METRO Accelerator kicks off second round together with start-up foundry Techstars

  • Wanted are international start-ups that promote the digitalisation of the restaurant, hotel and catering sector
  • Ten selected teams are offered €120,000 investment and access to METRO's and Techstars' network of experts
  • Continuation of the world’s first accelerator for digital solutions in the food tech and hospitality industry, starting in September in Berlin
  • Applications for the METRO Accelerator programme are accepted online until 20 June 2016 via the website www.metroaccelerator.com

METRO Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is commencing the application process for its second programme for start-ups, whose digital services and companies could give a direct boost to the commercial success of restaurants, hotels and catering businesses. "The great success of the first round, with 11 international start-ups, proved to us that we should immediately up the ante and make the many opportunities of digitalisation more readily accessible to our customers in the restaurant and hotel sector. I am convinced that digital business models and services will play an even bigger role for the success of our customers in the future," says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. "More and more business founders are coming to us with new digital ideas. With the continuation of METRO Accelerator, we wish to provide them with a fast and efficient opportunity to test their projects with the help of our international experts in the area of wholesaling and food, and to advance these projects in the market. We offer potential access to a very large customer base and extensive contacts in the hospitality industry that start-ups barely receive elsewhere."

From now until 20 June 2016, interested start-ups from all over the world can submit an application for the programme on the English-language website www.metroaccelerator.com. The teams must fill out a questionnaire and can upload a video, if they wish. The whole application is to be completed in English. An expert jury composed of investors and mentors will choose the 10 most promising start-ups. The programme will get under way in Berlin on 12 September. After three months' working with more than 100 international mentors, the start-ups will present their company to investors, industry leaders and the general public on the so-called Demo Day in December 2016.

"The potential in this still underdeveloped founder segment is vast and the market for digital solutions in the hospitality industry is growing rapidly," says Alexander Zumdieck, METRO managing director of METRO Accelerator. "We received several hundred interesting international applications for our first Accelerator round last year, far more than we anticipated. We expect a similarly strong response for the second round," Zumdieck explains.

Once again, innovative businesses are being sought, with the ultimate aim of delivering added value for the restaurant, hotel and catering sector. They could be solutions for entire business areas – multichannel, new applications to gain customer loyalty and optimise business processes are just as conceivable as new digital products and special services. Start-ups at all maturity levels and from all over the world can apply, and neither their legal structure nor the age of the team members is relevant to the application. What is important is that a team is available and can work for the duration of the three-month programme in Berlin from mid-September. The whole programme is conducted in English.

As a renowned partner, Techstars will continue to be responsible for start-up development in the METRO Accelerator programme for the next three years. "After the successful conclusion of the first programme, we are delighted to be developing the promising start-up segment further, together with METRO," says Jens Lapinski, Techstars managing director of METRO Accelerator. "As one of the world’s most well-known start-up ecosystems, Techstars contributes its internationally tested programme and a network of more than 3,000 mentors, investors and experienced members of the start-up community. To date, we have invested in more than 1,000 company founders. You remain a member of the Techstars network for life, not just for the duration of the programme."

Further information on the process and details of the programme can be found at www.metroaccelerator.com and on Twitter at @MetroAccel.

 

METRO GROUP is one of the most important international retailing companies. It generated sales of some €59 billion in financial year 2014/15. The company operates over 2,000 locations in 29 countries and employs more than 220,000 people. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands, which act independently on the market: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry, the international leader in the self-service wholesale trade; Media Markt and Saturn, the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing; and Real hypermarkets.

Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of mentorship-driven accelerator programs and thousands of startup programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from inspiration to IPO. Techstars provides access to tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and Do More Faster™. Techstars supports every stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from early stage grassroots community development to more formal opportunities that provide education, experience, acceleration, funding, and beyond.

For more information visit www.techstars.com.