Our recent Demo Day marked a worthy ending to our 2020 acceleration program. It’s time to say goodbye to our wonderful batch and say hello to the 2021 teams soon. After receiving over 100 promising applications we are now about to select and decide who will be joining our program running February – November next year.
As we took the chance to review what our 7 current teams had achieved halfway through our program, we now want to share the highlights they worked through in the second half.
For the start, the second half of our program focused a lot on crafting the perfect pitch, especially while working towards Demo Day. For that we offered several pitch training opportunities, such as a feedback session with seed investor seed+speed.
Another big focus of our coachings was thinking through funding opportunities for after the High-Tech SeedLab. We invited our alumni Surve Mobility to hear about their experience after the program. On top, we were also lucky to have Bettine Schmitz, with us. As Angel Investor and Director of the Plug and Play Accelerator she shared a unique perspective on funding strategies.
Bettine was not the only expert to support our program, and at this point, we want to give a shout-out to the rest, including our partners and mentors without whom this program would not have been this fruitful. Thanks for your support!
Highlights and Achievements
Founded in late February, team Era Zero Waste launched the first zero waste hand sanitiser in the world only 2 weeks after lockdown. They have shipped more than 1000 orders all over Europe and launched a kickstarter campaign (check out the really fun video) to finance the launch of 6 more items. Due to its unique approach, Era was featured by major international media such as business insider, trend hunter, Wall Street Journal and cosmetics business to name a few. Yet, despite all the efforts, the team missed their fundraising goal. Towards the end, founder Livia Zimermann saw it coming and summarised her learnings in the article “What I wish I knew before launching my (about to fail) crowdfunding campaign“.
The crowdfunding failure showed that it was time to pivot (for the 2nd time during the program) whilst still aiming for the same mission: “to make it easy for everyone to live zero waste and make a positive impact.” They are launching a Marketplace in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!
Team Lesan kept optimizing their machine translation system which now offers Amharic, Tigrinya and (soon) Oromo. Despite the political conflicts shaking up Ethiopia, the team also managed to win over their first customers: consulting firms, law firms, consumer research companies as well as public institutions.
At Demo Day, Lesan left a strong impression on our jury who unanimously crowned them with the Jury Award, the highest price of the evening. Congratulations!
Team Benoo adapted their go-to-market strategy throughout the program as a result of extensive customer analysis, while keeping their vision of building an online farmers market. They are leaving the program on a tasty note, by offering a culinary experience with their seasonal recipe boxes.
Benoo’s zero waste recipe boxes contain carefully selected ingredients from regional farmers, as well as a corresponding vegetarian recipe from a local chef. Starting with friends and families, and then expanding into the wider community, Benoo successfully delivered more than 400 recipe boxes throughout Berlin.
As we approach Christmas, customers can look forward to Benoo’s Christmas Box which includes a vegetarian 3-course-meal plus dessert.
During the past months, team Leaf grew their team and customer base while also developing more features for their SaaS product. Through issuing smart receipts, Leaf makes it easier for retailers to retain, reward and increase the lifetime value of customers based on in-store data.
Their impact was recognized by Gastgewerbe Magazin, as well as through scoring 3rd place of the DUB Innovation Price. But they didn’t stop there: They also wowed our audience during Demo Day and won the Audience Award, congrats!
In October, Leaf also reported on their environmental impact: until then they saved 64.178 receipts. This equals 4.391 liters of water and 443 kg of CO2 emissions that haven’t been used for the production of receipt paper .
Team deora is leaving our program with a fletched out MVP of their layer 2 platform ‘Habitat’ on the blockchain ethereum. Their user-friendly dashboard offers governance and voting tokens for community owned networks in DAO set ups.
The team already managed to onboard communities such as LeapGov and Strudel Finance on their platform, and more are in the funnel to extend their customer base. Feel free to reach out to them on their Discord server!
Team Dodo Laboratory made considerable progress by finishing their game bible as well as a game play demo which they got to show at our Demo Day. While their main focus was on production, they have also partnered with a toy company to extend the experience of physical toys into the digital realm
Dodo Laboratory is one out of three female-led startups of our cohort that we had the pleasure to support. We look forward to following their path as a gaming company for social good developing data-driven, transformative games to teach children crucial 21st-century skills.
Team ForSuperHeroes continued to improve the two formulas of their wholesome and plant-based meal replacements ‘Cocoa Mountain’ and ‘Berry Good’. What’s new is not only their branding and packaging but also their crunchy mix and sample packages in their online shop.
The team was especially successful in their marketing efforts with their promo video which highlights the products’ healthy ingredients made up of freeze-dried fruits, nuts and vegetables that are carefully selected based on scientific research. In the coming months, customers can look forward to their organic certification as well as a new flavour.