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In 2015 and 2016, Techstars ran the first two programs focused on hospitality with our partner, METRO, Europe’s largest wholesaler to restaurants and hotels.

The 21 companies that went through the programs have now raised over $50 million in capital. While this is very exciting, we are anticipating another benefit that we think can add serious value to startups: lead generation.

Over the last year, METRO has quietly been building up the Horeca.Digital unit. This subsidiary markets digital solutions to restaurants and hotels across five countries in Europe (Germany, France, Austria, Italy, and Spain). In those five countries, there is a dedicated sales force that does nothing but market digital products.

Now, every startup that goes through the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality, Powered by Techstars has the opportunity to run a pilot with Horeca.Digital. In this pilot, we test lead generation of the product with the Horeca.Digital sales force. If successful, there is potential for a multi-year lead generation agreement.

Over the last month, Horeca.Digital has delivered over 1,000 warm leads to one startup with which they have just signed a deal. Now this company has been scrambling to hire salespeople. What a problem to have!

If you run a startup where your product is aimed towards restaurants or hotels, you should apply for this program. Here are the details of what you’ll receive:

  • An offer of 120.000€ of investment
  • Mentorship from and access to key METRO and Techstars executives and leaders, other hospitality industry leaders, venture capitalists, and experienced entrepreneur
  • An opportunity to test with METRO lead generation of your product to restaurants or hotels in one country (Germany, France, Austria, Italy, or Spain)
  • Free dedicated working space in the heart of Berlin for the duration of the program
  • A Demo Day in December 2017, where each team will present their company and product to hundreds of investors
  • The chance to become a member of the METRO and Techstars alumni network for life

If you are interested in joining the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality, Powered by Techstars, apply before the final deadline on June 30th. If you apply before April 30th, we will be able to help give you feedback on your application.


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Jens Lapinski
Managing Director of the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality, Powered by Techstars. Before Techstars, Jens was a partner at Forward Labs, which he co-founded in January 2012. http://jenslapinski.com @jenslapinski