The METRO and Techstars teams know that you've put a lot of effort into your application (or if we thought you hadn't, you'll have received an email from us requesting additional information) to stand out. Thank you for your hard work.
We've pledged to be as open and transparent around the selection process and where you stand, and we're looking forward to working closely with you.
Unfortunately due to the volume of applications, not all companies will get an interview. If you've progressed to the Top-40 stage, you will likely have between one and four interviews with Techstars and METRO representatives, depending on the scale of the problem/market you're tackling, the scope of your product/idea, and the size of your company.
It's worth bearing in mind, as David Cohen says, "Some of you are here despite your idea." We look for strong entrepreneurs that can overcome the obstacles necessary to build a great business. In the interviews, we'll want to get to know you and understand why you think your team has the unfair advantage over all the other companies out there. The METRO Accelerator wants to see what you've accomplished in the past, how long the team has been together, and how well you work together.
We'd also rather you highlight your strengths whilst also being upfront about your weaknesses. We don't expect you to know everything -- we're pretty good at detecting BS. Marcio Souza has written a fantastic article that details his top three lessons from the Techstars application process.
Your interviews will be held via video-link, with at least two people (separately) from the list below.
Sabine Flechet is the Director of the Innovation Fund at HoReCa Digital, which invests into the selected companies of the METRO Accelerator for Retail, along with Techstars. Sabine will focus the interview discussing market potential, monetization, USP, go-to-market strategy and team dynamics.
Boris Minialai is the Global Director Retail Franchise for METRO AG so this interview will be focused specifically on discussing your company's fit with METRO. Boris will be asking questions about scalability, potential fit for pilots with METRO or FMCG companies, and other retail-specific topics.
Jens Lapinski is the CEO of Angel Invest Ventures, and a former MD of the METRO Accelerator. Over the last fifteen years he has been involved with starting six startups and has invested in 50+. Jens hates group calls and pitches and wants to ask some questions about your business. Jens will want to see the body language of the founding team when you are together, and therefore will request that all founders be in the same room. If that's not possible, then he will want to talk to the CEO plus the largest number of founders you can get into the same room. No group calls, period.
Jag Singh is the Managing Director of the METRO Accelerator program. Jag will dig into both the business and technical aspects of your team, given his own unique background with combined software, product dev and sales skills. He’s founded several companies, and invested in over 70 startups over the last six years, including three (Syncspot, Coconut, Stylindex) that went through Techstars accelerators. He’s an ad-man at heart, and spent a decade as a political strategist advising high-profile politicians, campaigns and corporations across the US and Europe.