METRO and Techstars have officially launched the new Techstars METRO Accelerator: Starting immediately, the two partners are seeking start-up teams who support the digitisation of the gastronomy, hotel, catering and food industries with their technological applications. From now until 3 August 2015, interested teams of founders from around the world can apply online at www.techstarsmetro.com. Starting in October, experienced mentors will support 10 selected start-ups over a period of three months to develop their innovative ideas further.
"Start-ups worldwide are developing digital and technological innovations that could be ground-breaking for our customers in the gastronomy sector," said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG and CEO of METRO Cash & Carry. "At METRO, we would like to find and support the most creative and innovative among them. By helping founders to develop their ideas, we help our customers to become even more successful using these new services and technologies." From now until 3 August 2015, interested start-ups from around the world can therefore submit their application for the start-up program on the English-language website www.techstarsmetro.com. The teams have to complete an extensive questionnaire and have the option to upload a video. The entire application process will take place in English. The program will be officially kicked off on 12 October 2015. The teams will present their ideas to international investors, leading sector representatives and the public on a designated Demo Day in January.
"Techstars is so excited to partner with METRO on this accelerator," said David Cohen, Founder and Managing Partner, Techstars. "The hospitality and food tech space has been under-represented and given METRO's significant resources, combined with Techstars' proven methodology, we're confident that we can bring a new standard of innovation to this vertical."
Over a period of three months from October, the Techstars METRO Accelerator will foster 10 selected start-ups in Berlin. In order to provide them with optimum support, METRO will make available to the founders the combined specialist knowledge of its experts from procurement, distribution, marketing, strategy, finance, legal and communication. As one of the most renowned start-up networks worldwide, Techstars will contribute its internationally proven development program and a network comprising more than 3,000 mentors, investors and experienced members of the start-up community. Digital agency R/GA, another partner supporting the program, will offer the teams exclusive multi-channel access to brand strategy and creative services as well as access to its global client and partner networks. In addition, the founders will be supported financially for the duration of the program.
The program organisers are looking for international technology start-ups in all phases of their growth. There is no age limit for applicants. Ultimately, the innovative business ideas should aim to provide added value for the gastronomy, hotel and catering sectors. These could be solutions for all business areas - multichannel, food delivery and new applications to promote customer loyalty are just as conceivable as entirely new digital products or special services.
Participation in the Techstars METRO Accelerator offers start-ups a host of new opportunities: METRO / MAKRO Cash & Carry is a leading international cash & carry wholesale company which operates in 26 countries. The access to METRO's customers and the retail and wholesale company's 5,500 sales representatives offers the start-ups enormous potential. METRO's customers will profit in their turn from the technological innovations from the Techstars METRO Accelerator and use the potential for their own business.
Further information is available at www.techstarsmetro.com and on Twitter at @MG_innovate.
METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international retailing companies. In the financial year 2013/14 it generated sales of around €63 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 30 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry - the international leader in self-service wholesale - Media Markt and Saturn - the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing - Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.
Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to build their business. With 18 mentorship-driven accelerator programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey. Techstars provides access to over 5,000 founders, mentors investors, and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and do more faster. Techstars makes entrepreneurship more accessible by providing access to capital, guidance, marketing, business development, customer acquisition, and recruitment.
R/GA, the company for the Connected Age, develops products, services and communications to grow our clients’ brands and businesses. Founded in 1977, the agency has been a pioneer at the intersection of technology, design and marketing with work spanning web, mobile, and social communications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand development and business consulting. R/GA has more than 1,400 employees globally with offices across the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific and is part of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG), one of the world’s largest advertising and marketing services organizations. R/GA is a member of the GAN (gan.co), a network of the world's most respected accelerators and organizations in support of the startup ecosystem. For more information on R/GA, please visit www.rga.com, www.rgaaccelerator.com, @rgaventures, and @rgaaccelerator.