Beyond Horizon: Accelerating Venture Journeys with Deep Tech Founders

Oct 02, 2023

Deep Tech companies are at the forefront of scientific and engineering innovation, pushing boundaries of the state of art and creating novel solutions. These companies are addressing the most pressing problems humanity faces and will make a meaningful impact on our society and the world as we know it.

At Techstars Berlin, we believe the time has come to build the next generation of Deep Tech companies in Europe and we want to support founders on this mission. Our accelerator program aims to provide Deep Tech founders and beyond a nurturing environment that combines funding, mentorship, resources, and valuable networks. Together, we will build a thriving ecosystem, transform the Deep Tech landscape in Europe, and strengthen the long-term competitiveness of the European economy.

While we are working with founders in a variety of verticals in Deep Tech, we are focusing specifically on Novel AI, Life Science, Space Tech, Future of Computing, Climate Tech, Robotics, and Future of Mobility. We will work with founders outside Deep Tech, too. We have in particular a strong interest in FinTech, Web3 as well as Future of Work. 

Novel AI 

AI has taken the world by storm. Within the Novel AI space, we seek out companies that do not simply develop application layers on top of existing AI & ML technology but work on cutting-edge further advancements such as deep learning algorithms for autonomous vehicles, innovative natural language processing models for conversational AI, or revolutionary computer vision technologies for medical diagnostics. We prioritize startups that possess a combination of technical excellence, disruptive potential, and a compelling value proposition in their respective fields.

Check out: Aleph AlphaStability AIExscientiaTelekinesis

Life Science

We actively work with startups that are driving the future of biotechnology and healthcare, in areas such as genomics, where startups are decoding the intricacies of the human genetic code; drug discovery, with companies utilizing cutting-edge technologies to expedite pharmaceutical development; diagnostics, where innovation in advanced techniques leads to early disease detection; personalized medicine, offering tailored healthcare solutions based on individual genetic profiles; digital health, where startups leveraging technology, such as mobile apps and data analytics, to improve healthcare outcomes, and patient engagement; and Bioinformatics, where mobile apps and data analytics are developed to improve healthcare outcomes, patient engagement, and healthcare system efficiency.

Check out: HealxSophia GeneticsQure.aiIn OvoAromyx

Space Tech

Space is the final frontier of human exploration and innovation. We see the space industry undergoing a transformative shift, with the emergence of private space exploration, satellite technology advancements, and the potential for space-based resources. Our vision is to support and invest in forward-thinking startups that are at the forefront of this space revolution. Whether it's companies specializing in satellite constellations for global connectivity, asteroid mining ventures, propulsion systems for more efficient space travel, or novel applications of space data, we aim to identify and nurture innovation that not only pushes the boundaries of human exploration but also presents viable commercial prospects. We understand the inherent challenges and complexities of the space sector, and we are committed to partnering with visionary entrepreneurs who share our passion for unlocking the limitless opportunities that lie beyond our planet. 

Check out: Isar AerospaceOrbexKleos SpaceGomSpaceAistech

Future of Computing

Computing technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, fundamentally reshaping industries, economies, and human experiences. We are committed to identifying and supporting startups that are at the forefront of this transformation, focusing on key areas such as quantum computing, edge computing, and advanced semiconductor technologies. These companies drive innovations that have the potential to redefine how we solve complex problems, process data, and interact with machines. 

Check outIQMTerra QuantumBeit, GemesysRiverlanePasqal

Climate Tech

Deep Tech plays a crucial role in addressing environmental challenges. Planet positive technologies within Deep Tech are in particular dear to our hearts. These startups often help consumers and businesses move toward a net-zero economy. The extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, or raging wildfires we have observed in the past may just be the beginning, and climate tech startups contribute to preventing these phenomenons in the future. 

Our focus is not on startups that merely mitigate the effects of the climate crisis, but which contribute to avoiding greenhouse gas emissions with a technology-enabled approach. As an example, these companies could focus on carbon accounting, eco-friendly transportation, green energy, fuel savings, green roofing, hydrogen storage & supply, smart urban mobility, green facades, emission-free buildings, plant-based milk or lab-grown meat. The intersection between climate tech and FinTech is a particular angle we watch closely. 

Check out: Riverseclimeworkscarbon cleanH2 Green SteelsunfireTokamak Energy


The intersection of advanced hardware, artificial intelligence, and automation creates promising innovations. It enables the development of intelligent machines capable of performing complex tasks with autonomy. Areas within robotics that present compelling opportunities for us include autonomous vehicles and drones, industrial automation and manufacturing, healthcare robotics for surgical procedures and patient care, as well as agricultural robotics for efficient farming practices.

Check out: Acutronic RoboticsOpen BionicsExotec SolutionsFranka EmikaABB Robotics

Future of Mobility

Advanced technologies and innovations are increasingly integrated into traditional modes of transportation to enhance efficiency, safety, sustainability, and user experience. We seek to foster innovation in areas such as autonomous vehicles, electric mobility, connected transportation systems, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and other cutting-edge technologies applied to the mobility sector.

Check out: WayveVayholorideholograktorWayRayZyncDeepDrive

Wild Card

While our primary investment areas are outlined above, we are not confined by these parameters. For example, we have a keen interest in Fintech innovations that provide solutions from a finance perspective to critical issues facing society. These include innovations that promote sustainable investing, facilitate efficient healthcare payment systems, and enable environmentally responsible financing, etc. We are also actively seeking to work with Web3 founders who are leveraging decentralized encryption technologies to complement AI development in its centralization and data privacy concerns. Last but not least, we look for founders in the Future of Work space, specializing in Development Tools and Design Tools and empowering individuals.

Check out: ChainalysisArweaveBanxwareComply advantagePaymongoReceeveBanqzDeelTuring

If your founding team has an idea that doesn’t quite fit into one of the categories above, please contact us anyway. While these areas excite us, you, as founders, are more important than these ideas. 

We are also seeking to invest in founders representing Europe at large. The European tech ecosystem continues to be underrepresented in terms of female founders, founders with a migratory background, and entrepreneurs above the age of 50. We at Techstars are committed to building an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem and will coach and support diverse founding teams during the selection process.

Submit your application for the program here.

About the Author
Martin Schilling

Martin Schilling is the Managing Director of the Techstars Berlin Accelerator. As an angel investor, startup builder and scale-up executive, Martin co-founded and scaled up five companies over the past 15 years. These companies include Orphoz (a subsidiary for McKinsey & Company), a public company in Saudi Arabia, the MARA foundation in Argentina, and the fintech N26. Martin is a co-author of the book, “The Builder’s Guide to the Tech Galaxy – 99 Practices to Scale Startups into Unicorn Companies” and is passionate about seeking out and enabling the next generation of European Entrepreneurs building high-growth businesses.

Brian Daly

Brian Daly is a seasoned entrepreneur and Investment Principal deeply driven by forging connections and addressing societal and economic challenges via startups. He held pivotal roles at renowned organizations like Web Summit and Techstars. Brian is the founder of Grandpal, a venture-backed initiative designed to counteract loneliness in the elderly. He also established Cereal Creators, a platform promoting collaboration and innovation among skilled professionals. Leveraging his vast experience, Brian currently invests in early-stage startups through Techstars Berlin.

Wanying Zhang

Wanying Zhang is the Investment Manager of the Techstars Berlin Accelerator. After half a decade working in the hedge fund industry, she founded a SaaS startup automating financial processes. With a deep interest in technology and finance, Wanying is excited to work with founders who aim to create value through innovations.