Startup Weekend Cologne

    Friday, January 29 - 31, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Startup Weekend Cologne

Friday, January 29 - 31, 2016

Friday, January 29 - 31, 2016
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Startplatz Köln
Im Mediapark 5
Colonge, Germany 50670

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Startup Weekend Cologne #4

What is Startup Weekend?  Get your first insight right here!
Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs.  Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations.  Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurials. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education.  Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

Friday night:
 60-second pitches that result in the formation of small teams around the best, most viable education concepts.  Educators validate ideas, then all attendees vote.  We hope you’ll pitch, but definitely not required!
Saturday and Sunday: Work days! Teams focus on user research, customer development, validating their ideas and building prototypes with the help of experienced coaches from the education and entrepreneurial world.  You’re welcome to stay and work as long as the venue will allow!
Sunday evening: Teams demo their education products and receive valuable feedback from a panel of expert judges.  Winning teams take home a grab bag of great tools to help launch their company!


Friday January 29th

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Welcome speech from Cologne Mayor Elfi Scho-Antwerpes, review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders.

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday January 30th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday January 31st

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Lorenz Gräf
Investor und Business Angel Familie Gräf Holding GmbH; Co-Founder of Startplatz

Dr. Lorenz Gräf is the founder of the internet company Globalpark. As an entrepreneur he led his business to success and established it as an international renown company. In summer 2011 he merged his company Globalpark AG with the company Questback in order to take position as european market leader. Lorenz Gräf left Globalpark in 2012 and concentrated his interests in the Familie Gräf Holding GmbH (FGH). Today Dr. Lorenz Gräf is CEO of the social media agency Boostpark GmbH, based in Cologne.

Since 1988 he does research in the field of social science informatics and online market research. He is an expert for online based interaction and communication as well as author of different articles and textbooks. Further Dr.Lorenz Gräf is co-founder oft he DGOF e.V. (German association of online-research) and was member of the board from 1997 until 2004.

He founded STARTPLATZ in 2012 together with his son Matthias Gräf. The main aim is to make STARTPLATZ the hotspot for digital natives, entrepreneurs and startups. The infrastructure given is not only for young startups in search for answers and office space it is also a place to support established startups with know-how as well as capital.

Ruth Cremer
Investment Manager

Tim Schumacher
Entrepreneur and Investor

Tim Schumacher cofounded and was the longtime CEO of the publicly traded company Sedo AG (, which currently has revenues of 130m euros per year and maintains approximately 350 employees. Since 2012 he has dedicated his professional career to the German start-up scene, acting both as business angel and mentor for young companies with economic potential. His current start-ups, among others, are Eyeo/Adblock Plus, Aklamio, Stuffle and Ecosia.

Daniel Attallah
Founder & CEO of Pixum

Daniel has more than 20 years experience in building successful e-commerce businesses. He founded and still serves as CEO @ Pixum – a leading Online Photo Service in Europe. He is the head of a team that grew the business from 3 founders to more than 300 people and from zero to more than €55 million revenue today. He built the online marketing team, led mergers and acquisitions and led the roll out to 8 different countries throughout Europe. Daniel also holds the position as Trend & Innovation Scout @ CEWE where he leads all corporate VC activities. He serves as a Investors Committee Member @ Germany's leading Seed-Investor High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and is board member @ WebdeCologne. Prior roles includes Senior Management and Sales Positions in international High-Tech Companies like Nortel Networks, Computacenter & CompuNet. Daniel studied Computer Science but abandoned his studies to found his first Company.

