Alice Nell
October 1, 2015

Our Valley In Berlin DemoDay

What an amazing end to last week with our Valley In Berlin DemoDay! Our betahaus accelerator team was working around the clock with startup hubs Accelerate Korea, Founder Institute, and YOU IS NOW to produce this event - and boy did they pull it off!

Over 1,000 people joined us for inspiring talks, bold pitches, & some delicious food trucks at YOU IS NOW's amazingly sunny space.

We kicked off the day with talks from Jon Soberg, Accelerate Korea’s Steve Joo-hyung Lee, and the Founder Institute’s very own Ben Larson from the Bay area. They shared their extensive knowledge of business, which gave the event a global touch & helped bridge the startup ecosystems of Asia, Europe, and the US. Highlights included a talk from Gamification’s Gabe Zichermann and a speech by the Queen of Startup’s Jess Erickson, who gave insights into diversity in tech & her work at 500 Startups and Geekeetes. In addition, Nicole DeMoe dazzled the audience with a look into some of the tech scene's famous minds, and Book A Tiger co-founder Claude Ritter gave advice on what not to do when trying to be successful in this cut-throat world. Overall theme: Don’t trust them? Then don’t hire them.

Moderated by The Pitch Doctor himself, the afternoon session saw 12 of Korea and Germany’s most promising startups pitching for the attention of our audience filled with investors and experts.

Just like at BETAPITCH, our Korean startup BeeCanvas took a daring approach by informing the audience of their pivot from a B2C to a B2B service. The audience responded with surprise but said that they respected BeeCanvas' honest approach to being a startup on the brink of making it. RxCycle dazzled the audience with their live indoor cycling demo on a tour through the Alps. BBuzzArt spoke of their plan to expand with the birth of Haus of Bbuzz in Spring 2016. Despite being under the weather, David delivered a solid pitch for Equipment Master and within minutes, several tweets surfaced mentioning Equipment Master as the AirBnB of construction equipment rentals!

Finally, Summer wowed our guests as she ‘Smurfified’ the moderator with the hilarious selfie-editing app lollicam. While also managing the iOS launch, Summer gave a fantastic & hilarious pitch and bagged her team the Autobahn Unicorn Award for the startup with the fastest traction & growth!

2 other awards were given out: Munich-based casavi took the Disruptor Award and Berlin-based wefactory took the Pitch Hero Award.

The day ended with a bangin’ after party in Kreuzberg, where even the stuffed unicorn joined us as we danced into the early hours.

The day marked the beginning of the end for our Accelerate Korea program as we start the final month hosting our Korean startups. Overall, the event was an amazing injection of energy & investor funds. CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE!

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Cost is a big one here. In regards to total transportation costs, the last mile comprises up to 53% of those - making it the least efficient part of the supply chain. Expectations of free shipping and next day deliveries add up to this.

Due to increasing digitalization and convenience services in every area of people's lives, the smooth and flawless process of getting the delivery to one's doorstep is exceedingly becoming what customers care most about. On top of that, for companies that package being delivered is an extension of their brand. The consumer is basically coming face-to-face with the brand, which makes it the biggest opportunity to heighten customer satisfaction.


If you live in a city and have even slightly observed your urban surroundings you’ve probably witnessed it first hand - urban congestion and crowded cities make it pretty tough to satisfy the growing demand and rising expectations of super quick deliveries. Add unpredictability in transit (like weather conditions), an incorrect address or remote locations, just to name a few, and you can see where this is going.

The worst part is, all those delivery trucks and vans that also produce a fair bit of emissions, are often only half full when they roll out for deliveries. This is mostly due to low drop sizes and stops along the route that are far and few between.

It’s not all hopeless though - Where there is a problem, there are solutions.


Same old, same old - isn’t always all that bad. Sometimes, all that’s needed are some new perspectives! The city of Utrecht, for‌ ‌example, implemented a zero-emissions electric barge nicknamed the “Beer Boat”. 

Since 2010 it’s carrying beer and food to the city’s downtown restaurants by using waterways. Other electric barges in Amsterdam not only deliver but even collect organic waste, which is then turned into biofuel in processing plants! Isn’t that cool?

It becomes clear that cities, logistics, as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌urban‌ ‌planners, are equally part of solving the inefficiency of the last-mile. Tackling this mountain of issues calls for teamwork!


A centralized platform, hub or network for similar companies, could do the trick to fill up the delivery vans & trucks that are barely loaded. Parcels could be distributed more efficiently between different companies and their delivery vehicles.

Like a big pool of parcels from different companies with every single parcel going into that one van with the same route!


Delivery Driver Experience and Smart Delivery Vehicles are also areas with huge potential for improvement and innovation.


Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company. 

Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.


Next to that on-demand experiences have become firmly embedded into people’s everyday lives - be it a mobile app to book a ride, send flowers to your loved ones or order lunch to your office. It’s all possible and has made premium features like real-time tracking a standard.  The online consumer expects nothing less and certainly doesn’t like to wait.


Making that quick and instant gratification happen is another story though. Groundbreaking ideas and innovations are needed to tackle all these factors. Does your startup have one? 

Then head over to our Future Logistics Challenge! Applications are still open until September 23rd.

Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.

Ellie: I eat a lot in west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.

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