"Young entrepreneurs have everything: creative minds, innovative ideas, the energy to work around the clock, and the dynamics to follow a new path. What they do not usually have in the beginning is the necessary capital and the right access to profitable connections," says Jibran Malek, Marketing Manager of MassChallenge. After becoming one of the largest accelerator programs in the USA, this Boston initiative is now expanding into Europe. MassChallenge is looking for early stage startups for the program it recently launched in Switzerland. In addition, MassChallenge can be found at SCALE11 with its own workstation.
"We are expecting around 400 startups at CeBIT, and 300 from 30 countries at SCALE11 alone," says Jutta Jakobi from DEUTSCHE MESSE AG. "Interest in this event in Hall 11 is overwhelming." Launched only in 2015, SCALE11 has become Europe's number one platform for startups. The new companies exhibiting here are joined by a number of established corporations looking for proximity to the startup ecosystem, including Deutsche Bahn AG, SAP, Schaeffler, Unify, Bosch Car Multimedia, HP Enterprise and the Federal Association of German Banks.
On the startup stage, young exhibitors will be pitching their ideas around the clock, along with industry pitches and startup scouting by HPE, Bosch Car Multimedia and Schaeffler. The "Founders Fight Club" where entrepreneurs get into the ring at three different times is also where the action is: In the first rounds each startup pitches its business idea, which is evaluated in round 2 by their "opponent", and then by a jury.
At "Corporate Startup Excellence", a spin-off of the Corporate Startup Summit, established companies talk about their experience working with startups and their own innovation teams. Speakers come from many companies including SAP, Deutsche Bahn, Hubert Burda Media and Payback.
Other highlights include evening networking events such as the Captain’s Dinner on Tuesday and the startup award "Best of CeBIT" on Friday. Berlin Partner is organizing an evening conference on the topic of failure. The "Go International Summit for Startups 2016" is launching a program that facilitates entry into the German market for young companies. The Association of German Banks is organizing the "FinTech Summit", a half-day event on digitalization in the financial and banking sector. Volkswagen and SAP are holding the daily "Innojam++" and will crown the victor at SCALE 11 on Thursday. Together with the Executive Club, Deutsche Messe is organizing the speed dating event "CXO meets Startup". And the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is inviting female entrepreneurs to a breakfast with Minister Brigitte Zypries. "Plus we also offer pitch training and a colorful workshop program put together by hannoverimpuls, Deutsche Bahn and Salesforce," says Jutta Jakobi. "There's nothing boring about SCALE11."