What a ride! This 2017 has definitely been amazing for the GTEC startups, partners, community and our fantastic team of entrepreneurial minds always making sure everyone comes together to foster entrepreneurship and technology in Germany. Here’s the recap of our year: it’s hard for us to believe everything that was achieved, but looking back, it all happened and we couldn’t be prouder!
From beginning to end, here’s what happened around GTEC in the last 12 months:
#1 We turned 2 years old!
What started as a great idea and shared vision by two friends turned into a reality in 2015, and step by step the mission of GTEC is being accomplished by everyone involved in this adventure. This July we celebrated our 2nd anniversary in good company: thank you to all those who believed in us all along the way and to every single one of you that daily join our community!
#2 We had 2 Demo Days
2017 started in February with the first Demo Day of the year, and it finished with the second one in December! The two batches of startups that came from GTEC Startup Academy this year really make our chest burst with pride: you guys have grown so much and achieved great heights. We’re excited about meeting the startups that will join our GTEC Startup Academy and GTEC Lab in 2018: will it be you? Learn more about our 2 programs to support startups here.
#3 We moved to our new Berlin Campus!
In May we moved to our new offices in Friedrichstraße, in Berlin, and suddenly the funky startup vibe came upon all us. We hope you enjoyed the new premises, with lots of perks for all our visitors in each of the events we hosted weekly. Looking forward to having you over many more times in 2018!
#4 We hosted the first GTEC PropTech Innovation Award
Together with our Industry Partner Union Investment, we hosted the first PropTech Innovation Award, offering a pool of 35.000€ in prizes. The best part? We’re back for a second edition after the raging success and great feedback we had. Applications are open, and this time the pool of prizes increased to 40.000€. You should definitely make your ideas on how to disrupt the Property and Real Estate Industry a reality taking advantage of this opportunity!
#5 We opened a new campus in Frankfurt
Entrepreneurship is spreading like wildfire, even in Germany! That’s why we opened a new campus this April in the heart of Frankfurt – thank you for the startup community in FFM for having welcomed us with open arms. Who knows which other cities we’ll hit in 2018?
#6 We invited over 50 Top Executives to our Executive Dinner
This year we hosted our format for true heavy-weight networking twice: the exclusive Executive Dinner brought together top-level leaders from different fields to exchange impressions and ideas over fine dining and drinks. Petra Roth, former Mayor of Frankfurt, was the opening speaker of the first edition this year held in our Frankfurt Campus, and in Berlin we had the one and only Anders Inders blowing everyone’s mind.
#7 We co-hosted innogy’s Innovation Hub the IPRIZE award
This year we also organized the IPRIZE to reward all those amazing entrepreneurs working on enabling a ‘Machine Economy’ ecosystem that makes a mutually beneficial co-existence of human and machine possible. In a joint effort with the innogy Innovation Hub, we called for projects within the Internet of Things, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and many more fields involving machines and the response was overwhelming. Check the winners of and their projects here!
#8 We got three more universities as partners
In 2017 we went several steps further in our mission to bring together startups, corporations and academia: New York University (NYU) in New York, USA, Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) in Waterloo, Canada, and Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in Istanbul, Turkey became our new partners! You can learn more about it here
#9 The Open Lectures attracted over 1,400 guests!
We regularly hold several events each week, but our all-time favourite and probably the event we are most known for are the Open Lectures. This year we had again a roster of incredibly talented and diverse entrepreneurs, who came to show us that the path to creating new companies over and over again is not set in stone and was quite different for each of our mentors.
This year, our Open Lectures attracted over 1,400 people eager to learn first-hand from our selected entrepreneurs, and we are very grateful that you enjoyed the personalities we want to highlight within Berlin’s startup ecosystem. Stay tuned for more Open Lectures to come very soon!
