Startup News from Germany – Summer wrap up


House Keeping:

This is the first news wrap up after the summer break. What we have been up to during the summer:

In German

  • We got for you an update on the billion dollar project of a startup campus. The project shall be called Silicon Valley of Europe and will be located in the vicinity of Frankfurt. We wait for the results of a land auction if the project will get the required area:
  • We introduced our listeners to a short format “in nuce” (in brief), where we introduce our listeners to several event formats in short podcasts

In English: (our German channel) is once again listed as a need-to-know source for every entrepreneur in Germany:



Frankfurt and region making themselves heard in London



Frankfurt turns into #Fintech city writes local newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau, listing 35 fintechs in the city center alone. Here is the map:


  • The robo advisor Ginmon raised “millions” from London based Passion Capital
  • Frankfurt insurance startup Clark raises €13.2 million
  • Cloud Computing: Frankfurt is on the way to become the could computing center of Europe writes Wirtschaftswoche
  • From one of the first startup guys in Frankfurt, there is now the “Intro to the Frankfurt Tech scene”
  • More signs of life: Relative to its population, Frankfurt is the most mentioned startup city in Germany on the Internet

Financing for 42 ha (for americans 103 acres) innovation center & startup campus close to Frankfurt have been secured. We are waiting for the official results of the public bidding. This is associated with out interview mentioned above, but an article by Frankfurt based news paper Frankfurter Rundschau



In Berlin, the flagship startups of Rocket Internet are not doing especially well, but this seems not to matter too much to the overall tech scene


Rocket Internet

Hit a rough patch in all of 2016 so far:


Tesla: A close Musk associate Antonio Gracias has been turned down by a bavarian battery producing sme called Sonnen, writes manager magazin. Tesla seem to have been interested taking a stake in the company

Here is the promised interview of Elon Musk by Y Combinator: How to Build the Future – YouTube

The story of Travador, they started out as a startup for travel flash sales. This did not work out, the did a pivot and developed their own booking platform for short and weekend trips. Now they are profitable


Unister was a talking point all through summer. The company behind several B2C travel portals like (like head for vacation) or flü (flights) are owned by the company. The holding company itself is under receivership right now. The founder apparently wanted to avoid that and fell for a scam (so called rip deals), the founder Thomas Wagner getting a cash loan of several millions swiss francs in counterfeit money, in exchange for posting a collateral in real cash. Than to make havoc on the company absolute …. the private jet in which they transported back the money crashed and killed the jet’s crew and passengers (including Mr. Wagner)


Automated Vehicles / Automated Driving

“German OEMs retain their lead over US automakers when it comes to incorporating automated functions in mass produced vehicles.” writes Roland Berger in their newest research on automated vehicles

The US and Germany lead the field in terms of automated vehicle expertise.


The Economist thiks there will be a starbucks effect in chocolate as well and is asking “Who will be the Starbucks of chocolate?”


Know-how for those with vision

Germany performing well in region innovation rankings, writes the European Commision in a publication

Peter Thiel at Stanford to Share Tips from his book “Zero to One” – YouTube

Peter Thiel on the Global Economy, the State  Tech and Artificial Intelligence – YouTube


Interview With Penta, Part II


John and Joe talk again with Luka in our second part of the interview with Penta, the banking app for small and medium enterprises. If you missed it, here is the interview part one, in which we talk about Luka (aka Luke) and the company he co-founded: Penta.

This time Luka talks mainly about raising venture capital and his experiences, since he did it already in the US and is right now in the process in Berlin. So he compares the environment in Germany (Europe) and the US. He also points out some important points about raising venture capital.

During the interview we touch:

And here is your link to the (a bit edgy) interview with Edwina from Startupbootcamp Fintech London.


Disclaimer: Joe is a repeated mentor on the Frankfurt pitch days of Startupbootcamp Fintech and our team successfully referred PENTA for the SBC Fintech accelerator in London.

quote-luka quote-luka-2 quote-luka-3

#Roadtrip Interviews from #CODE_n Festival


We have been at the CODE_n new.New festival in Karlsruhe, in the south of Germany. From there we bring you four short interviews in English, within this audio file:

  • We a talk to Jessica from everledger, an application of the blockchain in the diamond industry. During the interview we talk about:
  • We talk to Alex, co-founder of Urban Alps, who produce a high security stealth key via 3d printing. The important part is that all relevant parts are inside the key and therefore the key cannot easily be copied e.g. via a 3d printer, as with other keys.
  • We talk to Erez CEO and founder of CRiskCo, a company which helps to evaluate credit risk for small and medium enterprises, as a SaaS. His software uses an artificial intelligence to assist his clients and also to get even better over time.
  • We talk to Frederik and Flemming from FaunaPhotonics who work with remote sensing products in agriculture and malaria control, utilizing lasers. Their solution will be able to count insects in real time.

Interview with Penta, the mobile banking app 🏦 for small and medium companies


In this interview we introduce our listeners to John (who will also conduct interviews in Arabic for Startupradio). Please give him a warm welcome!

