Announcing the inaugural class for the Techstars Smart Mobility Accelerator in Turin, Italy at OGR

After successfully serving as Managing Director of Techstars accelerators in Berlin and Amsterdam I couldn’t be more excited to announce the inaugural Techstars Smart Mobility Accelerator class, Techstars’ very first program in Italy, at OGR Tech in Turin, the new innovation hub for collaborative creativity and new ideas incubator focused on startups, creative industries and smart data. 

Today marks the official start of the accelerator, a 13-week program focused on transformative mobility technologies. Together with our partners Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, we are excited to welcome 11 companies from Italy, Norway, Germany, Portugal, the U.S., Ukraine and the U.K. to Turin, Italy for the next three months.Turin offers a range of opportunities for tech startups –  from deep engagement with the mobility industry, to benefit from governmental initiatives to test, develop and implement new technologies, to working with local and international top-notch mentors. Our 2020 class represents a diverse array of technologies: from autonomous vehicle-to-everything transactions to a new way of avalanche safety for skiers. We have a very exciting three months ahead of us and we are thrilled to support the companies with hands-on mentorship on business modeling, sales, fundraising, marketing, and other relevant topics to build successful and sustainable companies.

Our program will culminate in Demo Day on Thursday, 23rd April, so mark your calendars and join us at OGR in Turin!

It is my pleasure to introduce the Class of 2020 for the Techstars Smart Mobility Accelerator:


Automating curbside operations for all things mobility – from passenger vehicles and scooters, to Ubers and delivery trucks.


GetHenry provides white label micro-mobility sharing solutions for station-based B2B use cases.

Go To-U

Go To-U is a SaaS-enabled marketplace that connects EV drivers with businesses, which have charging stations on their site.


Nickelytics is an integrated adtech platform that increases gig economy drivers’ pay.


An all-in-one mobility platform that revolutionizes urban driving through automation.


Satellite data and IP deep-learning to identify ideal solar sites and forecast generation for grid management.

Think Outside

Transferring oil exploration technology to revolutionize snow monitoring and insights across sectors.


TUC is a patent that makes the interior of the vehicles modular thanks to plug&play components architecture, simplifying vehicles.

Urban SDK

Provides connected mobility, safety and transportation analytics for Smart Cities.

V2X Network

Autonomous transactions platform that allows vehicles to make their own decisions and execute payments for connected services.


Open Social Navigator that simplifies mobility for people with difficulties/disabilities through highly personalized solutions.

The Techstars Smart Mobility Accelerator in Turin is looking for the greatest teams

After our recent announcement that Techstars is bringing the Smart Mobility Accelerator to Turin, Italy, we are now looking for 10 exceptional teams to join us and boost their businesses to the next level during our 13-week mentorship-driven accelerator program, starting in January 2020.

This is your chance to join the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, with more than 300,000 alumni, +10,000 mentors and over +1,900 portfolio companies with a current market value of USD +23bn.

Who should apply and how do we define Smart Mobility?

If your outstanding team is working on a disruptive solution within the below mentioned markets and you have early traction, do not hesitate to apply. We’re especially looking for:

    • Passionate founders: We are looking for the best teams who can build globally successful companies. We believe that great companies are built by stellar entrepreneurs, having a balance between experience, passion and vision, eagerness to learn, and the ability to execute fast.
    • Companies with a Smart Mobility angle: When you think about Smart Mobility you might think of carpooling, bike-/car-/scooter sharing or autonomous driving. But Smart Mobility is much more than moving from A to B. It’s integration of information, combining insurance, payments, reducing pollution and climate emissions, moving goods, data and other tangible and intangible assets.

Our Smart Mobility definition includes: Transport services, IoT, Mobility-as-a-Service, autonomous transport/driving, drones and aerial mobility, logistics, sharing services, roads and traffic management, financial/insurance services, travel planning, first-and/last mile delivery, big data/AI, real-time information, virtual reality, safety and convenience as well as technologies adjacent to and related to smart infrastructure and smart cities.

Smart Mobility is a pillar of Smart Cities and a tool to achieve sustainable cities. In addition to the markets above, we are also very interested in companies within the circular economy, focusing on positive society-wide benefits and making the most of our resources.

Why you should join us in Turin

Italy is a steadily growing ecosystem with an increasing amount of investors and startups. In 2018, Italian startups raised more than EUR 520 million, a 260% increase from just EUR 136 million in 2017. Funds which started in 2018 raised almost EUR 900m for startup investments. Italy’s growing startup-scene is also supported by government initiatives, such as the National Innovation Fund that just recently announced it’s initiative to invest EUR 1bn in startups.

Turin has developed a thriving startup scene and is becoming a hotbed for tech startups. As of today, more than 300 innovative startups call Turin their home. Just earlier this month, Telecom Italia and the Municipality of Turin announced a collaboration to make Turin a cutting-edge model of the “digital city”, further creating synergies with the Turin City Lab, the Smart Road – Turin City Lab for autonomous and connected driving, and the Competence Center for Manufacturing 4.0. 

The region is home to +140,000 companies across many industries, such as aerospace, automotive, communication technologies, design, robotics and multimedia, and is recognized as an engineering tech hub with nearly 1,300 engineering graduates from the city’s 10 universities entering the job market on an annual basis. Several governmental initiatives including tax incentives, flexible labor law, and the Italia Startup Visa are additional factors that make Turin attractive for many organizations and professionals.

In the center of the beautiful Piemonte region, only one hour from the Italian riviera and the Olympic mountains, the city of Turin offers perfect conditions for a 13-week accelerator program and far beyond. 

