METRO Accelerator Stages: 2018 Alumni Summit

Alumni Summit 04. June 2018

120 attendees, 40 contributors, 35 founders jointly celebrating five programs in four years.

METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars is a highly selective mentorship program for technology-first startups across the entire value chain of Hospitality and Retail.

June 4, in Berlin, our 2018 Alumni Summit celebrates five successful programs in four years and sets our joint path forward.

Throughout the day, program startups reunite, engaging with industry experts, investors and METRO executives for interactive immersive conversation around how to best drive business growth:


Founder-focused expert programming

Interaction with multi-national corporates around scale-up opportunities and best-practices


Knowledge sharing among all participants

Lessons learned, lessons shared – swapping ideas, sharing experiences (yup! It takes a village)


Community networking

The company we keep – meeting and mingling with top-notch founders, corporates and investors

This is an invite-only event. Doors open June 4, at 9 AM.




June. 04


Arrival and Networking

Welcome Keynote Speech: Olaf Koch

Part 1: Breakouts with Alumni and Industry Experts

Networking Lunch

Part 2: Breakouts with Alumni and Industry Experts

Closing Panel: Corporate Innovation – The Good, The Bad, The Opportunities (Arvato Systems, Friends Of eBay, Google, McKinsey, Microsoft)

Event Closing

Techstars Networking & Drinks (sponsored by METRO)

04. June


HEAR Chat: Techstars, Friends of Ebay

Building Bridges: How Corporates Connect with Startups to Drive Growth
Jag Singh, Julia Neznanova

HEAR Presentation: Moritz Grumbach (Gastrozentrale)

Beautiful lies: How Design is Killing Rationality
Moritz Grumbach

HEAR Chat: DeliveryHero, Optoro

How to Build a Unicorn?
Sabine Flechet,  Tobin Moore, Felix Plog

HEAR Chat: Angel Invest, Groupraise

Speed versus Momentum – Why Pace Matters to Success
Jens Lapinski, Devin Baptiste

HEAR Presentation: Digital /McKinsey

5 Easy Recipes – How to Fail While Scaling Up
Philipp Hillenbrand

June 04


HOSPITALITY.digital METROpolitan Pilot

Learnings From Testing Digital Solutions Together With


Tim Kruppe

METRO Retail & Wholesale Business

How to Approach METRO for Business Development

Isabel Rudolf, Boris Minialai

METRO Public Policy

Digital Regulation: Understanding the Challenges

Maria Heider

HOSPITALITY.digital Digital Services

How to Best Set Up & Run a Successful B2B Sales Force &

Call Center

Tim Wenz, Marc Stratmann


B2B Sales: Selling Your Product to Corporations

Hugo Hanselmann

June. 04


McKinsey Experience Studio

Creating a Successful Value Creation Journey

Claus Heintzeler, Christoph Goeken, Fabio Mann, Sandra


Google - One Startup Team

Scale With a Small Team – Google Marketing Automation for


Jan Michel Vette

New York International (NYI)

Expanding Faster & Cheaper Than Ever – The New York &

Berlin Experience

Marc Lemcke, Christian Herzog

NKF Media

How to Best PR Your Company & Brand

Jan Thomas

Bertelsmann Arvato Systems

Leverage Enterprise System Integration Partners for Sales &


Marcel Muscat

Microsoft for Startups

Post-Demo Day – Development Tools & Co-Selling

Stephan Jacquemot, Philipp Laurim

June 04



The Typical SaaS Journey From MOC-UP, MVP to MRR and

Global Growth

Alexander Bruehl


Design Sprints – Building Products Customers Love

Matthias Beikert, Kai Toepel

Mo Syed

Grow Fast by Understanding Your Customer

Mo Syed


Test & Learn: Validate You Assumptions to Avoid Costly


Anuraag Verma

Web Financial Group

Financial Modeling – Make it Worth Your Effort

Johanna Campion

June 04



How to build a great team and company culture

Finian Carey with Carreira Paulo, Vasco Portugal, Joana Rafael


How to raise money for deep-tech

Finian Carey with Mickey Balter


The Importance of Saying “No”

Finian Carey with Carlos Gomez


How to Pivot In a Successful Manner

Finian Carey with Ahmet Uenver


Finian Carey with Eva Hoefer, Alex Reeg

Event Pictures


Alexander Bruehl

Alexander serves as an Advisor of SSP Europe GmbH, Propertybase GmbH, eZ Systems AS and FreeAgent Central Limited. He served as General Partner at Newbury Ventures. Alexander served as Senior Partner at Atlas Venture L.P. He served as Special Partner and Venture Partner at Atlantic Capital Partners GmbH and also served as its General Partner until 2013. He has been a Member of Global Advisory Board at Contentful GmbH since December 2012.