John and Joe together interview our guest Luka from Penta, located in Berlin. It wants to be the digital bank interface for German and French Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). Right now they don’t have a banking license. 

In the first interview of two interviews, Luka tells us also about his previous ventures. Together with him we take a trip through his live. He tells us how he sold shoes on the streets of New York and about studying in Paris. We learn how he ended up in Berlin and how he approached the idea of Penta. Finally we talk of course about Penta, who is in the current batch of Startupbootcamp Fintech (London). (Disclaimer, Joern is a regular mentor at the SBC Fintech pitch day in Frankfurt)

In the interview Luka also talks about mondo in the UK and N26 in Berlin and his article of things he did wrong, which you can find here

In the second part of the interview we talk with Luka about raising venture capital and his experiences in Europe and the US doing so.

Interview with Marcin Łotysz, CTO, BIN-E ✰ – A smart garbage bin, which will save your company money


Polish startup Bin-e is going to revolutionize the waste management in offices. In this short audio interview we had the chance to talk with Marcin. Marcin is the co-founder and CTO of Bin-e. The IoT startup Bin-e builds a smart trash can, which recognizes, segregates and compresses the waste. And ones it’s full notifies the right people to empty it.

Tune in now and find out how the founders:

  • came up with the idea,
  • how the smart waste bin will work,
  • which target group they want to reach
  • and how their smart bin will help companies to save money.

Startup News from Germany – Summer


House Keeping:

This is the last news podcast before the summer break. We will be back with more interviews, new formats and even live streams in September.

Our recent publications:



Of course, the big news in the last 6 weeks has been the Brexit. Many cities are fighting for the businesses, banks and startups leaving the UK. We collected articles for on the topic:



We found news on two hubs, Frankfurt and another one, which may have escaped your sight, the lovely city of Heidelberg.


is home to the 2nd oldest university in Europe (approx 400 years older than Harvard), home to a world class medical school. This also draws in biotech companies, tech startups and centers like the German Cancer research center. Don’t forget the proximity to software giant SAP and cities like Stuttgart or even Frankfurt (35 minutes by high speed train). “5 Reasons to build your startup in Heidelberg instead of Berlin (Ger)”


Best Startups of Frankfurt University, thanks to their incubator called Unibator (Ger)

Accelerator Frankfurt, you can apply now! As a startup in fintech, cybersecurity or a web based startup



Frankfurt based fintech savedroid AG closes 1mn € seed funding and releases its beta version for micro savings is the startup Chris is talking about, while discussin the news.


Uber‘s 62.5 bn US$ valuation makes only sense, if it becomes a monopoly and this will fail
Uber also raises its first loan of $1.15 bn


This is how travel portal Travelcircus had a rocket like launch (Ger)


Fintech superstar Number26 goes through a phase of heavy scrutinizing right now. They claimed to have “Europe’s most modern bank account” and they wanted to do everything in finance differently, yet now they took some of it back


And a look at the solar industry: There’s company “Sonnen“, now really getting more and more into the US market


We also had rumors, which turned out to be untrue: Media reported that Alipay wanted to buy a 25% stake in Munich based Wirecard payments provider 


Half a year is over and this may be the first time to look back. For this we use the collection of the most important venture capital investments the blog and we only see two rocket startups in the top 11. This is quite surprising, since the rocket startups used to be the list (zalando, delivery hero, …). Times are changing?
(Article was changed since we based our news on it)

* SoundCloud (100 mn + 32 mn US$)

* eGym (45 mn US$)

* Number26 (40 mn US$)

* (33 mn Euro)

* Spotcap (31,5 mn Euro) – Rocket Startup

* Celonis (27,5 mn US$)

* SnapShot (25 Millionen)

* Movinga (25 mn US$)

* Thermondo (23,5 mn Euro)

* tado (20 mn Euro)

* Home24 (20 mn Euro) – Rocket Startup


Startup Competitions

You can now apply for the wards handed out by Google, McKinsey and Rocket

You can apply now to the Euro Finance Tech Award, which will be handed over at the Euro Finance Tech in November this year in Frankfurt


Know-how for those with vision

Interview with Pleo – Pioneers Festival winner of the Challenge Day

Niccolo Perra & Jeppe Rindom Pleo Co-Founders

As a media partners at the Pioneer Festival in Vienna we are happy to share with you our talk with the winner of the Challenge Day – Pleo Startup. Pleo decentralises company spending, eliminates expense reports and reimbursements and simplifies bookkeeping. Jeppe, co-founder of Pleo, told us about his startup idea, shared his experience in fintech, gave some prognoses that can hit the financial institutions! Moreover, Jeppe told us about his days at the Pioneer’s Festival and what could you experience there. Stay tuned and listen to our podcast! – Learn more about the Pioneer’s Festival – Here you can learn more about Pleo startup and get a beta version

Interview with Startup Weekend Mittelhessen

On the 20th-22 th of May Maria from visited Startup Weekend Mittelhessen which took place in Giessen. We talked to Martin Lacroix – the main organiser of the event and asked him about the development of the startup scene in Mittelhessen. If you are interested to see a video interview with one of the participant, head off to  and you will learn there about some ideas that were worked at by the participants of the event.

