Frequently asked questions


What is xdeck?

We are xdeck, the accelerator from founders, for founders.

From founders — we built FOND OF, a soon 100 million Euro in revenues company.

For founders – we focus on your individual needs and do not ask for your equity. We especially help digital and tech startups, whether B2B or B2C. With the potential to shape the consumer and commerce industries of the future.

Why did you set up an accelerator program?

Even though FOND OF has grown quite significantly over the past years, we still see ourselves as a startup. As a startup we want to operate in an entrepreneurial ecosystem and work together with founders because we believe that this will keep ourselves quick, nimble and up-to-speed with new innovations. Also as we saw a lack of startup infrastructure in the Rhineland, we figured to take a first step towards changing this and set up the xdeck together with other partners from our network.

What is the connection to FOND OF?

The founders of xdeck are also the founders of FOND OF.

FOND OF is a large startup founded in 2010 and is a platform for personal growth and innovation. Fully owned by its founders. Growing profitably since year two and disrupting markets across seven brands and in more than 35 countries.

Who are the mentors?

We have a variety of mentors at xdeck. Information about our mentors can be found here.

What do mentors do?

During your time on xdeck, you have a dedicated mentor by your side who is an experienced entrepreneur. They support you in those situations that only true entrepreneurs know.

xdeck is located in the new office building THE SHIP. What does that mean?

THE SHIP is a trend-setting, fully digitized office property in Ehrenfeld. With high-end technology and a special atmosphere, THE SHIP stands for new work: networked, agile, collaborative and innovative. Spaces for ideas are created here.

What does the xdeck program offer?

Our offering unfolds across three fields:

  1. network
    You benefit from our founders' network of: successful entrepreneurs as your mentors because only founders know what it really feels like; funding partners, such as VCs or business angels, in case you need money to grow; selected corporate partners with potential distribution channels and an industry network; three top universities Cologne, RWTH, WHU (Incubator).

  2. knowledge
    You will get 4 months of tailored acceleration, based on a balanced curriculum that you will walk through. As part of this curriculum, you will: work hard towards product-market fit; find the right marketing and sales approach; learn about so many do's and don't's in building a business; and ofcourse keep on building your venture your way. It's your journey.

  3. numbers
    At no costs (and no equity), you will receive as part of the xdeck package: a working space for your team in THE SHIP - Germany's most digital office; an initial funding of up to 20k Euro; and tech credits from our partners, such as aws.activate.

What makes the xdeck program different to other acceleration programs?

First, we are true entrepreneurs - we know what you need.
Second, we have outstanding mentors and partners by our side who provide their expertise and resources.
Third, we do not ask for your equity in return for our program.

What happens after the program?

After the acceleration program you will need to move out of the SHIP to make room for the next batch of amazing startups. However, you will stay connected with xdeck and join our alumni family.

Application process

How do I apply to the xdeck acceleration program?

You can apply directly via our online application link.

Who can apply?

If you are passionate about creating long-lasting impact, are eager to build an innovative, scalable business model in Consumer, Commerce or Digital and if your company is in the early stage of development, pre-seed to seed phase. Then apply to xdeck.

What are the specific industries you focus on?

We focus on every startup that shapes the future of consumer and commerce by leveraging technology innovations.

I missed the application deadline. When will you start the next application round?

We will consider applications until the 31st of January 2020 for the Pioneers Batch. The application form stays open so that all incoming applications will be considered for our second batch starting later in 2020.

Can I apply even though my business is not focusing on the consumer or commerce sector?

Yes, definitely. We define these areas as rather broad categories. If you send us your application, we can get a better picture of what you are really doing and decide if this could fit to the current batch.

How many start-ups will be supported?

For the Pioneers Batch we will start with 3-5 startups. Later on, our program will become available for more companies.

Can I apply to the program if we already have been in an accelerator program?


What should I include in my pitch deck?

Your pitch deck should be up to 10 pages, especially (but not exclusively) explaining problem-solution fit, existing traction, team profiles and planned steps for growth, in PDF format.

What does the selection process look like?

All applications will be reviewed. We will invite some startups to a second round whereby we will hold short phone / skype calls for you to get to know us better and for us to really understand your startup. The last round of the application process is a pitch day on which you will present your idea and your company to our selection panel.

After application is accepted

When does the pitch day take place?

On the 18th of February 2020.

Am I required to relocate my company to your space during the program?

Not all company members must move to xdeck but the key players (i.e. in most cases the founders) should be located at xdeck to get the most benefit from the accelerartion program.

When does the program start?

Our Pioneers Batch starts in March 2020.

How long does the support last?

The acceleration program lasts 4 to 6 months.

Are there any costs I must cover during the program?

The acceleration program comes at no costs for you or your venture. No frills, no fuss.

Will the partners invest in my start-up?

No. Neither xdeck nor any of the partners will necessarily invest in your startup.
If you plan a financing round however, our partners are happy to help.


Can I contact someone to discuss my startup before applying?

Please contact us at startups@xdeck.de for questions in respect to our programm or your application.