Black Forest Accelerator

We assist you on your journey to turn your ideas into reality with our specially tailored programs.

We turn ideas into companies!

The central focus of the accelerator is to shorten and streamline the “time to market”. The program is geared for those with a clear idea or prototype that want to take it to market within four to six months.

Our commitment: from idea to implementation

  • We help you develop your idea further and guide you through creating your business model.
  • You get workspace in our Technologie Park Offenburg (TPO) for 12 months. This gives your business the opportunity to maintain and grow its network while located at a vibrant hub for technology startups.
  • In eight modules, top experts will advise you on various entrepreneurial topics and share their knowledge, experience and inspiration. Theory and practice go hand in hand.
  • We help you build a useful network for implementing your ideas.
  • For the duration of the accelerator, our coaches work with you and are available for any questions that you have.
  • The mentors are also there to open doors for you by providing ideas or helping you find potential business partners and investors.
  • Our instructors don’t just impart theoretical information, we are also your sparring partners, helping you individually train and work toward your goal.

Your commitment

  • Because the accelerator is focused on getting your idea or product market ready in four to six months, it is imperative that you come with a clear idea for, or prototype of, your product.
  • Your business plan/model should be scalable.
  • You need also to have a clear commitment to developing and building your business in this region.

Accelerator 2019

Strategy

To start, we show you how to create a market entrance strategy for your idea. Who is my target group? Who are my clients? What makes them tick? And why, of all the products in the world, should they buy mine?

Instructors:

Dr. Thomas Scheuerle – Design Thinking
Consultant – innovation management and startup funding. Dissertation on Business Models of Digital Mobility (concepts) at the University of St. Gallen. Former employee in a social media startup. At Baden Campus “Case Manager” for startups and innovation projects. Strategic head of the accelerator program and expert in active and passive soccer.

Michael Bertram – Canvas

Head of Business Startup and Business Support of the IHK Southern Upper Rhine;

Co-creator of Tim Clark and Bruce Hazen “Business Models for Teams”.

Brand and Marketing

You have your products? Your target audience is clearly defined? Which languages do your customers speak? How do you reach them? How do you connect with them? What values are important to your customers?

Instructor:

Thomas Schatton – GF Panama Werbeagentur
Owner, CEO and Chief Strategist of Panama, Stuttgart’s independent creative agency for full-service brand management. Helps regional to international companies communicate effectively and to the point.

E-Commerce

We have split the E-Commerce module into two sections. In the first session, we focus on how e-commerce works? What role does my online-shop play? How do I build one?

Instructors:

Carsten Wißmann
Carsten Wissmann has been involved in digitization for more than 15 years, particularly in e-commerce. He has gained international corporate experience as well as working in medium sized companies of all shapes and sizes. His work has always focused on the interface between traditional distribution and new media. Most recently he worked for the Lapp Group in Stuttgart as Head of e-Business Europe. For him, the key to success is keeping pace with the rapid pace of change in the development of internet technologies on the one hand, and the respect for the cultural values of a family-run, medium-sized company on the other. He is currently a partner at Waibel & Partner and advises SMEs and municipalities.
He is a sought-after speaker at conferences and symposiums with a focus on e-commerce in B2B, such as the Strategy Days in Bensheim or the Management Circle. As a lecturer at the School of International Business and Entrepreneurship in Stuttgart (SIBE) and as a coach for young startups, he enjoys sharing his experience with others.

Stanislav Schmidt – Software Architekt & E-Business Experte.

For 18 years he has been a passionate software developer and leader in the field of automotive, e-business, digitalization, Big Data system structures and is, incidentally, also a car fanatic

E-Commerce 2

The second session of e-commerce is about achieving reach. This unit is very individual and our instructor will work directly with you on your product to develop an online marketing strategy

Instructor:

Mario Pinna
Mario Pinna Head of E-commerce and Digital Marketing At LIPO Einrichtungsmärkte AG – which belongs to Steinhoff International – a worldwide networked discount company. With more than 500 employees and 21 locations, LIPO is one of the largest interior design markets in Switzerland.
For almost 15 years Mr. Pinna has been in the digital marketing space and his enthusiasm for the digital world continues unabated. At present, the overall responsibility for digital marketing communication and the support of LIPO on the path to digital transformation is assumed. Prior to that, he worked as a consultant for various companies such as tour operators (TUI, Amadeus, …), retail (Office Depot, Bonprix, …) and much more.

Financing

No money, no fun. But how can I get money for my foundation, my company? What role do the banks play? How do I get venture capital? Does it make sense to go after venture capital? Get answers to these and other questions from the financial world in this module.

Instructor:

Florian Künstle – Reisch & Künstle Steuerberater
Florian is our numbers man. Whether it’s about setting your business plan in motion or getting your books in order to attract investors, his expertise will guide you through.

Law

Sales

The best product in the world is useless if you cannot sell it. In this two-day session, our instructors bring you up to speed on the sales side of business.

Instructors:

Martin Foshag – Gründer der Leitwerk AG
Founder and longtime CEO of the IT systems company Leitwerk AG; Angel Investor

Oliver Frank Bernhard – Owner easyAB
As a marketing and sales expert, he has many years of media experience, including at Hubert Burda Media, Bayard Press, Paris and MS Direct, St. Gallen (CH). For the last two years he has been dedicated to the study of speech production, speech recognition and understanding.

HR and Organization

Many startups fail because they don´t have the right team. What happens when friends become business partners? Who assumes which role in the company? What do I have to look out for when recruiting? This is the topic for the first day of this module. The second day covers conflicts, how to manage them and what you can gain through solving them.

