German Accelerator (GA) supports German startups in their endeavor to enter the U.S. market. Funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the German Accelerator is a growth acceleration program that supports German ICT and Green-IT startups in tapping into U.S. market and financing opportunities. Behind the program lies a team of successful entrepreneurs and investors who truly enjoy helping German startups and think that German startups have the potential to become global category leaders.
The three-month program is open to a broad range of startups. Ideal participants generate domestic revenue, enjoy customer traction and have the potential to become category leaders in a large, global market. Currently the German Accelerator has started another application round to send ambitious entrepreneurs in the first half of 2016 to the US. Applications are accepted until August 31st, 2015. Successful applicants will be invited to “Celebrating Innovation” – the place where Germany’s hottest Tech startups battle for a place in the German Accelerator program. Celebrating Innovation will take place in Dresden on October 15th, 2015 and will pair global thinkers, digital innovators and technology enthusiasts with international guests, industry leaders, politicians and acceleration pioneers. Tickets for the German Accelerator’s legendary flagship event are available now.
Why did the German Accelerator program choose the U.S.?
It has almost become the rule that any company, which has the desire to scale globally and to achieve the leadership in its market category, has to successfully prove itself in the American market. The facts speak for themselves, not only is the U.S. market the world’s most attractive consumer market with a GDP of over $16 trillion; it is also the world’s most attractive market for venture capital and private equity funding. Funding was one point the German Accelerator’s team identified as a challenge to the growth of German startups. Additionally, challenges that startups in Germany face range from slower market scaling, to lack of serial entrepreneurs, to the lack of growth capital.
Therefore, the German Accelerator program strives to help German startups to leverage the best of both worlds, such as entering the much more scalable U.S. market with more available venture capital opportunities while continuing to work in the German market, which tends to be more loyal and affordable. To put the cherry on top, the program is free of charge, thanks to the support of the BMWi, and the German Accelerator does not take any equity in the startups’ business.
What exactly does the German Accelerator program offer?
During the program, startups face the dynamic and competitive U.S. environment and benchmark product, team, and business model. They actively engage with customers, establish relationships, adjust communication styles, validate product/market fit, and connect with potential investors. While all companies will stay for three months in America, for some the program may be extended another three months depending on their accomplishments and their future outlook.
One of the program’s core aspects is the hands-on mentoring with German Accelerator’s diverse, dedicated and experienced mentors. Mentors provide strategic advice, make selective introductions and share best practices. They work closely with startups to define, review, and reach set milestones and objectives. Problem areas that mentors and companies usually work on together include marketing and communication skills, business execution, understanding of U.S. legal and corporate structures, as well as determination of financing opportunities.
Furthermore, the program provides up to two founders with a free office space, organizes a Boot Camp with introductory workshops that provide a comprehensive overview and fast track to the U.S. market, invites startups to networking and pitching events, includes them in GA’s marketing and PR and offers free support of strategic partners, such as from the American law firm BakerHostetler.
Since July 2014, the German Accelerator captivates The Big Apple
The program first launched in Silicon Valley in 2012, the so-called “Startup Mecca” with corporates such as Google, ebay and Apple as well as startups such as Facebook, Uber and Instagram, By the end of 2014, 60 plus startups had participated in the program and managed to raise over $20 million in funding. In July 2014, the German government decided to expand business to New York City, as it emerged as the perfect place to mesh Germany’s outstanding innovation and engineering talents with the voltage of American startup culture.
The opening event of the German Accelerator New York included the welcoming of the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. Since then, the German Accelerator New York has established itself in the city’s vibrant ecosystem, which expanded to more than 10,000 startups and more than 12,000 investors that cluster around its main industries, namely Fin-tech, Ad-tech, Retail, Health, Education, Fashion and Media. Similar to Silicon Valley, The Big Apple shows a dense network of many high-profile corporates, such as Microsoft, Twitter and Google, as well as startups that developed to global category leaders, including Meetup, Tumblr and Foursquare. For the first time since its soft launch in July 2014, the German Accelerator New York hosted the first edition of Captivate at its satellite office in SoHo, New York City. It featured German startups that had recently completed and graduated from GA’s three-month acceleration and immersion program. As the first edition of Captivate turned to a full-on success with over 100 participants, it will take place every quarter to present German Accelerator’s startups to an audience.
The next Captivate in New York will take place on Monday, September 21st, 2015. The German Accelerator Silicon Valley hosts the same Captivate event with its respective startups. The German Accelerator Silicon Valley’s Captivate will be one day later on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015. Tickets for both events can be purchased online.