Alexander Reeg

Alex is the co-founder of KptnCook. He is an absolute team-player and loves to collaborate with people from different backgrounds, to get things done. When it comes to food, he could never resist the Asian cuisine.




Anuraag Verma

Anuraag works closely with senior executives and entrepreneurs to enable them to bring new ideas – both social and commercial – to market, by equipping them with the skills and tools required to drive meaningful change. He has successfully launched new businesses and products across four continents, and has a diverse career spanning engineering, consulting, technology, education and not-for-profit. Anuraag has also designed and facilitated hundreds of hours of product management and innovation workshops for senior executives at companies including Virgin, General Electric, American Express, Staples, and Pearson.



Boris Minialai

French-born graduate of EDHEC Business School, Boris held until October 2016 the position of CEO METRO Cash & Carry Russia, and has been a member of the MCC Management Board in Russia since December 2014. He was previously Chief Operations Officer for the wholesale business in Turkey and Morocco. He came to METRO from the French retailer Carrefour in 2008, where he held various managerial positions in sales, business development and international sourcing. He has been working in several European countries as well as in the Far East.




Carlos Gomez

Carlos is Co-founder and CEO of Cheerfy. He is an entrepreneur and executive with 15 years of leadership experience in the technology and startup sectors. Prior to Cheerfy, Carlos served in several leadership roles at Nortel, was Global Partnerships Director at Fon (Google funded) and CEO of We2. He is also Co-Founder of WePlan, a leading mobile tariff comparison app and a Board Director at Elsatel, a London telecoms startup with a focus on emerging markets. Carlos holds an MBA from IE Business School and has completed Executive Education from MIT.




Christoph Goeken

Christoph is digital consultant focusing on entrepreneurship and digital transformation. He is currently building up McKinsey´s first digital studio in Europe. Prior to that, Cristoph has co-founded McKinsey´s global early stage start-up program. As a consultant, he has worked with clients from various industries across Europe.




Clara Salarich-Ortega

Clara, Manager, EU Affairs, METRO AG. She is based at METRO’s representative office in Brussels. Before joining METRO, Clara gained expertise in the fields of EU policy and communications through different positions in public affairs (in Berlin and Brussels), the NGO/philanthropic sector and the European Parliament. She also contributed to the foundation of the European Fintech Alliance, where she worked as a consultant in 2016-17.




Devin Baptiste

Devin is Founder and CEO of GroupRaise. He loves rocking Pumas on the daily and traveling. Devin raises for Rays of Hope, a South African outreach program focused on serving the needs of the Johannesburg townships.




Matthias Beikert

With more than ten years of digital experience in corporates, startups and consultant agencies Matthias supports companies to understand the opportunities digitalisation offers and to actively pursue these opportunities through customer-centred business models, products and services.




Micky Balter

Mickey is a serial entrepreneur and a veteran of the Israeli semiconductor industry, with over 20 years of experience in combining deep technology and innovative business models for solving complex business challenges. Prior to founding Oriient, Mickey founded and led Scientra which developed the world’s fastest High-Frequency- Trading platform. Before that Mickey held senior leadership positions at Siverge Networks and Broadlight (acquired by Broadcom). Mickey started his career at the IDF’s elite cyber-security unit. Mickey holds an MBA from Tel-Aviv University and a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the Technion.




