ASP&P Accelerator Reveals New Teams as it Waves Goodbye to Robin Haak

By David Knight |

It’s business as usual for the Axel Springer Plug and Play despite losing a key figure, with the accelerator announcing a very international line up for its next program at the same time as one of its founders leaves for pastures new. Robin Haak, one of the people most responsible for establishing the Berlin-Silicon Valley crossover accelerator, was renowned for throwing himself into helping the startups – and one appealed to him so much, he left to join it.

In a message to friends announcing he was joining Jobspotting as COO, Robin wrote of being proud to be a part of “Berlin’s business awakening” and added: “We changed the landscape and affected a sea change. Maybe even changed the world a little, too. Ushering Axel Springer into the digital age, being part of this amazing movement that brings more and more advancements every day.”

Hessam Lavi, founder and MD of innovative job-finding platform Jobspotting, said: “With Robin we have found the perfect addition to our team. He has already played an important role in the founding phase, and we are delighted to now welcome him on board for the next chapters of our company.”

But for ASP&P the show must go on, and details of its next program – the fourth – have been released, with seven of the eight participants from Israel, Ireland and Austria.

The names to keep an eye on are: Broadsay, Emerald, GetJob, Incend, Room-Me, Shopeat, Vicomi and Zizooboats, covering spaces from live streaming debates and skin cancer detection to smart shopping lists and boat rental.

The accelerator has also revealed that 80 percent of the teams from the first two rounds have subsequently received investment, with Number26 (formerly Papayer), embraase, Jobspotting, Get2play, AdIncon and truffls the latest to attract new funding.

Jörg Rheinboldt, managing director of Axel Springer Plug and Play, said: “We are pleased to see that the international attractiveness of Axel Springer Plug and Play is continuing to increase. It is particularly exciting for us that a large number of startups from Israel, a technophile country, value our accelerator and our contacts to Silicon Valley.”

This trend, he added, together with the follow-up financing for graduates, indicates that Berlin is “becoming more and more interesting as a location for international startups”.

The ASP&P program includes seed investment totalling €25,000, mentoring, workshops and access to the German media giant’s extensive international network. The teams spend three months working at the accelerator’s offices in Kreuzberg, near to Axel Springer HQ, and which use to be the emergency newsroom for German tabloid Bild. In return, ASP&P takes 5 percent of the participating companies.

It is one of a number of corporate accelerators in Berlin, with Microsoft, Deutsche Telekom, ProSiebenSat.1 and Coca Cola among those also looking to interact with the entrepreneurial community.