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SCALE11 writes next chapter in success story

Today’s startups are engines of digital disruption. Packing new, digitally driven business ideas, these up-and-coming young companies are changing the game in many industries and ushering in a steady stream of exciting innovations. That’s the international startup scene, and its next annual get-together will be at SCALE11 in March of 2017, as part of CeBIT.

21 Dec. 2016
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Hannover. At CeBIT 2017, SCALE11 will write the next chapter in its success story as Europe's leading startup showcase with even more partners and an exciting new format. "We'll be taking SCALE 11 to the next level. There is an important ecosystem that exists around startups and innovation, and SCALE11 meets its needs perfectly", commented Oliver Frese, the member of Deutsche Messe’s Managing Board in charge of CeBIT. That is why the upcoming SCALE11 is such a big event in its own right, hosting more than 400 startups from 40 nations. "SCALE11 is a key meeting hub for startups and investors and also for large corporations seeking to benefit from close cooperation with budding young drivers of innovation", remarked Frese.

The major backers of SCALE11 were so pleased with the outcome of the 2016 showcase that they will be back again in 2017 – in some cases with even greater support.

Volkswagen Group, Europe’s leading mobility company, is SCALE11’s Premium Partner, and this year will be the "Community Captain" for its Mobility & Automotive, Logistics & Transportation and Smart Cities display. Volkswagen will be using SCALE11 to present new mobility concepts as well as its IT and digitalization roadmap. It will also be networking with startups that will have the opportunity to pitch their exciting ideas for cooperation with the company.

Germany’s passenger rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG will also once again play a role at SCALE11. Besides networking with startups, the company is staging a stand of its own in order to highlight its ongoing involvement with and support for young companies, new business models and innovation. SAP, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and hannoverimpuls are also continuing their SCALE 11 partnerships.

This year, the showcase also has a number of new partners. Among them is the political think-tank Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, which will use the SCALE11 platform to present various initiatives and entrepreneur networks and to foster dialogue between entrepreneurs, its scholarship holders and policymakers. Digitalization is a key focus of the various projects and initiatives undertaken by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

In another new development, this year’s SCALE11 will include a co-working space for the startups exhibiting there. The space will be perfectly attuned to the needs of young companies, thanks to the input and expertise of its two partners, DESK.WORKS and vertical, both of which are themselves relative newcomers to the market. DESK.WORKS and vertical operate worldwide, matching co-working spaces with entrepreneurs looking for workspace.

One of the big names among the corporate newcomers to SCALE11 this year is Mastercard, the world’s leading provider of payment solutions. Mastercard will feature as the "Community Captain" (content partner) of the SCALE11 showcase's Commerce section. In 2014, the company established the Mastercard Start Path – a global initiative that supports and accelerates innovative startups engaged in the development of new commerce and FinTech (financial technology) solutions.

SCALE11 in fact has a dedicated FinTech section, which this year will be captained by Commerzbank’s Main Incubator. Main Incubator was established in 2013, and together with Commerzbank is a pioneer in banking sector innovation. Its mission is to drive transformation in the financial services sector and to nurture groundbreaking ideas, creative concepts and innovative solutions.

This year, SCALE11 will also feature an all-new display dedicated to property technology, or PropTech as it is now commonly known. The display will feature the latest digital technology solutions for optimizing processes in the real estate industry. The Community Captain for the new PropTech section is the Berlin-based company Service Partner ONE.

In 2016, the Founders Fight Club was an absolute visitor magnet (the presence of an actual boxing ring may have had something to do with that!). This year, entrepreneurs will once again have the opportunity to pair off and go head-to-head in bouts of words and wits as they vie to score points with the expert jury.

The classic Investors Pitch – where startups seek investor support for their business ideas – will also be back. To further boost the investor-startup contact rate, this year’s SCALE11 will feature a new "Investors Club" where budding young entrepreneurs and potential investors can hold confidential talks in private.

Entrepreneurs the world over know that failure is often just as important as staying power when it comes to achieving success. That’s because they can often learn more from their failures than their successes. Promoting awareness and understanding of this salient fact is the mission of the aptly named Fuckup Nights, an international movement founded in Mexico in 2012. The movement now has a presence in more than 190 cities worldwide, where it organizes "Fuckup Nights" in which entrepreneurs take the stage to give 7-minute speed presentations on failures and mistakes they have learned from. The upcoming SCALE11, too, will feature Fuckup Nights – on the Monday and Tuesday of CeBIT.

Dialogue between established and new companies is not just about the former helping the latter. The benefits flow the other way as well, which is why it is now fairly common to find established companies using startup techniques and work methods. For instance, it is not unusual for established corporations to include techniques such as design thinking, lean startup and sprints in their project management toolboxes. This year, exhibiting startups and visiting SMEs will be able to try out these very techniques in a series of interactive and highly entertaining mini-projects under the auspices of the Founders Fight Club.

SCALE11 was launched in 2015 by Deutsche Messe with support from the German Startups Association (BVDS). It has come a long way since then and now has a broad-based network of partners and supporters. The following organizations are currently members of the SCALE11 network: BAND, Berlin Valley, Bits&Prezels, Bundesverband Internetmedizin, Desk.Works, Deutsche Bahn, Digitale Wirtschaft NRW, European Startup Network, Founders Fight Club / Best of X, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Fuckup Nights, Für-Grü, German Accelerator Tech, German American Chamber of Commerce, German Startups Association, Grü, hannoverimpuls, High-Tech Gründerfonds, ICT Switzerland, Iranian ICT Guild Organization, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), KfW Bankengruppe, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, main incubator, Mastercard, NBank, Regione Toscana, SAP, Service Partner ONE, SICTIC and vertical.

CeBIT – Global Event for Digital Business

CeBIT is the world’s foremost event on the wave of digitalization revolutionizing every aspect of business, government and society. Every year, the show features a lineup of around 3,000 exhibitors and attracts some 200,000 visitors to its home base in Hannover, Germany. The spotlight is on all the latest advances in fields such as artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, virtual and augmented reality, humanoid robots and drones. Thanks to a rich array of application scenarios, CeBIT makes digitalization tangible in the truest sense of the word. "d!conomy – no limits" , the chosen lead theme for 2017, underscores the show’s emphasis on revealing the wealth of opportunities arising from the digital transformation. As a multifaceted exhibition/conference/networking event, CeBIT is a perennial must for everyone involved in the digital economy. The startup scene is also right at home at CeBIT and its dedicated SCALE 11 showcase, which sports more than 400 aspiring young enterprises. The next CeBIT will be staged from 20 to 24 March 2017, with Japan as its official Partner Country. For further information, visit