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Newsletter November 2016 | View online version
 
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b-to-v Newsletter November 2016
 
 
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Not enough women
 
Dear Readers, 
 
Some of you may remember when we announced the successful fundraising for the b-to-v Fund III back in 2015. Alongside numerous positive reactions to our press release, there was one small article (which you can find here) that featured an interesting side comment; the author reflected positively about b-to-v, and then he pointed out that b-to-v claims to be a diverse network of investing entrepreneurs, yet it clearly lacks female investors.
 
The author’s comment was not directly critical, more an observation really. But it struck a nerve with us. He was 100% right. In fact, he was stating the obvious; we had (and still have) very few women in our network. To be very clear, there are very few women in the entire central European venture capital ecosystem, both on the investor side and on the founder side.
 
First, why is this a problem? Well, I dare you to raise this question in public and you shall find out very quickly...But set all political correctness aside for a moment and look at the real connection to b-to-v: our philosophy and investment strategy puts a deliberate emphasis on the importance of our network. We believe that the
  • b-to-v network, i.e. our members, introduces outstanding investment opportunities to us,
  • b-to-v network shares its intelligence and expertise with us so that we can learn and take better investment decisions,
  • and that the b-to-v network is supportive of our portfolio companies and has, in many cases, proven to be able to open amazing doors for our start-up teams.
With that in mind, it is only natural for b-to-v to think about how we can further improve the diversity and quality of our network, because it is a key element of our investment strategy. And bringing female investors into our network undoubtedly introduces new qualities and perspectives to the network.

So have we done? In the past twelve months, we established new contacts with professional business networks for women such as The Female FactorWomenWay and League of Leading Ladies – previously unknown to me, as I admit very openly. And subsequently we conceptualized and hosted an exclusive event for female investors (see here) with a total of 28 attending female early-stage investors. The event was not only successful on a stand-alone basis but it also opened doors for us to future potential cooperation partners who are interested in hosting similar events with us.
 
I am not naïve enough to believe that b-to-v can bring change to the markets alone, i.e. I do not expect to see 50% female investors in the audience of start-up events tomorrow.
But I am idealistic and foolish enough to believe that we can at least try to bring change to the market by making an effort. I think that we can deliver two basic things:
  1. We can strive to make successful and experienced female investors such as Carole AckermannAndrea KranzerGina Domanig or Sylvie Mutschler more visible in the market and thereby indirectly encourage other women to follow their example. 
  2. We can give female investors access to investment opportunities, know-how regarding the screening and due diligence of investment targets, know-how regarding the structure of term sheets, and training regarding the coaching of start-up teams. 
Please feel free to contact me if you have an interest in this topic and/or if you have contacts to potential female investors, so that we can eventually reach at least 30% (better: 50%) female investors in the audience of future start-up/investment events. 
 
And now, have fun reading our November newsletter!
 
On behalf of the b-to-v team, Alexander Stoeckel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Investments Done
Check out the latest investments b-to-v has closed.
 
 
 
 
 
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b-to-v participates in EUR 12m UroMems Series A
 
Grenoble-based medtech company, UroMems is the newest addition to the b-to-v portfolio. A syndicate of b-to-v members invested alongside a strong investor consortium led by Wellington Partners and including BPI France, Cita Investissement and CEA Investissement. UroMems is developing an implantable device for treatment of severe stress urinary incontinence. Not only is the condition a taboo subject due to the sensitive nature of the symptoms but hundreds of thousands of patients in industrialized countries are affected.

Co-founder Prof. Pierre Mozer explained that he had “long been frustrated by the absence of major innovations for patients suffering from stress urinary incontinence and the lack of a convenient and effective artificial urinary sphincter technology that can be used both for male and female patients.”

Co-founder and CEO Dr. Hamid Lamraoui added, “we have taken a long time to think over every detail before starting the development of a device that really meets the clinical need we are addressing...this financing will allow us to complete the development of our device and bring a novel urinary sphincter system to the market that for the first time will provide an effective and convenient solution for the benefit of many patients.”

You can review the company’s full press release by clicking the button.
 
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News
Check out the latest news about b-to-v and its portfolio companies.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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One year in - Idagio is feeling upbeat
 
Berlin-based b-to-v portfolio company, Idagio, has grown its subscriptions 105,8% by 25'000 registered users in 72 countries in the past year! According to a recent study, 19 million Germans over the age of 14 enjoy listening to classical music. Founder Til Janczukowicz explains that Idagio has solved the oversimplified “artist, album, song” problem which does not adequately address classical music. The library has reached 15'000 hand-picked recordings and 500 more are added each week.
For the full press release (in German) please click the button.
 
 
 
 
 
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Back to the real world
 
In an informative interview with the Westdeutsche Zeitung, Benjamin Esser, co-founder and CEO of b-to-v portfolio company, URBANARA, makes the case for opening a traditional “brick-and-mortar” store to complement online sales. While 75 to 90 percent of revenues will continue to come from online traffic, a company that speaks about quality needs to provide customers with the opportunity to feel products in their hands. Together with his co-founder, Claire Davidson, the two celebrated the opening of their store on Hohe Strasse in Düsseldorf on November 3rd. For the full interview, please click here.
For urbanara’s press release including pictures of the store click the button.
 
