Techstars METRO Accelerator announces the start-ups taking part in its programme

  • Techstars METRO Accelerator supports Digital Transformation in restaurants, hotels and catering companies
  • Eleven international startup teams are moving to Berlin for three months
  • New technologies help independent entrepreneurs from the hospitality industry develop their business

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2015-10-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Techstars METRO Accelerator opens its doors today and announces the start-ups taking part in its programme. International teams from five countries are moving into the offices of German Tech Entrepreneurship Center in Berlin. For three months, they will benefit from the focused support of mentors as well as financial support to expand their business model internationally. The Accelerator is organised by METRO along with US partners Techstars and the advertising agency R/GA. It will foster the development of innovative solutions for the hospitality industry.

Eleven start-ups made it into the programme. Among them are companies that produce software solutions and apps for restaurant owners, caterers and hoteliers, such as www.1001menus.com, Flowtify or Wynd, travel and restaurant services such as Lunchio or Journy, and webshops such as Gastrozentrale.de. The companies are based in the United States, France, Estonia, Austria and Germany.

“The quality of the start-ups is impressive,” said Olaf Koch, CEO of METRO AG. “The teams have access to mentorship, technical support, help in company planning, sector expertise as well as financial support.” For Koch digitalisation is of great importance: “The Accelerator is a catalyst for value creation. Our customers in the hospitality sector can benefit a lot from new digital solutions. The Accelerator helped us to identify great business concepts. Now our focus will be on supporting them on their way to even more success. In a certain way this is the logical next step on our mission to be “champion for independent business”, both for our core customers and as well for start-up entrepreneurs. We see huge potential for digital solutions in the hospitality industry in Europe. That’s why we’ve developed this programme along with Techstars and R/GA.”

Several hundred start-ups from 20 countries applied for Techstars METRO Accelerator. Jury members who include industry experts selected the companies based on common criteria as well as their experience and knowledge. Starting today, the best start-ups will develop their digital solutions for restaurateurs and hoteliers in a three-month programme, ending with a “Demo Day” at the end of January 2016 when they will present themselves to potential investors.

“METRO is such a great brand in the industry, it has really helped attract great start-ups. The way METRO has contributed to this programme and offered access to the corporation shows real thought leadership,” summarised Managing Partner and Techstars co-founder David Brown.

Alexander Zumdieck, METRO Managing Director of Techstars METRO Accelerator, provided a glimpse into the selection process: “We filtered out the best start-ups from of hundreds of applications. It was not easy, since the quality of applications was very high. We looked at them from many different angles to choose the best teams and the most promising business models that will provide our core customers – independent business owners – with new products and services and make them more competitive.”

Rob Johnson, who runs Techstars METRO Accelerator along with Alexander Zumdieck, appreciates this great potential for development: “Our programme is the first accelerator in the world to be focused on the digital revolution in hotels and restaurants. We look forward to three intense months with these young technology companies. We’ll do our best to support the teams in their work on digital solutions in the food and hotel sector, and to open up any opportunities that we can for them.”

Our Website provides further information on Techstars METRO Accelerator, as does our Blog and newsletter. You can subscribe for free at blog.techstarsmetro.com.

The following companies impressed our expert jury:

Coffee Cloud

  • Founded: in Tartu, Estonia in 2015
  • Founder: Miroslav Kovač, Andreja Kovač
  • Coffee Cloud has developed an application with wireless connection for espresso machines that counts how many cups of coffee are made in real time and saves the data in Cloud. All drinks are reliably billed. At the same time, the device monitors the machines and informs the user when an appliance has to be repaired or cleaned.
  • www.coffeecloud.co

Flowtify

  • Founded: in Cologne, Germany in 2015
  • Founder: Daniel Vollmer (CEO), Gabriel Schlatter (CTO), Parshin Mortazi (co-founder)
  • Flowtify develops a tablet-app for quality and HACCP-management for restaurateurs and restaurants. HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a concept for risk assessment of critical control points and serves as a preventative system for consumer protection by hygiene regulations. Using paperless checklists, employees can exercise, document and archive quality measure.
  • www.flowtify.de

