Summary EVM Cologne 2016
On October 25th our 25th EVM was hosted by EY in their Cologne headquarters.
Cologne is on its way to become another major Start-Up location in Germany and we were guests there during the Internet-week with many events to support the scene. Cologne is a media- and major university city and EY is very involved showing the young companies what benefits the cooperation and services a global service-provider can have as the Start-Ups build their businesses!
If you have questions regarding EY’s outstanding services please contact Titus Zwirner +49-221-277921472 or Miriam Kolb +49 211 9352 18852 for detailed information – they are looking forward to hearing from you!
After the opening by Titus Zwirner from EY and Markus Kuntze as the organizer of the EVM, Dr. Annette Hamann from Henkel gave us very good insight about the major business sectors Henkel is operating in and then explained “Henkel’s Startup Engagement” and how the venture capital group within Henkel is supporting the corporate goals and strategies. We later noticed that Annette and her colleagues were constantly in engaged discussions with Start-Ups – showing that the strategy has a definite appeal!
Following Annette, the first company session was presented and moderated by Arne Paul Oltmann from Seedfeed GmbH. He very nicely introduced the four protagonists, kept them within their time slot and handled the Q&A-session with great sovereignty! Thanks Arne!
Deutsche Handarbeit is active in developing various Apps and their stage performance was a pantomime indicating how they come up with different ideas and for now are planning an App to enable people to organize and book Tesla-test-drives seamlessly and easy.
iLocator is a smart city solution provider and they could very descriptively show what benefits cities and their respective organizational and maintenance department could enjoy using iLocators services and being able to save about 30% costs every year!
Viveroo’s products – mounted and integrated frame systems based on tablet PCs, especially iPads - are made for the rapidly growing international smart home and multimedia market and are used in visualization, building automation and similar environments using a great variety of Apps to become an all-in-one solution. The company holds many patents and design trademarks for their unique products.
Weshare offers a platform where people can share everything: products and skills, photos and videos whatever you feel you can offer as a valuable item: This platform provides room for reviews and thoughts about the different objects and also enables the “sharer” to make money while having a social sharing experience.
All companies stayed within their time frame of 5 minutes and did a good job in outlining their business and business models and were eager to answer many questions from the audience!
And we were happy to see that the coaching a day earlier had paid off – we strongly recommend it for all future participants because we focus not only on the timing but especially to bring your message out as best as possible!
The networking break showed all participants talking with each other – the major purpose at the EVM to increase your network and find the best suitable partner for your business!
After the break Kevin Czok from Stakehouse gathered the panel participants for the question “Why the Due Diligence is equally important for VCs, Corporates and Start-Ups and How can a Start-Up best prepare for the Due Diligence Process?”
Christan Knott from Capnamic Ventures, Thomas Bachem from German Startup Association, Christian Schulte from Coparion, Matthias Gräf from Startplatz, Andreas Siebel from EY and Titus Walek from Heymann & Partner shared their views and Kevin managed the discussion very nicely and the result can be possibly summed up with: The Due Diligence is so important because it gives all parties a chance to get to know each other and also see how the partners operate when it comes to very tough questions being asked. And for the Start-Up to prepare: make sure you get legal and tax advice organized before and get used to the point that from now on answering questions and discussing and analysing your business will be part of your routine (at least if you found an investor)!
Afterwards and perfectly adding to the previous discussion, Titus Zwirner from EY outlined in “Get an instant head start! EY startup-initiative” the extended services EY offers for startups online, in person and in their business area. EY offers very competitive and flexible packages for young companies to not burden them upfront, but rather benefitting from good global services to expand their businesses and then being able to later afford EY’s services based on a solid business case and success! Check out also all the inspiring Start-Up-site EY offers to learn about upcoming events, workshops etc. http://start-up-initiative.ey.com/
And right before lunch Aljoscha Kaplan from GMPVC outlined in his keynote “Media for Equity: A European Success Story” how beneficial it can be for brand building and reaching awareness in the market to consider selling shares for media abilities and conquer mass markets. Aljoscha compared the different media options and nicely outlined how different strategies and different media channels work in specific situations!
And then: the long awaited lunch break – thanks to EY a very nice and tasty variation of delicacies, but all light enough to keep everybody refreshed and refuelled! Again you could see everyone involved in talks or trying out the virtual reality world Aron Binienda from Virao had set up and introduced the participants to. Virao creates experiences and solutions ranging from virtual shopping to process optimization.
