Starting up at the top table
Eastern German start-ups pitch to the Tech elite
Berlin (GTAI) - Those who want to be the best must measure themselves against the best. This could be the motto for this year’s Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) start-up trip to the TechCrunch Disrupt, from September 18-20 in San Francisco. Ten start-ups from Germany’s new federal states will accompany GTAI – Germany’s federal economic development agency – to the conference; eight of them will pitch to potential investors. TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s leading conference on disruptive technology.
“These start-ups have been chosen by us, along with representatives from the German Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), the High-Tech Gründerfonds (High-Tech Founders’ Fund) and the German Accelerator, among others, in a competition,” said Dr. Jürgen Friedrich, CEO at GTAI. “The real excitement promises to be in the pitch round, where our start-ups can present themselves to the potential investors, the public and the press.” Self-promotion is not an inherent trait to German companies – many of the country’s most successful companies are known as ‘hidden champions’ on the basis of their relative anonymity outside of their industry – so the start-ups on this trip are also taking part in a pitch training workshop. A good pitch is the foot in the door to the cherished investment, but good pitching needs to be learned.
The companies will also be in the Eastern Germany Pavilion in the ‘Startup Alley’ section of the conference, as a part of GTAI’s stand pushing Eastern Germany as an investment location. “It’s a perfect situation,” said Peter Alltschekow, Director of new Federal States at GTAI. “We have real, successful companies demonstrating the innovative strength and attractiveness of the new states and their existing human and resource capital. “Those participating companies can find their investors, or at the very least gather contacts and experience at the world’s most important public platform for young companies in high-tech industries. It’s a win-win situation for them. The strength of those companies will also display the strengths of the new states as business locations for foreign start-ups looking for new markets, or venture capitalists looking for German start-ups to invest in.”