Press Release: SAFT Startup Challenge Seeks Energy Solutions for 2050

September 10, 2015

San Francisco, California – swissnex San Francisco, Impact Hub Fellowship and Impact Hub Zürich are joining forces to launch SAFT – Energy startup solutions for 2050, a startup challenge targeting entrepreneurs in the fields of smart cities, distributed generation, and energy efficiency who want to take their startup to the next level. The initiative will be announced officially at the Swiss Energy Climate Summit in Bern, Switzerland, on September 17, 2015.

From all of the entries, 10 ventures will be selected to participate in a live pitch event at Impact Hub Zürich on January 28, 2016. Of those, up to five winning teams will be chosen by a jury of experts to take part in a month-long startup boot camp in Zurich, a one-week international market expedition to Silicon Valley and three months of incubation at Impact Hub Zürich. One additional team will be nominated separately by Climate-KIC to join the cohort.

The initiators and partners of SAFT hope that the challenge will encourage entrepreneurs to help accelerate the shift to a clean energy system, a goal that Switzerland has set to achieve by 2050.

“Entrepreneurial solutions are key to innovative breakthroughs in the energy market,” says Ruth Armalé, Managing Director of Impact Hub Fellowship. “This program will challenge and inspire early stage ventures to take a responsible leadership role towards a secure, competitive, and decarbonized energy system. Through our international collaboration with swissnex San Francisco, the ventures will be granted exposure to the well-developed startup ecosystem of Silicon Valley. This is a great opportunity for the ventures to get to the next level, network with peers, and meet potential partners or investors.”

Support for SAFT is provided by program partners Swisscom, the Gebert Rüf Foundation, and Climate-KIC Switzerland. Startups based in Switzerland with concepts or prototypes that have demonstrated customer interest and international orientation are invited to submit their ideas by November 13, 2015.

SAFT Milestones

September 17, 2015 Launch event at Swiss ECS
November 13, 2015 Startup submission deadline
December 10, 2015 Announcement of finalists
January 28, 2016 Pitch event in Zurich, award ceremony & announcing winners
February 2016 1-month boot camp in Zurich
March 6-12, 2016 Expedition trip to San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley
April-June 2016 Incubation at Impact Hub Zürich

Questions? Send an email to Stefan Honegger. Submission Deadline is November 13, 2015.

Program Contact at swissnex San Francisco

Laura Erickson
Associate Director
swissnex San Francisco t:(415) 604-9784 

Media Contact at swissnex San Francisco

Perrine Huber
Head of Marketing & Communication
swissnex San Francisco t: (415) 604-9772