METRO and Techstars kick off the second round of their joint accelerator programme

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The Berlin-based METRO Accelerator is starting the application process for its second programme. The accelerator is powered by Techstars and is targeted at startups whose digital services and products could give a direct boost to the commercial success of restaurants, hotels and catering businesses.

Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG stated: “The great success of the first round, with 11 international startups, 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.”

He continues: “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 startups barely receive elsewhere.”

From now until 20 June 2016, interested startups from all over the world can submit an application for the programme on 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 startups. The programme will get under way in Berlin on 12 September. After three months’ working with more than 100 international mentors, the startups will present their company to investors, industry leaders and the general public on the so-called Demo Day in December 2016.

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. Startups 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.

As a partner, Techstars will continue to be responsible for startup 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 startup segment further, together with METRO,” says Jens Lapinski, Techstars managing director of METRO Accelerator. He continues: “As one of the world’s most well-known startup ecosystems, Techstars contributes its internationally tested programme and a network of more than 3,000 mentors, investors and experienced members of the startup community. To date, we have invested in more than 1,000 company founders.”