The Hamburg-based Hyconnect won the Reeperbahn Startup Pitch on Thursday (November 7, 2019) to scoop a VIP trip including flight, accommodation and access to exclusive events at the 2020 South by Southwest leading digital and creative fair (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. The Cologne-based Femtasy start-up and the London-based Custodiex fintech also secured prizes of tickets to SXSW. Six finalists had pitched their business models to 600 guests in the underground Kiez-Club Mojo. Initiated by Sanja Stankovic and Sina Gritzuhn, the founders of Hamburg Startups, the platform has promoted Hamburg’s start-up scene at SXSW since 2012. Ralf Dümmel, an investor and “lion” on VOX TV’s The Lion’s Den show for founders and Vladimir Klitschko the former German boxing world champion “ were spotted in the audience by Hamburg News.
Novel hybrid material and erotic audio stories
Events reached fever pitch when the start-ups launched into precise five-minute, on-stage stints and answered the jury’s tough questions in another five minutes. Dr. Lars Molter, the brain behind Hyconnect, won over the jury with a new hybrid material made of glass and steel fibers and now hopes to revolutionize the naval and automotive industries. Femtasy’s Nina Julie Lepique and Michael Holzner began with an acoustic sample from their online streaming platform, which develops erotic audio stories for women, and saw they come away with a ticket to the Lone Star State next year.
The expert jury included Horst von Buttlar (Chief Editor Capital), Veronika Reichboth (Head of Hamburg Invest’s Startup-Unit), Dr. Cornel Wisskirchen (Deutsche Bank AG), Neil Minocha (SXSW) and Astrid Quentell (Sony Pictures Film- und Fernsehproduktion GmbH). Quentell produces VOX TV’s The Lion’s Den among others. JobMatchMe, Localyze, Modularity Grid and Cuca Intima were among the remaining finalists.
Blind Date Mentoring, master classes and start-up Stage
Events during the run-up to the Reeperbahn Startup Pitch included business blind dates in so-called love mobiles to master classes with Vladimir Klitschko. Numerous other founders presented their business models to a jury of experts earlier Thursday on the Startup Stage. Four start-ups competed in the media, aviation & space, logistics & mobility, smart city and fintech categories which was won by the British Custodiex start-up. The London-based founders are now headed to SXSW. Their start-up uses blockchain technology to provide ultimate security when saving digital content* such as videos, images and text.