Gastrozentrale.de

  • Founded in Munich, Germany in 2014
  • Founder: Moritz Grumbach (CEO)
  • Gastrozentrale.de is a B2B online shop for kitchen technology and restaurant/catering equipment. From small food stands to canteen kitchens, customers can easily order napkins, industrial refrigerators or patio heaters online.
  • www.gastrozentrale.de

GroupRaise.com

  • Founded in Houston, USA in 2011
  • Founder: Devin Baptiste (CEO), Kevin Valdez (COO), Paul Kwiatkowski (Chief Tenacity Officer), Sean Park (CMO)
  • GroupRaise.com helps to raise donations for aid projects. When a group books a table at a participating restaurant, a percent of the bill will be donated to a help project of their choosing. Restaurants can this way increase their capacity in difficult times.
  • www.groupraise.com

Journy

  • Founded in New York City, USA in 2014
  • Founders: Susan Ho (CEO), Amy Guo (CTO), Leiti Hsu (Chief Journyist)
  • Users tell Journy what they want to see and do in any particular city. The service then consults local experts and puts together an individual tailor-made travel plan. The package costs 50 dollars per city.
  • www.gojourny.com

Lunchio

  • Founded in Witten, Germany in 2015
  • Founder: Deniz Caglayan (Head of Marketing), Dennis Ortmann (Managing Partner), Jan Christian Saupe (CFO), Sebastian Blautzik (CTO)
  • Lunchio is an online waiter and restaurant guide for lunch. Users select a restaurant in their city, pre-order their favourite meal and pay. When they arrive at the restaurant, they don’t have to wait and can eat their lunch right away.
  • www.lunchio.de

Poshpacker

  • Founded in Washington DC, USA in 2013
  • Founders: Anna Kojzar (CEO), Tania Cruz (Co-Founder)
  • Thanks for Poshpacker, travelers can easily and affordably book creative hotels, hostels or apartments around the world. The hotel booking site distinguishes itself from the competition by offering extraordinary places to sleep like igloos and caves.
  • www.poshpacker.co

Roomatic

  • Founded in Tallinn, Estonia in 2014
  • Founders: Andreas van de Castel (CEO), Arnis Vuškāns (CTO)
  • Roomatic allows hotel guests to communicate their needs with their smartphone. The user orders a taxi by app or registers a problem easily with the application, or get in touch directly with room service.
  • www.roomatic.net

rublys

  • Found in Vienna, Austria in 2013
  • Founder: Manuel Zwittag (CEO)
  • rublys is a gambling mobile-marketing-instrument with which companies can win new customers. With the app and free of cost, users can choose scratch cards from companies, scratch and win prizes.
  • www.rublys.com

Wynd

  • Founded in Paris, France in 2013
  • Founders: Ismaél Ould (CEO), Arthur Perticoz (CMO)
  • Wynd offers a software package with various modules for restaurateurs to help them digitalize their restaurants or cafés.
  • www.wynd.eu

1001menus

  • Founded in Paris, France in 2010
  • Founders: Xavier Zeitoun (CEO), Thomas Zeitoun (Key Account Director), Julien Balmont (CTO)
  • 1001menus has developed a restaurant software that helps restaurants to create their own websites in a quick and simple way, as well as to manage their reservations. Furthermore, restaurants can easily let their customers know what’s new, like changes to the menu, with their newsletter and social media tool.
  • www.1001menus.com

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international retailing companies. In the financial year 2013/14 it generated sales of around €63 billion. The company operates more than 2,000 stores in 30 countries and has a headcount of around 230,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale – Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing and Real hypermarkets.

