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Switzerland’s Kickstart calls for applications from startups with interest in Swiss economy

Kickstart has called for  applications from Startups that are interested in making a play for Switzerland’s market.

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Switzerland's Kickstart calls for applications from Startups, entrepreneurs interested in Swiss market

One of the largest innovation platforms in Europe, Kickstart, has called for  applications from Startups that are interested in making a play for Switzerland’s market.

Kickstart wants about 100 entrepreneurs to join its three-month programme.The programme is targeted at late-stage startups.

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Entry is open to all entrepreneurs, irrespective of their countries. Eligible startups whose applications are successful, can start the programme as early as September 2020.

The programme will give special focus to startups who incorporate technology in their business models. Examples of such such startups include those in EdTech & New Work, FinTech & InsurTech, Food & Retail, HealthTech, and Smart City & Technology.

Meanwhile, for the first time since the inception of the programme, Kickstart will also be paying attention to Circular Economy across the whole programme. Nairametrics also understands that participants will learn about business development and how to scale in Switzerland’s market.

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What’s participants will benefit: The programme is an annual B2B scale-up programme aimed at connecting and creating specific pilot and commercial projects with any of Kickstart’s 50 corporate and public sector partners namely: AXA, Roche, Credit Suisse and Lafarge Holcim. The next edition will be Kickstart’s fifth incubation.

[READ MORE: COVID-19: Nigeria, others to collaborate with Tech giants to curb misinformation)

Applicants selected at the end of the programme will develop innovative partnerships with executives from leading Swiss corporations, universities, municipalities, foundations and other partners. These partnerships will enable them to solve real business challenges.

Switzerland's Kickstart calls for applications from Startups, entrepreneurs interested in Swiss market

While recently commenting on the advantages of the incubation programme to participants, Kickstart’s Co-founder, Katka Letzing, said:

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“Switzerland is a very attractive market for later-stage startups: We are regularly recognised as a world leader for innovation and our leading organisations have a big appetite for new technologies and solutions.

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“It can be challenging for aspiring entrants to gain access to the Swiss market, and promising opportunities for collaboration can be lost. Kickstart aims to overcome this hurdle by bridging the gap between startups and organisations, allowing them to tackle real-world solutions and to innovate together.”

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: fakoyejo.olalekan@nairametrics.com.

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Around the World

Zoom’s market valuation hits $50 billion mark, thanks to COVID-19

Zoom’s share price now trades at an eye-watering 55 times estimated revenue compared with an average of 7 times for information technology stocks in the S&P 500, according to information obtained from Bloomberg.

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Zoom Video Communications’ shares surged to record highs on Friday, as bullish runs in the last hours of trading helped the company to close with a market capitalization of more than $50 billion. The stock gained about 9.7% to jump to $179.48, thereby giving it a market value of $50.6 billion. 

Note that this is the first time Zoom’s valuation is reaching this high level since it became a quoted company. The tech giant, which owns popular video conferencing software “Zoom”,  has gained more than 160% this year. This is because investors are betting that the surge in Zoom users amid the COVID-19 pandemic, would eventually translate to long-lasting revenue growth.

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READ ALSO: How VCs are encouraging terrible business practices by founders

Zoom’s share price now trades at an eye-watering 55 times estimated revenue compared with an average of 7 times for information technology stocks in the S&P 500, according to information obtained from Bloomberg.

Following the significant jump in the company’s valuation, the net worth of its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Eric Yuan, also rose significantly by more than $800 million on Friday. He now has a net worth of $9.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

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Meanwhile, in reaction to Zoom’s overnight success, Gennie Gebhart, a researcher with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said she hoped Zoom would change course and offer protected video more widely. It should be recalled that some users of the app had raised security concerns back in April, as Nairametrics reported

READ ALSO: Did Satoshi Nakamoto cause the panic sell-off in Bitcoin market

Meanwhile, Zoom has recruited Alex Stamos, a former chief security officer at Facebook, and other top security experts to help deal with the security issues which led to some top companies banning its use. While discussing efforts being made to deal with the security challenges, Stamos told Reuters:

 “At the same time that Zoom is trying to improve security, they are also significantly upgrading their trust and safety. The CEO is looking at different arguments. The current plan is paid customers plus enterprise accounts where the company knows who they are.” 

