Demo Day of the METRO Accelerator for Retail

5 September 2017

Digital solutions for retail impress investors

  • Nine start-ups present themselves at the first Demo Day of the METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars
  • Digital solutions for the retail sector presented to a panel of ca. 250 international investors and industry experts

At the Demo Day, the nine international teams participating in the METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars presented their innovative business ideas to a panel of around 250 international investors, industry experts and multipliers. The Demo Day marks the end and highlight of the first round of this first international accelerator program focused on covering the complete innovation value chain from wholesale and retail to logistics and product experience all the way to the end consumer. Following three months of intensive work at a dedicated co-working space in the heart of Berlin with extensive mentoring and coaching by leading industry experts under the leadership of METRO and Techstars, the founders now want to attract further investors for their business model.

"Digital solutions for retail are essential in this rapidly changing world. In the future, they will be indispensible for both, retailers and customers. Acting as a kind of external "research academy for digital solutions", the Accelerator gives us the opportunity to directly participate in the fast development cycles of a competitive marketplace. Together with Techstars and the participating start-ups, we want to close existing gaps and render the retail sector more successful through the implementation of new technologies", says Andreas Wuerfel, Director Global Innovation Community at METRO.

Nine teams from seven countries selected from several hundred applicants made it to the program in June 2017 and were supported with funds in the amount of up to €120,000 each. During the three-month accelerator program in Berlin the start-ups gained access to market expertise and to the customer and supplier networks of METRO.

Around 100 external mentors intensively supported the start-ups with more than 300 hours of guidance. Many of the teams have already successfully placed products on the market or have further concretized their business model and positioning in the framework of the accelerator program or have been able to apply their product ideas in the test laboratories of large brand manufacturers.

"Solutions from the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things represent the future for traditional traders in the same way as for networked retail corporations. Today, we brought together innovative digital start-up solutions and investors. The great interest demonstrated by the investors on the Demo Day shows that the METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars was launched at the exactly right time. Today, we see that innovators and investors know how to benefit from the joint platform of the Demo Day", says Alexander Hafner, Managing Director Techstars at the METRO Accelerator for Retail.

More detailed 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.

METRO is a leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail. The company operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2015/16, METRO generated sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers. With its sales brands METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as delivery services and digitalisation initiatives METRO sets the standards for tomorrow: for customer focus, digital solutions and sustainable business models.

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.