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German Silicon Valley Accelerator winners announced – Ondango and Upcload are heading West


Ondango, UPcload, ProductsUp, Customer Alliance, 6Wunderkinder and ParStream last night won spots in the German Silicon Valley Accelerator (GSVA) programme.


About 200 people gathered at the Q110 Deutsche Bank in Mitte to celebrate the new programme and hear the results of the latest selection round.

Speakers from the GSVA team explained the thinking behind the programme, which offers German startups three to six months of mentoring in Silicon Valley.

"Running a company can be "pretty miserable"

LMU Entrepreneurship Centre executive director Andy Goldstein described his first 12 years running a company as "actually pretty miserable". It took him 14 years to close, pay back his "friends, family and fools" and move on to a second successful project. "Part of what we're trying to do with the GSVA is to try and help the teams that are coming over to really avoid some of those mistakes and really get traction fast."

ParStream, UPcload and Products-Up will have the option of going to the US in the quarter starting July 1. The other three winners - Customer Alliance, Ondango and 6Wunderkinder can choose to take up places from October 1.

GSVA steering committee representative Ram Srinivasan had a few uplifting words for companies who didn't win a place in this round of the programme. "I know people like eBay, people like Google, were not given their funding at their first pitch," he said.

"When you think about it long term, failure is not an option if you're an entrepreneur.  You'll find something that works and you'll keep working on it until you get successful."

For more on the GSVA, read our interview yesterday with operations chief Oliver Hanisch.

Image credit: flickr user stevoarnold

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