»German Accelerator provides a fast track to the U.S. We help companies find a U.S. product market fit much faster than they could on their own.«

Tom Rice
Mentor

Scale Globally

The German Accelerator Tech is a growth acceleration program that supports German startups from tech related sectors to enter the U.S. market. It provides startups with hands-on monitoring and office space in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and New York City. German Accelerator Tech identifies and selects the most promising German startups and assists them in their pursuit of becoming category leaders with lasting competitiveness and success in the global marketplace. The accelerator’s vision is to establish a permanent bridge between Germany and the U.S. that facilitates transatlantic startups, provides inspiration, and drives demand, innovation, research, and development in Germany.

Our SERVICES

Customized mentoring and advice from industry experts and accomplished entrepreneurs, investors and service providers.


Work space in San Francisco, Silicon Valley or New York.


Boot Camp and Workshops – Specialized workshops covering topics such as product/market fit, go-to-market strategy, and fundraising.


Access to our Network – Build relationships and immerse yourself in one of the world’s leading startup ecosystems.


Marketing & PR – Spread your word. Use our marketing channels and relationships to amplify your story.


Support Services – Bank account, accommodation, driver’s license – we help you get settled.


We do not ask for equity, cash or investment rights, participation is free of charge. We do not cover travel expenses, housing costs or other company-related expenses.

Our Mentors

Team up with serial entrepreneurs, industry experts, and investors: Our experienced mentor group provides strategic advice, introductions, and best practices customized for your startup’s needs and situation. Meet mentors here.

mentors
mentors
mentors

What will you work on?

Define a U.S. go-to-market strategy:
Validate product/market fit
Identify potential partners and channels
Position towards local competition

Modify marketing and communication approach:
Develop marketing material for U.S. audiences
Adjust story line and pitching style
Pursue effective networking

Determine financing strategy:
Benchmark financial requirements
Understand financing options
Develop and practice investor pitch

Develop team and leadership skills:
Benchmark team competencies
Identify required team additions
Advance leadership skills

Business execution:
Acquire customers and partners
Pitch potential investors
Build team

For startups with advanced customer traction and startups participating in the program extension, mentoring focuses on the following.

Eligibility

What are we looking for?

Our program is designed to benefit companies that have the potential to become global market leaders and aim to enter the U.S. market. Past program participants have ranged from 5-10 employees up to 100+ employees but they share a lot of the following characteristics:

General Requirements

  • Technology-driven companies with a strong founding team, intellectual property, and a product that is close to/already in the market
  • Revenue is not required but definitely considered a plus.
  • Company must have the bench strength on the founding/ executive team to send at least one founder/senior member of the management team to the U.S. for the duration of the program
  • Sufficient funding/cash-flow to support the company through the expansion into the U.S. and at the same time maintain a strong base in Germany.
  • Main company entity must be a German company: GmbH, AG et al.

Sectors

We are generally sector agnostic and are open to companies across B2B and B2C. Some of our sweet spots include:

Silicon Valley

  • SaaS
  • Software Platforms
  • Hardware
  • Semiconductors
  • IoT
  • Artificial Intelligence

New York

  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Financial Services
  • Clean Tech
  • E-Commerce
  • Fashion

Locations

You can choose to participate in either one of our tech program locations in Silicon Valley/San Francisco or New York City and state your preference in your application:

Application Process &
Program Sequence

Online Application

Deadline for Q1 and Q2 2018: August 31, 2017.

APPLY HERE FOR TECH

Application process overview

1)   Online Application – Answer about 20 questions
2)   Two Skype Interviews (30 mins each)
3)   Presentation in front of Selection Committee in Germany
4)   Participants announced at Celebrating Innovation event in Germany

Program Start in the U.S.

At the beginning of each quarter.
Next program start: July 3, 2017 & October 3, 2017

Schedule 2017

Program StartApplication DeadlinePresentation & Selection
July 3, 2017February 28, 2017April 2017, Germany
October 2, 2017February 28, 2017April 2017, Germany
January 2018August 31, 2017October 19, 2017, Munich, Germany
April 2018August 31, 2017October 19, 2017, Munich, Germany

FAQ

Eligibility

Is the German Accelerator right for my company?

We are looking for companies that have the potential to become global market leaders. Participating company size varies widely and does not impact acceptance. We support startups with as few as five team members and little revenue to more mature companies with more than 100 team members and eight digit revenues. Some key factors we look for include:

  • Your product is relevant for the U.S. market.
  • Your startup is adequately funded through your potential program participation including the associated travel, accommodation, and business expenses.
  • Your team has the bandwidth to operate in two locations for the duration of the program.

 
Visit our Tech and Life Sciences pages to find out which program is right for you.
Both programs seem relevant for you? Send us an email.

Is there a company age limit to qualify for the program?

There is no general age limit for companies to participate. Qualification depends on a variety of factors, such as U.S. market potential, operational effectiveness, team, and funding, among other factors. The youngest company to participate was founded just over one year prior to entering the program. The oldest company incorporated more than 10 years before joining.

Are you looking for companies of a certain size?

Company size varies widely among participating companies. Startups with five team members and little revenue have qualified as have larger, more established companies with more than 100 employees and eight digit annual revenues.

