HY Berlin Contest Offers Startups a Trip to the Valley

By David Knight |

A new series of events called HY Berlin focused on early-stage startups will kick off with a competition next month. The winning team at the contest, part of Axel Springer’s Media Entrepreneurs Day 2012 on October 16, will bank €10,000 in cash as well as a one-week trip to Silicon Valley.

The competition will be held at Radialsystem V and is open to teams from around the world who “try to solve a global problem and address a global market,” with a focus on Web and mobile startups which are less than two years old and have not received more than €1m in funding.

Applications are open until the end of September – and HY Berlin is also hoping to see other startups launch new products during the event.

Competing teams will be chosen from the applicants by a jury of industry experts, and will get the chance to present in front of a Berlin startup audience in two stages. First comes a five-minute pitch before the best three are subject to an in-depth Q&A. The event will be moderated by Milo Yiannopoulos, founder and editor of The Kernel.

The overall winners will receive the cash from Deutsche Telekom’s incubator hub:raum, which is also offering all finalists a place in its eight-week accelerator program. The CEOs of the top three startups will be put on a plane to San Francisco, where Axel Springer has already installed a three-man research team.

In trying to bridge the gap to the Valley, the event is following in the footsteps of the German Silicon Valley Accelerator.

The Media Entrepreneurs Day itself, meanwhile, will provide founders with an opportunity to mingle with the media giant’s “digital top management” and promising talents from European universities.