Industry Update
Supplier News29 March 2017

METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars demonstrates success rate of startups

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METRO Accelerator

  • First class participating in the Accelerator for the hospitality industry is successful with investors: startups have attracted investments of more than USD 52 million
  • Third round of METRO Accelerator with new solutions for the digitisation of the hospitality industry begins on 11 September for a third time
  • Applications now welcome at
  • Andreas Wuerfel strengthens the Accelerator team as Director Global Innovation Community at METRO

Düsseldorf, 28 March 2017 – The startups 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. 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. Startups can now apply on the website The programme begins on 11 September in Berlin.

With a current investment sum of more than USD 52 million, the 10 startups participating in the opening round of METRO Accelerator by Techstars in 2015/16 have achieved higher average investments than the startups in all programmes of the US partner company Techstars. Ten out of 11 participating startups are now active in the market and thus mirror the 90% success rate of Techstars startups. ‟We are thrilled about the success stories the participating startups have been showing in such a short period of time," says 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 startups 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 percent, HTGF invested €600,000 in the Cologne-based company.

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 & Carry Germany.

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

"The close cooperation between Techstars as a leading startup 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. We still have a long way to go before we exhaust this potential," says Jens Lapinski, Managing Director Techstars of METRO Accelerator. ‟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."

Startups receive mentoring, market access and financial support

METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars starts on 11 September 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:

  • 10 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 18 June 2017.

Further information is available at:

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. More information available at

The METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company (W&FS Co.) is an internationally leading specialist in wholesale and food retail. With its sales lines METRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as its other associated companies, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people around the world. In 2015/16, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. achieved sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers. More information is available at and

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

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