- The Authority on German, Swiss and Austrian Startups and Venture Capital - The Authority on German, Swiss and Austrian Startups and Venture Capital
Germany has a rich history when it comes to entrepreneurship. From Konrad Zuse, Carl Benz, and Ferdinand Porsche to Werner von Siemens, there is no shortage of success stories that can be told about German-based companies looking for global expansion opportunities abroad or investors seeking out fresh investment prospects at home/abroad. We continue this with keeping you up to date with the latest on the German-speaking startup scene in Germany (Europe’s largest economy), Switzerland, and Austria, collectively known as the GSA or DACH region. We are an English-only startup podcast with exclusive startup content, including regular news, and interviews. We are the international voice of the German-speaking startup scene. We focus on interviews with startups mostly around their Series B funding or even scale-ups from GSA. Once a month, we also bring you an exclusive startup news wrap-up. We are socred in the global Top 60 Science, Top 75 Tech, Top 275 Business Podcast (Chartable), Global Top 0.5% Podcast (Listen Notes), and global Top 20 Entrepreneurship Podcast on Apple Podcast across all countries (Podder).™ - All rights reserved
Warm Wishes and Cheers: A Festive Message from Joe Menninger
Dear Esteemed Listeners, As the holiday season wraps us in its joyful embrace, I wanted to take a moment to extend my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you who has been a part of our incredible journey here at This time of year is not just about the twinkling lights and merry melodies; it's about cherishing connections, celebrating accomplishments, and embracing the spirit of togetherness. Your unwavering support, insightful feedback, and enthusiasm have been the driving force behind our podcast's success. As we reflect on the year gone by, I'm filled with immense gratitude for the enriching conversations, the wisdom shared by our remarkable guests, and the vibrant community that surrounds us. Your engagement fuels our passion to continue bringing you thought-provoking insights and valuable content. May this season fill your hearts with warmth, your homes with laughter, and your lives with endless joy. Here's to a new year brimming with innovation, inspiration, and boundless opportunities. Thank you for being an integral part of our journey. From the entire team at, I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season. Warm regards, Joe Menninger Host, The background music is Borrtex 04 Happy Holidays published under Creative Commons License
Dec 24, 2023
2 min
The Ultimate Fintech Guide: Germany, Austria, and Switzerland 2023 Review
Executive Summary As we step into the holiday season, we at are excited to bring you exclusive insights from our recent Fintech Review 2023 for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Our latest episode featured prominent voices in the Fintech industry, offering valuable perspectives on the current landscape and the Fintech Outlook 2024. We talk all things digital finance, banking, and capital markets. Tune in to learn more. Like What You Hear? You can tip us here: Follow Us! If you are listening to our content for the 2nd time please consider following us on social media. Our Sponsor Startupraven The best way to find investors and cooperation partners for early-stage startups. Sign up here: Fintech Review Ever since Joe ventured into podcasting, Fintech has ignited tremendous interest. In 2014, he initiated the annual Fintech reviews, initially in German. For several years, has proudly presented this review as the crowning piece of each year. Lately, there's been a request to shift the publication from December 25th to an earlier date, ensuring you can tune in during your Christmas travels. We're thrilled to accommodate this request, especially for our German investors eager to delve into the thriving Fintech scenes of Hamburg, Berlin, and Munich, along with the broader spectrum of German startups. The Guests 2023 Here are some of the highlights from the episode: - Kimmo Soramäki, CEO of FAN.FI, shares positive news for the upcoming year and discusses the optimization of liquidity for banks and businesses, as well as the challenges posed by the rise in digital payment fraud. - Paolo Sironi, an esteemed author and thought leader, delves into the rise of generative AI and its impact on the banking relationship, emphasizing the importance of digitalization, personalization, and simplification in communication for understanding the value proposition. - Luca Frignani, CEO of Exaloan, provides valuable insights into the challenges and successes in the Fintech lending space in 2023, while also predicting a convergence of Fintech lending, tokenization, and the digital asset ecosystem in 2024. - Ivan Maryasin, CEO of Monite, reflects on the shift of startups towards becoming real businesses and the impact of high interest rates on incumbents and startups. We invite you to tune in to the episode for an in-depth discussion on Fintech, banking, InsurTech, embedded finance, and CBDC, offering you a comprehensive understanding of the industry's current state and future potential. All Links and Show Notes Here is our blog post: Topics Discussed in this Interview In this interview we are talking about Kimmo Soramäki, Jörn "Joe" Menninger, Ivan Maryasin, Paolo Sironi, Luca Frignani, Embedded finance, Digital payments, Liquidity optimization, Rising interest rates, Fraud in digital payments, Generative AI, Open banking, Neobanks, Digital wallet usage, Fintech lending, Tokenization, Digital asset ecosystem, Risk management, Startups, Unit economics, Talent migration, Incumbents, Financial services shift, Banking relationship, Digital connectivity, Consumer priorities, Institutional investors, Economic proof
