Axel Springer Plug and Play accelerator team travels around Baltics and Nordics to find the top-tier startups seeking into launch in the German market.
“Can we help you with our network, resources and experience?” asks Axel Springer Plug and Play accelerator program from all of its applicants once again this Spring.
To find the right matches for the program, Axel Springer Plug and Play team travels during the last week of May through Baltics and heads to Helsinki for Arctic15 on June 2nd. The program organized three times per year receives applications from all around Europe, but this time they come especially for the Nordic and Baltic startups.
“We have been watching the region for quite some time already – and we have noticed that the ecosystems are maturing and getting stronger,” says Constantin von Bergmann-Korn, who will be steering the Axel Springer Plug and Play van around the region with his colleague Frauke Mispagel, the Managing Director of the program.
“We want to improve our network and get a better understanding of what’s going on in these countries,” adds Frauke. She believes that there’s great potential in the region and plenty of high quality entrepreneurs, who might need a helping hand to enter the German market.
Right Contacts – Right Timing
What makes Axel Springer Plug and Play accelerator unique, is that it is actually a 50-50 joint venture between Silicon Valley based Plug and Play Tech Center and German Axel Springer, the leading digital publisher in Europe. Plug and Play Tech Center is an early investor in companies such as Paypal, Dropbox and Lending Club.
“We are not a typical corporate accelerator. Our approach is rather that of an investment driven pre-seed VC than being an innovation outpost of our shareholders,” describes Constantin, who is Investment Manager at the program.
The already well-established program was founded in 2013 and it was one of the first accelerators in Germany. The alumni of the program include success stories as Number26 and Zenmate.
“Our investment focus covers not only the three pillars of Axel Springer’s business operations – paid content, marketing models and classified models – but also adjacent areas meaning basically anything digital. We have invested into fintech, health, adtech, insurtech, travel, media, software, AI and marketplaces,” he continues and emphasizes that the startups participating can be also very early stage, if they have built a product aiming at least to the European market.
The program’s strongest asset is the extremely impressive network of investors, over 200 mentors and corporate partners alongside the two shareholders, which are both leading players in their fields. Corporate partners such as for example Accenture, DZ Bank with 30 million customers, Ergo Insurance with 40 million customers, ensure that the participating startups get an access to a wide network of potential future clients and partners.
“After having worked with numerous startups from the Axel Springer Plug and Play portfolio, we see huge potential to connect our organization, networks and customers with these companies. We are looking forward to finding relevant startups together with Axel Springer Plug and Play and helping them grow faster around the world,” states Rahmyn Kress, the Managing Director of Accenture.
Timing is also a key element for the accelerator, since they want to make sure that the companies are ready for soaking everything that they can be helped with during the 100 day program. The accelerating experience of each startup will be personalized based on their pain points, and each startup will get the access to workshops and private mentoring sessions.
Frauke also points out that the accelerator has close ties to officials who can assist founders with questions regarding visa applications, housing, government grants and other topics relevant to founders when relocating to Germany.
“Our network really brings the most value – We can provide you with all the contacts you need, in Germany and beyond.“
Application deadline for Program10 beginning in early September is July 19th.
You can meet both Constantin and Frauke during their roadtrip in:
May 30: Riga
May 31: Tallinn
June 1: Tallinn
June 2: Helsinki
June 3: Helsinki