I am extremely honored and excited to announce that I joined Techstars as the managing director of the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars in Berlin. Together with Franziska Lohl (Program Manager) and the METRO accelerator team we will recruit and accelerate 10 outstanding entrepreneurial teams who are ready to help shaping the hospitality industry.
In the past 10 years, I have started four companies, acted as its CEO, CFO and COO, raising multiple venture capital rounds, worked with dozens of technology businesses as an M&A banker, advising companies on raising millions of dollars and selling businesses across the globe, being a business angel, mentor and advisor to startups and several accelerators. But compared to a serial entrepreneur journey, joining Techstars just feels by far as the most exciting move! Techstars is THE worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed – for me that means working with the brightest minds and helping them build the next world market leaders, I can’t imagine anything more exciting!!
I have seen a lot of changes across many industries and the increasing influence of technologies. Before starting my own entrepreneurial journey, I was always very fortunate to work with and learn from successful and super talented entrepreneurs during my career. Having the experience of working with early stage companies and more matured ones, I was always very curious about the persons behind the businesses – the entrepreneurs.
Having lived in several countries in Europe and in Asia, experiencing different cultures there seems to be one common entrepreneurial DNA which connects the special type of human beings.
Global Network and #Givefirst
Starting a business is tough and requires a lot of energy. Especially at the early stage, founders need the most help and the most support. Techstars’ #givefirst mission and the global network of mentors offers a unique one-stop shop home for founders and entrepreneurs. Knowing Techstars and the dynamic environment for a few weeks only, I am totally convinced that if I had had the opportunity when I started my business it would have been of enormous advantage for the growth and the development of my companies and I am thrilled about the idea of supporting other entrepreneurs within the Techstars now and lifelong.
METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars in Berlin
The hospitality sector has a significant economic impact and almost 10% of all European jobs depend on industry. However, the industry is still massively under-digitised and does not have such a large corporate structures compared to large industrial sectors. The huge number of individual businesses usually burns more money and cannot compete with organised franchise and system chains, which is usually connected with poor conception and planning processes, high burnout rates and poor food and service quality. At the same time, the segment is extremely cost-sensitive and is threatened to become the victim of various social developments – such as the extinction of the cooking profession, faster changes in trends, new developments in metropolitan areas and the countryside or the above mentioned low level of digitisation. All in all, the segment offers high digitization potential with a high degree of complexity.
METRO, with €30bn revenues and the global network, an amazing mentor pool and access to key industry players, is the perfect hotbed/frontier for hospitality startups to test, improve, fine-tune its solutions and find out what technologies customers need to succeed. Running two accelerator programs together with Techstars in parallel, for 4 years in a row, having invested in 50 companies together with METRO, offers the ideal conditions to turn your ideas into globally relevant products and sustainably successful companies.
Berlin has a uniquely vibrant and rapidly growing startup atmosphere and is said to be the best location for tech startups in Europe offering a perfect infrastructure for funding, financing and scaling. You’ll be part of this international community and Techstars family not only for the three months but lifelong! So, we are looking forward to your application!
Applications for the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars in Berlin are open now and close August 3rd, 2018.
I am looking forward to work with the Techstars and METRO family and help grow and develop a new generation of innovative hospitality companies and boost the founders’ vision to unicorn level!