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HEUREKA Conference 2016 highlights Written by HEUREKA editorial on 9. June 2016

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For this year’s HEUREKA almost 1.000 founders, investors, students and media representatives came together in the heart of Berlin. Thank you to everyone who participated and especially those who came to share on stage, in the audience, during the workshops and in conversation. Though all participants have a different focus, we want to point out a few highlights that made this year a success.

Monique Woodard from 500 Startups talked about diversity and why it matters, especially in startups and innovative companies. In her blogpost “The White Elephant in the room” she tells the story of what women of color ask her – if they should bring a white man with them to an investor meeting – and explains why they shouldn’t. During her speech, she pointed out that diversity in teams matters. This was underlined by studies that found that a balanced gender ratio can lead up to 15 per cent more revenue. She also pointed out that a multicultural team can score even 30 per cent more revenue. The reason for that is that diversity inside the team also affects the product and brings more market share, a higher number of customers and more revenue, simply because it is easier to think outside the box.

New opportunities in startups for refugees #hrk #hrk16 #foundersconference #heureka
Ein von Anna Grigoryeva (@aegrigoryeva) gepostetes Foto am

Though coming from a different angle, the panel “Refugees – new opportunities for startups?” came to a similar conclusion: “Diversify or die!“ said Anne Kjær Riechert, founder and managing director ReDI School of Digital Integration. Anne and Paula Schwarz, founder of Startup Boat, and two speakers from Iran, Jasmin Taylor, founder and CEO at JT Touristik, and Ehssan Dariani, Spiritual Leader at Cookies, discussed what can be done to help refugees integrate into the German job market. For this, Jasmin pointed out that it is often more than a language barrier. People are traumatized from what they have experienced and need time before they can start a new life. In the end, Paula Schwarz is positive: “Our scene is known for fast and creative solutions”.

What’s going on in Health Startups right now?

Min-Sung Kim, Partner at XL Health, Sophie Chung, co-founder at JunoMedical, and Karolina Korth, Business Development at ROCHE Diabetes Care came together to speak about this hot topic. Telemedicine was one of the big topics, and so was scaling health businesses. A big issue seems to be getting medical companies on board. But as medical travel startup Junomedical founder Chung pointed out, it is different from selling shoes – it’s about peoples’ health, in the end about their lives.

Good to be on stage at ‘home’ for once in #berlin talking about #digitalhealth #startups #digitalhealthvc #hrk16
A photo posted by Min-Sung Sean Kim (@minsungseankim) on

Influencer Marketing: How everyone benefits

Influencer marketing is gaining a lot of attention. Instagram stars are born over night and startups are benefitting from paying influential people to post about their products. Pamela Reif, “Instagram Queen” discussed with Francis Trapp, CEO of, an influencer marketing platform and Roland Grenke, founder of Dubsmash. Though Dubsmash does not pay celebrities to use the platform, Grenke said influencers have certainly helped the app. Reif, just nineteen years old, wouldn’t disclose how much she makes from companies but said she only advertises products she believes in, in order to keep her devoted following. All are excited about the future of influencer marketing.

Had a great day at #Heureka today #HRK16 #Berlin #startups #HRK #gründerszene
Ein von Lison (@lilo_von_lotta) gepostetes Foto am


And the winner is…

HEUREKA had promising startups pitch to investors at the event in the speed pitching tent. Three were selected as finalists – Fliit, a food delivery to businesses company, Lengoo, a professional translation service and Skysense, a drone deployment company. The finalists took to the stage to pitch in front of Monique Woodward (500 Startups), Ralf Dümmel (DS Produkte) and Filip Dames (Cherry Ventures) who voted for the winning startup: Skysense. Congratulations!

To see more photographs from this year’s event, visit our gallery. We hope to see you next year at HEUREKA 2017.