Fledgling entrepreneurs and start-ups have all kinds of opportunities to present their business ideas in Hamburg. Certain organisations award prize money whereas others place greater emphasis on networking. The following are just some of the venues and organizations that host pitching events.
1. Uni Pitch – useful tips for professional coaches
Universities, colleges and research institutes across Hamburg give young entrepreneurs and students an opportunity to improve their presentations. Competitors take to a stage and outline their business idea to an audience. Professional coaches are on hand and offer insight and tips. Contestants in the “Idea Pitching Challenge” stand to win prize money as well.
2. nextMedia.Elevator – investors from digital and media scene
The new nextMedia.Elevator (formerly Webfuture Award) offers start-ups in the digital sector a cash prize and contacts to all kinds of investors and experts. Ten finalists present their business models in five-minute “Business-Idea Speed-Dating” sessions to the jury. The first prize-winner of the nextMedia.Elevator award receives EUR 5,000 in cash. The second prize-winner receives EUR 2,000 and EUR 1,000 goes to the contestant in third place.
3. betapitch – trip to Silicon Valley
During the betapitch, ten start-ups from the Hamburg Metropolitan Region have five minutes each to pitch their business models and to win over the jury and audience. The winner of the main prize goes forward to the grand finale, the betapitch global in Berlin. Other prizes include a free, six-month working space in betahaus Hamburg or a wildcard to the Webfuture Award. The winner of the contest in Berlin gets EUR 5,000 in cash and a trip to Silicon Valley.
4. Pre-pitch to South by Southwest
The winners of the Southwest-Pre-Pitch held by next.Media Hamburg and the private initiative Hamburg Startups secure a ticket to Austin, Texas. Two start-ups are selected to represent Hamburg at the international creative fair and gain an opportunity to make all kinds of global contacts there.
5. “Hamburger Gründerpreis”
The annual “Hamburger Gründerpreis” is presented by the Hamburger Sparkasse, Hamburger Abendblatt, Hamburg1 television, the Chamber of Commerce Hamburg, Studio Hamburg and the Fischauktionshalle. The award honours corporate initiatives, courage and success in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. The prize is presented in the “Start-up”, “Achiever” and “Lifetime Achievement” categories.
6. Music WorX Day – pitching to potential investors
Founders and young companies in the music sector can apply to the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft for funding provided all applicants for the Music WorX Accelerator are based in Hamburg. On Music WorX Day, six finalists pitch to a jury comprised of potential investors and music experts. Three founders’ teams selected by the Cultural Authority and Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft receive free office spaces, workshops and advice from professionals in the sector and subsistence allowances for three months. Winners receive EUR 5,000 to develop their firms.
7. “Ideensturm” at Hanse Ventures
Once every three months, Hanse Ventures hosts a pitching event called “Ideensturm” (literally idea storming) at its premises in HafenCity. Founders have five minutes to present their business ideas. The jury checks to see whether the idea is based on a solid business model that can actually be turned around. Winning concepts can later be developed in co-operation with Hanse Ventures.
Speakers at 12min.slam events have exactly six minutes to deliver a convincing idea – unlike the 12min.me event in which contestants have twice the amount of time. The start-up that receives the most enthusiastic applause wins. Contestants have plenty of time to network afterwards.
During Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival, five start-ups have an opportunity to present their business idea at the Startups@Reeperbahn Pitch to potential investors. The winner gets a media budget worth EUR 100,000. Entrants have to submit a convincing application to reach the final. The event is organised by Hamburg Startups.
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