SOURCE: METRO GROUP

METRO and Techstars officially launched the new Techstars METRO Accelerator; applications until 3 August 2015

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2015-4-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO and Techstars have officially launched the new Techstars METRO Accelerator: Starting immediately, the two partners are seeking start-up teams who support the digitisation of the gastronomy, hotel, catering and food industries with their technological applications. From now until 3 August 2015, interested teams of founders from around the world can apply online at www.techstarsmetro.com. Starting in October, experienced mentors will support 10 selected start-ups over a period of three months to develop their innovative ideas further.

“Start-ups worldwide are developing digital and technological innovations that could be ground-breaking for our customers in the gastronomy sector,” said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG and CEO of METRO Cash & Carry. “At METRO, we would like to find and support the most creative and innovative among them. By helping founders to develop their ideas, we help our customers to become even more successful using these new services and technologies.” From now until 3 August 2015, interested start-ups from around the world can therefore submit their application for the start-up program on the English-language website www.techstarsmetro.com. The teams have to complete an extensive questionnaire and have the option to upload a video. The entire application process will take place in English. The program will be officially kicked off on 12 October 2015. The teams will present their ideas to international investors, leading sector representatives and the public on a designated Demo Day in January.

“Techstars is so excited to partner with METRO on this accelerator,” said David Cohen, Founder and Managing Partner, Techstars. “The hospitality and food tech space has been under-represented and given METRO’s significant resources, combined with Techstars’ proven methodology, we’re confident that we can bring a new standard of innovation to this vertical.”

Over a period of three months from October, the Techstars METRO Accelerator will foster 10 selected start-ups in Berlin. In order to provide them with optimum support, METRO will make available to the founders the combined specialist knowledge of its experts from procurement, distribution, marketing, strategy, finance, legal and communication. As one of the most renowned start-up networks worldwide, Techstars will contribute its internationally proven development program and a network comprising more than 3,000 mentors, investors and experienced members of the start-up community. Digital agency R/GA, another partner supporting the program, will offer the teams exclusive multi-channel access to brand strategy and creative services as well as access to its global client and partner networks. In addition, the founders will be supported financially for the duration of the program.

The program organisers are looking for international technology start-ups in all phases of their growth. There is no age limit for applicants. Ultimately, the innovative business ideas should aim to provide added value for the gastronomy, hotel and catering sectors. These could be solutions for all business areas – multichannel, food delivery and new applications to promote customer loyalty are just as conceivable as entirely new digital products or special services.

Participation in the Techstars METRO Accelerator offers start-ups a host of new opportunities: METRO / MAKRO Cash & Carry is a leading international cash & carry wholesale company which operates in 26 countries. The access to METRO’s customers and the retail and wholesale company’s 5,500 sales representatives offers the start-ups enormous potential. METRO’s customers will profit in their turn from the technological innovations from the Techstars METRO Accelerator and use the potential for their own business.

Further information is available at www.techstarsmetro.com and on Twitter at @MG_innovate.

 

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international retailing companies. In the financial year 2013/14 it generated sales of around €63 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 30 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale – Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing – Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to build their business. With 18 mentorship-driven accelerator programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey. Techstars provides access to over 5,000 founders, mentors investors, and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and do more faster. Techstars makes entrepreneurship more accessible by providing access to capital, guidance, marketing, business development, customer acquisition, and recruitment.

R/GA, the company for the Connected Age, develops products, services and communications to grow our clients’ brands and businesses. Founded in 1977, the agency has been a pioneer at the intersection of technology, design and marketing with work spanning web, mobile, and social communications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand development and business consulting. R/GA has more than 1,400 employees globally with offices across the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific and is part of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG), one of the world’s largest advertising and marketing services organizations. R/GA is a member of the GAN (gan.co), a network of the world’s most respected accelerators and organizations in support of the startup ecosystem. For more information on R/GA, please visit www.rga.com, www.rgaaccelerator.com, @rgaventures, and @rgaaccelerator.

