Last week, we hosted our second virtual New York & Silicon Valley German Startup Night, showcasing pitches from best-in-class German startups that have completed the German Accelerator U.S. program over the past three months. Shifting from our usually locally hosted events in New York and Silicon Valley, our online event prevailed to be a success. We were thrilled to see 110 participants join in from all around the world.
Simulating our in-person events and embracing the functions Zoom offers, each company had to prepare a 3-minute pitch, followed by questions from our jury Anne Cocquyt (The GUILD), Sarah Foley (SWAT Equity Partners), and Julian Roeoes (Picus Capital). The jury managed to keep the presenters on their toes, by testing their ability to speak impromptu and defend their go-to-market strategies and value proposition.
We were pleased to present a class with a diverse set of business models catering to a number of industries. We were proud to also receive this feedback from our jury, such as Julian Roeoes, Partner and Head of Americas Picus Capital, who later noted that he enjoyed “the broad variety of participating companies, with founders presenting innovative solutions across a broad range of industries, verticals, and monetization models.”
The featured pitches from the U.S. Class 2020-3 included:
- 48bytesNorth empowers financial publishers to maximize their subscribers’ customer life-time-value.
- ADTANCE offers digitals solutions to power after-sales services for industrial machinery.
- GraphCMS enables developers to build powerful content APIs in a matter of minutes.
- Happybrush provides fair, honest, and environmentally friendly electrical toothbrushes, toothpaste & mouthwash at reasonable prices.
- HAWK:AI runs a real-time transaction monitoring solution to support Financial Institutions to get to the next level of Anti-Money-Laundering.
- IPlytics is a SaaS-based market intelligence tool that empowers its users to analyze technology landscapes.
- Legalhead is a mobile job-matching platform for lawyers.
- Plasmion offers plug and play ionization devices for atmospheric pressure mass spectrometers or customized stand-alone “electronic nose” sensors.
- Roq.ad helps leading brands to improve digital advertising and digital analytics through the use of Cross-Device Technology.
- Veronym Holding is a cloud security provider for SMEs.
The German Startup Night is an event for members of the startup ecosystem in the U.S. and Germany. Here they get to know the companies that just finished the intensive German Accelerator internationalization program and can gain insights into their solutions, trends and the industries they represent. Along these lines, Sarah Foley, partner at SWAT Equity Partners, later commented that “German Startup Night is a great event for investors to learn more about companies across a variety of industries gaining traction in Germany/Europe with an eye toward the U.S. market.” To foster networking between the startups and attendees, the audience was given the opportunity to post questions in the live chat and were able to express their interest in connecting with the startups via a Zoom poll. Additionally, at the end of the event, all attendees were called upon to give their anonymous vote on who should win the ‘Best Pitch Award.’
We were more than excited to announce Happybrush from Munich as winners of our Best Pitch Award. With their mission to combine modern, effective and affordable oral care, they convinced the audience of their ability to scale in the U.S. market. We later asked them how it felt to have won the ‘Best Pitch Award’ and they told us it came as a true surprise and they were speechless to have won against such a strong batch of startups. They added that they enjoyed the spirit of the event and were excited to pitch.
Anne Cocquyt, Founder & CEO of The GUILD and German Accelerator Mentor re-emphasized that the event “is a great opportunity to meet German startups [and a] chance to engage and support select founders with their expansion in the U.S. market.” What impressed her the most was that “there were quite a few founders with impressive growth companies tackling really important issues like money laundering.”
On a final note, although we relish our in-person events, the virtual event did bring some new perks. Andy Gensch, Founder of 48bytesNorth pointed out “my mother was able to watch me present. That’s an advantage virtual [event] has over doing it physically.”
We couldn’t agree more, given the current state of the world, we were very happy to see our German Accelerator family join from all over the world, as well as Andy’s Mom.