swissnex San Francisco, Impact Hub Fellowship and Impact Hub Zürich joined 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.

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.