Can I apply if our company or founders are not from Germany?

As long as your company is incorporated in Germany, you are welcome to apply. Founder nationality doesn’t impact your chances for admittance.

I’m a single founder. Can I get accepted into the program?

Yes, if you have built up a great team. Most of the selected startups, however, consist of a founding team with complementary skill sets.

Cost

How much does it cost to participate in the program?

All program services, including mentoring and office space, are free to participating companies. Companies, however, are responsible for associated costs, such as travel and accommodations.

Does German Accelerator take equity or options from the selected companies?

No. We take no equity in your company.

What financial responsibilities does a participating company have?

Program participants are responsible for covering all of their associated expenses, including travel, accommodations, and any other costs related to developing your business in the U.S.
 
[Note: German Accelerator will supply you with a starter kit and a sample budget as soon as you are selected for the program.]

Anything else I should be aware of regarding cost?

All provided services are free of charge for program participants. Please note: Upon acceptance into the program and no later than 8 weeks prior to program start, each selected company will be asked to confirm their participation, preferred location, and preferred quarterly start date. To guarantee their spot, each selected company is required to pay a refundable participation deposit of €1,000 NET (within 3 business days of confirming program participation). The deposit will be refunded in full upon successful graduation at the end of the 3-month program.

APPLICATION

How and when do I apply?

You can apply online at any time. Start by providing your company name, email address, and answers to two basic questions. You will then receive a confirmation email with the instructions to continue the online application process.
 
The current application deadline for a program participation in our Class of Spring 2018 (January 2018 start date) or Class of Summer 2018 (April 2018 start date) is August 20, 2017.
 
Application process overview:
1)   Online Application - Answer about 20 questions
2)   Two Skype Interviews (30 mins each)
3)   Presentation in front of Selection Committee in Germany
4)   Participants announced at Celebrating Innovation event in Germany

How do you select companies for the program?

We have established an expert committee which evaluates all applications based on a predefined set of admission criteria.

Do I need to send in a business plan?

No. Just fill out the online application and upload a short video introducing your team.

Will you protect my intellectual property?

Our application process does not require you to provide information about your “secret sauce”, and you will not be required to disclose information about details of your proprietary technology. We will, however, ask for information that demonstrates your business progress, funding status, and market opportunity. This information is critical to help us evaluate your fit for the program.

Can I re-apply for the program?

Our program is highly competitive, and, unfortunately, we can’t accommodate all applicants. We do our best to select the companies that we believe have the greatest potential to benefit from the program. If you are not accepted the first time you apply, you are welcome to re-apply for a later round. One piece of advice: Please update your application demonstrating any additional company and business progress before re-submitting.

PROGRAM

When does the program start?

The program starts on the first Monday of each quarter. We host 4 cohorts per year.

How long is the program?

Three months. Selected companies are invited to extend their participation for an additional nine months, depending on accomplishments and potential.

Who of my team should attend?

At least one of the founders or C-level executives should attend the program. However, we do recommend that at least two people participate in the program, including one with significant business background and expertise.

Do I have to be present in the U.S. for the entire three month period?

Yes, almost. We are committed to making the program a valuable experience for your company, and we expect the same level of commitment from you. To get the most out of the program, you are required to spend at least ten weeks out of three months at your program location (Silicon Valley or New York City).

Do you help with visa/immigration issues?

We are happy to support your visa application with a letter of recommendation. However, as visa/immigration issues can vary according to your personal situation, we recommend that you obtain expert advice and/or contact the U.S. embassy.

Where will I live during the program?

That’s up to you. We don’t provide accommodations, but we will help you to find suitable housing by providing a Starter Kit with information and links to housing options and resources. We recommend that you find housing close to your office location.

Mentoring – what do I need to know?

Our mentor network consists of serial entrepreneurs, industry experts, and investors. Based on your company’s needs, we will match you with one or several individuals with the relevant experience and expertise to support your company during the program. Our mentors work with participating companies in one-to-one, in-person sessions to help you evaluate your U.S. market opportunity and devise a winning strategy to expand your business in the United States. In addition, you will have near-daily opportunities to interact with and learn from our network of mentors and experts, including focused workshops and regular events. Learn more about our mentors here.

What happens after the program is over?

You will become part of our active alumni network. If you need workspace in the U.S. and if it is available, we are happy to continue to provide our office space at the current market rate.

MISCELLANEOUS

Who is behind the program and why are you doing this?

We are a team of successful entrepreneurs and investors who truly enjoy helping German startups become global category leaders. We want to support your success in the United States.

German Accelerator almost sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch?

There’s no catch. We receive financial support from the German government (BMWi) and leading German companies to fund the German Accelerator. The only catch is that you will be required to fill out a few questionnaires and to work harder than ever!

Can I stop by your office to say hello?

Yes, please stop by to introduce yourself and find out more about the program, especially if you are bringing German candy. Be sure to schedule an appointment in advance.

Do you offer internships to people interested in working at German Accelerator?

Yes, you can apply to be an associate. Our minimum required commitment is 6 months, but a 12-18 month commitment is preferred. Please send us an application letter stating why you want to work in either Operations & Administration, Marketing & Communications, or Business Development.