Dec 22, 2023
37 min
This Month in German, Swiss, and Austrian (GSA) Startups - December 2023
Welcome to our December 2023 wrap-up with vital news from the startup and tech entrepreneurship scenes in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in 30 minutes or less 🙂. Our startup news is recorded with Chris in New York City and Joe in Frankfurt. The recording date is December 19th, 2023 and all news not included will be in our next news to be released on January 25th, 2024. Note: We will take a holiday break until January 18th, 2023, when you can expect the first publication in the new year. Our Highlights:Aleph Alpha's AI models get bad press. Escooter Tier lays of one-fifth of the workforce. Solarisbank also fires employees, and so does the Austrian scale-up neoom. Sport Alliance gets 100 M US$ funding and Hugo Boss chips into a sustainable fashion fund. Trade Republic is now a fully licensed bank and Instafreight has to file for insolvency. In total, we have more than 30 M US$ new VC investments in Austria, more than 25 M US$ investments in Switzerland, and more than 400 M US$ investments in Germany, vs only three insolvencies. Yes at the core we are very positive :-). It feels better, at least a bit. Let's talk startups: Our Partners (AL)Are you a startup founder, looking for a bank account in the EU? We are banking with Qonto. Sign up, using this link:  🔥 Supercharge your sales game with Pipedrive! 🚀 Unlock the ultimate tool for lead management and conversion. 💼 Seize this exclusive offer: Get a jaw-dropping 30% OFF for an entire year! 🌐 Elevate your business 💥 #Lead 🎉 Elevate your customer support game with Zendesk! 🚀 Experience excellence for FREE - get 6 months on us! 🌐 Revolutionize your service and delight your customers. ⏳ Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity! 🚀 #CustomerSupport 🚀 Elevate your business with Freshworks! 🌐 Unlock a game-changing 90% OFF on their powerful customer engagement tools! 🌟 Seize the moment to supercharge your success. ⏰ Don't miss out - the future of seamless customer experiences awaits! 🚀 #deals All Links and Show NotesHere is our blog post:
Dec 20, 2023
23 min
Green Startups and the Future of Europe’s Digital Revolution - German Startup Awards
Executive Summary In this episode of, host Jörn "Joe" Menninger interviews Sebastian Matthes, editor-in-chief of Handelsblatt and winner of the Special Award at the German Startup Awards 2023. Matthes shares insights on the digital transformation of Handelsblatt, emphasizing the shift from print to digital and the importance of a subscription-first business model. The discussion covers trends in journalism, digital content strategies, and the future of the German startup scene. Matthes also reflects on green startups, the potential for Europe in the next phase of digitization, and the challenges of government policies in Germany. The episode concludes with reflections on the hype cycle for new trends and the changing landscape of media and startups. Like what you hear? You can tip us here: Subscribe Here or Follow Us on Social Media Our Sponsor StartupravenA startup's journey can be a tough one, but it doesn't have ́to feel like you're alone on your quest! Sign up here: German Startup Awards 2023 This interview is in media partnership with the German startup association (Bundesverband Deutscher Startups Their German Startup Awards #GSA23 honor each year outstanding female and male founders and investors in special categories. Questions Discussed in the Interview Sebastian Matthes talked about the potential for Europe to lead the next digital revolution. How does he see European startups and companies contributing to this vision, and what are the key decision points for success? During the conversation, Matthes compared Germany's rule-based approach to energy disruption with the United States' more free approach. How does this difference impact the growth of green startups in these regions, and what can each learn from the other? According to Sebastian Matthes, Germany's government approach complicates decisions and hinders the green boom promised. What specific challenges does he believe this approach presents for green startups, and what are his suggestions for overcoming them? Matthes expressed his skepticism about the current approach but sees potential for Europe to develop innovative green solutions due to its talented scientists and engineers. What specific areas of green innovation does he believe Europe is well-positioned to lead in? The discussion touched on the hype cycle for new trends. How does Matthes see the potential for green startups in Europe to go through a similar hype cycle as blockchain startups, and what lessons can be learned from previous cycles? The Interviewer Reach out to him: All Links and Show
Dec 18, 2023
44 min
The CEE AI Scene: Exploring Investment Growth and Key Entrepreneurial Hubs
