METRO AcceleratorThe start-ups participating in the first METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars have had great success with the international investor community through their digital solutions for the hospitality industry. The Accelerator programme’s first class has so far managed to raise more than USD $52 million in funding, and METRO is now opening the third round of the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality with the well-established cooperation of Techstars, in order to promote digital solutions for the hospitality industry. Start-ups can now apply on the website www.hospitality.metroaccelerator.com. The programme begins on September 11 in Berlin.

With a current investment sum of more than USD $52 million, the 10 start-ups participating in the opening round of METRO Accelerator by Techstars in 2015/16 have achieved higher average investments than the start-ups in all programmes of the US partner company Techstars. Ten out of 11 participating start-ups are now active in the market and thus mirror the 90 per cent success rate of Techstars start-ups. ‟We are thrilled about the success stories the participating start-ups have been showing in such a short period of time,” said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. ‟However, it is most important that we contribute to making our customers, entrepreneurs from the restaurant and hotel sectors, more successful in a sustainable way. The digital tools of METRO Accelerator help our customers in scaling their productivity and services and thus, growing even more competitively in a digital world.”

Success of start-ups through investments and partnerships

Among the latest success stories are companies such as Flowtify, the provider of paperless quality management in the hospitality and food industry, won High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) as an investor a few months ago. In exchange for a stake of 15 per cent, HTGF invested €600,000 in the Cologne-based company.

“With METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars, we are offering exactly what many start-ups are lacking in order to get started: insights and contacts relating to the hospitality industry,” said Andreas Wuerfel, Director Global Innovation Community at METRO. “The companies get the opportunity to expand one’s own knowledge and client base through pilot projects. It is precisely this mix that leads to good growth results for the participating start-ups.” Mr Wuerfel, himself a renowned expert on collaborations between major companies and start-ups, is strengthening the METRO Accelerator team.

Participants in the second Accelerator programme in autumn/winter 2016 have also been able to claim some remarkable success already. Frag Paul, a digital staffing assistant for restaurant operators, has been cooperating with METRO Cash and Carry Germany.

“The close cooperation between Techstars as a leading start-up network and METRO as one of the world’s leading wholesalers has proven that there is a highly attractive market for digital solutions in restaurants and hotels for investors as well as operators,” said Jens Lapinski, Managing Director Techstars of METRO Accelerator. “We still have a long way to go before we exhaust this potential. The third round of the Accelerator will push the boundaries here in every respect – we are now in a position to fully exploit the sales capacities for digital products that METRO has built up. This gives young companies significantly improved market access, and therefore a competitive advantage.”

Start-ups receive mentoring, market access and financial support

METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars starts on September 11, 2017 in Berlin. After three months working with more than 100 international mentors, the startups will present their company to investors, leading industry representatives and members of the public at the so-called Demo Day in December 2017. The programme offers participants the following opportunities:

Ten selected teams receive an investment offer of up to €120,000 each

Access to top management and the expert networks of METRO and Techstars

Mentor advice from METRO and Techstars as well as other leading industry representatives, investors and entrepreneurs

Free use of co-working workspaces in the heart of Berlin

Membership in the international alumni network of the Techstars and METRO Accelerator

Interested companies and start-up teams from all over the world can now submit their online applications to METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars Retail until June 18, 2017.