Startup Screen: Project A Ventures, Exceed Conference, Crowdfunding

As usual we would like to provide you with our view on what the startup scene has managed to produce last week – news-wise. This time we talk about the recent development of Project A Ventures, give an outlook for the forthcoming Exceed Conference and talk about how the concept of crowdfunding has led to interesting investments in the recent past.

Project A Ventures

As we have reported about a couple of weeks ago, three former Rocket Internet managers decided to pull off their own incubator business, and with the backing of German retail giant Otto, started Project A Ventures. Apparently, those guys got to work quickly and we could already write about two of their investments, namely Wine in Black and Amerano. In an interview with Christian Weiss, CEO and one of the founders of Project A Ventures (which ran under the name of The Oryx Project for a short while), Gruenderszene caught a glimpse of into which direction this ship is steering and produced an informative piece (Erste Eindrücke von Project A Ventures) about it. Here we read that Project A Ventures has already 40 employees, 4 of which are dedicated just to recruit new talent. According to Weiss, his company’s focus is on building good and sustainable companies while largely operating independently from Otto. The article also mentions the fact that Rocket Internet has lost about 15% of their staff recently, which according to the author points to the Samwers’ apparent unability to keep and encourage talent within the company, but rather subordinate everything to economic success.

Exceed Conference

If there’s common denominator for the topics that are keeping us busy here, it’s what will be happening at this year’s Exceed Conference, which will take place 22./23. march in Berlin and is organised by Jochen Krisch and his team. Be it alternative models for financing commerce startups or the recent discussions about Japanese Rakuten having bought the German marketplace Tradoria and possibly developing into an alternative to Amazon and eBay – it will all be there.

And a very minor, subtle detail: yours truly will be there at the event, responsible for some interesting formats  – stay tuned for more!

Crowdfunding

It’s an effective idea: Provide a platform people can use to invest small amounts of money in promising projects or companies. One of the most well-known platforms of this sort is Kickstarter, which recently made the news because they crossed the $1 million mark with two projects for the first time. However, this is not the only success story in this area. Just a little while ago, the translation service Lingoking collected 100.000 Euros by about 140 micro-investors using the Seedmatch platform – within 5 1/2 hours!

Regarding the latter, we asked for an interview, we got the plane ticket and tomorrow I’ll be meeting the Seedmatch guys in Dresden – watch this space for more!

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