#10 Our team grew
GTEC is growing and we welcomed not only a whole new team in Frankfurt, but also a new team member in Berlin! If you want to learn more about the people who make GTEC possible and contact us for future collaborations, check our team page here
#11 Merck joined GTEC as one of our new Industry Partners
In 2017 we were proud to welcome Merck in our already packed roaster of Industry Partners. As one of the oldest corporations in Germany but at the same time one of the most committed to foster exchange with startups, we’re proud that they trusted us to support them in their pursuit of academic and entrepreneurial cooperations, and new innovative ideas. Get more details on this new partnership here
#12 We started partnerships with Amazon Web Services & Hubspot
Among all the amazing things that happened this year, we’re very proud to have launched a partnership with HubSpot for Startups. In our daily efforts to provide founders with the best tools to power their success, this partnership allows us to offer Hubspot’s Marketing and Sales Software as a scholarship for the first year, covering 90% of its cost. But not only that, we also partnered with Amazon Web Services to offer a bunch of benefits to the startups backed by us and our network, including training, credits, business support and a whole dedicated team to help our startups scale their technology and company.
#13 Our GTEC Lab startup Forexfix got funding through our network of investors
It’s always a very special moment when the GTEC network decides to invest in the startups we support, and this year Forexfix took the most investment in our network. For their first financing round, they raised a pre-seed 6 digit sum from experienced investors in the Berlin startup scene and also from the international market. They count now as investors with Ludolf Ebner (himself a Fintech CEO and serial entrepreneur, former Country CEO at Delivery Hero and at McKinsey), GPS Ventures, our own Managing Director Education Christoph Raethke (GTEC Startup Academy), Kilian Thalhammer (Expert in Fintech and Payment), Jana Hecker (Deutsche Bank) and further Angel Investors. The team of Forexfix have used this round to get their product ready and gain more customers. If your company makes international payments, definitely check them out
#14 Our GTEC startups kept winning prizes everywhere they went
Past and present founders within the GTEC Startup Academy and GTEC Lab programs have been having a great 2017 as well. They’ve been all over in events, awards, meetups and they’ve come home with full hands! For example, replex.io has won several prizes, among them the European Venture Contest, the Technology Innovation Award in the IT Innovation Summit and the German Accelerator pitch award; Byrd won the Logistics Award, Lindera won the Demografie Exzellenz prize, and Forexfix won the Startup Camp Pitch Marathon and Investor Days Thüringen 2017.
Making GTEC proud, y’all!
— deutschestartups.org (@StartupVerband) April 7, 2017
— Florian Helbig (@helbig_florian) June 13, 2017
#15 We created an Event Location Database for our whole community
We’ve been hosting several events each week in the last 2 years and a half, which means we had to do a lot of digging into the best event locations in Berlin. So we figured out our knowledge could be put into use by other people hosting events, and we created a database with our favourite locations in town to make your life just easier. Take a look here!
#16 We announced the Business Angel Institute
We’ve been asked several times over the years about how to get started as a business angel, probably because our 2 founders are active investors and we’ve had quite some success hosting events to bring VCs and the community together. We’ve decided it was time to show the way to all those who want to start giving back into the ecosystem by creating, alongside Leapfunder and Upstart, a two-day program packed with the most important knowledge for aspiring investors. Spots for February are very limited, don’t miss your chance!
#17 And last but not least… we won the EU “Soft Landing” project to connect startup hubs all over the world
Together with our partners in Lithuania, the Netherlands, France and UK we’ll be sending and receiving startups, scale-ups, mentors and entrepreneurs to support the exchange of ideas and knowledge within Europe and beyond. So whoever of you who wants to deep dive into other ecosystems and learn what it needs to also expand your markets – this one will be great for you! We’ll have more details very soon.
See? We weren’t lying! This 2017 finishing soon was definitely a year to remember for the GTEC community of startups, corporations and academia – and we’re determined to make 2018 even a greater year. You can keep up with all that we’re doing and have in store subscribing to our newsletter – and if you’re not up for it, do check our event calendar regularly: we always have some surprises there popping up!