On 29th May 2013, the Startupbootcamp Berlin together with Mercedes-Benz organized an Open Pitch Day in Stuttgart for its SBC2go Berlin program. The event hosted by Mercedes-Benz Niederlassung, Stuttgart was the last pitch day for this year’s program where startups were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a distinguished panel of mentors.
Mentors present on the day were Alex Farcet, CEO, of Startupbootcamp Berlin, Dr.Frank Spennemann and Aritra Ghosh from Mercedes-Benz along with Dr. Claus Schmidt, Gitte Bedford and Dr. Stephan Feber from Bosch, another partner of SBC2go 2013.
After assisting in organizing and planning this event as one of my many of tasks at Daimler Business Innovation, my role was simple for the day; one was to make sure that the program ran smoothly and secondly also to make sure that the attendees got fed.
After the first pretzels were bitten into and the first cups of coffee were poured, the open pitch day in Stuttgart was ready to start. Alex welcomed the teams, mentors and observers by briefing the startups on what to expect from the SBC2go program, aim for the day, introduced the mentors and thereby setting the stage for the day’s proceedings.
A quick reminder of what SBC2go is; it is a 3 month acceleration program in Berlin, where selected startups will be given some “Pizza Money”, free office space and access to the global network of mentors who will guide them into shaping their ideas and bringing their visions into reality. This year Mercedes-Benz, HDI and Bosch are cooperating with Startupbootcamp dubbing the partnership “SBC2go” in search for teams within the focus areas: Mobility, Connectivity & Big Data.
A total of 9 startups from all over Europe attended the Open Pitch Day Stuttgart. There were many keen observers who were curious about the program and Mercedes-Benz’s engagement with it. The room was filled with vibrant discussions, helpful feedback that could inspire and develop the ideas of the teams. A miniature exemplar of what true mentoring could be done during the program this year.
“6 hours on the way, was worth the drive. I expected feedback, and I received valuable feedback” stated Nicolas Kent (Chief Parking Facilitator and co-founder of Carambla) one of the startups that pitched that day. Driving all the way from Belgium to Stuttgart and back; to pitch in front of relevant mentors
Risto Vahtra, the CEO of High-Mobility: „Knowing that the mentors were coming from automotive background, we wanted to be part of Startupbootcamp Berlin, we wanted their specific feedback to help design the internal software of cars for the next generation“
There were startups that delivered promising concepts during the Open Pitch Day Stuttgart; some flew in from Russia, Spain, and Sweden etc. to pitch their ideas. What I observed was that Startups are a boiling pot of ideas, spiced with risk-takers and sprinkled with compassion and determination. They have the ability to change the way we behave and sometimes provide a new perspective to conventional ideas; whether it’s booking a flight, ordering takeaway or just simply taking down notes. These perspectives and tools are vital for today’s generation into shaping the tomorrow’s.
So now applications for the Berlin Startupbootcamp 2013 are closed. 20 Startups will be chosen for a “mini startupbootcamp” before the final 10 participants will be selected to attend the program from August until October. I am excited to find out if any of the nine Startups of the Open Pitch Day in Stuttgart will make the final cut.