Wrapping Up The Year – German Accelerator in 2020

Despite the challenges that 2020 threw at the world, many startups finished the year successfully and took the chance to grow and expand. 153 of them have been part of our German Accelerator programs and prepared or started their mostly digital expansion journey. We have recalled the year and taken a closer look at all participants. Read about the milestones we’ve achieved in the virtual world and learn why the number of hours that we’ve spent on Zoom was five-figured.

According to Startup Monitor 2020, 3 out of 4 German startups (74 percent) have been affected by the corona crisis in 2020. Still, the year took a positive turn for many according to Matthias Notz, Managing Director German Accelerator: “Some startups were able to directly benefit from the crisis. Others will benefit in the medium term as the growing trend to more digitalization will help the digitally-oriented startup industry as a whole.” At German Accelerator, we were happy to see that lots of German startups were growing fast and going far in 2020, even if most of them tackled their journey digitally from the comfort of their home. In total, 153 companies have successfully participated in our programs.

Which Industries Are Trending?

Among all of our program alumni, a strong focus on digital business models strikes the eye. Almost a third (27 percent) of them offer software products, 9 percent offer products in the field of data & connectivity, and another 5 percent are e-commerce startups. In contrast, only 10 percent offer hardware.
Sector-specific, the most prominent theme of the companies we have supported with German Accelerator this year was health and life sciences. 29 percent of all startups are engaged in this sector, showing one of the focal points of German Accelerator with a strong life science focus and mentor network in the Boston program.

Where Did the Startups Come From?

While Berlin is the German hotspot for startups to be founded according to Startup Monitor, only 20 percent of the German Accelerator alumni came from the German capital in 2020. Bavaria was the most prominent heritage, having spawned 30 percent of this year’s German Accelerator alumni. North-Rhine Westphalia and Hesse were represented with 10 percent of this year’s participants each and are becoming established as startup hubs in Germany.

Go West, Go East, Stay Home

“With 44 percent, almost half of all our alumni started their expansion towards the US, while 38 percent expanded in the direction of Southeast Asia. Another 18 percent took part in other programs, for example, our education pilot program”, says Matthias Notz. For most startups, this expansion took place from home thanks to our transition to a fully remote setup. According to Marco Janezic, CEO and Founder of Eternygen, a German Accelerator Life Sciences alumni, the virtual setting was even more productive at times: “Being virtual enabled us to have meetings more regularly than it would have been possible with face-to-face meetings. Having this close feedback loop enabled us to continuously work on our most urgent topics.”

Other alumni, like Pedro Hernandez, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Build38, a Southeast Asia alumni appreciated the time saving: “It’s definitely more efficient and convenient to participate in the virtual sessions than having to commute to a physical space and it also meant that the part of our team sitting in Germany could participate in the same conditions as the participants in Singapore.”

A big thank you and round of applause to all participants from the German Accelerator Team. A huge thank you also to our more than 300 great mentors and experts around the globe. Together, we have successfully finished a very special year with more than 22,000 hours in over 7,000 Zoom meetings with you and for your success. We are grateful for every single journey that we have had the honor and pleasure to have been part of! We will keep cheering for you and watch you #gofargrowfast.

PS: Looking for inspiration on how to unwind after this successful year? Our team at German Accelerator would ideally take a stroll down the beach with their dogs, catch the sunset, and have a glass of wine. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?