METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars launches first program with digital solutions for the retail sector

16 November 2016

  • New METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars: METRO and Real jointly focus on digital services for the retail sector
  • In search of innovations and technologies for independent traders and retailers
  • Three-month program for ten international start-up teams complements existing Accelerator program for the digitisation of the hospitality sector
  • Applications welcome now at www.metroaccelerator.com

In a tried and tested cooperation with Techstars, the METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company (W&FS Co.) is launching a new start-up program under the umbrella of the METRO Accelerator to drive digital solutions for the retail sector. This will be the first time that METRO and Real, together, assume the role of expert coaches for the start-ups. The"METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars" complements the Accelerator program for digital solutions in the hotel, restaurant and catering industry which has been running successfully for the past two years. The new program will kick off on 12 June 2017 in Berlin.

The second Accelerator of METRO GROUP W&FS Co. addresses start-ups offering innovative digital applications for independent traders, a key customer group of METRO Cash & Carry and of large hypermarkets which are the business model of Real who participates as a new partner in METRO’s Accelerator program. Over a period of three months, experienced mentors and experts will support ten selected international start-ups in Berlin to further refine their business model and establish themselves in the market. The METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars is the first accelerator that systematically promotes digital applications for independent traders (B2B2C) and also for Real as one of the leading hypermarket chains (B2C).

We are looking for start-up teams who develop technology-based services and products to accelerate business processes in the retail sector or to intensify customer relationships and bring them into the digital age. Digital applications are to make METRO’s customers even more successful in the future and Real as an important German hypermarket chain is to benefit from further innovative impulses. The range of digital solution users extends from kiosks, local grocery stores, service stations or delivery services all the way to franchise retail chains and hypermarkets.

As from now and throughout 12 March 2017, interested start-ups from the world over can submit their application for the start-up program on the English language website www.metroaccelerator.com. The teams must complete a questionnaire and can optionally also upload a video. The complete application process is in English. In telephone interviews and face-to-face meetings, an experienced jury of investors and mentors will select the ten most promising start-ups.

"The core of our strategy is to help our customers to become even more successful in their businesses. Here, digital solutions play an increasingly important role. After successfully establishing the METRO Accelerator for the hospitality sector together with Techstars the time has come to take the next step. We are convinced that independent traders can strongly benefit from digital solutions – with regard to customer communication, new services and also in terms of their business operations. That is why we are now launching the METRO Accelerator for Retail. Together with Techstars, we want to help innovative companies to develop successfully. In this process, the start-ups will receive extensive support, like for example access to more than 100 mentors", says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG.

The METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars, just like the Accelerator for the hospitality sector, comprises a three-month program in Berlin. Ten selected start-ups from all over the world will be intensively supported by mentors in the process of further developing their innovations. To this effect, METRO Cash & Carry which operates in 25 countries with 21 million customers worldwide and Real will contribute the extensive expertise of its specialists from the fields of Procurement, Sales, Marketing, Strategy, Finance, Legal and .Communications. "With the Accelerator program, we can systematically expand our innovation leadership in German food retail developed over many years. With around 300 locations in Germany, an average sales floor of around 8,000 square meters, an assortment of up to 80,000 articles and up to one million customers per day, Real like no other company offers the ideal platform for start-up teams to test their technical innovations in the German retail sector", says Real’s CEO Patrick Müller-Sarmiento.

Techstars contributes its internationally proven process for the Accelerator program and a network of more than 3,000 mentors, investors and experienced members of the start-up community.

While the Hospitality Accelerator is regularly hosted in autumn in Berlin, the METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars will kick-off on 12 June 2017 in Berlin. After three months of work with more than 100 international mentors, the start-ups will present their company to investors, leading industry representatives and the public on the so-called Demo Day in September 2017. The program offers the following to the participants:

 

  • Ten selected teams will each receive an offer €120,000 worth of investment
  • Access to the top management and expert networks of METRO, Real and Techstars Mentorship by METRO, Real and Techstars as well as by other leading industry representatives, investors and entrepreneurs
  • Use of free co-working spaces in the heart of Berlin for the duration of the program
  • Membership in the international Techstars and METRO Accelerator alumni network

"With the second accelerator program we can promote start-ups even more specifically and thereby build on the success of our first program. The Retail Accelerator is strategically important for us and highly relevant for our customers. We are looking for the world’s best B2B and B2C innovations for the retail sector: from augmented reality applications for the shopping experience of the future to digital solutions for retail or hypermarket logistics all the way to tech-based systems for the operation of franchise chains", explains Alexander Zumdieck, Managing Director METRO of the METRO Accelerator for Retail.

Alexander Hafner, Managing Director Techstars of the METRO Accelerator for Retail, adds:"With METRO and Real, the start-ups have the opportunity to interact with leading and well-networked retail partners over a three-month period. The retail sector is one of the markets with the strongest digital growth rates and therefore the exchange between start-ups and industry experts in the framework of the Accelerator represents the key for developing important competitive advantages. That way, innovative business models are created that benefit METRO’s specialist trade partners and the end users."

Companies and start-up teams from all over the world who are interested in participating in the METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars can now submit their application online until 12 March 2017. The Retail Accelerator will be organised alternately with the Hospitality Accelerator which has been running successfully for two years already.

More information available at: www.metroaccelerator.com

 

Under the umbrella of the METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars, METRO and Techstars, in two programs, help international start-up teams in the development of digital solutions. One of the programs focuses on solutions for the hotel, restaurant and catering sector while the second program is aimed at the retail industry. In the framework of the three-month programs organised in Berlin, experienced mentors and experts will in each case help ten selected start-ups to successfully develop their own business further with regard to customers and investors. The METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars was launched in 2015 with a regularly hosted hospitality program that is the unique in the world. More information available at www.metroaccelerator.com

The METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company (W&FS Co.) is an internationally leading specialist in wholesale and food retail. With its sales lines METRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as its other associated companies, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. operates in 35 countries and employs more than 112,000 people around the world. In 2014/15, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. achieved sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers.

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 start-up 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 the idea to venture capital investments to M&A and IPO. For more information visit www.techstars.com.