Executive Summary In this episode of, host Jörn "Joe" Menninger and guest Thomas Kösters, MD at DEEP Ecosystems, discuss the potential of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as a hidden gem for AI startups. They highlight the region's strong economic leaders and growing AI scene in cities like Warsaw, Bucharest, and Prague. While CEE is not heavily represented in AI startup locations, it shows promise in reaching the top 15 European rankings for AI startup investments. They also delve into AI investments and trends in Europe, including machine learning, big data, and natural language processing.  The episode ends with a call for listener suggestions for future topics of analysis. Like What You Hear? You can tip us here: Subscribe Here Our Sponsor Startupraven Questions Discussed in the Interview What factors contribute to the success of AI startups in cities like Bucharest, Budapest, Warsaw, and Tallinn in Central Eastern Europe? How do economic leaders like Poland, Bucharest, and Prague drive the growth of startup and AI scenes in Central and Eastern Europe? What are the main challenges for Central and Eastern European AI startups when it comes to attracting investment and building successful ecosystems? How do multinational teams and collaboration across borders contribute to the success of startups in Central and Eastern Europe? What are the key trends in AI investments in Europe, and how do they compare to global trends in AI investment? What opportunities and obstacles do AI startups face when expanding or near-shoring their teams to countries like Croatia, Serbia, Greece, and Poland? Why is Berlin rated as the top destination for starting an AI company, and how does it compare to other popular locations like London? Given the potential of Central and Eastern Europe as a growing hub for AI startups, what strategies can be employed to further develop and promote the region's AI ecosystem? ... About the Pulse of the European Startup Ecosystem The European startup scene is changing fast. There are new players, old ones fading away, and even more to come in their place- all vying for a piece of this growing pie! To avoid getting left behind, you need regular updates on what's going on so that our entrepreneurs can stay one step ahead when building or investing in companies here: The EXCLUSIVE Report You can download the exclusive research report here: Feedback We are always looking for ways to make the show better. Please take this opportunity and share your feedback with us! We would love to hear from YOU!!! All Links and Show Notes Here is our blog post:
Dec 13, 2023
30 min
AI Expert Talks No-Code Computer Vision on
Executive SummaryIn this episode of, we delve into the world of AI and computer vision with our guest Simone Trevisan, a computer vision expert and project manager at Blue Tensor. Simone shares insights into the innovative computer vision platform, Iris, designed for small and medium-sized industries to harness AI without the need for coding expertise. He also discusses Blue Tensor's collaboration with Huawei to deploy their platform on both on-premise and cloud servers. Join us as we explore the intersection of AI, industry, and digital transformation in this engaging discussion on the German startup scene. Like What You Hear? You can tip us here: Subscribe Here Our Sponsor StartupravenThe best way to find investors and cooperation partners for early-stage startups. Sign up here: Questions Discussed in the InterviewWhat unique challenges do small and medium-sized industries face when it comes to adopting AI and digitalization, as discussed in the episode? How does Blue Tensor's Iris platform enable small and medium-sized industries to use AI without the need for coding or computer vision expertise? What advantages and challenges did Simone Trevisan from Blue Tensor highlight in using Huawei's servers and cloud computing resources for prototyping and deploying new models for computer vision technologies? How does Blue Tensor's collaboration with a biotech company illustrate the practical applications of their computer vision platform for high-quality assurance in the industry? In what ways does the collaboration between Blue Tensor and Huawei address the resource limitations, and machine failures, and enhance data storage and backup capabilities for deploying the Iris platform? What were the key insights and takeaways from the discussion about the reluctance of SMEs to move from on-premise solutions to the cloud and the need for education about the benefits of digitalization? How does Simone Trevisan's professional journey from studying telecommunication engineering to working with Blue Tensor highlight the evolution of the industry towards developing AI solutions tailored for industry applications? What are the implications of Blue Tensor's shift from a consulting approach to a product-based business approach, with a focus on developing AI platforms for industry applications? How does the discussion about the Huawei Connect event shed light on the role of cloud computing, digital transformation, and the need for digitalization in small and medium-sized industries in Germany and Italy? What insights does Blue Tensor's experience at the Huawei Connect event provide about the opportunities and challenges in leveraging AI solutions for the industry in the European startup scene? All Links and Show Notes Here is our blog post: Topics Discussed in this Interview#ai #ki #computervision #healthcare #startup #medtech #implant #engineering #nocode #nocodetools #nocodeai #sme #industry #industrial #huawei #huaweicloud #cloud #cloudcomputing #defects #quality #qualitycontrol #aitraining #data #bigdata #robotics #biotechnology #digitaltransformation #education #productbase
Dec 6, 2023
35 min
This Month in German, Swiss, and Austrian (GSA) Startups - November 2023
