SCALE11 focus on digital startups, disruption

By Guest Author | Startup Conference | March 7, 2016

As CoFounder is heading to CeBIT’s SCALE11 startup event in Hannover, we are publishing the fair’s take on what to expect from the event.

Established companies are increasingly relying on startups as catalysts  of digital transformation. In keeping with this trend, SCALE11 is returning to CeBIT in 2016 with a new, expanded format as Europe’s leading platform for digital startups and disruptive models.
CeBIT is strengthening its position as the leading showcase for innovation and disruptive business models with a massive expansion of its SCALE11 startup platform. “Following its successful premiere this year, SCALE11 will feature next year as an even more powerful platform for the supporting ecosystem that exists around innovations, entrepreneurs, established companies and investors,” said Oliver Frese, the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member responsible for CeBIT.
SCALE11 is managed and produced by Deutsche Messe in close partnership with the German Startups Association (BVDS). Its official motto for 2016 is
“enable the next …”
Frese: “We’ve invested a huge amount of time and effort in refining and enhancing the SCALE11 format. Visitors attending next year’s CeBIT can expect a truly awe-inspiring and creatively staged showcase dedicated to startups.”
IMG_8636CeBIT 2016 will play host to more than 350 young enterprises, of which at least 250 will be participating at SCALE11. “The motto ‘enable the next …’ reflects the purpose of SCALE11 as a facilitator of the next big step for startups, a kick-starter of the next stage of development, and a springboard for the discovery of the ‘next big thing,’” Frese said.
The Chairman of the Board of the German Startups Association, Florian Nöll, explains: “Startups are looking for partners, customers and investors. And that is where SCALE11 comes in. It is a builder of bridges between startups and grownups at CeBIT – a role in which it has already proven its effectiveness at this year’s show.”
The new SCALE11 format
The new SCALE11 format will have five main components.
First, there will be an exhibition platform where multiple startups give presentations.
This will be supported by a conference platform featuring a strong lineup of top international speakers. Among the conference highlights will be  the Startup City Summit, where representatives of leading startup cities, including London, Paris and Tel Aviv, will take the stage to share the secrets of creating startup-friendly business environments.
The third SCALE11 component will see representatives of young enterprises take the stage to pitch their innovative business models to CeBIT trade visitors and investors. These pitches are an opportunity for startups to meet with private equity and venture capital providers in order to secure funds for the next stage in their growth and find new cooperation partners. The pitching stage will also serve as the platform for the final round of the Europe-wide “Best of CeBIT” startup competition. Another pitching highlight is the “Founders Fight Club,”  where pairs of startup founders will pitch their ideas in a series of “bouts” in a real boxing ring.
The fourth component of the SCALE11 showcase revolves around a program of workshops staged in a dedicated area of Hall 11. There, participants will be able to delve deeper into financing opportunities canvassed during the pitches, provide more information on their business models and develop new, international markets in direct dialogue with potential customers.
The fifth component of the showcase is all about networking. Each evening of CeBIT, Hall 11 will host events dedicated to face-to-face networking among key players in the startup community. Highlights here  include organized “speed-dating” events and get-togethers for female founders.
For added clarity, the participants at SCALE11 will be grouped into three broad clusters. The first will comprise founders’ networks – established companies and advisors that have banded together to mentor and support startups. The second consists of representatives of high-profile international startup cities, who will be presenting numerous companies and successful business ideas from within their local startup ecosystems. And finally, there will be numerous startups running their own presentations. Among much else, the startups will have the option of staging their presentations in one of 15 theme areas, such as Big Data, Digital Health, eCommerce, FinTech, Internet of Things, Logistics, Media & AdTech. Each of these areas will have a “Community Captain” – an established player that will take on the role of mentor to the participating startups. The CeBIT team will use the participants’ registration data to assign startups and community captains early on so that networking within these areas can get underway before CeBIT even starts.
Frese: “SCALE 11 is a promise to startups that they will have the opportunity to test their business models on potential customers under real-world conditions. They will find new partners to help them embark on the next stage of growth. Conversely, the SCALE 11 promise to established companies is that they will discover digital innovations and amazing, hugely promising new business models.”
Deutsche Messe’s partnership with the German Startups Association (BVDS) is integral to the expansion of SCALE11. Frese: “Our partnership with the BVDS has enabled us to tailor the SCALE11 show’s various events and exhibition formats precisely to the needs and requirements of startups. The partnership gives us direct access to the startup ecosystem.”