Second Edition of the Start-up Games Deals with Virtual Pitching

Social distancing, travel restrictions, and home office make it hard for start-ups to pitch physically to potential investors. But start-ups and investors can still get together virtually.

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On October 29, the Digital Hub Initiative in collaboration with Amsterdam-based The Next Web will host the second edition of the Start-up Games. Ten start-ups will have the chance to present their business ideas to a jury of international investors and a large online audience.

The first edition this July 2020 was a great success. After a thorough application process, ten promising start-ups were given the opportunity to run their business ideas by Jenny Dreier (EQT Ventures), Stephen Nundy (Lakestar), Varun Purandare (Accel), Madeline Lawrence (Peak Capital), and Frederic Huynen (HPE Capital).

The event was opened by Commissioner for the Digital Industry and start-ups and Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy Thomas Jarzombek. After each pitch, there was a brief Q&A-session with questions from the jury and the audience. The event was streamed live on an online platform.

The jury had a tough time choosing between the ten cutting-edge start-ups. In the end, the winner was Hamburg’s Breeze Technologies. The environmental technology company uses smart algorithms to coordinate what it calls “hyperlocal” data gathered from sensors measuring pollutants like carbon and nitrogen oxides, ozone and particulate matter. It then makes recommendations to local governments, environmental scientists and companies about how to improve air quality.

The technology aims to fill a gap in monitoring in cities, where authorities usually maintain only a few air-quality measuring stations. Breeze is currently piloting its “citizen portal for air-quality data” in the Rothenburgsort area of Hamburg and is hoping to expand to other districts and cities in the near future.

“After winning the Start-up Games, we got a lot of new inquiries about our solutions,” says Breeze CEO Robert Heinecke (read full interview here). “In our experience we have relatively long sales cycles because our products require explanation, and a lot of planning is needed to put them into use. But we are on the verge of concluded the first deals that go back to the Start-up Games.”

On the back of the successful first edition of the Start-up Games, we are looking forward to the next event in one weeks time. This time, there will be again ten start-ups pitching to five international investors. If you’re interested in joining the event, please find the registration link here.