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Central banks digital currencies pose a threat against the U.S dollar

In general, digital currencies could weaken the power of U.S. sanctions and the ability of the U.S. Treasury to watch illicit financial flows.

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Central banks digital currencies pose a threat against the U.S dollar.

A new report by America’s biggest bank, JP Morgan Chase, said the U.S dollar is being faced with a major threat as many  central banks’ digital currencies continue to gain traction.

Analysts, including Josh Younger, the head of U.S. interest-rate derivatives strategy and Michael Feroli, the chief U.S. economist, wrote in a report saying this:

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“There is no country with more to lose from the disruptive potential of digital currency than the United States.

This revolves primarily around U.S. dollar hegemony. Issuing the global reserve currency and the medium of exchange for international trade in commodities, goods, and services convey immense advantages.” 

Aditi Kumar and Eric Rosenbach also recently penned an opinion piece for Foreign Affairs in which they noted that “Just recently, America’s arch-rival China became the first major economy to carry a real test of a national digital currency.”

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(READ MORE: Why the strong dollar is giving Nigeria headache)

In general, electronic currencies could weaken the power of U.S. sanctions and the ability of the U.S. Treasury to watch illicit financial flows. A digital Chinese currency (yuan) combined with China’s developed electronic payment systems may give China more future influence than it ever bargained for.  

What Nigerians should know about Digital currencies

A digital currency is a cash balance recorded electronically on a store value card or other physical devices, which could someday replace the physical notes of the naira, for instance.

Digital currencies can be decentralized, that is where the control over the cash supply can come from diverse sources. Digital  currencies can also be centralized, where there is a midway point of control over cash supply, just like the way central banks work.

Central banks digital currencies pose a threat against the U.S dollar.

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Although JP Morgan does not see the U.S dollar being overthrown as the world’s reserve currency anytime soon, experts warned that the U.S dollar dominance could weaken. This is because its processing trade settlement and the SWIFT system could make it more vulnerable.

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The American bank continued by saying:

“Offering a cross-border payment solution built on top of a digital dollar would, particularly if designed to be minimally disruptive to the structure of the domestic financial system, be a very modest investment to protect a key means to project power in the global economy,

“For high-income countries and the U.S. in particular, digital currency is an exercise in geopolitical risk management.” 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said months ago that the Federal Reserve was taking a critical view on the issues regarding a digital currency.

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Dollar gains against major currencies

U.S dollar stood firm against major currencies on Monday as fears over rising tensions between America and China over Beijing’s plans to begin

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The US dollar remains king, U.S dollar gains against major currencies, America threatens China with sanctions.

The U.S dollar was up on Monday morning during London’s trading session after protests in Hong Kong yesterday escalated U.S-China tensions.

US dollar stood firm against major currencies on Monday as fears over rising tensions between America and China heightened.

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The American Dollar Index that monitors the U.S dollar against a basket of other major currencies was slightly up 0.02% to 99.945 by 11.10 am Nigerian local time.

What it means: Nigerians hoping to meet a foreign exchange payment obligation, transactions via the dollar to countries like Europe, Japan, would have the need to pay fewer dollars to fulfill such transactions.

(READ MORE:Reports: China may defer loans owed by Nigeria and others)

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Meanwhile, the friendship between the Americans and Chinese has soured lately since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. US President Trump and President Jinping of China have traded words against each other issues surrounding COVID-19, including accusations of lack of transparency and cover-ups. 

 

American Dollar remains king as stimulus fails to stop global financial market panic,Demand for “Inflow dollars” drive exchange rate to as high as $N420/$1 compared to “Cash dollars”, U.S dollar drops against major currencies, tension rises between America and China, U.S dollar gains against major currencies, America threatens China with sanctions.

Consequently, the U.S. Commerce Department added 33 Chinese businesses to a blacklist on Friday, and some U.S. Senators proposed sanctions on those businesses.

“The biggest concern is the tension between the United States and China, things were already bad, and it is likely to get worse because of the Hong Kong security law. This supports risk-off trades, which is positive for the dollar and the yen,” Tekuya Kanda, the general manager of research at Gaitame.com Research Institute, told Reuters.

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