digitilization Event @UBS

Innovation & Digitilization Event @UBS

March 10, 2016

Innovation Day @Austrian Trade Commission

Innovation Day @Austrian Trade Commission

March 7, 2016

Smart Contract Use Cases by EY

Smart Contract Use Cases by EY

March 3, 2016

Swisscom Brown Bag Lunch @Pirates Hub

Swisscom Brown Bag Lunch @Pirates Hub

February 24, 2016

Startup Grind Zurich

Startup Grind Zurich

February 16, 2016

Pre-WEF Global Shapers Summit Zurich

Pre-WEF Global Shapers Summit Zurich

January 17, 2016

New Year’s Get Together Zürcher Handelskammer

New Year’s Get Together Zürcher Handelskammer

January 7, 2016

Startup Hearing at the National Council

Startup Hearing at the National Council

November 7, 2015

HackZurich 2015

HackZurich 2015

October 2, 2015

Our Client: DigitalZurich2025

DigitalZurich2025 (since September 2016 known under the name digitalswitzerland) is a cross-industry association, which aims at making Switzerland a leading digital innovation hub in Europe. Its focus lies on enabling digital start-ups, companies and talents as well as supporting Swiss companies in managing the digital transformation. DigitalZurich2025 was announced for the first time publicly at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015 in Davos and subsequently set up as an association by over 20 well-known companies, academic institutions and political representatives.

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Members of DigitalZurich2025 in 2016

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