Like what you hear? You can tip us here: WelcomeWelcome to our November 2023 wrap-up with vital news from the startup scenes in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in 30 minutes or less 🙂. Our HighlightsAI startup Aleph Alpha raises half a billion dollars, CMBlu raises 100 mn € for energy storage, WeFox gets 55 M US$ from Deutsche and Unicredit, and Vanguard pulls the plug on their German robo advisor. It seems that Sono Motors has found an investor to keep going at least until the end of 2024 and the German subsidiary of WeWork also has to file for insolvency. Let's talk startups: Our Sponsor Startupraven The best way to identify investors and cooperation partners for early-stage startups. Sign up for early access here: Find all options to follow us and subscribe Our Enablers This recording is supported by HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen. Look for our dedicated sub-podcast in partnership with them: Tech Startups Germany on our Top News Aleph Alpha raises 500 mn US$ Heidelberg-based Aleph Alpha raises a total investment of more than half a billion US Dollars from a consortium of industry leaders and new investors for their AI for Enterprises and Governments. CMBlu Energy raises 100 mn € German Energy scale-up CMBlu offers „warehouses for energy", with batteries storing up to gigawatt hours. They now raised 100 million Euros, with Strabag being the sole investor, one of Europe's largest construction companies, based in Vienna. WeFox Raises 55m US$ Deutsche Bank and UniCredit back $4.5 billion insurance startup Wefox with $55 million in fresh funds. WeFox is an online insurance broker and it did not raise equity, so their valuation stayed the same. Sono Motors May Have Found An Investor Sono Motors was once hailed as a new hope for the German startup scene, listing early in the US in November 2021. The company wanted to increase the reach of electro-cars by adding solar cells but ran into many problems while developing electro-cars. In the end, they had to file for insolvency but are now restarting with tech that allows the retrofitting of solar panels for fossil fuel busses. Sono Motors filed a 6-K form with the SEC saying that the company secured its survival for 2024, apparently most of the 250 employees can find further employment. Read more in our blog post: Sono Motors Finds Investor Vanguard Pulls The Plug on Their Robo Advisor in Germany Vanguard's German robo advisor costs millions and scores only 4 mn assets under management (AuM) at the end of 2022. A disaster according to FinanceFWD. To put this in perspective: Scalable Capital had 11 months after launch more than 100 mn AuM WeWork Germany Files For Insolvency WeWork's German subsidiary filed for insolvency - the company had issues everywhere. Find the full news with all links and show notes here:
Nov 29, 2023
19 min
My Huawei Connect Experience: Navigating the Intersection of Green and Digital Transformation
Like what you hear? Buy us a coffee: Summary Welcome to, your go-to podcast and YouTube blog for all things related to the German startup scene. In today's episode, we have a special treat for you as our host, Jörn "Joe" Menninger, takes the mic solo to share his insights from a recent visit to Huawei Connect in Paris. Unfortunately, the planned interview with an AI startup from this event had to be rescheduled, but Joe is excited to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the event and highlight some of Huawei's initiatives in green and digital transformation. Tune in as Joe shares interesting stories about salmon conservation, wildfire protection, and innovative energy generation. He also talks about the importance of digital transformation in achieving sustainable solutions. Plus, stay tuned for a sneak peek of the upcoming interview with an Italian AI startup. Don't forget to reach out to Joe with your suggestions for future guests and topics. So sit back, relax, and let's dive into this solo episode of Subscribe HereWe are always sharing new resources with you. Find all of our options below. We want to make sure that we provide what's best for your growing team, so please take a look at these additional ways in which can help! Our Enabler StartupravenA startup's journey can be a tough one, but it doesn't have to feel like you're alone on your quest! Invest in others' success with us by joining our community of entrepreneurs who are building amazing things every day - no matter how big or small their ideas may seem at first glance. The best way to find investors and cooperation partners for early-stage startups. Sign up here: Questions Discussed 1. What were some of the main focal points discussed at the Huawei Connect event? 2. How does Huawei support SMEs in Germany with their digital transformation? 3. What are some interesting projects or stories that were shared at the event? 4. How does Huawei combine renewable energy sources to ensure a smooth energy delivery? 5. Why is the digital transformation important for achieving a green transformation? 6. What tools and solutions does Huawei offer for small companies and home offices? 7. How did Huawei use AI to generate an automatic avatar and translate languages? 8. What is Huawei's focus in Europe and why is it an important market for them? 9. What is the Huawei eKit tool and how can companies benefit from it? 10. How can listeners suggest interview guests or topics for future episodes of the podcast? Feedback We are always looking for ways to make the show better. Please take this opportunity and share your feedback with us! All Links and Show Notes #startups, #germany #austria #switzerland #podcast #youtubeblogger #radiostation #radiostations #ai #aitools #aitoolbox #italy #parix #huawei #huaweiconnect #interview #green #greentransformation #transformation #green #digital #accelerator #sme #kmu #salmon #woods #wildfire #hardware #software #renewableenergy
