On Thursday, 28th of January the Techstars Metro acceleration period ended with the startups presenting at a selected audience of about 400 people of investors, journalists and possible partners on their Demo Day. The accelerator is a combination of three parties: Techstars with the accelerator knowledge, Metro with business and connections and R/GA that gives the startups an almost glamorous touch. Olaf Koch, CEO of Metro group opened the floor on this evening and then handed over the stage to the eleven startups to present themselves in front of the audience.
In July 2014 the idea of the accelerator was born when Metro, Techstars and RGA met: To create the first accelerator for the restaurant and hotel industry.
Metro’s mission is to be the champion of independent business, to support the smaller and mid sized entrepreneurs to be competitive and have a sustainable future by gaining more customer, increasing loyalty or saving costs. They have selected the startups to go digital and to enhance the services they offer to smaller business as part of the Metro package. One example is Lunchio, pre-ordering lunch at a local restaurant so that once you arrive there it is already served and no time is wasted selecting the meal and waiting for the team to cook and serve it. This makes the lunch break more usable. Four years ago Metro group was in severe trouble, customers started to leave, very weak balance sheet and low engagement in the company – questioned what they are doing, why are we here: To continuously generate value for customers! This more than 50 years old business says it needs a turnaround to continuously create value to customers. For Metro, the mission is to contribute to the success of small restaurant or hotel owners. They want to become the champion for independent business people and reaching out to the startup world seems to be of their ideas to attain this. For Metro digitalization through offering these selected startup’s services could be a restaurant building community, new services like online reservations, pre payment, optimizing efficiency, improving the restaurant’s economics.
In this startup accelerator together with Techstars, Metro sees its role as giving knowledge, access to customers and a little bit of money to the startups.