Hugo Hanselmann

Throughout his career, Hugo realized digital transformation across the planet. This started at Daimler and continued at AB InBev, where Hugo was leading Digital Connections worldwide and where he has honed his talents for innovative and effective consumer engagement strategies via digital channels, such as web, CRM, mobile and social media. He was a member of Daimler’s innovation committee and also set up an innovation hub in Silicon Valley for AB InBev to drive digital innovation. He is now based in Brussels where he founded his own company, HuHeHa, offering business strategy consultancy in the areas of marketing, innovation as well as business transformation. He is also CEO of B-Sprouts, a startup accelerator and he is partner at 5CCG, a boutique advisory firm. Hugo is also is I-COM Global Board Member and Advisory Board Member at DMI International and at several start-ups.



Vasco Portugal

Vasco is the CEO of Sensei, an AI-powered real-time video recognition solution for retail enabling accurate in-store traffic flow analysis, sales performance, and optimized operations. Before Sensei, he was the responsible for the R&D and innovation strategy at META, including being responsible for the innovation pipeline ensuring the strategic decision-making of the design, research, and development of the company cutting edge products. Multidisciplinary and tech background with a strong business ethos. Vasco is a big believer in the power of user experience and qualitative research. He believes that we can’t only make decisions based on extensive research mixed with a clear comprehension of our user experience. So, part of his challenge is to converge qualitative research, analytics and data patterns to make dynamite – track, learn and build products that ultimately will make a difference in our lives.


Ahment Ünver

3 years experience in Northern Telecom (Netas) as a software designer
3 yeras experience in Alcatel Paris as a senior software architect
7 years of experience in Turkcell (Turkish leading GSM operator) in consumer and corporate marketing, business development
10 years of telecom management consultancy at Telcotank Telecom International.

Co-Founder of Fidelo, a loyalty solution for small businesses

Co-founder of JustSnap, cloud based promotion & campaign management platform that enables the consumers to participate the campaigns simply by snapping the photo of their receipts




Eva Höfer

Eva is one of the co-founders of KptnCook and the creative mind behind the KptnCook brand and product. After graduating as a designer in Mainz and gaining first work experiences in London and Rotterdam, she moved to the art & tech capital Berlin. There she worked with interdisciplinary teams for design and advertising agencies. After 10 years of work experience Evas passion for food, digital innovation and smart, simple solutions for complex challenges led to co-founding KptnCook.




Joana Rafael

Joana is an entrepreneur responsible for operations and business development at Sensei, before Sensei she launched meta (a technology consulting business). She has acquired broad experience in fashion and retail while developing projects for digital transformation and global marketing strategies across her family’s two fashion retail brands, she was responsible for new stores concepts and market entry and business development to the USA, finding new business and managing corporate clients relations. She worked in Boston, USA at NADAAA inc, participating in projects across continents, namely retail projects. In the USA, she post graduated at Harvard University in Management & Sustainability and is a PhD candidate at MIT Portugal Program in Sustainable Energy Systems (Smart Cities). Joana was part of the Industry 4.0 Fashion & Retail strategic committee of the Portuguese Government, a member of CIONET Advisory Board (world’s largest community of IT executives worldwide) and Editorial Board member of “i9 magazine”, publication on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.




Finian Carey

Passionate about hospitality and entrepreneurship, and intrigued by the analog working mode of the restaurant industry and the vast business opportunities this encounters, Finian Carey works with HOSPITALITY.digital as a freelance consultant. Besides co-developing and building a hospitality startup Finian is also a guest lecturer at the ISBA in Freiburg. That’s not giving you a lot of details, is it? So let’s have a chat…



Johanna Campion

Johanna spent 25 years in investment banking providing strategic advice on mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and strategic alternatives with a particular focus on media and telecom. She started her career with Merrill Lynch, and then worked for Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers. More recently she spent six years as Global Head of Telecom, Media and Technology for Societe Generale. She is now an active angel investor, an NED at Web Financial Group and a consultant/senior advisor to a number of early stage companies. She also mentors at Techstars, Collider, Ignite and City Launch Lab.




Mo Syed

Mo has trained 50+ teams of startups and corporates in how to build fast growth processes. He has worked with 500 Startups (London & Berlin) on the Series Programme and mentored for Techstars London and Techstars Metro, Berlin. He specialises in using lightweight customer research methods to understand what customers understand about you, why they buy, stick with you and churn. Mo has 9+ years of product and UX experience and has worked with clients like Getty Images, DeBeers, Flybe and RBS.

