Black Forest Accelerator 2021

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With well over 100 supported start-ups and around 250 network partners, startUp.connect and the Black Forest Accelerator are among the most important start-up programs internationally.

In 2021, our most international and intensive program will start with the fourth batch and the focus on sustainable tourism. With mentors from four countries, successful founders established corporations, and investors eager to take the next step with you.

From the Black Forest, we maintain the best connections to destinations on the Mediterranean coast, Alsace and the Alps.

We offer optimal conditions to test your business ideas and to build up your network.

You will be supported by mentors, experts and founders from the tourism industry and far beyond.

We seek start-ups with new ideas and passion for making tourism more digital, sustainable and innovative. Start-ups that are not afraid to break new ground with us and have the courage to make their ideas come true.

Apply now and be part of the Black Forest Accelerator in the Technology Park Offenburg!

Black Forest Accelerator

Creative impulses

Get inspired by other participants and mentors.

New Ideas

Develop and create a start-up based on your ideas.

Professional coaching

Experts, coaches and mentors are always at your side.


Become a part of the large WRO network


Previous Black Forest Accelerator start-ups

Successful alumni of the Black Forest Accelerator

Jean Christophe Gay

“The Black Forest Accelerator effectively accelerates the development of startups through an intensive program of entrepreneurial, technical and scientific mentoring. This program is designed to guide entrepreneurs on the complex path to increased revenue and financial sustainability.

One of the Accelerator’s goals is to foster cross-border collaboration in the Alsace / Ortenau region.”

Alsace Digitale

Team & Mentors

Florian Appel

Head of startUp.connect /
Business Development, Brand positioning, investor contacts

Uwe Baumann

Moderation - Black Forest Accelerator/ Leading the Ideenwerkstatt/ Managing Director Kosmos Schwarzwald GmbH

Yannick Haldenwanger

Event- & Marketingmanager / Expert for Online Marketing, Brandbuilding & Social Media

Swen Laempe

Founder and executive partner vioma GmbH / Hotel industry expert / Executive Coach / Business Angel

Karl-Heinz Dunker

Managing Director Naturpark Schwarzwald Mitte/Nord

Fabian Silberer

CEO and Co-Founder SevDesk / Investors / Company structure

Marco Steffens

Mayor Stadt Offenburg / Expert for Smart City solutions

Lars Mosdorf

CFO airport Düsseldorf GmbH / Aviation expert / Corporate Finance & IT

Dr. Thomas Bodmer

Managing Director Next Floor Accelerators / Salzburg

Jürgen Grossmann

Managing Partner Grossman Group / Architect / Investor / Business Angel

Polina Mikhaylova

COO / Co-Founder KNOT – President Alsace Digital – Expert Digitalisation and urban mobility

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Denne

Professor at the University of Applied Science Offenburg / Strategic management I Innovation managment

Sebastian Kuhnhardt

COO & Founder happyhotel / Revenue Management enthusiast / Hospitality Entrepreneur / Hotel Tech Expert

Jean Christophe Gay

Alasce Digitale / Business Development / Growth Hacking

Thomas Schatton

Managing Partner Panama Advertising agency, Stuttgart / Marketing / Strategy

Mona Faisst

Program-Manager / Black Forest Accelerator / Design Thinking

Diana Ciliento

L’agence de développement touristique d’Alsace Bureau de Strasbourg / Tourism Expert Innovation at Alsace Destination tourisme

Claudia Haller

Head of Online Travel Agency / HolidayCheck AG / Tourism Expert

Florian Litterst

Founder and CEO Adsventure / Social Media-Marketing Expert

Dr. Marc Müller-Stoffels

Head of Digitalization and IT – City Offenburg / Technology Expert / Futurology

Frank Semling

COO Hansgrohe Group / Corporate Investor / Digitalisation and sustainability expert

Aila Stöckmann

Chief editor of RIVIERAZEIT - Ambassador of the "Côte d'Azur France" brand

Petra Boller

CEO concilience & petra THECFOFinance / M&A / Venture Capital & Private Equity Investments

Christof Burgbacher

Founder and CEO Consulting-Elementerre in Marokko / Expert for sustainable Tourism / Consultant for companies, Destinations and international organizations

Prof. Dr. Stephan Trahasch

Dean Faculty Electrical Engineering / Medical Technology and Informatics / AI - Machine Learning Expert

Florian Künstle

Tax Consultant & Certified Public Accountant / Managing Partner Partner Reisch & Künstle Steuerberater PartG mbB / Finance Expert

Maja Malovic

Founder Mensch Maja / Design Thinking Expert

Peter Schweikert

Managing Director First Innovation Invest / Investment Manager

Dr. Pascal Anders

Founder Flinkback / Strategy / Lean Product Management



The Black Forest Accelerator is an incubator for tourism start-ups supporting early-stage teams on their way to market entry. The Accelerator is a 6 month open, yet very selective program. We help you to validate the business model, win your first customers and secure first investments. To qualify for the Black Forest Accelerator, you should have the will to create a start-up with your business model that revolutionizes tourism. Maybe you have already launched your first test balloon, and now you want to take the next step in a structured way and with a strong network at your side. Become a part of the Black Forest Accelerator community and apply until 30.03.21 via email ( attaching your application documents.


Access to markets and customers, networking with investors and other network partners, as well as 6 months of intensive support from our experts, speakers, coaches, mentors.

Alexander Feldberger

“Without the Black Forest Accelerator program, I would never have gotten as far as I have. It’s created a great group dynamic – everyone is helping each other out with their expertise.”




The Black Forest Accelerator takes place (depending on the pandemic situation) in the Technology Park in Offenburg. In addition to the workshops, participants can expect state-of-the-art technology, a fiber optic connection, and a flat rate for coffee.



Image credits: Picture / Black Forest: Yannick Haldenwanger / Justnaturalprints