German startups MeteoViva, Minodes, Brandnew seek traction, funding in US

german chancellor dirk kanngiesser

By Dennis Clemente

While gaining traction is crucial in the US market, it’s also where German startups can get funding to scale their businesses globally

NEW YORK–The presenters at the German Accelerator at Rise last March 22 had one thing in mind. They know the US market is big. While gaining traction is crucial in the US market, it’s also where they know they can get funding to scale their businesses globally.

German startups MeteoViva, Minodes and Brandnew presented their startups to a panel of venture capitalists–Urs Cete, managing partner at BDMI; Ulrich Quay, head at BMW Ventures; Alicia Syrett, founder and CEO at Pantegrion Capital; and  Anton Waltz, managing director of US Digital Ventures.  

meteovivaMeteoViva helps the customers save 15 to 40 percent of energy costs in corporate buildings with its unique Saas solution. Its technology is reportedly based on a patented computer simulation model and was developed at RWTH Aachen University (Germany’s MIT).

It essentially predicts how much heating and cooling a building to maintain the desired climate at the lowest cost. It can reportedly be used in any building–factories, office buildings, shopping centers.

For retail analytics, Minodes offers insights into visitors’ in-store shopping behavior using Wi-Fi sensors it puts on stores. Data is viewable in its dashboard and in customizable email reports. Additional and more granular reports are provided depending on business requirements

As it optimizes in-store customer pathways, Minodes also offers omnichannel retargeting and beacon campaigns. For instance, it retargets offline store visitors through Facebook Google Apps. Now in 12 countries, it is in the United States to gain traction and get better valuation.

simple process Offering itself as influencer marketing in its presentation, Brandnew  connects brands with influential users on Instagram. It hopes to address the 3 key frustrations for brands and agencies–scalability, targeting and analytics–through its Saas service, either on subscription or six-month basis. Rates are about $20,000 depending on campaign.

A VC said it needs a “one money-shot sentence” for better positioning.

Dirk Kannigiesser, CEO of the German Accelerator in Silicon Valley, was in attendance to present the startups and VCs along with CleanTech, Berlin’s largest industrial park, which is optimally aligned to the requirements of productive-driven companies.

Japanese startups showcase products in NYC

NEW YORK– Last March 7, Japan Startups presented five startups from Japan. Crowd Realty, Tribus, Laxus, Machizukuri Gift and Hanasuke which took turns presenting to a packed audience at Pivotal Labs in the Chelsea area. After the presentations, the audience had the opportunity to sit down with the Japanese founders and interpreters to discuss their products and services in more detail.

Crowd Realty is a crowdfunding platform focused on both domestic and global real estate.  These include commercial property, the revitalization of unused land by private companies as well as the creation a new capital market of secondary deals between investors. It is said to be based on financial technology.

TRINUS structures a new value for open manufacturing. It provides the platform where superb technology and sophisticated design come together, developing product concept and selling them on e-commerce sites from crowdfunding initiatives, securing customers and investments in the process.

ES Corporation’ Laxus is an interesting concept. It allows women to borrow bags from the world’s best brands via monthly membership. Delivering cost is free and any scratches are subject to guarantee. It claims to have luxury handbags such as a Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Chanel as you want them for an unlimited period. Whenever you’re feeling bored with your bags, you can quickly replace them with new and popular ones.

Laxus carries about 6,000 bags with insurance. One can borrow one handbag up to a month or at least one bag without limit. In one year, 25 million bags are reportedly borrowed.  Since there is not enough stock, the company is seeking funding. Plans to launch in Manhattan this summer are afoot.

Machizukuri Gift plans and develops products that make use of regional resources in rural areas. This is in an attempt to foster a sustainable economic community and promote recycling in Japan. It shows promotional videos of Japan’s various regions– as a way to “find” “improve” and “deliver” the attractiveness of rural regions in Japan.

About 60 percent of women in Japan reportedly quit their jobs after giving birth. This gave birth to Waris which is empowering Japanese women to find flexible work, especially since modern mores are changing and women are getting more opportunities to work nowadays.  