Nov 22, 2023
11 min
Revolutionizing Securities: Exploring Securities Tokenization and Transparency with Cashlink
Like what you hear? You can tip us here: Executive Summary In this episode of, host Jörn "Joe" Menninger interviews Michael Duttlinger from Cashlink. They discuss the importance of transparency with shareholders and how communication is key during a pivot. Cashlink, a leading registrar for tokenized securities in Germany, aims to disrupt the securities market and provide a more cost-efficient and transparent alternative to traditional intermediaries. They recently raised €7 million in a fundraising round and are collaborating with major financial institutions in Germany. Cashlink is focused on growth, acquiring new issuers and clients, and building its regulated financial institution to support the growing market for tokenized securities in Germany. Subscribe Here Our Enabler Startupraven The best way to find investors and cooperation partners for early-stage startups. Sign up here: Our Enabler HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen This recording was made possible by HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen. These organizations have made tremendous contributions to helping startup businesses succeed and thrive, providing a range of services from helping to find grants to ongoing partnerships. By taking advantage of these resources, startup companies can network and develop innovative strategies for success on the international stage. The dedicated support of HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen is paramount in providing startup businesses with the tools for lasting success. Learn more here: and Questions Discussed in the Interview How has transparency played a role in Cashlink's relationship with shareholders?  In what ways did the communication with shareholders intensify during the pivot period?  How does Cashlink differentiate itself from traditional infrastructure providers such as Clearstream Banking Frankfurt?  What benefits does tokenization bring to participants in the securities market?  How has Germany's progressive regulation for tokenization contributed to the growth of Cashlink and the ecosystem as a whole?  What challenges did Cashlink face during its pivot from a fintech for money transfers to a tokenization market focus?  How did Cashlink navigate investor and stakeholder concerns during the pivot period?  How does increased competition in the tokenization market disrupt the traditional securities market and benefit investors?  What role does automation play in making securities handling more cost-efficient and creating new investment opportunities?  The Founder Michael Duttlinger, the founder of Cashlink, started his fintech journey with a typical garage story reminiscent of those heard in Silicon Valley. All Links and Show Notes
Nov 15, 2023
31 min
From Fintech CTO to Co-Hosting's Deep Tech Track | E 402
“I built the tech behind it to make it work, and, we got quite some revenue through through that, and, yeah, it was one of my first businesses that I really incorporated where it really went to the notary, Form the legal entity and all these things.” — Mario Hachemer Executive SummaryIn this episode of, we are joined by the newest co-host, Mario Hachemer, who brings a wealth of experience in technology and entrepreneurship to the table. Mario’s journey has been nothing short of fascinating, from the rise and fall of his subscription box business to his role as CTO of FastBill and later for unicorn FreshBooks in Germany, eventually leading to his exploration of the world of AI as a freelance consultant and mentor. Mario’s insights into deep tech and AI’s impact on businesses and society are both thought-provoking and enlightening. Moreover, the hosts share a passion for science fiction and discuss the works of literary giants such as Ian Banks and Terry Pratchett. They also delve into Mario’s love for spicy food and his experiences in various countries. Join us as we delve deep into the world of tech, AI, entrepreneurship, and a touch of spicy cuisine with our new co-host, Mario Hachemer. Like What You Hear?You can tip us here: The Entrepreneurial Spirit: “I had trouble finding like-minded people. I studied my 1st university was in Koblenz, and it just there wasn’t that much of an entrepreneurial spirit.” — Mario Hachemer Follow Us on Social Media!If you are listening to our content for the 2nd time please consider following us on social media. The New Co-Host Mario Hachemer, ( the co-host of's Deep Tech Track, was involved in the successful startup Fast Bill. During his time with Fast Bill, the company raised significant venture capital, allowing them to develop innovative technology stacks and rapidly expand their operations. The company's success eventually led to its acquisition by FreshBooks, a major player in the accounting and invoicing software industry. Fast Bill's ability to attract venture capital and subsequent successful integration into FreshBooks showcase their achievements and position them as a standout player in the technology and startup landscape. Fast Bill set itself apart from its competition through its ability to not only raise venture capital but also develop and implement groundbreaking technology stacks. Learn more about Mario or reach out to him: All Links and Show Notes Here is our blog post:
Nov 8, 2023
31 min
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