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SPOTLIGHT
Stage
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Where successful startups present their companies
This stage sets the spotlight on the shooting stars of the startup ecosystem. Together with our partner Deutsche Börse Venture Network we handpick startups that are on a high-growth trajectory and have received at least a series A funding round.

The format of on-spot 10-minute company presentations is perfectly designed for investors, VC funds and corporate attendees to get an impression of a whole bunch of companies in a short period of time. On the other hand it's a great opportunity for the presenting companies to keep their investor relations up-to-date and even deepen them in the investors lounge next to the stage.

The presenting startups have raised over 800m Euro in total and represent the fastest growing later stage startups in Europe. The attending investors manage over 1 billion Euros and come to Bits & Pretzels to look at new investment opportunities. 

Can‘t wait to see which deals result from these meetings.
Featured investors
presenting partner
Deutsche Börse Group is a market infrastructure provider for transaction services and trading securities, giving companies and investors access to global capital markets. Deutsche Börse Venture Network was launched in 2015 and has been expanding ever since, with currently more than 500 members across Europe. A customised service offering is an ideal means of support for its members. Growth companies value access to contacts and skill enhancement trainings – both being key factors to successful growth management. It aids companies in their early growth stages in pursuing their financing objectives effectively and optimally. As part of the „Pre-IPO & Capital Markets“ department of Deutsche Börse Cash Market, the network offers investors high-quality investment opportunities in companies from early to late growth and pre-IPO stages.
Stage host and curator
Julian Riedlbauer
Partner GP Bullhound
Julian joined GP Bullhound as a Partner in August 2012 and is head of the German office. Previously Julian was the founder and managing partner of the M&A boutique Pure Equity Advisors.
Due to his experience as an advisor for technology companies on later stage growth equity fundraises and exits he is the expert you need to identify startups that are worthy of presenting at the spotlight stage.
company presentations
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Deutsche Börse AG
Peter Fricke
Head of Deutsche Börse Venture Network

10yrs with Deutsche Boerse Group, Peter Fricke is responsible for the Deutsche Börse Venture Network since April 2017. Prior to that he worked for Eurex in the area of Sales and Business Development Asia / Middle heading the Representative office in Singapore. Peter studied at the University of Mannheim, Germany and Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok Thailand. He is holding a diploma degree in Economics.

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Immutable Insight GmbH
Katharina Gehra
Co-Founder & CEO

Katharina is the Co-Founder & CEO of Immutable Insight, a blockchain advanced analytics firm. Prevously, she has been CEO of Interritus Limited, a London based investment vehicle for majority positions in European banks. Supervisory board member of Fürstlich Castell'sche Bank and previously at Kommunalkredit Austria AG. Worked as a project leader at the Boston Consulting Group and Commerzbank AG. MSc in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics.

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Aklamio
Robert Wetzker
CEO

After studying business engineering in Berlin and Rome, Robert co-headed the Competence Center for Information Retrieval and Machine Learning at Technical University Berlin. During this time, he started investigating how information spreads within various types of social communities, and the idea of Aklamio was born.
While still working on his doctoral thesis, Robert entered the entrepreneurial path and co-founded Aklamio in 2011, with the vision of turning customer referrals into every company's main growth channel. Since then, Aklamio has become the world’s leading provider of referral marketing solutions and its technology enables brands worldwide to grow faster from word-of-mouth.

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Sanity Group
Finn Age Hänsel
Founder

Finn is a serial entrepreneur with a long history of angel investments and political start-up support. Finn started his career at BCG in Germany and Australia and entered the start-up world by founding THE ICONIC, the today largest online fashion retailer in Australia and New Zealand. After executive roles at ProSiebenSat1 and most recently as the CEO of Movinga, Finn has now founded Sanity Group, one of the first European holistic Cannabis companies. Outside work, Finn is also board member of the German Start-up Association.

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Selfapy GmbH
Farina Schurzfeld
Founder & CMO

Growth strategist Farina Schurzfeld is current Co-founder of Selfapy, an online therapy platform for mental health disorders.
Previously, she was part of Groupon Australia’s founding team, general manager of Airtasker (Sydney and New York) and co-founder of the largest co-workingspace in Sydney TSL (hosting more than 400 startups). Subsequently, she was Head of Business at two companies of Hitfox Group. Coaching founders, she is also mentor for the Grace Accellerator startup program. She holds a Master of Arts in International Business and has recently been awarded as top 30 under 30 from Forbes magazine.

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ArtNight / ShakeNight / BakeNight / PlantNight
Aimie-Sarah Carstensen
Founder/CEO

Aimie completed a dual Bachelor degree in Mannheim and at the international company Canon which gave her first insights into the world of business. Her career entry led her to Axel Springer where she initially worked for Digital Conferences, later responsible for Digital Media Cooperations. At the same time, Aimie managed to complete her master's degree in economics and politics at the European University Viadrina. In order to develop she moved to the publishing house after graduating and joined Bertelsmann as Head of Product. There she built an in-house platform for career orientation. She led a team of more than 25 employees and won several awards with the platform. As a part-time Aimie founded the blogazine FIELFALT for strong and committed women. In 2016 Aimie met David, with whom she developed the ArtNight concept together and in the September 2016 they founded the start-up ArtNight to offer social painting events. ArtNight is based in Berlin, but acts in 5 countries. At the beginning of 2019 ArtNight launched also ShakeNight (Cocktail Classes), BakeNight (Baking Classes) and PlantNight (Planting Classes). ArtNight employs 50 people.

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FinTecSystems GmbH
Stefan Krautkrämer
Managing Director/ Co-Founder

Stefan is Co-Founder and Managing Director of FinTecSystems. Prior to that, Stefan, who studied business informatics, had spent more than seven years in the founding team of SOFORT building up the online payment method "Sofortüberweisung". Stefan last worked as COO in the company until the sale of SOFORT to Klarna AB. At FinTecSystems Stefan is responsible for Corporate Development and Investor Relations.