Coaches and Mentors

Andre Daus
CEO Solutworks GmbH

In a meritocracy of companies those better come to their destination, who upshift one gear. That's why André Daus turns setscrews on the decisive points in the enterprise.He is very familiar in complex fields around efficiency, finance and education. With counseling, lectures and training he provides several methods to set primarily performance-enhancing with banks and small to large-sized enterprises.
A thorough and long-standing learned and acquired knowledge is the basis for the decisive insight. He is a banker, business graduate economics, business informatics. In addition, Certified Exchange Trader (EUREX), certified Financial Risk Manager (GARP) and certified Quantitative Analyst (CQF) with over 20 years of experience in the financial world. 
André Daus is an entrepreneur and has founded several companies successfully himself. The comprehensive and accumulated over many years and successfully applied knowledge enables a precise identification by cross-industry contexts and problems. On this basis, viable solution alternatives are developed, presented and discussed - even at management level and always with the tuning effect in focus.

Daniel Reeh
Teamleiter SEO

Daniel Reeh führt das Inhouse SEO-Team von und beschäftigt sich vor allem mit Local- und Large-Scale SEO. Sein Interesse gilt einer systemischen Sicht von Mechanismen im Web und einer resilienten Optimierung von Websites.
2008 – 2013 war er selbst in einem Start-Up tätig und an der Erstellung von zahlreichen internationalen Websites beteiligt. Damit ergänzt er mit einem weiteren Blickwinkel den Mentoren-Kreis beim Startup-Weekend.

David Son
Founder and Managing Director of WIRECLOUD, Advisor & Serial Entrepreneur

David is founder of WIRECLOUD - a cloud based PBX telephone system for SMEs - which supports easy system integration to CRM and ticket solutions like Odoo, Salesforce or Zendesk. In the past David founded DCalling  a service to make voice calls abroad from mobile with ultra low rates. Further more he offers IT solutions for web, app and voice. With his outsourcing company based in India, Bangalore he offers high quality software development services. Here in Germany he offers building high availability infrastructure solutions. He studied computer science at RWTH Aachen and is specialist in IT architectures, business modelling and development. He worked in serveral IT projects for public and privat customers.

Florian Merkel
Assistant Manager at KPMG AG

Florian Merkel is one of the co-founders of SMART START at KPMG AG and has been supporting and counseling startups and venture capitalists for over four years now. As a legal professional at KPMG AG in Cologne, he advises corporations and partnerships on national and international tax structuring issues and supports innovative and fast growing startups from their formation until the exit. Within the last years he has gained relevant experience in startup related mezzanine investment and holding structures, esop related tax issues as well as cross-border tax issues.

Frederike Beha
Founder of Business Model Toolbox

Frederike Beha is founder of Business Model Toolbox - a platform for better business model design and innovation.  Moreover, she works as a consultant for strategy, innovation and digital transformation with focus on business models, social collaboration and design thinking. After her studies in business economics followed by several years of professional experience as a strategy consultant, she started in 2010 to work as a freelance consultant for companies like Bayer and Deutsche Bahn as well as for different start-ups. In 2013 she graduated the master program Leadership in Digital Communication at the University of Arts and University of St. Gallen.

Hans van Gent
Founder at Inbound Rocket, Client Service Director Digital at Havas

Marketing is running through the veins of Hans, always hustling to get the most out of life and out of business. He works in advertising as Client Service Director Digital at Havas WorldWide Brussels. And he recently launched Inbound Rocket as a way for struggling startups and small/medium enterprises to generate more leads through their (WordPress) website. In his work, he’s always pushing the envelope of technology, digital media and looking for new creative ways to solve “problems" for his clients. In the past, he worked successfully on various campaigns and online platforms for some of the big brands of Unilever, Nestlé, Amnesty International, the European Parliament, the European Commission and others. Next to his work in advertising, he teaches (early stage) startups about customer development and applying lean startup mechanics all the way from the first idea, the eventual launch and the marketing that comes in all steps of a business. He mentors and helps to organise at StartupBus, the Startup Foundation Experience, and StartupWeekend. Next to that he teaches early stage startups about customer development and applying lean startup mechanics not just in the launch and building of their product but also in marketing and other areas. He can be found coaching and organising at events like the StartupBus, Startup Foundation Experience (Previous Evolv) and other places where his expertise is needed.

