I’m incredibly excited to announce that I’m the new managing director for the Techstars Berlin Accelerator, taking over from Rob Johnson.
Rob oversaw our Berlin accelerator for the last three years and had invested in forty amazing teams since he joined Techstars in 2015. I’m very aware that I’ve got big shoes to fill. Techstars is grateful for all of Rob’s effort growing the Techstars Berlin Accelerator program and we are excited to stay connected with Rob as he focuses on his next adventure. #techstarsforlife
As one of Europe’s most active angel investors, I meet with dozens of startups every week, and I’m constantly reminded of how difficult it actually is for founders to navigate the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and to get the right advice.
From taking the right legal steps when establishing and incentivising a founding team, to negotiating with customers and determining pricing, and from building a cap-table to raising a round from high quality investors, it’s incredibly important that entrepreneurs surround themselves with mentors who have experienced the joys (and pains) of building and growing companies.
At Techstars, we strongly believe that entrepreneurs are the primary drivers to creating a better future. Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and we do this by supporting entrepreneurs throughout their journey, from inspiration to IPO.
I’ve been a Managing Director at Techstars for a year now, and can attest to the power of the local networks that Techstars has cultivated in every corner of the world. These local networks are complemented by a pool of partners and mentors that can adapt to, and support, a young company’s experiences at every step of their entrepreneurial journey. Don’t just take my word for it, though – you can read how we at Techstars showed Xeno, a startup I’d previously invested in, the steps required to build and scale a startup.
This network has never been stronger before, and my newly adopted home city of Berlin, is the easiest place to showcase this fact. After all, Techstars runs more programs in Berlin, than any other city in the world. Whilst Berlin is a city that is renowned for its open-mindedness and independent thinking, there’s another reason why Berlin has become a major startup hub in the past few years. It’s an ideal breeding ground for creativity and successful businesses with its high quality of life relative to the low cost of living, which naturally attracts great talent but still has an active angel and VC ecosystem. It’s also cemented its reputation as a creative hub for sustainable and social businesses.
We’ve now opened applications for our 2019 Berlin City accelerator program, and we’re searching all over the world for entrepreneurs who have exciting and scalable ideas, and want to build great companies with the support of our worldwide network, by launching in Berlin at our Demo Day in May 2019.
We’re looking in particular for technology-first companies that aim to solve real, everyday problems for individuals and businesses, in areas that include AI, blockchain, cryptography (including cryptocurrencies and platforms), distributed systems, edtech and govtech, social enterprise, travel, and ad-tech as well as marketing.
Applications close in early November, and the program will commence in mid-February. If you’ve got questions, you can message me on Twitter, or find me on LinkedIn. Click here to start your application.
Announcing the 2018 class of the METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars!
When I took over the helm of the METRO Accelerator for Retail, powered by Techstars a little under six months ago, I was tasked with finding the sharpest and smartest founders from around the world. We started with a simple proposition: “Come test and deploy your innovative solutions across the METRO and P&G supply chains.”
Our call was answered from every corner of the world, with applications from companies spread across more than sixty countries, across six continents. As one of the most active seed-stage angel investors in Europe, I’ve engaged with a significant number of startups in the ecosystem, but I’d never quite imagined getting such an incredible response.
The METRO Accelerator is strategically integrated with unparalleled access to the intellectual capital of METRO AG, the leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail. The METRO Accelerator, powered by Techstars, has invested in over 40 startups since its inception over the last three years, and nine companies have arrived in Berlin this week for the second METRO Accelerator for Retail, joining the ranks of the esteemed alumni that are innovating across the retail value chain. The founders of these companies bring diverse and global perspectives from as far away as Bangalore, India, and as near as Munich, Germany.
We kicked things on April 23rd and are looking forward to three months of empowering the entrepreneurs to scale-up their solutions with the networks of both Techstars and METRO AG.
As the fifth program to run in partnership with METRO, we are fortunate to have an incredible community of alumni and mentors in Berlin and abroad. I’d like to thank our mentors, sponsors, partners and alumni for their generous support. We look forward to presenting the power of this worldwide network when we cap off the program with Demo Day in Berlin on July 19th, 2018.
