A² Accelerator – The best of two worlds
Startups have new ideas, established firms experience. A2 Adlershof Accelerator brings them together. This programme offers them a unique platform for the joint development of pilot projects. This year, A² will be going its third round under the banner “Smart City”.
Accelerators are boosters. They want startups to make huge progress in the shortest times possible. Accordingly, they offer a curriculum of training programmes and mentoring blocks, and, on Demo Days, they make it easier for startups to contact major players in the sectors. Many accelerators offer startups financial support, asking in return for company shares. This, however, is not the case with A² Adlershof Accelerator. “WISTA-MANAGEMENT GMBH is a national company promoting the economy, so we do not operate for personal gain,” explained Yvonne Plaschnick, A² Programme Organiser. “We are present as a neutral partner at all times, but do not demand shares from the startups.”
In 2018, the A² programme is bearing the banner “Smart City”. The application phase is currently running. “Smart City is a highly topical, wide reaching subject,” said Plaschnick. “What will the cities of the future be like? What technological, economic, architectural developments can help to design cities with greater intelligence, networkability, social responsibility, and yet sustainability and climate compatibility?”
The invitation to send in applications addresses startups all over Europe who feel their business idea fits the bill. When the programme is launched in August, they will be met with an expert network of industrial and coaching partners. These include e.g. PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH (PwC), the Association of Energy Market Innovators (bne), the business law firm Osborne Clark, and the Berlin water utilities BWB. With their support, startups can organise personalised coaching days. Moreover, they can test their projects directly as a “micro urban laboratory” in Adlershof.
“Our A² programmes have now been running for two years, and the feedback has been consistently and highly encouraging,” recalled Project Manager Plaschnick. “Thanks to our portfolio, companies have come together that otherwise would never have heard of each other.” A number of pilot projects have developed into joint ventures that are still running today.
By Franziska Hönow for Adlershof Special