Axel Springer Plug and Play Partnership

Awin has teamed up with award-winning accelerator Axel Springer Plug and Play to select and accelerate early-stage ventures in the digital marketing space.

Through this partnership, we facilitate business opportunities for our network and digital marketing startups. 

The programme offers more than just money. Awin and Axel Springer Plug and Play connect startups to mentors, clients and investors. The reach of Awin and the startup expertise of Axel Springer Plug and Play create unique opportunities for selected digital marketing companies. 

What we're looking for

This programme is open to any startup with a business model related to the digital marketing space. This includes businesses focusing on innovative ad-tech solutions, scalable marketplaces, content publishers and data-driven business models. These can be B2B, B2C and C2C business models.

To ensure that selected companies will fully benefit from the experience we consider the following criteria:

  • The company is still in the seed phase
  • The company needs to test its go to market strategies, validate target segments, grow traction and/or flesh out its business case
  • The company’s business model is complementary or compatible to the performance marketing industry

What you get

The 100-day programme aims at fostering the growth of early-stage ventures, which focus on the digital marketing space. It provides a unique opportunity to benefit from the global expertise of an industry leader as well as the support and international network of a successful accelerator.

Important dates

Axel Springer Plug and Play runs three programmes per year. For more detailed information on the deadlines please visit the Axel Springer Plug and Play website here.

Apply here

Highlights include

€ 25,000 start-up financing

This is generally introduced into the company through a capital increase.

Office space

At least one desk per team depending on its size. At the end of the programme, founders who want to stay in Berlin will be able to apply to the accelerator’s co-working space.


Mentors are part of the accelerators external network and are usually founders who have successfully built and grown one or more companies. Due to their entrepreneurial experience, they are important advisors for startup founders. The majority of mentors are also active angel investors.

Direct access to investors

Regular exposure to investors through the programmes partners and network. Additionally at the end of the programme, a Demo Day will take place where founders will pitch their startup in front of investors and journalists.

Amplify traction

Startups are connected to the right companies through the global Awin and Plug and Play networks to help them increase traction and improve their go-to-market strategies.

External expertise & workshops

The experts have thematic specific knowledge and, in contrast to the mentors, are not necessarily entrepreneurs. The knowledge areas of the experts are diverse and cover topics such as growth hacking, pricing strategies, data privacy or law.

International reach and exposure

Both Awin and Axel Springer Plug and Play can provide access to their international network, reach and infrastructure.

Continuous support beyond the 100-day programme

Support from both Plug and Play and Awin doesn’t end after the programme. Plug and Play will continue to support the startups in the search for suitable follow-up investment, and provide access to their network. Awin will continue to support the startup’s growth as a close business partner.

Any more questions?

For more information on the programme view our FAQs, visit the Plug and Play website or contact the programme directly at