Why We Care Deeply About Building "Community of Innovation"

Inside METRO, we care deeply about building a ‘community of innovation’.

Here’s why…

Two years ago we set out to super-charge our very own METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars. The first program took to help innovate across the restaurant and hospitality space. It was a big deal for our industry then and it continues to be a pretty big deal to this day.

To ensure success from day one, the very first thing we did was to build a first-rate community of investors, mentors, and influencers; a community of shape-shifters at large, to best support and enable our first class of founders.

Fast forward – another first – a few months ago we successfully concluded our first METRO Accelerator for Retail program. Nine founders, nine innovative visionaries, and nine extraordinary teams to help pave the way for what’s next in retail.

For this program, METRO’s hypermarket brand Real,- came on board with fantastic across-the-board support. In joining METRO’s Cash & Carry stores, they have helped our founders prepare pilots to test and ready their solutions.

Next up, in only a few weeks we’re proud to complete our third METRO Accelerator for Hospitality class. For this program, we offer participating companies the ability to test their products in 500 restaurants and hotels. No other tech program across our industry offers anything close to that.

So – from retail to hospitality cohorts – this means before year-end, 40 founders will have successfully completed our programs. 40 founders whom we trust have made smart and lasting business connections across our METRO, Real,- and Techstars communities.

My point is – the common thread across both our programs is the power of their networks, the power of connecting nodes. It is the power of super-smart individuals coming together to jointly figure how to best solve for real-world business and consumer problems. That is what our programs are about. That is what our communities are about. That, in a nutshell, is our accelerator.

So, yes, inside METRO, Real,- or Techstars – we care deeply about building ‘community of innovation’.

If you care to share, comment, or otherwise engage around this post, join the conversation on Twitter (@andreaswuerfel) or drop me a line on LinkedIn.

About this series: Plenty around us relies on ‘digital’. METRO’s own wholesale and retail industries are adopting to new technology trends. As more of our customers and their customers rely on digital solutions, the way business is conducted is changing rapidly. Our ‘Communities of Innovation’ series seeks to help explain this transitory path. Not to decipher the underlying technologies, but rather to introduce you to tomorrow’s shapeshifters today, and to provide insights into their ‘communities of innovation’ that help make positive change happen.

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