 
 
 

 

G-Therapeutics enjoys top-notch international press attention
 
b-to-v portfolio company G-Therapeutics enjoyed some phenomenal publicity in the New York Times (article link) and on the ARD Tagesthemen (video link) this month.

The Lausanne and Eindhoven-based company reported that it successfully assisted monkeys in regaining the ability to walk with a wireless connection from the brain to the spinal cord despite damage that paralyzed one leg. First, they decode and translate the signals from the brain which do not reach the disabled limb and then they relay those specific signals below the injury to stimulate the nerve impulses to assist walking movements. While a computer is required to process the signals, the researchers have managed to transmit the information wirelessly and within milliseconds.

In addition, this EPFL News video succinctly describes these recent developments.

This is not the first time that G-Therapeutics and CSO Grégoire Courtine have been featured in the New York Times. Click here for a 2012 article when they were experimenting with rats.

Dr. Courtine also held a TED Talk in 2013 describing his work.

 

 
 
 
 
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Old meets new: when startups cooperate with established companies
 
Berlin-based b-to-v portfolio company BigRep was recently featured in a Wirtschaftswoche Gründer article by Louisa Riepe. The uplifting piece lays out a few great examples of established companies choosing to work closely together with start-ups. Her conclusion: “both usually benefit in the end.”
 
BigRep’s flagship product, the BigRep ONE 3D printer, is at the cutting edge of large-scale 3D printing, offering industrial and design users 1m³ build volume. The third generation of the printer can even hold up to 10kg of filament and prints four times faster than previous models. In conjunction with the BMW-World, BigRep was invited to demonstrate how its printers can assist in the logistics of replacement parts. Rather than ordering parts from the manufacturing assembly line, which can be tedious and costly, BigRep can play a vital role in handling smaller batch sizes.
 
CEO Rene Gurka hopes the partnership with BMW alongside others with established companies & organizations such as VW, Siemens and the German Army will last for some time to come.
To read the full article, please click the button.
 
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COMATCH co-founder interview in Manager Magazin
 
Manager Magazin sat down with Jan Schächtele and Christoph Hardt, co-founders of the b-to-v portfolio company, COMATCH. The Berlin-based portfolio company manages an online consulting marketplace and can assemble a consulting team for specific projects within 72 hours. To read a copy of the interview which will be printed in the December issue, please click the button below.
 
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Linguee has added over 100'000 tailor-made example sentences for the most frequent search terms in their dictionaries
 
Are you trying to learn a foreign language? Then this truly is the perfect feature for you. By simply looking up a translation, you can learn new vocabulary; practice grammar, punctuation, and spelling; and learn how a word is used in different contexts. This is the result of the efforts of Linguee's fantastic team of more than 500 translators, lexicographers, and linguists. The new editorial example sentences are featured on www.linguee.com and on the Linguee app, available for free on the App Store and Google Play. Check them out!
 
 
 
 
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Linguee – one of the most important European websites
 
At his very first public speech Gereon Frahling, founder and CEO of Linguee, has given a status and outlook for Linguee. Linguee now is one of the most used websites in Europe – continuing to grow exponentially. b-to-v is very thankful for being part of this very special tech company working on the vision of tearing down language barriers for one billion people speakers of that least one foreign language.
Enjoy the 10 minute speech Gereon has given at NOAH London by clicking the button.
 
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Wine in Black - the easiest way to buy premium wine!
 
At Wine in Black, you will find inspiring offers of the best wines carefully curated by our experts. Discover new premium wines at attractive prices every day. Save more with your exclusive 10% discount voucher BTOV10XMAS*! You can redeem the voucher at www.wine-in-black.de, www.wine-in-black.at or www.wine-in-black.ch and save 10% off your purchase (please chose the right country shop for frictionless shipping). Our Christmas present for all partners of b-to-v.
*The voucher is valid until 26th of December, 2017.
 
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URBANARA - high-quality homewares for everyone!
 
From luxurious cashmere blankets to high-quality bedding and natural-fibre towels and bathrobes, URBANARA's range of stylish home accessories make beautiful Christmas gifts, and are sure to please even those with the most discerning of tastes.  

Exclusively for b-to-v Partners: Take 20% off all orders over 50,00 € with the code BTOVURB20.
*The voucher is valid until 28th of February, 2017.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jobs
Check out the latest job opportunities that b-to-v and its network have to offer.
 
