We invite Serbian startups interested in accessing and expanding to the German market to apply for Start.up! Germany Tour 2024, an international pitch competition where startups will get significant insight and guidance on how to do business in Germany. The best among them will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and network with potential German partners, go on a study trip to Germany, and participate in the Grand Final.
Start.up! Germany tour is an initiative of the Chambers of Industry and Commerce of North Rhine-Westphalia (IHK) and the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK) aimed at supporting international startups in their business expansion to the German market. For the first time, the participation of Serbian startups in this program was made possible, on the initiative and through the joint cooperation of the Science Technology Park Belgrade and the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbien).
What does the program consist of?
Up to 5 Serbian startups will be selected to participate in the pre-program, during which they will undergo a series of educational webinars on various topics about accessing the German market – from legal frameworks, taxes, and forms for establishing a business in Germany, to available accelerators, guidelines on how to pitch in front of German companies/investors or to do sales.
One of these startups, which according to the expert committee best meets the set criteria, will participate as Serbia’s representative in the international startup contest, consisting of five regional pitch competitions: Europe, Africa, MENA, North and South America, and Asia.
The best 15 startups from all regions that will be selected at international pitches will get the opportunity to meet and network with representatives of German companies/corporations, investors, accelerators, and other startup finalists, as well as to travel on a study visit to Germany. For these startups, travel expenses of 1000 euros will be covered, and they will have the opportunity to participate in the Grand finale.
Since 2017, when this initiative was established, more than 420 startups from over 45 countries have participated in this international startup contest.
Find more information and timeline of activities for Start.up! Germany tour 2024 HERE.
Who can apply?
Startups from Serbia who:
- develop an innovative product with a scalable business model and global ambitions (preferably with a focus on the German/European market)
- are majority Serbian-owned and founders hold at least 70% of the ownership structure,
- have up to 50 employees (micro and small enterprises),
- are established in the form of the limited liability company and not older than 10 years,
- generate revenue from the sale of an innovative product,
- have raised at least 30,000 euros through external funding (grant, BA or VC) and
- are developing solutions in one of the three supported areas within the Start.up! Germany tour 2024:
– green technologies: hydrogen and other alternative energy solutions, circular economy, green energy storage technologies, smart grid energy use optimization, smart farming (AgTech), future mobility solutions, and other outstanding solutions of Green Tech that have a positive impact on the environment.
– industrial solutions: solutions for smart factories, artificial intelligence, IoT, cyber security, data mining and data governance, industrial logistics, digital supply chain management, and other outstanding solutions in the field of Industrial Solutions that optimize the industrial sector.
– Life science: biotech, medtech, chemistry, digital health, or other outstanding solutions in the field of Life Science that improve the health of people.
How to apply?
All startups interested in participating can apply by filling out the application form available on LINK, by December 7th, 2023.
The application is in English and consists of a short questionnaire and pitch deck (up to 15 slides, a link to the pitch should be added to the application form).
The criteria according to which the startups will be evaluated are: team’s experience and expertise, market, business model, previous results and plans (traction, investment readiness, etc.), pitch deck, and the importance of the German market for further startup development.
The startup should be able to present in public pitches in a professional manner and in fluent business English.
* Criteria for participation in the call, as well as the criteria for selecting startups, are defined in accordance with local conditions, according to the guidelines of the German organizer of Start.up! Germany tour 2024
Why should you apply?
Did you know that German investors tend to invest only if the startup establishes an office in Germany?
Germany is one of the most attractive and leading European markets for Serbian startups, but there are still a lot of specifics and unknowns regarding what should be considered when developing and expanding a business in the German market.
Through the program, startups will gain important insights and knowledge about ways and opportunities to establish and expand business in Germany, access to companies and corporations, key institutions, accelerators, and investors, as well as network with other startups participating in the international pitch contest.
*Science Technology Prak Belgrade as one of the local partners in the program, is not responsible for changes made by the organizer of the Start.up! Germany tour 2024 in the program realization, timeline, etc.