METRO partners with US company Techstars to support innovative hospitality start-ups

  • Techstars METRO Accelerator: METRO collaborates with US partner Techstars to promote digital innovations for customers in the hospitality sector
  • Innovation to be an integral part of METRO GROUP’s corporate strategy: customer and market trends to be incorporated faster into business operations
  • Focus on new channels, logistics and marketing solutions as well as innovative services
  • New “Innovation in Retail Meetup” network promotes communication between start-ups and METRO GROUP

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2015-2-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO GROUP is actively shaping the future of the trade industry and is increasingly opening up its sales lines both inwardly and outwardly to innovative ideas. With this objective, METRO is joining up with US company Techstars, one of the most highly recognised international mentorship programmes, to support innovative hospitality start-ups. The newly launched Techstars METRO Accelerator targets companies offering innovative technology applications for the restaurant, hotel and catering industries. In the context of this programme, experienced mentors and experts spend three months helping start-ups to advance their business. Techstars METRO Accelerator is the first global programme focused on technology applications for the hospitality sector. International digital agency R/GA will supplement both partners’ knowhow at the Techstars METRO Accelerator in Berlin.

Teams of founders are being sought with technology-based services and products that simplify, accelerate and digitise operational processes and customer relationships of restaurants, cafés, snack bars and catering businesses or hotels. The aim is to make this important METRO customer group even more successful in future thanks to technological innovations. The programme will kick off at the end of April in Berlin. “With programmes like the Accelerator, we are searching specifically for innovations that tie in with our strengths and which we can thus develop better than others,” says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG and CEO of METRO Cash & Carry. “With 1.6 billion customers per year in our stores, almost a billion visitors on our websites and around 75 million loyalty cards, METRO GROUP has a unique customer base in a broad portfolio of retail formats. Coupled with our marketing and sales power as well as our procurement competence, we have the ability to help new ideas and innovations, both stationary and digital, to succeed.”

In order to promote communication between innovative technology start-ups from the trade and hospitality sectors with METRO GROUP and its sales lines, the company has created a new platform. At the “Innovation in Retail Meetups” at the Metro Campus in Düsseldorf, business founders present their ideas and business models and discuss them with other entrepreneurs, start-up experts and Metro representatives. The bi-monthly Meetups were started only recently, but have already evolved into a popular networking platform for the sector.

Overall, the international retail and wholesale company is amalgamating the realignment of its sales lines according to relevant customer, market and technological trends. To this end, METRO GROUP is merging the areas of Strategy, Investment Management and Business Innovation into one powerful strategic unit. “Our strategy aims to achieve a balanced mixture of business models and countries in future,” Koch says. “This includes on the one hand the repositioning of our sales lines, but also developing new business segments. With our new innovation approach, we see ourselves well equipped to do this.”

Within this framework, METRO GROUP is aligning itself into five innovation areas that will serve as a basis for all innovation projects. The first innovation area, “Store”, will take into account the development that purely online traders are increasingly looking for a way into real selling spaces. One successful test project in this context was a pop-up store that the US online trader eBay carried out in cooperation with online payment service PayPal and METRO GROUP in Bremen up to the end of January 2015. All sales lines are set to profit from the new opportunities for customer retention, sales approach, and customer advice and incentivisation.

The second innovation area, “Channel”, focuses on the accelerated development of various distribution channels. Multi- and omni-channels are the relevant approaches that must be implemented here. The most recent example is the Media Markt and Saturn web shops on the eBay platform that have been opened as a new distribution channel.

The growth of food e-commerce has conferred even greater importance on logistics. The third innovation area, “Logistics, Supply Chain, Procurement and Warehousing”, will open up new opportunities in this segment for METRO GROUP. Finally, the aim of the fourth innovation area, “Marketing”, is to optimise the sales approach of all sales lines.

The fifth innovation area, “New Products & Services”, will develop customer-centred models for new products and services. For example, more than just the normal product range is to be offered to METRO Cash & Carry’s most important customer base: companies from the gastronomy, hotel and catering industry. Specially tailored services are set to support customers particularly in the sector’s ongoing digitisation.

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international trading companies. During the financial year 2013/14, it generated sales of about €63 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 30 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale – Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing – Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.