This month marks half-time of our 2020 accelerator program. As we reflected on the first quarter, we took stock of our learning curriculum. Now that it is half-time, let’s have a look at what our startups have achieved in the past five months:
The High-Tech SeedLab supports early-stage startups, so all our teams joined the program to develop their ideas, build an MVP and eventually validate their product-market fit. During the past few months, they have worked on refining their business strategy, testing their value proposition and analysing their target group. To do so, our teams went through several group workshops on “Growth Hacking”, “Customer Discovery” and “Finance & Investment”, as well as tailored one-on-one workshops with their designated startup coach.
Since peer support and learning is a core value of the High-Tech SeedLab, we also had sessions with alumni of our program: Alina Bassi gave an exemplary pitch on her startup Kleiderly, followed by a presentation on her personal tips and tricks on mastering the perfect pitch. Also, Sven Przywarra, Co-Founder of LiveEO, joined us to share his strategy on how his team successfully managed to finance themselves after the acceleration program.
Highlights and achievements
Leaf is a SaaS product that enables merchants to issue smart digital receipts from existing point of sale and use them to engage and retain customers. Saving them thousands of euros on marketing budget and helping them improve their environmental footprint.
During the corona crisis Leaf’s target group was hit hard. Fortunately, the team came up with an idea that was even covered by Forbes: Within record speed Leaf developed ‘Stammi’ to make it easier for people to support local stores and restaurants by buying digital vouchers.
Despite these tough times, the team also managed to roll out the Leaf technology to several pilot customers in Berlin and are now ramping up with more locations going live every week. If you’re in Berlin pop into the Passenger Cafes or Albatross for some delicious treats and digital receipts!
Benoo’s vision is to set up a digital distribution channel for farmers with a traceable and transparent supply chain. The goal is to make it easier for people to buy local products directly from farmers thereby supporting the local economy.
In the past five months, the Benoo team managed to develop an MVP as well as a go-to market strategy: They built an interactive map on their website which allows users to find farmers around Berlin-Brandenburg and see what produce they offer. Eventually, users will be able to order through the Benoo platform, which they can later pick up at nearby farmers markets. For the start the team plans to target farmers with a limited online presence to help them increase their reach.
Benoo’s highlight of the first half was being selected to participate in the EIT Digital Deephack “From Farm to Fork”. They successfully won second place while the jury emphasized their excellent work on customer segments which they had previously defined in our Workshop “Customer Discovery”.
Lesan offers instant translation of languages in emerging economies starting with Ethiopia’s official language Amharic. It is their mission to make the web accessible to everyone – in their native language.
One of the main achievements in the past months was Lesan’s successful soft launch of their API to 50 users. The team has also started training a dataset for their next language: Tigrinya, spoken in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Lesan also managed to partner with Facebook to work together on machine translation systems.
Having a parallel corpus with a dataset of translations is key for Lesan’s instant translation system. So, to speed-up data gathering and making it more efficient they organized a hackathon. The response was very positive with 250 participants. Unfortunately, the hackathon had to be cut short due to the internet in Ethiopia being shut down during political unrest. Still, the Lesan team learned a lot from the first submitted results and managed to build a community around their cause.
Zero Waste Era’s mission is to make it easy for everyone to live zero-waste. Their first products are sustainable personal care products without single use plastics which they deliver by zero-emission postal or bike right to one’s doorstep. Eventually, Zero Waste Era’s vision is to become the ‘Amazon of packaging-free products’ and increase the reach of zero waste shops.
When the corona crisis started, Zero Waste Era took the momentum to prove their concept by selling hand sanitizers instead of hand soaps as originally planned. One of their highlights was selling their refillable products in their cargo bike refill stations in organic markets around Berlin. Now their hand-sanitizers are available in their online shop, shipping EU wide, sustainable product distributors and in special markets in Berlin. They have also launched a refer-a-friend program that has worked so well that they went organically viral, specially in France.
This month, the Zero Waste Era team was excited to win the top price of the Thinking Tomorrow innovation award by Octorank and capacura. Congrats!
ForSuperHeroes sells wholesome and plant-based meals. Their product is a mix of powder made out of freeze-dried fruits, nuts and vegetables that are carefully selected based on scientific research.
What sets ForSuperHeroes apart is their scientific approach, which they explain in their recently developed whitepaper. One of the highlights of the team was becoming part of a research consortium to apply for an EU grant. Through scientific studies they want to test the effect of different diets on blood biomarkers to consecutively improve their products.
In the past months, the team ForSuperHeroes successfully launched their product, brand and online shop. Besides, they managed to improve their formulas for better taste and higher margin. Their intensive research on customer segments paid off especially when winning the internal High-Tech SeedLab competition on “Customer Discovery”.
Dodo Laboratory is a gaming company for social good, developing data-driven, transformative games to teach children crucial 21st-century skills.
In the past months, the team has made considerable progress in building a network of parents and children with whom they can test and validate their idea. Additionally, the team is developing a unique research framework to achieve their learning goals, supported by Professor Sylvester Arnab at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab at Coventry University.
What makes Dodo unique is their hybrid online-offline learning model, with learning designed to transfer from the digital game to offline, real-world platforms. To demonstrate their game-based education model, the team is currently working on a demo of the digital game.
The team is especially proud to have recently made it amongst the top finalists in a pitch competition for Games Week Berlin, the leading cross-industry gaming conference in Europe, and is currently closing their first angel investment.
Have you ever heard of teal organisations, holacracy or quadratic voting? As experts in these fields the startup Deora offers consulting service to anyone interested in learning more about new ways of digital collaboration. Their clients are typically self-managed and non-hierarchical organisations (DAOs) with whom they test web 3.0 applications based on blockchain technology.
In the past months they successfully tested their quadratic voting platform with the political party VOLT as well as during the ETH-Turin hackathon. Deora not only provided the voting system for the hackathon through their app but also held a talk on “How Quadratic voting helps governance”. Known as experts in this field the team also gave a talk about quadratic voting at the conference RadicalxChange.
Deora is now developing an MVP towards a web 3.0 protocol governance platform. Their first clients are Decentralized Finance Applications which want to open up for user participation and decentralization.
Are you interested in learning more about our startups or have ideas for collaborations? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are a startup in the making and wonder how you could become part of such a wonderful peer group? Learn more about our program and upcoming application deadlines here.
This program is financed by the European Social Fund (ESF), as well as the State of Berlin.