Demo Day of the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality: new, innovative solutions excite investors

12 December 2017Download

The Demo Day marks the highlight of the three-month Accelerator program for which the ten selected startups have worked intensively over a period of three months.

  • Ten startups introduced themselves at the third Demo Day of the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars
  • Digital solutions for hotels and restaurants presented to a panel of around 100 international investors and experts
  • 4th round of the successful Accelerator program in 2018

The Demo Day marks the highlight of the three-month Accelerator program for which the ten selected startups have worked intensively over a period of three months. With extensive mentoring and coaching from industry experts under the direction of METRO and Techstars, the startups honed their business models at the co-working space in Berlin in order to convince investors of their business idea on the Demo Day. The focus of the Accelerator for Hospitality is on new, digital solutions for the hotel, restaurant and catering industry.

This year the motto of the program was "Test your product in 500 restaurants and hotels". Six startups had the opportunity to test digital solutions for their value added and acceptance with restaurateurs in 500 pilot businesses in Berlin, Paris, Milan and Vienna. "In the framework of the program we successfully started pilot projects of six startups from three countries. The feedback from the restaurant owners allowed them to develop the digital tools in such a way that they offer the greatest possible benefit for the restaurateurs," says Dr. Jens Lapinski, Managing Director of Techstars. Both the startups and the businesses benefit from the pilot: to collect customer experience, receive direct feedback and optimise their solutions, the startups use the network and customer contacts of METRO. METRO's digital unit,, in turn looks for innovative solutions that reduce the workload of the restaurateurs and offer a real value added.

"With the METRO Accelerator, we have established a globally special program. It targets digital solutions for the hospitality sector that map the whole value chain. Young startups from all over the world send their applications and want to participate in our program", states Hansjoerg Sage, Co-Managing Director of

Several hundred applications have so far been received for each round of the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality. That way not only digital tools for the hospitality sector are continually developed further, the program is also a valuable instrument to identify global trends for small and independent businesses.

"The main target groups of our wholesale activities are small, independent businesses. We want to support them in their digitalisation efforts. We know that these entrepreneurs are not yet fully leveraging the opportunities offered by digital transformation. In the modern world, their business success is strongly promoted by the use of digital technologies. This is where our Accelerator for Hospitality comes into play and provides digital answers for known and frequently analogous challenges", says Andreas Wuerfel, Director Global Innovation Community at METRO.

Ten teams from seven countries were selected from several hundred applicants to join the program and were each supported with funding of up to €120,000. During the three-month Accelerator program in Berlin these startups gained access to METRO's market expertise as well as to its customer and supplier networks.

Around 100 external mentors supported the startups with intensive coaching. Many of these teams have already successfully established their products in the market, concretised their business model and positioning during the Accelerator, or gained the opportunity to implement their product ideas in restaurants.

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Under the umbrella of the METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars, METRO and Techstars, in two programs, help international startup 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 startups 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 unique in the world. More information available at

METRO is a leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail. The company operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2015/16, METRO generated sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers. With its sales brands METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as delivery services and digitalisation initiatives METRO sets the standards for tomorrow: for customer focus, digital solutions and sustainable business models.

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 startup 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