Wolfgang Stelzle, CEO and Co-Founder of RE’FLEKT, took part in the German Accelerator Silicon Valley program in Fall 2017. With a team of 60 virtual reality experts, RE’FLEKT focuses on augmented reality in operations, training, and maintenance.
The company has two software products; one that allows for the creation of content in augmented reality, and the other allows for real-time communication with augmented reality annotations. RE’FLEKT is currently developing augmented windows that would allow passengers in a hyperloop to give the sensation that they are looking out through a real window.
Stelzle explains that the reason RE’FLEKT applied to German Accelerator was to help the company define a go-to-market strategy for the U.S., but also to strategize a future global expansion. Stelzle explains that he felt nervous before coming to Silicon Valley, as many do, but once he arrived, he felt as though he was part of the German Accelerator family. He especially found the Bootcamp and Workshops helpful because of the amount of knowledge and different perspectives companies can get from the sessions with the mentors.
RE’FLEKT utilized their time with their mentor, Bill Keating, who was chosen by German Accelerator because of his specialized knowledge in the fields that the company most needed help with. Stelzle said the company found this time with Keating very useful. RE’FLEKT also met with ten mentors over the course of three months who helped the company create networks and market strategies.
As for the biggest differences between Germany and the U.S., Stelzle explains that the American mindset and network are more open than when compared to Germans. Americans are not afraid to fail, learn from their experiences, and then try again. They are also much more open with their networks because they believe that the gesture will be repaid in the future.
Stelzle emphasizes that other startup founders should apply to German Accelerator as soon as possible to avoid mistakes and failure in the future, plus the Silicon Valley weather is also a benefit.