Kai Töpel

As a trained psychologist with a background in qualitative and quantitative research Kai has been supporting corporates and startups in the last 4 years to develop their products and services fast and based on the riskiest market assumptions.




Marcel Muscat

As the Director of Commerce for Arvato Systems North America I am responsible for the North American division delivering E-Commerce and Cloud consulting/solutions to industry leading companies listed on Fortune’s rankings of the world’s top companies. My responsibilities include the management of all business operating functions including P&L, strategy, business development, and client management. My background is in digital and commerce programs with 12+ years of experience. During that time, I have worked with Fortune ranked companies in healthcare, retail and manufacturing to define their digital strategy, analyze their business processes and manage their solution implementations.


Phillipp Laurim

Dynamic and highly motivated business development and product enthusiast with strong communication skills, a pronounced hands-on mentality, high tech savvyness and affinity for everything internet, entrepreneurship and new economy. Not affraid of failure and eager to learn constantly.




Jan Thomas
Jan Michel Vette

Tim Wenz

Maria Heider

30 years experience in German and EU Politics. Some positions: Spokesperson of the German Federal Ministry of Finance, Head of Public Relations Department Federal Ministry of Finance, exchange official to the EU Commission, Secretariat General, since 2015 Director Public Affairs EU at METRO AG, Corporate Communications and Public Policy.




Lars Jope

Lars Jope is Director Public Policy, METRO AG. Prior, he was coordinating a Unit at VIK-German Association of Industrial Energy Consumers in Berlin and coordinated as Director the activities of IFIEC Europe – International Federation Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers at European levels in Brussels. Lars holds a degree of Law from the University of Hamburg and is a trained Lawyer by profession. Additionally, he holds a MBA from Quadriga University Berlin, at which he was also educated as Public Affairs Manager.





Isabel Rudolf

Since 2016, Isabel has been holding the position of Head of Innovation and CX within METRO AG. She has been creating innovation for METRO group’s core business, always taking the customer needs in the center of new inventions. Her focus lies on seamless and digitalized customer journeys, immersive technologies and sustainability within METROs innovations. In this scope; Isabel works closely together with global tech start ups, bringing added value to METROs core business. Before joining METRO, Isabel has worked within the Innovation and Design department of Deutsche Telekom AG.





Tim Kruppe

As the Director of Digital Projects Tim is heading the R’n’D part of Hospitality Digital with the goal of identifying ways of making restaurateurs more successful with digital tools. Throughout his career, he has worked in various roles focused on IT, digital services, and business transformation. Tim attended Maastricht University and obtained a Master of Economics. Before joining METRO AG, he spend 9 years with a strategy consulting firm. Originally from Berlin, Tim has lived in the Netherlands, Canada and Mexico, and currently spends the majority of his time throughout Europe, focused on impacting digital business processes in Germans, France, Italy, Spain and Austria.




Philipp Hillenbrand

Philipp is an Associate Partner and returned recently to McKinsey to lead the Digital Marketing Operations & Technology Practice at Digital/McKinsey. He is a proven digital entrepreneur that has built and led several successful new ventures but has also helped established companies to evolve beyond their traditional core competencies by working in more agile ways and by successfully deploying ways of working and mindsets of start-ups.





Sabine Flechet

Avid traveler, originally from France, I used to live in Paris, London, New York, Singapore and settled in Munich six years ago. Following 10+-year experience in strategy consulting, private equity and investment banking, I now support early- and growth-stage start-ups with capital and lead generation. I have genuine enthusiasm for anything digital and entrepreneurial with particular focus on mobile, social and content marketing, e-commerce, food and retail-tech, within the hospitality and gastro sectors. I also advise Corporate Management in the definition and development of their digital transformation and their innovation strategy.




Moritz Grumbach

With a focus on corporate finance and business development issues, Moritz has set up and sold two own companies in the field of SaaS and e-commerce market places. He is currently the founder and CEO of Certista, an IoT/AI technology provider, as well as of BuildersInHealthcare.org, a non-profit organization for international HealthTech.




