Looking back at the first year of Impact Hub Colab

Isabel Kaeshammer · 6 min · 10.09.2016

Love was in the air in 2014 when Impact Hub first started “dating” Colab, a former co-working space on Zentralstrasse. The dating was a success! Impact Hub and Colab got married in 2015 and decided to join forces by merging communities and expanding into our third space at Sihlquai 131.


Our community has grown

One year has passed since the move and a great deal has happened in that time. First and foremost, we won the hearts of many new members within the past year – over 200 to be more precise. These new members didn’t only join our community, but they also actively engaged and have helped write the history of the Impact Hub Zurich. To name only one example: the “MakerZspace” was born. It’s a prototyping laboratory to craft ideas into actual products and it was built on the 4th floor of Colab with the shared effort of the community.

At Impact Hub Zürich we have a vision of the world where people collaborate, create and care about each other and this vision has become reality within Colab over the past year. It makes us so happy to see the community prosper and grow with the birth of numerous new companies having been founded and having settled into their new home.


The Co-Manifesto 1.0 was born

And it’s not only the number of members that has grown substantially, but the Impact Hub Zürich team has also doubled in size. With all these changes one fundamental question was raised during this time, was “what does Impact Hub Zürich stands for?” Which catapulted a deep co-creation process earlier this year to find some answers. The outcome: our Co-Manifesto 1.0.


New Projects were tackled

Aside from growth, Impact Hub Zürich has been a busy bee, creating great new projects like the Kickstart Accelerator with Digital Zürich 2025. Swiss Accelerator is a fast-track gateway for entrepreneurs from near and far to access the Swiss innovation ecosystem. Furthermore, we created spin-offs like Stride, a one-year, part-time education program for entrepreneurs and Beam, a lean and agile “think-tank”-meets-artful-production-studio, out of which the performance project ARBEIT 4.5, a guided audio tour through Zürich emerged.


Of course, we could not do it alone….

Besides from all of these exciting new projects happening within our universe, we’re also thrilled with all the collaborative connections we’ve made with our outer space – the neighbours. We have cultivated friendly contacts with them and have started collaborations with Manifesta and Autonome Schule Zürich. And even more than that, our collaborations have extended beyond our own four walls and the neighbourhood to partnerships with larger corporates like SIX and Swisscom within the “NEXT” project which has been built to create an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in Switzerland.

We look back with delight on a colourful, chaotic and incredibly fruitful year. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of the city of Zürich, the Standortförderung and Dynamo Zürich. Furthermore, we would like to express our gratitude to everybody who has helped us along the way.

Let’s keep the momentum going and continue our impact in the next year!

Isabel co-founded Future.preneurship, an Impact Hub Zurich spin-off. Future.preneurship connects career starters with innovative companies for internships.

Isabel is a trained work and organizational psychologist. Her joy of learning and her curiosity took her to different places and challenges. It has, amongst others, led her to do research...

Isabel Kaeshammer, Innovation


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