Hamburg’s entrepreneurs enter the world’s premiere league for startups

Hamburg’s entrepreneurs enter the world’s premiere league for startups

On Sunday, Hamburg’s commitment to the SXSW Interactive Festival obviously paid off: in the “German SXSW Startup Engine”, the two Hamburg startups TripRebel and Minubo won the pitch in their respective fields, i.e. travel and e-commerce. Furthermore, the medical startup Sonormed is bringing home the Grand Prize in the “Digital Health & Life Sciences Technologies” category of this high-profile startup competition. It was also the first German startup to have been invited directly to the SXSW Accelerator program since 2011. This success demonstrates that Hamburg offers premium startup conditions in Europe. The city of Hamburg has been participating in the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin for a good decade now. In recent years, the SXSW has become the global hotspot for the digital creative industries. With the boom in interactive technologies, Hamburg, Germany’s creative hub and second biggest city, has continuously expanded its engagement at the SXSW Interactive Festival.

Innovative tinnitus treatment awarded

With its Tinnitracks device, Sonormed prevailed over the top-class field of competitors. Tinnitracks offers tinnitus treatment integrated into the patients’ favorite music songs based on a scientifically proven therapy. Jörg Land, CEO and Co-Founder of Sonormed, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled and feel honored to have won this year’s SXSW Accelerator. SXSW can be a real stepping stone for any startup that gets the chance to present itself in front of top-class industry experts and investors.” The SXSW Accelerator is one of the most important international events for the digital and creative industries. This is precisely what makes the SXSW an attractive framework for startups wishing to present themselves and their ideas to an expert audience and interested investors in the so-called “Startup Village”. (

Germany’s top 10 startups in Austin 

This year the “German Startup Engine” initiative celebrated its premiere as part of the official SXSW Startup Village. It showcased the German startup scene to an international audience. Germany's top 10 startups were given the chance to present their business ideas. In the “Travel & Mobility” category, TripRebel was awarded by a jury of business experts and investors. The smart booking-platform automatically bargains a better deal for the customer post booking. Founders Carlos Borges and Gernot Supp chose Hamburg as the location for their international startup in order to be close to the strong German travel market. According to Borges, the success in Austin is a big leap towards internationalizing the brand.

Also for the audience, it is a great chance to get inspired by innovative business concepts coming from Hamburg – one of the most creative business locations in Europe. For jury member Claire England, Executive Director of the Central Texas Angel Network and one of the United States’ top business angels, TripRebel’s presentation confirmed her first impression of the startup: “It was the second time I saw them pitch and I continue to be impressed by their CEO, their team, their drive to find the right partners und their drive to innovate, and I'm excited to watch them in the future!” says judge Claire England. Last September, TripRebel also won the European Startup Pitch during the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg. (

 In the “E-Commerce” category of the German Startup Engine, Minubo received the first prize of the jury, which was presented by James Bilodeau, Co-Founder and Principal of PreFix Inc., Rick Timmins, Board Chairman of the Central Texas Angel Network, and Norbert Wangnick, business developer and investor. Minubo is a smart e-commerce service solution, especially developed to meet online retailers’ specific analytics requirements. As e-commerce companies face rapid growth today, they require a pioneering solution that helps them connect data from fragmented sources and thus capture its complete value without imposing costly and complex IT demands. Having built up comprehensive e-commerce experience during their long-term work in the domain, the Minubo team developed a ready-to-use analytics solution that functions as the central data hub for online shops of all types. (


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Media contact

Media contact in Hamburg

Hamburg Marketing GmbH
Wexstraße 7
20355 Hamburg

Matthias Beer
Phone: +49 40 - 300 51 582


Media contact at the SXSW in Austin

Hamburg Startups
Sanja Stankovic
Cell: +49 171 8352419
E-mail: sanja.stankovic(at)

About SXSW Accelerator:

SXSW Accelerator at the SXSW Interactive Festival has served as a catalyst for over 200 incredible companies who have presented to a variety of esteemed judges and emcees over the past seven years. Of these presenting companies, 56% have received funding – totaling over $587 million. This year’s competition took place at the SXSW Startup Village. On March 14, 48 finalists presented their ideas to a live audience and a panel of judges and emcees. On Sunday, March 15, the field of 48 was narrowed down to the top 18 companies who would return to present to a new set of emcees and judges, which then selected the grand prize winners for each category.

About Hamburg:

The Hanseatic City of Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city and known as an advertising and media capital boasting big industry leaders such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. With the highest GDP per capita in Germany, the city state is one of the strongest economic regions in Europe. Hamburg is one of the top locations for startups and a favorite working place for creative minds, artists, musicians and game designers. About 23,000 companies employ more than 110,000 staff in the fields of media, IT and telecommunications (MITT), making Hamburg one of the most important technology and creative locations in Europe. As the center of Germany’s music business, the city also hosts the Reeperbahn Festival, one of the three biggest and most important music and digital industry events in Europe. Each year, the Reeperbahn Festival attracts 30,000 visitors and 3,500 industry delegates, presenting more than 600 wide-ranging events, including concerts by international newcomers, a conference, showcases, networking events, B2B events and an extensive arts program in 70 unique venues.

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