It was the highlight that the young founders had been working towards for weeks at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management: the Demo Day at the end of the first ever WHU Summer Accelerator Program. In a hybrid format, the eight most promising start-ups selected to take part in the program presented their ideas and elaborated on their business models to investors and entrepreneurs and received immediate feedback.
The startups had been working on their concepts for seven intensive weeks since the program began on May 14, 2021. They were constantly supported by the WHU Entrepreneurship Center, which initiated the event. The founders benefited from the Center's comprehensive ecosystem, which brought them into direct contact with other entrepreneurs and founders in order to learn from them. During the innovative program, they went through three phases (Phase One: Mentor Mayhem, Phase Two: Product-Market Fit, and Phase Three: Capitalization) in which they continued to fine-tune their own business plans. The start-up founders had up to eight conversations a day with the 95 mentors taking part to move their ideas forward.
One of the participating start-ups was "Prematch", which aims to create an online platform for amateur soccer. Prematch wants to provide live results, goals, and everything worth knowing about the local clubs that soccer fans are interested in. While the media focus is most often on the Bundesliga and Champions League, the Prematch app functions with the goal of keeping soccer fans in the know about local clubs as of August 11, 2021. "It is to become the go-to place for amateur soccer," explains co-founder Lukas Röhle, adding, "the app will be entirely geared to the individual interests of users." When working out the details, the Prematch founders benefited from the Accelerator's structure. "The network at WHU is enormously strong," says Niklas Brackmann, Co-Founder of Prematch, who recently completed his Master's in Entrepreneurship at WHU. "We're working on the platform we always wanted to have, and we're constantly getting feedback from mentors and our fellow teams."
Although the teams at the WHU Summer Accelerator all ended up competing for the attention of investors, there was an atmosphere of togetherness rather than competition. Because in the end, everyone was searching for opportunities together.
Here you can find the 1. WHU Summer Accelerator in a TV report by TV Mittelrhein (in German).