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Our European expansion continues with the launch of our fourth program in Berlin – SAP.iO Foundry, Powered by Techstars Accelerator. I’m excited to officially come on board as the managing director and I’m joined by Sanah Ahmed as program manager.

The program will run in partnership with SAP.iO and is focused on B2B and enterprise SaaS companies, specifically on machine learning and artificial intelligence. This will be one of the first dedicated enterprise and machine learning accelerators in Europe and offers a huge opportunity for startups to come to Berlin and be part of the fastest growing startup ecosystem in the world. It’s an exciting time for this industry, as IDC estimates that machine learning will generate $47 billion (€44 billion) in revenue by 2020.

Applications open today and the program begins in September 2017.

What we are looking for

You should apply for this program if you think Techstars can help your learning enabled enterprise SaaS company be more successful. Founders often ask what it takes to join Techstars and I tell them it’s simple. We have 6 selection criteria when looking for companies, and in order of importance these are; team, team, team, market opportunity, traction, and idea. To us, the team is important and we’re looking to back those behind the idea.

Therefore, I think it’s equally helpful for founders to use these same 6 criteria when thinking of applying to Techstars (or any accelerator). Founders should ask: Who are the people behind the accelerator? How will they help my company succeed? What evidence supports this? And what is the core idea behind the program?

Team – The Techstars Team

Techstars was founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2006 by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis. It has since grown to over 160 team members across the globe that are all focussed on helping entrepreneurs succeed via our 29 accelerator programs, startup programs (including hundreds of Startup Weekends) and venture funds.

Team – The SAP.iO Team

SAP.iO helps innovators inside and outside of SAP build products, find customers, and change industries. SAP.iO is part of SAP (NYSE: SAP), the market leader in enterprise application software. SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 345,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably.

SAP’s Chief Innovation Officer (Juergen Mueller), Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President (Deepak Krishnamurthy), and SVP and Managing Director, SAP.iO Fund (Ram Jambunathan) are all involved as mentors and sponsors of the program. In addition, teams will engage with up to 50 mentors from within the wider SAP ecosystem.

Team – The Berlin Ecosystem & Mentors

As a mentorship-driven accelerator, Berlin is where the majority of the program’s mentors will come from and where you will get to build most of your network during the program. Berlin is attracting founders from all over Europe who are coming to build their companies amidst a sea of top talent, a supportive community and a great place to live. Investors from all over Europe and the rest of the world are traveling to Berlin to invest here. If that does not convince you, then read Jen’s original announcement for the first Techstars program in Berlin or watch this very funny pitch about Berlin’s Startup Home as a Service  🙂

Market Opportunity

Startups fail 95% of the time. Techstars provides capital, mentorship, and a 13 week program to help companies achieve a 90% success rate and build connections that last a lifetime. This unique partnership between SAP.iO and Techstars brings two networks together into one accelerator program that offers entrepreneurs unprecedented access not only to a leading global software company, but also to Techstars mentor and investor relationships.


Techstars has 10 years experience helping entrepreneurs build great businesses. Our network consists of 11,000 founders, alumni and mentors globally. We have invested in 1,000 companies, of which;

  • 90% are Active or Acquired
  • $3.0 B Total Funding
  • $7.8 B Market Cap

We believe in full transparency. Here is a complete list of all of the companies that we’ve ever funded, and their current status, funding raised, and more.

SAP.iO is an exciting new early stage fund from global software giant SAP.

  • SAP innovations help 345,000 customers across 190 countries work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively
  • SAP has annual revenues of €22B
  • SAP has over 84,000 employees globally
  • SAP.iO is an experienced corporate partner with Techstars IoT in NY


Techstars helps entrepreneurs succeed. We do this by opening doors to capital, mentorship, marketing, business development, customer acquisition, and talent recruitment.

Like any good idea, we’re constantly iterating and improving with every program and company we invest in. Techstars is today much more than a 3 month program. Techstars is for life — our global ecosystem of founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners work together to create a network of support that lasts throughout your entrepreneurial journey.

How can I apply or learn more?

If you are a startup founder and want to apply for the program, you can find the application form here.

If you want to reach out to discuss SAP.iO Foundry, Powered by Techstars Accelerator, you can also apply for office hours or register for our upcoming webinars.

Connor Murphy Connor Murphy
Connor is the Managing Director for SAP.iO Foundry, Powered by Techstars. He is an experienced Investor, Technology Entrepreneur, Management Consultant and Board Director. @ConnorPM

  • Mishti

    Can we apply if we are from India, and ready to relocate for the program?