Instructors:

Swen Laempe – CEO and founder of Vioma GmbH
Founder, owner and CEO of vioma GmbH. More than 20 years of leadership expertise with a focus on agile leadership, human resources diagnostics & competence-oriented human resources development. Accredited coach & trainer for communication, feedback & leadership training

Tina von Sengbusch – Coach
Conflicts drain power and energy, but solving them opens up new possibilities! To recognize these possibilities, it helps to distance yourself emotionally and look at the conflict objectively. With her passion for communication and organization, Tina von Sengbusch tackles this topic in her workshop “Conflicts – Energy Loss or Creativity Gain”.

Coaches

Coaches are available to accelerator participants on a topic-related basis. Depending on the question, individual or group coaching is possible. Coaching sessions take place on weekdays between modules in the Technologie Park Offenburg.

Uwe Baumann

Uwe Baumann

Concept Development

Uwe is the heart of the Black Forest Accelerator. Not only did he co-found and build the accelerator, but he also helps you develop your idea into a full concept and is an excellent resource for connecting you with network partners. In addition, Uwe always provides delicious food for us during the accelerator.

Florian Appel

Florian Appel

Business Development and Marketing

Florian will help you from the get-go, from business development to strategically positioning your brand for the right target group. In addition, through Florian, you will gain access to the WRO network and beyond.

Marc Müller-Stoffels

Marc Müller-Stoffels

Technology

At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Marc led the Power Systems Integration Laboratory, the Alaska Center for Microgrid Technology Commercialization and the Wind-Diesel Applications Center.
Marc helps answer your questions about the technical realization of your company, or as he puts it – with the really relevant questions.
Florian Künstle

Florian Künstle

Business Plan / Everything Numbers

If it has to do with numbers, Florian is there to help. He can assist you with anything from getting your business plan on track to preparing you to search for investors.
Stanislav Schmidt

Stanislav Schmidt

Big Data System Structures & E-business

In addition to his software agency, Stan is the founder of a startups in the field of machine learning & research, cultural management and data protection management. He is your contact for questions regarding scalable platforms or e-business projects. A successful online shop or cloud platform is not a steady-state condition, but a constant process with many success-critical factors.
Simone Appel

Simone Appel

Team and Organization

Simone is an HR Manager with heart and soul. She has been responsible for human resources departments in industry and non-profit companies and has built and reconfigured various organizational structures. She is a systemic consultant and coach and is there to help you build your team and optimize the organizational structure.
Christian Falk

Christian Falk

Web Design

Christian is the founder of a software and design agency and the startup Falcon A.I. which specializes in the research and development of artificial intelligence in HR management. With him you will learn how to easily build your own website while achieving the wow factor that can be so critical for the success of your business.

Experienced Mentors

Michael Bertram

Michael Bertram

IHK Southern Upper Rhine

Head of Business Unit Business Startup and Business Development of the IHK Southern Upper Rhine;
Co-Creator of Tim Clark and Bruce Hazen “Business Models for Teams”
Marco Steffens

Marco Steffens

Lord Mayor of Offenburg

Supervisory Board Wirtschaftsregion Ortenau (WRO); Chairman of the Board Sparkasse Offenburg / Ortenau; Contact in the municipal region
Brigitta Schrempp

Brigitta Schrempp

Schrempp EDV GmbH

Owner and CEO of Schrempp EDV GmbH;
Board member of the Economic Advisory Board of the Wirtschaftsregion Ortenau (WRO);
Vice President of the IHK Southern Upper Rhine
Helmut Hilzinger

Helmut Hilzinger

hilzinger GmbH

Owner and CEO of hilzinger GmbH. Member of the Economic Advisory Board of the Wirtschaftsregion Ortenau
Martin Foshag

Martin Foshag

Business Angel

Founder and longtime CEO of the IT systems company Leitwerk AG; Business Angel
Fabian Silberer

Fabian Silberer

sevDesk

Founder and CEO of sevDesk
Jürgen Siegloch

Jürgen Siegloch

Board bwcon

20 years Burda Direct Group – CEO and Founder;
Owner and CEO of C&S Marketing;
Shareholder and board member in various companies;
Executive board member of bwcon Baden-Württemberg
Frank Semling

Frank Semling

hansgrohe SE

Executive board member of Supply Chain Management & Services, and Labor Director of Hansgrohe SE. As a business informatics expert, he has more than 25 years of professional experience in purchasing, logistics, human resources and IT.
Alexander Schulze

Alexander Schulze

Ergowerk

CEO & Usability Guru at ERGOWERK.
With his passion for usability, Alex is constantly evaluating products and services in everyday life and is driven to incorporate his broad knowledge into his own product ideas.
Jeremias Endres

Jeremias Endres

Ergowerk

COO & UX Designer at ERGOWERK
As a UXer with passion, Jeremias is both a conceptualizer, designer and developer of UI-driven projects and also tries to promote his own ideas as a startup founder.
Ralf Müller

Ralf Müller

Dorotheenhütte Wolfach

Owner and CEO at Dorotheenhütte Wolfach. Owner and CEO at Zeller Keramik Manufaktur. Business Angel & Investor.
Swen Laempe

Swen Laempe

vioma GmbH

More than 20 years of management expertise with an emphasis on agile leadership, personnel diagnostics & competence-oriented personnel development. Accredited coach & trainer for communication, feedback & leadership training.
Andrea Müller

Andrea Müller

University of Applied Sciences Offenburg

Professor of Direct Marketing and E-Commerce at the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg

Accelerator 2017/2018 Impressions

Black Forest Accelerator 2019

Currently underway