If this is the first you’re hearing of it, WERDER LAB is the incubation program powered by Werder Bremen and betahausX. Since applications opened in November, nearly 100 teams in the fields of talent prediction, injury prevention, ordigital content management applied from cities around the world with the hope of bringing their innovative technologies to one of Germany’s largest sports clubs.
But after today, just three teams will proceed into WERDER LAB. It was a closed event, but we're sharing a behind-the-scenes look because this is arguably the biggest thing happening in German SportsTech right now.
Pitch Day kicked off in the Hideout at betahaus | Neukölln with competing teams, the panel of judges, and a closed audience. Teams specializing in talent prediction, injury prevention, and digital content management traveled in from as far away as India and the USA for their chance to pitch their solutions to Werder Bremen.
Here are some of the highlights from WERDER LAB Pitch Day.
The jury for WERDER LAB Pitch Day was stacked with powerhouses of Werder Bremen.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board for Werder Bremen
Marco is chairman of the supervisory board of Werder. He was active as a striker for Werder in 379 matches from 1989 to 2002 and scored 101 goals. From 1995 to 2002 he appeared in 40 internationals for Germany and became European Champion with the team in 1996. After his career as a player, he became shareholder and managing director of the sports marketing agency deepblue sports and acts as a consultant for the production company Nordisch Filmproduktion.
CEO at Werder Bremen
Klaus is CEO at Werder Bremen. He started his career as a footballer and after having finished his MBA at University of Bristol he moved to Adidas in 1994 where he worked in numerous executive positions and finally reached VP of Global Football Management. In 2010 he first joined Werder Bremen as Managing Director responsible for Finance, Marketing and Management before taking on the Chairmanship two years later.
Dr. Hubertus Hess-Grunewald
GM Organisation & Sport at Werder Bremen
Hubertus started as a member of SV Werder Bremen in 1970 when he played on the youth teams. He has since become the President and GM of Organisation & Sports for Werder Bremen.
Chief Digital Officer at Werder Bremen
Having joined Werder in early 2019 as Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Nico is responsible for the digital transformation at Werder Bremen. His duties include the development of a comprehensive digital strategy as well as the setup, coordination, prioritization and delivery of digital projects throughout the different verticals of the club. Nico contributes vast digital experience, having been responsible for digital projects for soccer brands like FC Bayern Munich, Juventus Turin, FIFA and DFL – Deutsche Fussball Liga in the past.
Vice President of Legal & HR at Werder Bremen
Having worked as a lawyer in an international law firm before, Tarek joined Werder in summer 2011 and took over the responsibility of implementing both a Legal and an HR department. Meanwhile, Tarek is VP Legal & HR. His duties include executive development and training activities for employees, development of effective organisational and operational structures, pushing forward cultural change as well as the strategic consulting of the management board.
WERDER LAB is a two-month incubation program powered by Werder Bremen and betahausX. The prize includes:
After some deliberation, the jury voted on the teams based on five evaluation criteria: partner fit, solution, implementation, business case, and team. While just three startups were selected for the LAB, turnout was awesome and WB will be in touch with some of the startups to engage on different basis.
Congrats to the winning teams who will proceed on to WERDER LAB.
The Gene Box (India)
Focus Area: Player Performance / Injury Prevention
The Gene Box provides analytical solutions, backed by genomics and powered by AI (NLP/ML). In WERDER LAB, they will use genomics for next-level, more accurate injury prevention and performance improvement in early-stage talent identification and development.
Focus Area: Player Performance / Injury Prevention
Silicon Valley Exercise Analytics is an exercise intelligence company, providing individualized decision support for top tier sports teams and elite athletes so they can track readiness, maximize physical performance and decrease injury risks. Their objective is helping clubs get over the 'data tsunami' coming from different devices/wearables that athletes use by providing integration of all data streams for actionable insights to boost performance and avoid injuries.
Skill Corner (France)
Focus Area: Talent Prediction
SkillCorner is a computer vision startup collecting innovative football data automatically from any television broadcast. They use it to help clubs make more data-based decisions for players’ recruitment and have been working with Liverpool.
From here, winning teams will move to the Kick Off at Werder Stadium in Bremen on 9 March. We’ll be covering their progress over the course of the program, so follow us on LinkedIn for updates!
