betahaus Hamburg transformed into a start-up arena on 13 January, setting the stage for over 150 guests to hear six outstanding pitches in a cauldron of knife-edge suspense. The challenge: It was up to the jury and the audience to decide which start-up would fly to Texas to represent Hamburg at the SXSW German Startup Engine in Austin in March. All of the start-ups came highly motivated, clearly determined to win. Jenni Schwanenberg, responsible for innovation management at dpa whenever she’s not driving startups through the arena with ever so delightful charm, was an engaging host at the evening’s event. Triprebel, a travel startup presented by its founder Carlos Borges, and the e-commerce agent minubo, showcased by Torben Sominka, emerged as winners and can now look forward, among other things, to an exciting trip to SXSW.
The six startup nominees from Hamburg that gave their all at yesterday’s SXSW pre-pitch included three representatives from the topic cluster of travel & mobility and three from e-commerce: Triprebel, Jaano and Knowhere in the travel segment and Channel Pilot, minubo and shipcloud from the field of e-commerce. The standard of all pitches was excellent, making things difficult – not just for the audience – to pick the favorites. The jury of six, with Katharina Borchert (SPIEGEL ONLINE), Elke Fleing (Deutsche Startups), Sina Gritzuhn (Hamburg Startups), Jan-Menko Grummer (EY), Marc-Sven Kopka (XING) and Jeremy Tai Abbet (Google), had an equally tough job choosing the winners. But there could only be two.
“The pitch took place in the epicenter of the Hamburg startup scene, and demonstrated once again that this city can boast startups of international merit. All that remains now is to convince the US jury, too. And things are looking pretty good,”
says Jan-Menko Grummer, Jury Member and Partner at EY.
So what lies in store for the paragons of the evening? Joining eight start-ups from other parts of Germany, the two winning pitches will be the worthy representatives of our Hanseatic city at the SXSW, presenting their ideas to international investors and a prominent jury at the German Startup Engine. Their travel expenses will be subsidized thanks to patrons in City Hall and superb partners such as EY, XING and elance ODesk. The two champions can also look forward to a coaching session with our American jury member Jeremy from Google, who will help them knock the socks off the American jury in the Sillicon Hills.
Quotes from the evening
“A massive thank you to everyone who took part in the pitch, also to our magnificent partners, the jury, everyone who helped out before and during the event and the fantastic audience with stacks of new faces. A magnificent evening, one that augurs well for our trip to Austin. Our winners will be fabulous ambassadors for the city of Hamburg,”
says Sanja Stankovic, member of the Organization Team for the Hamburg Delegation at SXSW and Co-Founder at Hamburg Startups.
— minubo (@minubo) January 13, 2015
Pictures from the night
Thanks to our partners
The Hamburg Senate Chancellery, Hamburg Marketing GmbH, Hamburg Convention Büro GmbH, the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft are all backing this joint presentation of Hamburg. IHM – Hamburg Music Business Association – and the Reeperbahn Festival are in charge of organization. Partners are EY, Hamburg Startups, Xing, elance ODesk, SPIEGEL ONLINE and deutsche-startups.de.