 
 
 
 
 
b-to-v and b-to-v portfolio companies are looking for some talents:
 
b-to-v is looking for an Investment Analyst (f/m) in Berlin: b-to-v is looking for a full-time Investment Analyst to be based in our office in Berlin. You should have at least one year work experience in venture capital or financial services. For more information, please see the PDF attached and contact Elena Dober with your application.

b-to-v is looking for a Junior Fund Controller (f/m) in Luxembourg: b-to-v is looking for a full-time Junior Fund Controller to be based in our office in Luxembourg. You should have at least one year of relevant work experience. For more information, please see the PDF attached and contact Panagiota Roumoudi with your application.

Customer Success Manager (f/m): As a Customer Success Manager, you will be the advocate for our customers ensuring any customer request is handled accordingly. As you will also consult customers in the Swiss Romandy, it is necessary that you speak French fluently. You will also conduct customer meetings and calls on a regular basis where you review their overall customer experience and provide suggestions and best practices on how they can improve the usage of our product. Please apply here, if you are interested.

Account Executive (f/m) in Zurich: As a Account Executive you are responsible for generating new leads and business opportunities. You need to be comfortable and effective with prospecting, cold calling and personal meetings over the phone and in-person. We expect excellent interpersonal skills and a good technical understanding of the product. Please apply here, if you are interested.
 
Global HR & Office Manager (f/m): We are looking for a Global HR & Office Manager (m/f) in full time, who will support our fast growing and highly motivated team in our Headquarter in Berlin. Please click here for your application.
 
Senior PHP Developer (f/m): Wine in Black built a successful and established online shop in the last years. Anyhow, we’re bold enough to start again and build a new platform with top-notch technology from the scratch. Therefore we are searching for a Senior PHP Developer as a new team member! At the earliest possible starting date, we’re searching for you having passion for clean codes at our location in Berlin-Mitte. If you want to take responsibility and bring in own ideas and concepts please send your application to our HR Manager Mandy Howald via email.

Lead Frontend Developer (f/m): Wine in Black built a successful and established online shop in the last years. Anyhow, we’re bold enough to start again and build a new platform with top-notch technology from the scratch. Therefore we are searching for a Lead Frontend Developer building new features at our location in Berlin-Mitte. If your code is as premium as our wine please send your application to our HR Manager Mandy Howald via email.
 
Prime office space to sublet (230 square meters):
 
Ventoro UG has spare space in their office that they are planning to sublet. Fantastic open space with meeting rooms, about 200 square meters, up to 35 people. The location is in Berlin at Torstraße and available from December 1st, 2016. Please see the exposé attached. For more information, please send your direct requests to Edward Postnikov: Edward.postnikov@ventoro.de!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Events
Check out the next b-to-v events and events in b-to-v's network.
b-to-v events are exclusively reserved for b-to-v Investors.
Interested in a b-to-v membership? Please contact Alexander Stoeckel
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NKF Summit Vol.1
 
On December 7th, 2016 corporates meet start-ups - the guide to the successful collaboration. Uber, Metro AG, Airbnb, The Coca Cola Company, Casper and over 25 other outstanding companies will provide insight into the best practices and explain the relevant models of the cooperation between startups and corporates.
For more information please click the button.
 
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b-to-v Investors’ Meeting in Stuttgart
 
On December 8th, 2016, b-to-v Members and selected guests will meet for the b-to-v Investors' Meeting in Stuttgart. The event will be hosted in close cooperation with RegioHelden GmbH.
Interested b-to-v Members and guests are kindly invited to contact Andrea Rogg for further information.
 
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The BNP Paribas Business Angels Days
 
On December 14th, 2016, The BNP Paribas Business Angels Days will take place at lux future lab in Luxembourg. Alongside Alexander Stoeckel, who will enrich the program with his keynote speech on business angels, the event will feature exciting conferences on the startups economy and investment opportunities.
For more information please contact Panagiota Roumoudi.
 
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b-to-v Investors’ Meeting in Hamburg
 
On January 19th, 2017, we will host a b-to-v Investors' Meeting in Hamburg, in close cooperation with our strategic partner Hoschke & Consorten.
Interested b-to-v Members and guests are kindly asked to contact Benita Xheladini to indicate their intention to participate.
 
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b-to-v Investors’ Meeting in Munich
 
On February 23rd, 2017, we will host a b-to-v Investors' Meeting in Munich in close cooperation with our strategic partner Baker Tilly Roelfs.
Interested b-to-v Members and guests are kindly asked to contact Morena Botta to indicate their intention to participate.
 
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START Summit
 
On March 24th and 25th, 2017, START Global will host its yearly flagship event: the START Summit draws more than 1'500 entrepreneurship- and technology-enthusiasts from all around the world to St. Gallen, Switzerland. Besides inspiring speeches and workshops, the START Summit fosters the dialogue between investors looking for exciting investment opportunities and start-ups looking for top-level investors. 
 
b-to-v Members will be offered a special attendee package including an exclusive program on Friday and Saturday. Interested investors are kindly invited to contact Andrea Rogg for further information.
For more information and to stay up-to-date, please click the button.
 
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If you know a strong team of entrepreneurs who would like to receive capital for the dynamic future of their company, please forward this newsletter to them.
 
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