Probably the biggest benefit of coworking is community and events. Now we know it may not be the first thing you’re looking for as you seek out your next office space, but bear with us.
Imagine using your lunch breaks to chat with someone in your industry. Meeting freelance developers at after-work beers. Networking with investors at BETAPITCH. Pitching at our weekly betabreakfast and getting support and feedback on your new ideas.
betahaus has spent the last 10 years cultivating a community of people who we genuinely like working with. And when you join, your team will become a part of it, too.
" People matter! Community was always what we were all about. ‘’
In June we launched #PeopleInbeta - our monthly blog post series in which our Content Manager - Vihra interviewed teams and freelancers from the betahaus community to present the variety of creatives we have in ‘haus, to understand their missions and get some useful advice for our audience. We talked on topics such as sustainability (with PlanA) , decentralized digital identity (with JOLOCOM), curated music experiences (with Bespoke Sounds), freelance photography (with Sara Herrlander), full-stack development (with Obst Digital), design (with LAUDO) and much more.
In the summer, we launched a couple of new events in Neukölln like Freelancers, Unite!, The Backyard Sessions and My friend’s BBQ.
Freelancers, Unite! developed as our productive coworking session with freelancers from in and outside the ‘haus. Once a month, we picked an important freelance topic (such as taxes, time-management, etc) and invited experts to give us insights on the topic. We saw so many new faces and had the chance to come back closer to where we started from - the freelance, grassroots culture.
Another event, which started in July (and turned out to be our favourite events) were The Backyard Sessions. Organised by our queen of Neukölln - Robbin – the Backyard Sessions are our creative evenings with live music jams, movie screenings and cocktails.
This last event was hilarious because for quite some time, nobody knew exactly who organised it or invited them. The friend was throwing a BBQ for the community in the garden and this led to all our members joining and staying after for a beer or two with us.
‘’My favourite moment this year was the second friends bbq which was actually cancelled because of the rain forecast. But despite the bad weather, people show up and it turned into a super nice intimate evening with Elizaveta and Paul giving a garden concert.’’ - Robbin (Community Manager, betahaus)
''In July, it was great how the casual after-work BBQ turned into an impromptu acoustic blues jam session with Elizavetta Barsegova and Paul, who have the voice of an angel. Actually, all of the My Friend's BBQ's and Backyard Sessions were AWESOME.’’ - Paige (Head of Marketing, betahaus)
This year we released a new event format in Kreuzberg called ‘’The betaSalon’’. It's an open panel discussion which aims to give stage to important topics and give free speech on them. The fist one we did on the EU elections, last month we talked about changemakers, but our favourite one for this season stays ‘’Mother + Founder’’ where we partnered with FemGems podcast and recorded a live podcast episode for them having Madeleine Gummer von Mohl (betahaus co-founder), Kristine Zeller (co-creater of ooshi period underwear) and Luisa Hoffman on the stage.
Every September, our co-founders take part in the Techfestival. in Copenhagen, spending a few days disconnecting from the daily life and focusing on creating a better, more human-centered tech future. This year the think tank which included our co-founders Madeleine and Max came up with the TechPledge. The Tech Pledge was made to emphasize the need for a new direction in tech. Similar to the Hippocratic oath for doctors, the Tech Pledge is a promise to make tech a force for good and ensure responsible and sustainable tech leadership. It’s a commitment to driving a new direction in technology.
One of the most exciting projects for betahausX this year (which is also continuing in 2020) is their new startup challenge called The Werder Lab - a global startup competition that aims to reimagine the way clubs like Werder work with athletes, fans and partners.
This year couldn’t end without us having our favourite events - the end-of-the-year holiday party and the BETAPITCH Global Finals. On the 6th of December we saw the 9 finalists of the regional BETAPITCH competitions pitching in front of our jury. Congrats to Troy from Hamburg for winning the big prize.
We finished the year at our Holiday Party celebrating anything and everything at betahaus | Neukölln together with our members, friends of friends and our favourite artists from Passiflora LIVE, Tapete and Kotoe.
Thank you for being with us in 2019. It's been a crazy big year for us and it wouldn't been possible without your support, trust and the hard work of our amazing team. Have an amazing holiday time and we'll see you again in 2020.