xDeck
founders

founders

You are passionate about creating long-lasting impact? You are eager to build an innovative, scalable business model in Consumer, Commerce or Digital? You want to make a difference? Come on board.

founders

Your venture

  • Your venture is innovating the Consumer, Commerce or Digital space
  • Your company is in the early stage of its development, that is in the pre-seed to seed phase. Put differently, you already see customer or revenue traction or you have a good plan for how to attain it very soon
  • You are passionate about long-lasting, sustainable impact and seek profitable growth
Your venture

Your program

Apply to be part of the xdeck pioneer batch and benefit from support tailored to your needs. You will be part of our community of strong founders and experienced entrepreneurs, corporate partners, the xdeck core team and top universities. Your acceleration program lasts 4 to 6 months and comes at no costs for you or your venture. No frills, no fuss. Our offering unfolds across three fields:

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).

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'ts in building a business; and of course keep on building your venture your way. It's your journey.

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.

your Package at a glance

Your journey on xdeck lasts 4 to 6 months. During the first 4 months, we will push you and your business as best as we can towards product-market fit and being ready for scaling up. Thereafter, you can pitch to investors, if needed, and may stay on for another 2 months while using the xdeck network and THE SHIP’s infrastructure. As entrepreneurs ourselves, we ask for no equity stake in return because we believe that real founders build the best businesses only on their own terms.
Network
You will get an experienced entrepreneur as your dedicated mentor. You will meet our funding partners, professional investors, should you require additional capital. And for any other challenges, we are sure to be able to connect you to other experts in our network.
knowledge
You will receive a profound knowledge package around how to set up and grow your business - tailored to your needs - provided by Champions-League level knowledge partners.
numbers
You get office space at THE SHIP and infrastructure benefits from our corporate and tech partners. You can further apply for an initial funding of up to 20k Euro to help you move to Cologne for the program’s duration (if you come from overseas; if from within Europe, up to 10k Euro; if from within Germany, depending on your home location).

application timeline

31/01/2020: Applications for the Pioneers Batch closed*

March/April: Launch of the Pioneers Batch

Fall 2020: Next startup batch joins xdeck

*Any applications received thereafter will be considered for later xdeck admissions. Please continue to apply.

application timeline

our motivation

The idea for xdeck grew when we started to build THE SHIP, FOND OF’s new home. We are driven by the desire to create impact and give back to the community. By helping other founders and by educating young people. And at the same time, we believe there are positive spillover effects from having startup founders and new ideas around. We want to give team players at FOND OF and all xdeck partners the opportunity of engaging with startups, of being inspired by entrepreneurs and of committing their time and ideas in working with founders. We are not driven by investment rationales. We do not take equity from founders in our accelerator program. We will not make profits from xdeck. Of course, it is possible that our founders Flo, Oli, Sven later invest in a selected startup from xdeck, but this is not obligatory.

Your workspace

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