We are thrilled to announce the companies joining the 2018 METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars:
I’m excited to announce that we have opened applications for our second class of the METRO Accelerator for Retail, Powered by Techstars in Berlin!
The METRO Accelerator for Retail, Powered by Techstars handpicks the best startups for an intensive three-month program in Berlin, built on the foundation of marked funding and coaching, together with access to investment opportunities. Within the program, startups gain close purpose-driven mentorship from industry leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs from different verticals of Retail, Tech and Wholesale trade.
The METRO Accelerator for Retail, Powered by Techstars is strategically integrated with unparalleled access to the intellectual capital of METRO, the leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail, alongside FMCG companies such as P&G, serving consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands.
From customer service to collaborative and distributed value added commerce, multi-channel retail is where the action is. We’re seeking out entrepreneurs looking to usher in new era of retail disruption, and startups solving big problems along the entire value chain.
If your business can disrupt or innovate the retail space across any part of the value chain, and you’re looking for access to coaching and mentoring from investors, highly-regarded executives and leaders from the largest companies in Europe, then apply to the METRO Accelerator for Retail, Powered by Techstars before the final deadline on Feb 2nd, 2018.
If you apply before Jan 2nd, 2018, we will be able to help give you feedback on your application. To learn more about the upcoming program, attend one of our information sessions or visit our website.
Here are the details of what you’ll receive:
- An offer of €120.000 of investment, in exchange for equity
- Mentorship from and access to key executives and leaders from METRO, Real, and P&G, alongside other industry partners, venture capitalists, and experienced entrepreneurs
- Opportunities to pilot solutions with METRO and P&G across Europe
- Free dedicated working space in the heart of Berlin for the duration of the program
- Two Demo Days in July 2018, where each founder will present their company to hundreds of investors and corporate leaders
- The chance to become a member of the METRO and Techstars worldwide network for life
Feb 2, 2018
Start of the Program
Apr 23, 2018
Jul 12, 2018
What do you think the retail end-to-end experience will look like in five or ten years from now? For thousands of years, retail was structured and devised around very specific locations.
In other words, buyers & sellers physically coalesced around specific places. Then came the Internet, and incrementally overturned it all. It’s rewritten the rules of the €23 trillion global retail industry. Mobile connectivity means today’s retail sector is constantly being upended by a world of boundless anticipation and logistical possibility. The retail of tomorrow, will be something completely different.
I am thrilled to join the Techstars family in Berlin, as Managing Director for the METRO Accelerator for Retail, Powered by Techstars. Alongside METRO, the leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail, we’ll be working with startups to innovate across the entire retail value chain. It’s a great time to be involved in this industry. The dynamics are playing out in such a way that consumers are placed in an unprecedented position of power and authority, whilst retailers are accelerating the pace of their own innovation and transformation.
The METRO Accelerator for Retail, Powered by Techstars program will empower entrepreneurs to scale-up their solutions, and access networks curated by both Techstars and METRO AG along with selected partners.
It’s also a fascinating time to be in Berlin. Having four Techstars programs in small city means that we’re strengthening the startup ecosystem for the founders of the future. Together with the MDs of the three other Techstars programs (METRO Accelerator for Hospitality, Powered by Techstars, Techstars Berlin, and SAP.iO Foundry, Powered by Techstars Accelerator), we’re firmly rooting ourselves within the entrepreneurial DNA of Berlin, living the #GiveFirst mantra every day.
Simon Anholt’s Nation Brands Index, a study of 50 countries, has just named Germany as the country with the best “brand image” – though this isn’t exactly news to Berliners. The BBC World Service in 2013 also found that Germany came tops in its Country Ratings Poll. It ranked countries not just according to the usual factors like prosperity and stability, but also based on a global survey that asked which countries contributed the most to the world we live in.
We’ll be searching all over the world for companies who share this vision, and have exciting and scalable ideas for innovation in the retail sector. The call for startups to join the 2018 class will go out soon when we formally announce program timelines, so stay tuned for further updates.