Waris helps these women find jobs for companies with a flexible working style. This means working only on certain days of the week or working remotely.  

Offering a flexible working arrangement for women seems to be working as the company’s gross sales last year $24 million. By 2020, it hopes to earn $18 million.


Flower concierge from Hanasuke gives recommendation flowers as a gift and delivers the best flower from select flower shops throughout Japan. Inspired by the needs of individual consumers, it creates new ways of giving flowers as a gift. For the company, flower concierge is more reliable than flower shops in one’s neighborhood and more convenient than any other flower networks.   

The flower concierge service also gives advice, helps deliver the best flowers, responds to follow-up follow up emails and sends pictures of the delivered flowers. Under its service, it has 200 selected florists in major cities in Japan.

German startups Keeeb, Night Advisor come to NY

By Dennis Clemente

German startups in New York to seek funding, gain more exposure and reach

NEW YORK–German startups Keeeb, Favendo and Night Adivsors took turns demonstrating their platforms at the German Accelerator NY last December 15 at Rise NY. 

Conrad Gulla of Keeeb got the most votes for his presentation of his platform. Touted as a personal Google for everyone, it helps you clip anything online, similar to how Evernote’s Skitch and other similar tools work but one that you can even put to good use on MS Word as well.

Gulla said the company has mostly relied on word of mouth to reach 75,000 beta users at the moment, some of them making productive use of their clips at $9 a month with large organizations paying higher for its additional services.

“We started with large organizations in mind. If we can get them into this product category, we (believe we can get the small companies),” he said.

Keeeb is hoping to get a slice of the e-commerce industry which raked in $87 billion dollars in the third quarter with 200,000 etailers enjoying that windfall. Amazon even managed to get 15% of the pie through its constant consumer innovation.

The German startup is seeking Series A funding within 3 to 6 months.

The panelists who took turns asking the presenters some questions were Jessica Peltz-Zatulove, principal of kbs+ ventures; Deepen Parikh, venture partner of Interplay Ventures and Mitchelle Kleinhandler, venture partner of  Scout Ventures.

Would you believe the GPS was invented in 1978? It certainly sparked a revolution in how people interact with the world around them. In the digital age, it has become more than just a navigation application. GPS is on Google Now, Google Maps, Foursquare, Uber and Waze.

With Favendo, David Keil said it has brought GPS indoors using beacons installed at retail stores, for instance. “Retail is just the beginning,” he said. It ultimately seeks to become the search for the physical store, even car finder.

“We are also working with hospitals now,” he said. Eventually, he wants to add airports, museums, train stations and office buildings.

The bulk of sales comes mostly from its software. Keil said Favendo has amassed $2.3 million in revenue  with 50 installations and 30,120 beacons deployed to date. The beacons cost $25 to $30 each. It charges a monthly service fee that depends on the size of the venue. Customers have to download the app.

How much do NYC venues need to earn per night? More than 250 customers but the money earned also goes to the average rental fee of $54,000 a month. That’s New York for you.

Last presenter, Johannes Herzer, CEO of Night Advisor, talked about how his company brings people to venues and how it addresses the limited time for online  marketing. Its Saas tool empowers venues and events to create and manage ad campaigns in minutes.

Since inception a year ago, it has raised $40K from angel investors, including club owners with an average revenue per customer of $165 month.

20 Korean startups land in NY

NEW YORK–The second Korean Summit NYC last October 16 at the New Yorker Wyndham featured several Korean startups with Charlie Kim, founder and CEO of Next Jump, and Murat Aktihanoglu, managing director of Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, as main speakers.

It’s not everyday you see different cultures and countries working together but ERA’s Aktihanoglu, a Turkish immigrant to the US since 1998, spoke about his trip to Korea and how it proved to be a valuable experience for everyone–startups in Korea and those from New York, and how it all resulted in a Korean startup summit. It’s something almost unheard of in Silicon Alley.