The next company pitch-session was kindly moderated by Ertan Can from HR Ventures. Ertan also made sure his companies stayed within the given time and moderated the following Q&A-session with authority! Thanks Ertan!
We certainly learned a lot about the quality of coffee and the benefits of fair trade where Moema has set up a vertical that guarantees not only the best quality coffee but also keeps the roasting process in the country of origin thus helping the local farmers and roasters to keep a sufficient part of the value chain in their country. Moema is expecting sales of 3.2 Mio EUR in 2016 and is targeting 53 Mio EUR in 2020, mainly relying on online sales accompanied by co-operations and the establishment of new coffee-shops.
Salez is introducing an App to create a new shopping experience especially concentrating on discounted items in offering its users fun, interesting and entertaining shopping. Products will be user friendly and neatly arranged. The user will be able to spice up the shopping with gaming opportunities.
Shopeur also is concentrating on the shopping experience, but very targeted on travelling Chinese customers. Chines travellers have a strong liking for European designer brands and you often see long lines of travellers in front of the famous shops in European Capital. The App enables the traveller to search for their favourite goods before going on the trip and ordering them in specific locations and the respective sizes online upfront. This makes sure the shop-visit won’t be in vain and also saves plenty of time!
Ideatarmac is about saving time and money, but concentrating on the technical issues ecommerce- and online-businesses often face: sites react slow or not at all, the basket disappears, the checkout takes too long – all resulting in potential customers losing interest and leaving the sites before completing the purchase: Ideatarmac did a survey with online-platforms with average sales of about 5 Mio EUR a year and found they lose about 450 TEU in people leaving their sites. The company offers a service to reduce that to 90 TEU a year with a highly sophisticated and automated process!
Again thanks to Ertan and the coaching the companies stayed within the given time frame – the pitches were clear and all business models understood!
Continuing Sebastian Fittko from Eisblink delivered his keynote with the title “Corporate Venture Startups – an investment opportunity or a toxic asset class?” Of course Sebastian provoked a little elaborating that it is most wisely that a corporation looking for innovation does not start it within the company, but rather look outside and let the Start-Up operate independently as long as possible without integrating it too fast in its corporate structure. That he hit a point could be seen that he was facing questions from corporate VCs how to best move forward – quite interesting discussion!
The discussion continued during the following networking break before we gathered for the last pitch-session moderated by Steffen Funck from Statkraft Ventures. He managed the last group of three startups very nicely and had some good Q&A-rounds!
Dear Reality concentrates on the audio aspect of virtual and augmented reality and has developed a platform for audio developers and engineers to create sounds “not only in your head” as Christian Sander said, but from where they are coming! The company has already reputable partners and has been endorsed by one of the most prestigious platforms for audio as excellent! Their best compliment came from a blind developer who stated that their technology created the best sound experience he had had so far!
Ampero: Assume your smartphone is losing power (happens more often than you think!) and no power bank in sight or at hand? Well in cafes, hotels and other locations partnering up with Ampero you can borrow an Ampero – a powerful mobile charger - for just a deposit and use it instead of looking for plugs somewhere on the floor! You can also buy it and if empty exchange it at any of Ampero’s partners. Innovative concept – great design!
Imagine you get rewarded for using your bike more often! Would you do it? Radbonus proved that people do just that in offering games and bonuses for results achieved in collecting miles on your bike! A great way to improve the health consciousness which also results in Radbonus raising interest in reputable partners like health insurance companies etc. A simple calculation: if people use their bike, they are in average 2 ½ days less sick a year! Now if that is not a benefit an employer would enjoy!
Last but not least Robert Uhlich from Companisto outlined the benefits of “How to scale different Startups with the Crowd”. He showed quite impressive figures from various financing rounds completed at the Companisto platform and the number of over 60.000 active investors on the platform already indicates how the Start-Up can simply gain from the potential marketing effect the crowd offers. Especially when your product is consumer oriented and easy to understand, it could be a way to go well worth it!
We wrapped up a stimulating day with a traditional “Kölsch” invited by EY!
Thanks again to all of you for making the EVM again a very amiable and interactive event and please let us know if you need support and assistance since we at CONTINUA GmbH and as the host of the EVM can help you in developing your business plan or improve your presentation and last but not least introduce you directly to investors. Call us anytime to discuss your options and of course if you need help approaching other participants!
Markus Kuntze Katja Rowedder Birgit Jungwirth