Frequently asked questions

Answers for startups

How can I participate?

Participants apply as an individual or as a team to work on a challenge. Simply hit the apply button on the challenge website and leave your contact details with us. We will contact you about next steps

Virtual or onsite?

The sprints are hybrid events. Completely virtual participation is always possible with the kickoff usually taking place as a virtual event anyway and the option to hold demo sessions as a video conference as well. At the trade shows, however, we have our physical finals where onsite participation is recommended to be able to present your concept as one of the best ones on the big stage.

Is the registration for free?

There is no registration fee. Participation for startups, teams and founders-to-be is free and includes a ticket to the entire trade show.

Will I get a certification after my participation?

Yes, participation in the individual events can be certified.

What about the teams that do not win?

We usually have about 10 participants per challenge though. All participants benefit greatly from the challenge: The trade fair offers unique networking opportunities and the chance to present your business to a large audience. You still get in close contact with the challenge partner for potential future engagements. The external feedback and new perspectives can help improve your product and you’ll be part of the community: Know about future challenges first.

What do I have to deliver?

Once you have been selected as a participant, the work begins with the virtual kickoff. Here you will receive all the information for the next 2 weeks. Within these 14 days, you need to present a resource overview of your idea, meaning an economic analysis of the cost, opportunities, partners, etc involved in your concept. This is just a formal requirement. For the demo session, you are then invited to design your own company presentation and prototype demonstration to convince the jury in your individual exchange. In case you are among the best 3 teams per challenge, it is handy to have a two minute pitch prepared for the award ceremony.

What can I win?

Our goal is to offer participants a real chance for follow-up orders from big companies since young talents deserve that chance, especially after proving their expertise in a first prototype. We therefore usually ask our challenge partners to define a budget for a pilot or MVP development for the winning team. However, this is obviously voluntary and in case none of the startup solutions perfectly fits the company’s needs, there might be instances where no contract is awarded. The majority of the challenges will have a real impact on your business and offer you new contacts, new clients and a lot of useful feedback though.

Answers for companies

How can I participate?

Get in touch with us via the contact form and we’ll set up a meeting with you to discuss your options for posing a challenge. To prepare, maybe think about potential technological hurdles that need solving to boost productivity in your company. You can get some inspiration from our past events.

Who should be in the jury?

The juries are usually made up of around 3 people. One representative should be a technical expert from the team implementing the solution, while representatives from the innovation department are also normally part of the jury. Members do not have to speak German, English is also sufficient.

Virtual or onsite?

For the challenge partners, most of the participation happens onsite. The preparatory meetings are up to you, in person or virtual, while the kickoff and virtual demo sessions will only happen online. For the duration of the fair with onsite demo sessions, pitches and award ceremony we would require representatives of the challenge partner to be on the trade fair as well. You can look at our process to see the order and mode of all steps.

What do we get from when we pose a challenge?

Our services for challenge partners range broadly from marketing all the way to participant scouting. To give you some examples, we take over the entire communication with the trade fair regarding the event organisation and stall setup as well as stage availability. We also include a vast marketing package online on our website as well as social media channels and offline. The biggest of all is the full organisation of the participant scouting. We use our huge network, built over years, to reach thousands of startups, academics, young talents and founders-to-be on an international basis, using messaging, email campaigns, direct approaches and partners as multipliers to find the right teams for your challenge.

What's with the follow up order-prize?

The main prize is usually a follow-up order. The winning team should receive a follow-up order from the challenge partner as a first step towards a lasting business relationship. This includes a roughly three month working relationship to turn the presented idea into a real product or service and applies if there is a suitable solution presented as part of the innovation competition.

Alternatively on special occasions, scholarships for the implementation can be awarded. Of course, if there is no solution meeting all criteria, none of the teams has to become a service provider, but the intention should clearly exist.

What is the timeline for a challenge?

We usually start preparing a few months before the trade fair. Communication can take a while and we want to make sure everything is ready on time. In workshops we define the challenge to fit all requirements. About 2 months before the fair we then start publishing the details and begin scouting and prequalifying participants. We like to include challenge partners in the communication to increase the reach. About 2 weeks before the fair all the challenge details, test data, jury information, etc will be given to the teams in the virtual kickoff, with a potential Q&A session following a few days after. In the remaining time until the fair, one jury member should be available for questions on slack.

Directly before the fair, the virtual demo sessions will take place, with the onsite ones happening on a dedicated day on the trade show. The award ceremony with final pitches will usually happen in the afternoon of the same day. Afterwards, a feedback call and the scoping workshop with the winner are scheduled. Of course there will be regular updates and meetings to make sure everyone is up to date the entire time.

How flexible is the timeline?

Our process is very optimised and we can work very efficiently. Still we like to take the time to do things properly. Around two months before a fair we can still accept new challenge partners. All in all, the dates given are usually orientation from our side and we have certain flexibility when it comes to the days of kickoff, demo session and award ceremony. We will of course work with you and see how we can find a suitable solution for all parties involved.

Does a challenge always happen with a trade fair?

Certainly not! We can also organise a challenge for your company specific event or industry organisation. In the past, we have implemented speed hackathons, own company innovation competitions and many more: Our process is highly adaptable. Simply contact us with your idea and our experts will discuss options with you.

I'd like to work with startups, but have no time and no resources.

That’s exactly where comes into play: We cover all the nasty organisation part and accompany you all the way. We set up the process, we find all the contacts, we take all the time-intensive work from you and show you a clear strategy to successfully gain from the expertise of talented startups.

Feel free to contact us

We still could not answer your question? Please do not hesitate to contact us.