You rarely think companies like METRO Group can be interested in startups and in driving the HoReCa sector to the next level of innovation. You are wrong. METRO may look like quite conservative wholesale retailer but actually a big transformation have happened to make the company ready for the digital age and make it profitable and sexy again.
Techstars METRO Accelerator is not yet another accelerator sponsored by big corporation. It’s a genuine effort to learn from the brightest and greatest of the digital nomads generation, a call for ideas that can get support by the massive body of 230 000 employees in 30 countries and even more business partners.
“Digital change has an impact on the business models of many independent entrepreneurs in restaurants and hotels. Digital solutions will fundamentally change the hospitality industry,” says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG.
The application of digital solutions to optimize business operations is currently still rare, even if the consequence of their use creates great opportunities for independent entrepreneurs to be even more successful. With the development program Techstars METRO Accelerator for start-ups, METRO has established the world’s first technology accelerator that specifically focuses on the hospitality sector. “We want to contribute intensively to this upcoming change by identifying the best ideas that create added value for our customers and by helping start-up entrepreneurs on their way to establishing a sustainable business. We envision enormous potential for this industry with the digitalization of the hospitality sector,” says Koch.
Eleven startups has been accepted into the program starting in October 2015 with the ambitious goal to use METRO’s customer and suppliers networks to validate their business model and growth it into sustainable business. The companies come from the USA, France, Estonia, Austria and Germany and have received up to EUR 120 000 as equity to participate in the program.
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