RoadTrip – goes #SXSW S1, E7 – Lengoo


“ Roadtrip” is our new show about startups on the road. What do they do at conferences? How do they find investors? What are their tricks for the perfect pitch? We interview the founders, they tell us how they network und chill and you as listeners get great recommendations about how to up your outreach game as a founder.

In our first season, we feature startups at one of the coolest tech conferences in the world, South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. This episode we talk with Lengoo, a company provides translation services by matching your translation needs with the best bilingual translators possible.

Learn more about that at

Startup news from Germany – May 2016


House Keeping

We have for you an interview in German with Swiss serial entrepreneur Peter Ohnemus. He had his first company with 14, and sold companies to the likes of Thompson Reuters and Sybase. He is introducing the listeners in German to his health care startup Decadoo The Interview was part of our media partnership with Health 2.0 in Barcelona this month

Roadtrip Startupradio goes #SXSW

New interview with a food startup from Frankfurt, Lizza who claims to made Pizza healthy

Frankfurt Entrepreneurs Award live stream and video in German, you can see it here in Youtube. Out of 37 applications, three startups were awarded prices. Number two and three taken by FinTech:

  1. Mobileeee who offers a car sharing at the airport
  2. Creditshelf, who helps their client get the best credit offers
  3. Ginmon, a new robo advisor

Finally, we have also been live with the periscope app at the Big Data Meetup here in Frankfurt, which you can replay here


The funding to the new media formats Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Space startups shot up by 44%, totaling $3.5B in equity financings in 2015, over a record 254 deals writes research provider CB Insights

There is a great overview put together by the magazine t3n of the largest marketplaces for e commerce from a retailer’s perspective. If you are a startup looking to sell your product in Germany online you should pay attention

A Berlin investor has the UK tech startups, that in case of a Brexit the EU funding will dry up. We remember from one of the last epidosded, that Berlin was one of the most important sources of VC in Europe


Once again there was a lot going on in Frankfurt recently. No other hub got so much attention here and we have just some news here for you:

Fraport, the company running the Frankfurt Airport will hold it’s first “Frankfurt Airport Innovation Challenge”

Frankfurt is also now a hotspot for FinTechs. Not only are there a lot of FinTech startups springing up, but also are there many, already listed here. Just two examples of the developments last month:

  • MyBuck, an African micro lender want to IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Unfortunately the mood on Cap Markets have not been good and therefore the plans have been called off shortly before the date of listing
  • Swiss payment service Cashcloud has already been listed in Frankfurt, but now the stock price went into free fall after there have been bad news in questionable research reports

The RheinMain area is a hidden gem in the global gaming industry. Just some links here:


Amazon has now started the Launchpad in Germany, where the company helps startups to sell their B2C products and competes with the likes of Kickstarter

German banks backed payment service Paydirekt wants to expand in Europe, even though the penetration in the German home market is quite low. Obviously they understood that payments are a numbers game. Lets see if it is going to get traction in Germany and worry about everything else later

Rocket Internet, the news podcast is never complete without them. Last month brought more bad news for them:

Dropbox is here, we mean in Germany. They opened the first office in Hamburg last month

The Munich based media group ProSiebenSat.1, which is a very active investor in German and international Startups now completely takes over the digital fashion market place Stylight, at a valuation of 80 million euros. ProSiebenSat.1 was an investor in the company since December 2012

We found a good wrap up of the Google I/O 2016, by The Verge, boiling down the event to just 10 minutes as a Youtube video

Berin based online magazine put together a list of the top 100 female founders in Europe. You can download their issues on their website as a PDF.

Startup Competitions and Innovation Challenges:

Fraport, the Frankfurt based Airport Operator

The public German Health Insurer AOK

The CODE_n16 startup competition

Knowhow for those with vision

VCs calculate valuations different from entrepreneurs. Lear here how

German overview of insurtech startups

Some would agree: Blockchain is over-hyped, but it can stil be part of the solution

Stanford Social Innovation Review proposes a new digital currency for sustainable development

Bill Gates appears to think that the fintech startup bKash will revolutionize banking for the poor

We all know bootstrapping is sexy, here are 5 startups who made it big, the sexy way

A cool article giving you an inside perspective on #Palantir, likely Silicon Valley’s most secretive company

Pratical knowledge on how you should calculate customer lifetime value?

We all knew it kinda before, but now it is official: Fundraising is a numbers game

TED’s secret to great public speaking, of course includes also great public pitiching

Fintech and the Evolving Landscape – Here we get a few points for a potential industry structure

Just be very careful about startup metrics, since a misunderstanding of them could cost you your job

Keep one thing always in mind, for delegation to work, it has to come with coaching