Lars Haßler
Founder C4 - explosive marketing

Lars started right after School as a freelance webdesign & -developer. While studying Computer Science at RWTH Aachen he founded C4 - explosive marketing, which started out as a marketing agency, but later turned into a Agency for web development. Lars focus and passion lies on User Interface & User Experience for the web.
Lars is active in the startup community in Aachen as a former organizer and now mentor at 3 Day Startup and since 2013 also part of the Pirate Summit team, organizing one of the craziest tech conferences in the heart of Cologne.
Born near Cologne, he’s a loyal fan of both 1. FC Köln as well as Kölner Haie and a “echte kölche Jeck”.

Martin Donath
Freelance Full-Stack Engineer / Consultant

Martin is a freelance full-stack engineer and has been working in the software industry for more than 10 years. Having founded a startup himself he is bringing the entrepreneurial spirit to his client projects, building solutions that scale and persuade.

Nikolay Nikolov
Founder & CEO Renego

Nikolay Nikolov is the founder and CEO of Renego. Renego, a job search engine is represented in 33 countries on 16 languages with more than 26 million job ads worldwide. Since 2001 he is engaged in developing websites based on PHP / MySQL / JavaScript / CSS. His passion are high-performance websites at the international level, in particular meta-search engines. Prior to founding Renego he worked 7 years at Sedo AG ( and was one of the first developers of the parking sites.

Radoslav Tsvetkov
Tech-Entrepreneur, Founder MAK3it

Radoslav is Technical Co-Founder and Lead Developer at MAK3it - connecting corporates and startups to create innovative business models. 
He is using the Lean Startup methodology to build technical prototypes (MVPs) helping entrepreneurs to improve their products. As a Web Developer he is experienced in Web Services, Hybrid Solutions and Web Prototyping. 
Rado is constantly working with startups and F100 companies in Germany and actively supporting the startup scene in Cologne.

Stephan Pavlovic
Developer and Advisor at Railslove

Stephan is a web developer at the cologne based agency Railslove and specialized in front-end development and ux concepts, where he worked for startup clients like

With a master degree in media informatics and an academic focus on semantic web technologies he is lecturing courses about next generation web technologies at the university of applied science cologne for a couple of years now. Besides coding and teaching he advises several early state startups in there technological progress.

Frontened Development
Semantic Web / Linked Data

Thomas Müller
CEO curassist

Thomas Müller is an entrepreneur in the field of innovative and alternative patient care. In 1997, he launched his first startup aeon-x GmbH, with RollOut of Windows operating systems in the finance Sector. A personal stroke of faith caused him to re-educate to become a caregiver. The deadlocked structures in nursing and the dissatisfaction of nurses as well as patients made Thomas think about a solution by combining practical innovations of the digital world with the very personal issues of caring, and with his business idea to change the whole system radically. His project curassist uses the resources of dissatisfied nurses or caregivers who can not work in rotating shift work (e.g. due to parenting). Curassist has a simple way to encourage and enable freelance caregivers, helps maintaining high quality care and supports with all administrative tasks, so that caregivers can concentrate fully on their patients and relatives.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Cologne team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.





Drink Sponsoring


Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Cologne is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Elisa
  • Joey
  • Hamid
  • Mladen
  • Carolin
  • Steffen
  • Victoria


Wout Laban

My name is Wout, I am very passionate about creating new opportunities in and around education, for people, companies and communities. Always keeping an eye out to share knowledge and create valuable connections along the way. Over the past two years I’ve done so for our Startup Gibbon a platform that helps companies share knowledge, educate employees and create a culture of learning.
I’m very engaged in the the startup scene in Amsterdam where I organise different meetups around community management, host workshops about customer development and organise Startup Weekend. Next to that I facilitate Startup Weekends around Europe as often as I can. A great way to learn and connect with the different entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world.

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Last revised: July 29, 2019
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