Alumni Summit 2018: Celebrating Four Years! (Part 1)


We’ve done it – our first METRO Accelerator Alumni Summit has come to a close. Since launch of our Techstars-powered accelerator program in 2015, this was our first METRO event built exclusively around post-program best-practices and community building for founders and their supporters.

Over 120 founders, mentors, investors and corporate experts convened from Europe and beyond to the event. During a full day of back-to-back educational programming, we talked ‘shop’, from new funding, leads generation and closing sales, to best-in-class vendors connecting founders with professional tools and services for fast-track business-building.


Our CEO, Olaf Koch kicked off the event with the following words:

“For this event it is not only about the technologies, but the businesses you are building behind it… it is about a community of people sharing a common goal: to drive innovation forward.”



Throughout the day, 26 sessions took place covering topics ranging from; founder stories to innovation in corporates to organisational culture to sales, scaling and beyond.


SHARE sessions– lessons learned, lessons shared, founders workshoped best-practices to jointly figure path to long-term success:

o Our first founder, Mickey Balter from Oriient shared his experience on how to raise money for deep-tech. He challenged startups to solve the question on how to reduce the integration cycle.


o Carlos Gomez from Cheerfy who drives customer loyalty, held an interactive session about the Importance of saying “no” when starting up. Startups got challenged by building a B2B SaaS sales machine.

o And lastly, Eva Hoefer and Alex Reeg from KptnCook shared their story on how to create sales by challenging startups to create marketing without a budget.


HEAR sessions– straight from the mountain top, expert speakers took to the stage for outside-the-box ideas and how-to insights:


  • Moritz Grumbach shared his story about beautiful lies… how design is killing rationality.

“If you stay credible and support your staff they won’t leave you alone even in times of failure”


  • DeliveryHero’sFelix Plog spoke with our own Sabine Flechet about how to scale your business on an international level.


“We had perfect timing for our industry – what contributed most; we had a dedicated person driving the fundraising. He conducted 250 investor leads-quantity also leads to conversion” thank you ☺ @felixplog for the talk #greatmindstogether

— METRO Accelerator (@METROAccel) June 4, 2018


The success of Foodpanda (his startup) let him enter new markets –
he comments on what the process was like:

“We adapted to market conditions and the requirements there.
We basically built a new company within the company”

His secret to optimising his startup he says was via technology.

“We try to exploit technology as much as we can to optimise the business”

  • Jag Singhinterviewed Julia Neznanova from friends of eBay talking about having been a founder before her current position. She mentions the importance of building relationships.


‘We don’t realise that to raise the next round (of funds) we need to start building relationships.’

Even if it doesn’t always go right she mentions ‘It’s better to fail faster, and it’s never personal.’



  • From McKinsey, Philipp Hillenbrand gave an insight into five easy recipes on how to fail while scaling up.



“Speed is a bi product of momentum…know when to use speed and build things –
find a way to build something that is momentum derived”


  • The closing panel had Microsoft, Google, eBay, McKinsey, and Arvato Systems discussing corporate innovation – The Good, The Bad, The Opportunities.


Jesko Perrey from McKinsey Global, Leader in Marketing & Sales:
“2 of 3 projects we consult include some shape or form of startups”

Julia Neznanova from Friends of eBay:
“Startups have the passion and a really different perspective on solving challenges that exist”

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