Startupbootcamp Berlin pivots and San Francisco takes off

Startupbootcamp Berlin pivots and San Francisco takes off

07-Apr-2014 by Startupbootcamp

Who says Europeans aren’t ambitious?

I’m very proud to announce that the Berlin Startupbootcamp program will focus on Smart Transportation & Energy – the connected and efficient movement of people and goods.

Just to spice things up, we’re also announcing that we’re building a program in San Francisco which will focus on the same theme. Two accelerator programs, based in two of the most exciting startup ecosystems in the world (one nascent, the other established), both focusing on the same vertical. That’s what we call game changing – for our startups, our mentors, our partners and our investors.

Know any startups in the Smart Transportation & Energy space? Or are you a founder yourself? Apply now

Why Smart Transportation & Energy?

We’re all super inspired by the hype around Hyperloop and the meaningful ambition of Matternet; 40% of gasoline consumed in cities is spent looking for parking; In the 21st century 90% of population growth will occur in urban areas which will consume 75% of all global energy.

There are low hanging fruit and also some big challenges which require innovation and acceleration. We at Startupbootcamp want to make our little dent in the world too.

The Euros hit the Valley

I’m also thrilled to build a bridge to the valley. We always knew that if we were going to launch a program in SF, then we didn’t want to be generic incubator / accelerator no. 217. Judging by the caliber of mentors we’ve been signing up and by the reaction we’re getting from partners and investors, then we’re not alone in believing this vertical is super relevant and timely. (More on our new mentors coming soon).

The neighbours have one, we should too!

Unless you’ve been hibernating in a cave the last few years, you will have noticed that accelerators are popping up everywhere. Big corporate brands in particular have jumped on the bandwagon. I’m convinced that any Fortune 500 VP of Innovation / Business Development / Strategy has had the conversation with her CEO : “Our competitor X just announced their program, we should too!”

Corporate accelerators can be awesome but I think we have a better approach. We pick an exciting theme and build a consortium of non-competing global powerhouses which are focusing on the theme as well. It’s better for the startups who are not seen as “Corporate X’s toy”; they have a broader and more neutral access to big brands resources – from follow on investment to distribution power and technology. Not to mention a wider palette of mentors.

Not a corporate accelerator – an accelerator with corporate partners

That’s exactly what we did for our recently announced FinTech program. And I’m proud to announce that we’ve done the same for the Smart Transportation & Energy program(s). In addition to last year’s supporters (leading global supplier of technology and services Bosch, and multinational automotive corporation Daimler), we will partner with Castrol innoVentures, Castrol’s innovation arm, leading network provider Cisco Systems, electric utilities company EnBW and HERE, the global maps and location intelligence business of Nokia.

We’re still privately funded mostly by business angels (and soon the crowd). The vast majority of our mentors are still serial entrepreneurs. It simply strengthens our value prop to our founders to not only have the right door to large corporate partners but the right people on board, engaging during and after the program. This will inevitably lead to more licensing deals, follow on investments, and, who knows, even acquisitions.

Apply now and accelerate to success

We’ve already identified over 700 startups on our “Hot List”. If you think you have the right stuff then I encourage you to apply. I’ve listed our areas of interest at the bottom of this post.

Applications for Berlin are already open – you have 53 days to apply. We’ll be hitting the road with Pitch Days starting in Paris next week and swinging by new places for us such as Sarajevo. See our events page.

If you’re thinking of applying and want to hear more then I invite you to a Google Hangout with me. I’ve carved out time every week to make myself available to prospective teams and I’ve already met some really interesting people. At the end of the day, this is a people business and I do this to impact people’s lives.

As for San Francisco, we’ve already got a team in place and some pretty awesome new mentors. We aim to open applications later this year for a launch in Q1 2015. Look up and you’ll see us and our startups and mentors flying back and forth between Berlin and San Francisco or, who knows, one day maybe jumping on a Hyperloop for the 20 minute trip.

See our full press release here.

Our areas of interest for the Smart Transportation & Energy Startupbootcamp program:

“The connected and efficient movement of people and goods.”

We’d like to see startups working on:

  • Smart mobility solutions & services

  • Smart & connected vehicles: individual, shared or public, autonomous/robotics

  • Smart logistics & supply: multimodal transportation enablers & services, robots & drones, efficient city logistics/e-mobility, hyperloop, …

  • Smart energy: decentral generation & supply, storage, renewables, charging, …

  • Monitoring & Management: traffic management, supply chain management, energy management, emergency management, …

  • Smart Signalling & Sensing: sensors, tracking & tracing, mapping, …

  • Location based services

  • Data collection & analytics as related to the above (“big data”)

  • Data processing & operations as related to the above

  • Data transmission & security as related to the above (“IoT”)

  • Energy efficiency & costs as related to the entire scope (“sustainability”)

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