pitching, startup

Rheinland Pitch turns 10 years old!

Who would have thought… From very humble beginnings of the Rheinland Pitch – to becoming Germany’s largest startup pitching event!

Over ten years ago, in early 2013 Matthias & Lorenz Gräf and me where sitting at what would soon open as STARTPLATZ in Cologne, DE discussing how we could help the founders in the region be more competitive when pitching startup investors.

And keeping with the unpretentious “no frills” spirit of the Rheinland Pitch, we thought it didn’t feel right to be celebrating ourselves – but someone had acquired some festive balloons. ;)

We were (and still are) convinced that the region is a great place to found a startup and that we were (and still are) encountering many competent founders with great ideas here.

However, back then there were two pressing issues of concern:

  1. Every time we listened to their pitches, we didn’t understand what they were about
  2. The general public was not well informed about what a startup is and how it is different from other types of more traditional new businesses.

So we came up with the idea to create an event that would be open to everyone and:

  1. Curate and highlight the most interesting startups in the region
  2. Provide training to the applying startups so they will be more competitive and on their own terms
  3. Bring more mainstream acceptance and understanding of startup entrepreneurship
  4. A regular event as a platform to catch up with and network all sides of the community

I think we’ve succeeded beyond anybody’s expectations. In fact, we didn’t have any particular expectations back at the start. We just said, ok – let’s do it. And a month later the first Rheinland Pitch event was held to a standing-room only full house.

And the rest is history.