Jag Singh

Jag is the Managing Director for the METRO Accelerator for Retail, powered by Techstars. He’s founded several companies, and invested in over 70 startups over the last six years, including three that went through Techstars accelerators. He’s an ad-man at heart, and spent a decade as a political strategist advising high-profile politicians, campaigns and corporations across the US and Europe. Jag is fluent in six languages, and can be found on Twitter via @JagSingh.




Julia Neznanova
Christian Herzog

Christian Herzog is the first point of contact at Berlin Partner for startups, investors, to be digitized SMEs and upscaling companies being interested in Berlin. Over the last 4 years, he has grown the capital into a “Berlin Start Alliance” aiming to strengthen the cooperation between Berlin and other international startup hubs, such as NYC, Tel Aviv, Shanghai and Paris. Christian holds the position of Head of Division Digital Business and drives the development of Berlin as an internationally known place to be for startups and breeding ground for innovation in the area of Smart Cities, ICT, Media, Creative Industries and Service Industries.


Olaf Koch

Olaf Koch has been a Member of the Management Board of METRO AG since 2009, first as CFO and since 2012 as Chairman of the Management Board. Within the last five years he has been leading the operational transformation and digitization of the company. In his overall more than 20 years of professional experience he has held senior positions at the private equity firm Permira and at Daimler. Before, he founded the IT company IT-Networks which he led as CEO from 1996 to 1998.



Jens Lapinski

He was previously a Managing Director at Techstars for four years. He set up Techstars office in Berlin, he invested in 40 companies that have raised in aggregate more than $50m. Before Techstars, Jens was a partner at Forward Labs, which he co-founded in January 2012. Before Labs, Jens co-founded and was CEO of aiHit, a provider of automated company data to the business information industry, which was backed by Amadeus and VTB Capital. Prior to this, he was the VP Analysis & Consulting at Library House (now Dow Jones), a business information and research company. During his PhD at Cambridge University, he developed, patented and licensed new water technology.



Marc Lemcke

I’ve had the privilege of working for 20+ years on high-profile, transformational projects and had the chance to look at the world’s as well as corporate problems and opportunities in a different light. I feel fortunate to play an instrumental role in strategically bringing different minds together in a way that will empower them to ideate, build, and be a part of something bigger.
After co-founding my first consultancy in 2001, I came to the U.S. with my family in 2005 to capitalize on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Since I’m fascinated by the power of people coming together to bring ideas to life.
As founder of two of the leading consultancies in the space and the largest editorial platform in NYC for international collaboration, I’ve helped corporations, institutions and cities all over the world deliver one-of-a-kind ideas in a meaningful and impactful way. I consider myself an eternal learner and enjoy consistently challenging the status quo with new and creative thinking to make the world a more innovative, impactful and interesting place.



Jesko Perrey

Jesko works with clients to implement large-scale growth programs that deliver value. His expertise with a wide range of brands allows him to help clients uncover the most productive growth opportunities to invest in, create market-changing products and services, and continuously optimize commercial performance. He works with clients to create digitally adept and agile organizations by bringing together the science (customer insights, marketing analytics, marketing return on investment (ROI), art (brand building, communications, customer experience), and craft (brand delivery, multichannel execution, digital capabilities) of marketing and sales).



Felix Plog

Felix Plog is the SVP Global Operation at Delivery Hero AG. Before, he was COO/Co-Founder of the foodpanda group, the largest food ordering marketplace in the emerging markets which was acquired by Delivery Hero AG in 2016. Previously, he was the Chief Executive Officer at wallstreet:online AG, a listed company that develops and operates websites for financial information. Prior to that, he was the MD at Axel Springer Financial Media, the financial branch of one of Germany’s largest media groups and Project Manager at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Felix holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin.


Marc Stratmann

Co-Founder, FragPaul



Sandra Welchering
Andreas Würfel

Andreas is CEO of New York-based HOSPITALITY.digital Inc, the US subsidiary of HOSPITALITY.digital, METRO Group’s newly established subsidiary focusing on impactful, large-scale digital transformation for the hospitality industry. An active intrapreneur and corporate business development professional both in the US and Europe, Andreas drives METRO’s international innovation community efforts with specific focus on supporting the company’s accelerator program and the surrounding emerging digital technology ecosystem. Prior, Andreas has worked in multiple geographies and disciplines across the music, telecommunications and internet industries