Axel Springer Start-up Accelerator

Deadline: As soon as possible


Grant Trainings & Fellowships Business Plan Tech & IT


  • Germany
Markgrafenstrasse, Berlin-Kreuzberg


APX has the drive, experience, and leadership to support founders as they turn good ideas into great ones. Find out more about our philosophy, or start your journey by sending us your pitch deck here.


APX is more than a VC.

Personalised Program

We work with startups directly to deliver a Tailormade program for each team. Our early-stage investment approach highlights personal development, providing the support you need where and when you need it.

Rolling Intake

Start your journey whenever you’re ready: We admit new founders and teams on a monthly basis.

Proven Success

Six years of experience with our sister company Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator means your Tailormade plan is shaped by our experience with hundreds of investments, hundreds of financing rounds, hundreds of founders, and hundreds of investors with whom we have done follow-on rounds.

Humans First

As a purpose-driven company, we believe in people, not just numbers. We empower our founders on their entrepreneurial journey.

Extensive Opportunities

Drawing from shareholders Axel Springer and Porsche, we connect our founders with the large-scale networking opportunities they need.

Insider Support

Find support from our unique team of industry leaders and top talent.

Global Connections

We think globally, and provide our founders with the most extensive network of multipliers (individuals and companies) on an international scale.

We are Tailormade:

We believe that at pre-seed stage, founders need more than cash and a solid network. That’s why we offer a tailormade program specifically targeted at the startups’ needs, to enable them to get follow-on funding from further investors.

We meet founders at eye-level:

We become their confident, potent supporter and straightforward, challenging sparring partner. We help our founders as they become stronger and build sustainable companies.

We value the commitment of our investors:

We attract extraordinary individuals and venture capital funds, eager to invest in our startups next. We acknowledge their entrepreneurial and venture spirit.

We build meaningful business partnerships:

We team up with leading corporations to strengthen our tailormade venture development or investors network. This makes our portfolio companies more successful.

We expect a lot from founders:

We want them to demonstrate full ownership, build exceptional businesses that thrive at a global scale and have a positive impact on people and business. We invite founders to challenge APX as their investor and sounding board, and get as much as possible out of APX.


Our selection process consists of several stages: after you submitted your pitch deck and additional information, we review it. If we want to continue the process, we will ask you to send us a video in which you address specific questions. If the answers convince us, we invite you to meet us in person (or via video) for a Venture Development Session. This is an eye-level conversation in which we want to learn more about your team, your strategic thinking, possible pivots you’ve undertaken, and how we can best support you. After this we undertake a brief due diligence. And then we’re ready to make a decision on whether we will offer you an investment. 

The program takes 100 days. After this time, companies can stay in our office for another three months free of charge. With some of our portfolio companies, the Tailormade team decides to split the 100-day program into two episodes: a first episode to learn, then a time-out to execute and build, and then a second episode of connecting with investors and potential business partners.

Opportunity is About


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate

We look for smart, highly ambitious teams that want to lead, execute, and win. We believe in a representative set of people, in equality, and in establishing inclusive workplaces to boost creativity and innovation.

We invest in strong teams who build digital, customer-centric businesses.
Your team must consist of at least two founders. We look for a complementary skill set. During our >100 investments we have learned that companies are built by teams. So the first step on this journey is to have a team to start the company together.

We only invest in digital business models.

While we follow an industry-agnostic investment approach, there are certain areas that we find particularly exciting. These include, inter alia, lifestyle, travel, finance, mobility, media, esports, real estate, smart home, or healthcare. In general we look to invest in companies for whom we have relevant shortcuts in our networks.

We teamed up with Berlin Partner to support non-EU-founders and employees with their work permits and recruiting strategies.


Deadline: As soon as possible

Cost/funding for participants

We invest 50,000 EUR in cash and offer an intense 100-day Tailormade program to make startups ready for follow-on financing. We provide 6 months of free office space at our premises in Markgrafenstrasse in Berlin-Kreuzberg/ Mitte in addition to this. In return for our investment, we take 5% of equity. The startup is thus valued at 1,000,000 EUR post-money.

From time to time, APX invests up to 200,000 EUR as a co-investor into early stage start-ups that have already raised 250,000 EUR or more. We only consider investment opportunities that were explicitly referred to us by a renowned venture capital fund, a trusted business angel, Porsche Digital, or Axel Springer Digital Ventures. If you’re interested in the APX Seed Deal, please engage with one of these four reference points to initiate the process.

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