Kim, a Korean American, extolled an Asian virtue of building a company that “can make your father and mother proud.” His speech was tempered and more realistic, as he took the audience on a journey of his success in business, stressing how entitlement will get you nowhere.

Among the startup presenters in the whole-day affair were PinStory, the go-to resource for foodies in Korea; Anyractive with GoTouch and how it turns any display screen such as TV, monitor and projector into a touchscreen; Who’s Good which provides dynamic data on environmental, social and governance risks.

Huinno builds innovative, clinically-tested wearable capable of measuring vital signs, including blood pressure; Ediket which provides a unique proofreading service by integrating full proofreading experiences with its web technology.

Moloco saves Silicon Valley’s mobile apps by resolving the key restriction of the current page view-driven mobile ads, while ZIKTO gently vibrates on your wrist when it detects bad walking posture. There more presenters and and more than 20 other startups at the exhibit hall.

How are these startups doing and how did they get their start. Slidejoy has reportedly been downloaded 500,000 times with clients ranging from startups to FORTUNE 200 companies. Pinstory reportedly came to fruition when Yelp ignored the request of its founder to come to Asia. It’s customized search result via machine learning with 1,000 business accounts.

GoTouch looked mighty impressive and was a huge favorite as it also works to bundle itself with Samsung and SK Telecom.

Who’s Good was received warmly for its more social bent in investing while also providing visualization and analysis that draw inspiration from financial investing.

Huinno’s focus on healthcare wearables allow you measure your vitals, including your blood pressure as its addresses the world’s global hypertension rate at 40 percent. It is reportedly 99 percent accurate, as determined in a clinical test.

Among the Korean VC panelists were Richard Jun, managing partner at Bam Ventures; David Lee, investor and former director, Google Asia Pacific; Hyuk Jeen Suh, head of Samsung Ventures East Coast and John Ryu, partner at Scout Ventures.

The event was hosted by KOTRA with Joseph Juhn, KSE, World-Okta NY and GORI.

TEP International Day brings investors, entrepreneurs and policy makers from US, Asia and Europe

NEW YORK–Last September 17, the Brooklyn Borough Hall was the setting for the International Day, the last of the four-day international Transatlantic Entrepreneur (TEP) conference which brought together investors, entrepreneurs, media and policy makers from the US, Asia and Europe.

TEP 2017

Eric Adam, Brooklyn Borough president and Maria Torres Springer, president of the New York Economic Development Council, were the main speakers on September 17.

Tweaking the Emma Lazarus poem, Adams said, “Bring me your disrupted technology and apps “

It was unlike any other tech event in the city, as it featured more international companies and government representatives from Australia, Berlin, Catalonia, Hong Kong, Korea, Denmark, The Netherlands, Portugal, Taiwan and the UK.

The talks covered international expansions with guests Olaf Koch, CEO, Metro Group; Alice Cheng, founder and CEO, of Culinary Agents. Startup demos, a weekly staple in New York, was held at the main lobby.

Roundtable discussions had different sectors well represented–New Manufacturing, Fintech, Smart Cities, Connected Health and Media, with the latter perhaps the most curious one for onlookers listening in, because of the challenges it faces in light of new technologies that work, if not, perceived as a threat.

Country-specific presentations from Australia, Denmark and Korea were the most interesting, as they presented opportunities for New Yorkers to set up shop in these countries, test their products there or outsource projects in their tech-friendly ecosystems. Joseph Juhn of Kotra, the Korean government agency dedicated to helping overseas Korean small-medium enterprises, talked about how companies in New York can benefit from doing business in Korea, the most innovative country in the world.

Overall, the whole event was aimed at helping attendees connect with, present collaboration opportunities and exchange knowledge that can help entrepreneurs define actions they need to produce results anywhere they choose to do business.

Some of the startup presenters were resmio, an online marketing and reservation management for restaurants; videopath, a digital video solution that lets you easily create and publish interactive videos on the web; gokid, a carpool service for families and their kids; and panono, a way to keep your memories in 100 megapixels.