Another day, another new incubator coming out of Germany (in fact, it feels like the whole of Europe has gone a little incubator crazy of late): German Startups Group is a new fund set up by Christoph Gerlinger and Alexander Kölpin, both of whom look well-placed to tap the local ‘digital’ startup scene in Berlin with investments of between €50k and €250k, although it isn’t ruling out applications from further afield.
Christoph Gerlinger was founder and CEO of games publisher Frogster before it was acquired by Gamesforge, while Kölpin is a co-founder of BerlinWebWeek and has worked with local startups in a marketing capacity as divisional director of location-markeing agency BerlinPartner.
As early-stage investors look to portray their appetite for deal-flow akin to the enthusiasm with which a puppy chases its own tail, just like every other incubator, German Startups Group is talking up its entrepreneur-friendliness (“We love startups”). Along with an injection of cash for a minority shareholding, the fund will offer initial office space, practical advice and support to companies throughout the startup phase.
Perhaps refreshingly (or not), it’s also placing emphasis on the need to have fun. “Particularly important for a working relationship of several years is that we have fun working together. Therefore the chemistry on both sides has to match”, says Gerlinger.
In terms of investment criteria, German Startups Group is on the lookout for “disruptive innovations for products or business models, high scalability and entrepreneurial talent”, and for those who apply, it also promises “straightforward and standardized investment contracts”, whatever that means. (This is where entrepreneurs really need to do their homework.)
Although German Startups Group says that it has already raised “several million euros”, it’s also inviting other investors to come onboard.
It joins an array of incubators active in Berlin including the likes of Startupbootcamp, makeastartup.com, youisnow.de, Founderslink, Wayra Berlin, Team Europe/Point Nine Capital, FoundFair, Betahaus, and V-Check.
And of course we would be remiss not to mention the formidable Rocket Internet.