Together with the Compagnia Di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT, Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center we will host 10 world-changing companies in the OGR innovation hub, a new 12,000 square meter tech-hub for scientific, technological and industrial research, focused on startups, in the heart of the city, providing access to the best mentors, corporates, investors and successful entrepreneurs.

What’s next?

Applications are open now! You can apply directly, sign-up for office hours if you have further questions, or read our FAQs to learn more about Techstars Accelerators.

Within the upcoming weeks, my colleague Antonio Pisante and I will travel around the globe to meet founders who are interested in joining us for the inaugural class of the Techstars Smart Mobility Accelerator. We’ll also be hosting a series of webinars, in-person and remote office hours, and Techstars Meet & Greet events all in an effort to find the best 10 companies to join our 2020 class.

Follow me on Linkedin and Twitter for the latest updates about the program and stay tuned for further announcements.

Announcing Techstars Class 153 of the METRO Accelerator, powered by Techstars

Announcing Techstars Class 153! We are super thrilled to announce the ten companies joining the METRO Accelerator, powered by Techstars.

We kicked off last week (November 5th) and we are looking forward to three months of awesomeness, capped off by Demo Day mid February 2019.

This year, we attracted companies from eight countries, including Croatia, Italy, Germany, France, South Korea, UK, Israel and India.

Our one and only goal is to support and grow these ten incredible companies. Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and strong partners and mentors help make this happen. The METRO Accelerator program provides mentorship, access to METRO, its executives and its customers.

The next 14 weeks will be filled with mentoring, pitching and growth!

I would like to thank our mentors, sponsors, partners and alumni for their generous support. Special thanks to the team at METRO for their true commitment to the success of our partnership.

Without further ado, here are the METRO Accelerator, powered by Techstars 2018 companies:


Complete all your back-office tasks in five minutes everyday.


A virtual assistant for travelers.


The only way to make fresh, nutritious olive oil anywhere.


Always have reliable staff for successful shifts.


An innovative digital solutions for the hospitality industry combining marketing automation, AI & machine learning to increase direct ordering, guest engagement and customer life time value


A hotel-tech marketplace of SaaS solutions allowing independent hotels and small chains to select the right tools and systems for their business.


The smartest, most customer-centric AI platform & company on the planet.


Track and analyze social media activity for every restaurant and hotel in a given city.


The smart way to run your bar


The chatbot that generates real-time demand for restaurants.

Martin Olczyk Joins Techstars as Managing Director of METRO Accelerator for Hospitality

I am extremely honored and excited to announce that I joined Techstars as the managing director of the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars in Berlin. Together with Franziska Lohl (Program Manager) and the METRO accelerator team we will recruit and accelerate 10 outstanding entrepreneurial teams who are ready to help shaping the hospitality industry.

In the past 10 years, I have started four companies, acted as its CEO, CFO and COO, raising multiple venture capital rounds, worked with dozens of technology businesses as an M&A banker, advising companies on raising millions of dollars and selling businesses across the globe, being a business angel, mentor and advisor to startups and several accelerators. But compared to a serial entrepreneur journey, joining Techstars just feels by far as the most exciting move! Techstars is THE worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed – for me that means working with the brightest minds and helping them build the next world market leaders, I can’t imagine anything more exciting!!

I have seen a lot of changes across many industries and the increasing influence of technologies. Before starting my own entrepreneurial journey, I was always very fortunate to work with and learn from successful and super talented entrepreneurs during my career. Having the experience of working with early stage companies and more matured ones, I was always very curious about the persons behind the businesses – the entrepreneurs.

Having lived in several countries in Europe and in Asia, experiencing different cultures there seems to be one common entrepreneurial DNA which connects the special type of human beings.

Global Network and #Givefirst

Starting a business is tough and requires a lot of energy. Especially at the early stage, founders need the most help and the most support. Techstars’ #givefirst mission and the global network of mentors offers a unique one-stop shop home for founders and entrepreneurs. Knowing Techstars and the dynamic environment for a few weeks only, I am totally convinced that if I had had the opportunity when I started my business it would have been of enormous advantage for the growth and the development of my companies and I am thrilled about the idea of supporting other entrepreneurs within the Techstars now and lifelong.

METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars in Berlin

The hospitality sector has a significant economic impact and almost 10% of all European jobs depend on industry. However, the industry is still massively under-digitised and does not have such a large corporate structures compared to large industrial sectors. The huge number of individual businesses usually burns more money and cannot compete with organised franchise and system chains, which is usually connected with poor conception and planning processes, high burnout rates and poor food and service quality. At the same time, the segment is extremely cost-sensitive and is threatened to become the victim of various social developments – such as the extinction of the cooking profession, faster changes in trends, new developments in metropolitan areas  and the countryside or the above mentioned low level of digitisation. All in all, the segment offers high digitization potential with a high degree of complexity.

METRO, with €30bn revenues and the global network, an amazing mentor pool and access to key industry players, is the perfect hotbed/frontier for hospitality startups to test, improve, fine-tune its solutions and  find out what technologies customers need to succeed. Running two accelerator programs together with Techstars in parallel, for 4 years in a row, having invested in 50 companies together with METRO, offers the ideal conditions to turn your ideas into globally relevant products and sustainably successful companies.

Berlin has a uniquely vibrant and rapidly growing startup atmosphere and is said to be the best location for tech startups in Europe offering a perfect  infrastructure for funding, financing and scaling. You’ll be part of this international community and Techstars family not only for the three months but lifelong! So, we are looking forward to your application!

Applications for the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars in Berlin are open now and close August 3rd, 2018.

You will find more valuable information about how to apply within the Application Toolkit or feel free to add me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter and let me know if you have any questions!

I am looking forward to work with the Techstars and METRO family and help grow and develop a new generation of innovative hospitality companies and boost the founders’ vision to unicorn level!