clarifydata Wins at Entrepreneurship Conference Accelerate@HHL
The Accelerate@HHL Conference had over 300 excited participants this year, among them international students from 25 different countries. Tina Hoffmann and Niclas Lindemann, the organizers of Accelerate@HHL 2018, are looking back at the successful two-day event, which had been set up by a student team of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. "We are very satisfied with the conference and proud of the positive feedback by the speakers, sponsors and all participants."
Accelerate@HHL could excite participants with its diverse program again this year. The keynote presentations by successful founders were especially popular; Rolf Schrömgens (trivago), this year's patron of the conference, Jan Beckers (Hitfox), Verena Pausder (Fox&Sheep), Waldemar Zeiler and Philip Siefer (Einhorn). The panel discussions over the two days delved into the much-debated topics of the future of mobility and food-tech as well as recipes for success for potential founders, and were chaired by startup coach Julia Derndinger, and Stefan Kimmel, a KPMG Law partner.
Platform for Artificial Intelligence Wins Startup Competition
During the Elevator Pitch Contest, the final highlight of the entrepreneurship conference Accelerate@HHL 2018, twelve young founders presented their business ideas in a competition. Michael Hartke and his platform for artificial intelligence, clarifydata, came out on top of his competitors and received the prize money of EUR 2,500. He had also taken part in the Accelerate contest last year presenting a different business idea but had not managed to win over the jury. He was even happier and more surprised after his victory, commenting, "As a young and small enterprise from Kiel, we did not expect to win the Accelerate Elevator Pitch Contest today, especially because so many other great business concepts were presented. For us it was mainly about getting practice and we are even happier about convincing the jury."
Participants of the conference were included through interactive online voting for the public's choice award. The winner is Nina Schiffmann with her startup Skive, a platform for leisure time planning.
Conference for Optimism, Network, Exchange and Inspiration
Conference visitors could meet high-profile experts from different industries, amongst others Daniel Krauss (Flixbus), Thilo Koslowski (Porsche Digital), Christopher Muhr (Auto1 Group), Nico Gabriel (Sixt), Fabio Ziemssen (Metro Group), Jan Lingenbrinck (Edeka), Christoph Behn (Kartenmacherei), Janina Mütze (Civey), Steffen Zoller (kununu), Till Neatby (Marley Spoon) and Alexander Pfaff (Bearprotein).
Patron Rolf Schrömgens likes student conferences for their dynamics and the people "burning" for their topics. Mainly, he appreciates the entrepreneurial spirit of Accelerate@HHL, saying, "What we need in Germany is appreciation of entrepreneurs. We do not have much of that here but that's where it starts. Conferences such as Accelerate can help young people to become entrepreneurs because getting the confidence, getting the network, sharing with others is the most important part of becoming an entrepreneur. And that’s what Accelerate is all about."
Startup coach Julia Derndinger enjoys the vibe and the inspiration of the Accelerate Conference and describes a concrete additional benefit, "Accelerate brings in awesome successful entrepreneurs and also people who didn’t succeed, so you can learn a lot from both of them. You also can make right connections to the grown-up entrepreneurs but also to your peers who could become your co-founders in the future."
In addition to the exciting discussions, participants could exchange ideas and extend their network during a Kicker tournament and the After-Conference Party. Many visitors praised the special atmosphere at Accelerate@HHL. Verena Pausder from the app developers Fox&Sheep said, "The atmosphere of Accelerate is very inspiring, as it is a meeting point for people who are looking for new paths. They are interested, listen and question themselves."
Michael Hartke (clarifydata), the winner of the pitch contest, emphasized the inspiring atmosphere of the conference, "This is my second visit of the Accelerate Conference because I like the atmosphere so much. Here you meet the founders of million-euro companies who come back to their old school to have fun, talk in panel discussions and who understand the situation of young founders. Therefore, they provide the inside scoop which is fun and inspirational for oneself, especially when you are far away from the high-profile pitches of bigger events where you usually get to meet these founders."
This year's conference was supported by the gold sponsors Porsche and Bertelsmann, as well as the silver and bronze sponsors Amazon, Trivago, KPMG, Auto1 Group, kartenmacherei, HHL Alumni Association, LSP Digital, Leipziger Messe, Kompass Digital, Axxplore, SpinLab, Dr. Arend Oetker Holding GmbH&Co. KG and the Association of Friends of HHL.
Last but not least, the Accelerate team would like to thank photographer Annika Eliane Krause!