Why Axel Springer Plug & Play?

There is a plentitude of accelerators in Berlin and Europe. Navigating them is daunting, so we will summarize why Axel Springer Plug and Play might be right one for your startup. We have the best network. Starting with our mentors adding our link into the Plug and Play Techcenters and Axel Springer we offer a broad variety of connections to our portfolio companies.  The clue is we spend lots of time cultivating our network so you can profit from it. Try us. Our ambition is to get you an intro to anyone!

Berlin. Enough said! It seems obvious, but Berlin is a great asset to you. The rents, the international scene, the hiring opportunities...you name it! We help you finding your feet here.

Focus:  Be open-minded. We feel especially comfortable with startups in that are focused on media. From content, via ad tech untill marketplaces, we cover all media related fields. More than that we always keep an eye on buzz topics like; connected cars, e-health and share economy. To enrich our network we have a corporate partner program that allows a tremendous knowledge transfer in different industries. At the moment we are partnering with ERGO.

We love what we do. We love it because we have a common aim with our startups to get ahead. If you get succeed, we get ahead.

How does it work?

We invest €25k in your early stage startup for a 5% share. After that we do everything we can to help you to progress, learn and grow. It starts with the 3 month program.

1st step: Selecting the startups.

2nd step: 3 month program.

3rd step: We accompany wherever you go.

Step One: Our Selection

We screen your online applications and invite the best to pitch to us about 4 weeks before the program starts. A crucial factor for us is that we want to get involved where we can add significant value and where we see significant potential.

We add value through our network, lending credibility, providing reach, transferring knowledge and giving you an entry point whenever it helps.

Obviously, we need to believe in your product / business / idea. More than that, we need to believe in your team. Your business model may change while you are with us. It happens in every cycle and is a essential step to succed.

In short: Both sides need to believe it’s a match point!

Step Two: The Program

First of all there is the paperwork. We are proud of our lean contract and work with pragmatic lawyers to ensure this process is as smooth as possible. We want you to focus on your business, not long contracts. When you arrive at the accelerator, there will be an on-boarding week. We get to know each other and understand how exactly we can leverage potential. In an ideal world, you will launch your beta while you’re with us, but everyone has their own way on route to demo day. There are some fixtures though:

  • Regulars: Monday Morning Standups and One-on-Ones
  • Workshops: We offer a large number of workshops on anything from Brand to Taxes.
  • Pitches: You’ll have the opportunity to pitch to potential clients, investors and our visitors. It is always busy in the accelerator
  • Mentors: Each cycle we have two Mentoring Days. You will have meetings with at least six mentors. In German we call this ‘Druckbetankung’. We are very proud of our mentor network that includes very seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and experts in most fields that are relevant to you. We have personal relationships with all of them, so we can introduce you also at any later point.

Then comes Demo Day faster than you think.

Our goal is for you to be in a position to close a seed round at the end of the program. That’s why we invite the best investors and corporate partners to Demo Day. You and the rest of the cycle will do a 5-minute pitch in front of them, followed by a reception where you will have your own ‘booth’ to talk to investors. After, there is dinner and a party.

Step Three: Your Future

Even though we won’t sit in the same office anymore we will coach you through your first financing round, press relations and wherever else we can. Our door will be open to you. There will be some, but minimal, monthly reporting.

We will have some office space available to rent at very fair rates in the building and we are currently setting up a follow-on fund that will allow us to invest in our best teams as a secondary investor. Once you have secured your follow-on investment from us or otherwise, we will no longer be your lead investor. Experience shows us already that this doesn’t changes anything in the tight personal connection we built before.

Are you interested to see if we could be a match made in heaven? Then get in touch or apply at HERE.