DB Accelerator

About DB Accelerator

A digitized world opens opportunities to creates tomorrow’s standards going beyond today’s limitations. The DB Accelerator focuses on startups that allow us to get to know and test new technology or business models for railway infrastructure (track, stations, energy) or our services in mobility and logistics.

We are looking for

Each batch has a topic related to digitalization. We are looking for technology or business cases that have the potencial to support our business units with their digital transition. We also focus on disruptive startups that have the potential to scale up in the mobility and logistic sector. 

Why participate?

We help you take your startup to the next level by offering a unique opportunity to test and fast-track your ideas and products inside DB. For new disruptive and scalable business models within mobility or logistics we can be an investor. Here we closely cooperate with DB Digital Ventures. To support the scaling up we cooperate with Plug and Play. 


  • 3 month program
  • 25k € zero equity taken
  • seats in our co-working space


  • access to the world of railway
  • access to unique data sets
  • access to DB business units


  • dedicated startup-manager
  • internal & external coaches
  • cooperation with betahaus

Improve our World

Engineering: e. g. predictive maintenance, energy management
Digitalization: e. g. live monitoring, schedule simulation
Business: e. g. passenger services, cargo services

Q & A

What might be interesting for you...

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What is special about the DB Accelerator and what is the difference to other accelerator programs?
  • direct collaboration with a department of DB  (developing a prototype together)
  • top level support of DB management
  • close technical mentoring by DB experts
  • strong support by startup manager of DB mindbox
  • in the three months of the program you can not only work with trains, tracks and train stations, but also busses, scooters, warehouses, containers or even our customers 






Why should I apply for the program?
  • you will be able to test your prototype within our railway system - meaning right on the tracks, with our customers on board of the train or at the stations - to prove proof-of-concept.
  • build your own network inside DB, the railway industry or a variety of additional industries
  • open an unique key market
  • co-operate with the largest mobility provider in Europe 
  • free and stylish working space at the river Spree with its own train station
  • knock-on financing with 25.000 € zero equity







On what stage should your startup be to participate in the program?
  • it is the main goal of the Accelerator program to test your idea inside Deutsche Bahn with a proof-of-concepth
  • however, the experience is that a MVP or a first prototype makes sense for development and testing within three months



Are there formal restrictions for participation in the program?
  • your team has to be of at least two people
  • your startup has to be a registered company



Does our team need to move to Berlin into DB mindbox to be present at all time?
  • experience has shown a direct link between regular presence and success of the startup
  • for successful piloting it is essential that the startup, DB mindbox and the DB business unit work closely together – the best way to do this is by being frequently present
  • depending on the business unit you are co-operating with, being on-site the business unit’s office could also make sense
  • we know that every company has the need to meet their customers and therefore every situation has to be discussed individually





What are the next steps after my application? How does the startup selection process work?
  • after applying, your documents will be reviewed by the DB mindbox team, if necessary you will be asked for additional documents
  • in close coordination between DB mindbox and the business units the most suitable teams for our challenges will be invited to our selection day / pitch event
  • teams that are not selected for the program, will be added to our database for possible future co-operations
  • if your team is selected for the program you have to sign a contract with DB mindbox, that among others defines what your team should further develop and test inside DB
  • after signing the contract you can move in and become part of DB mindbox - then program gets started 
What is included in the three months Accelerator program?
  • official introduction to the DB group
  • coaching by external experts
  • mentoring by top level decision makers
  • technical support by experts out of the supporting DB department 
  • building a prototype for an application within DB 
  • mid-term presentation of status and next steps
  • test of your prototype
  • presentations in front of internal and external decision makers
  • final presentation at the demo day
What happens after the three months program?
  • at the end of the programs you are going to present your results
  • please keep in mind that the mutually desired co-operation does always depend on the successful proof-of-concept
  • following up all parties evaluate the results and make decisions about the procedure of continuation
  • if there will be further co-operation with your team you will have to optimize your prototype and prepare a pilot
  • after a succesful pilot it might be necessary to certificate or optain an operation permit by our regulator 
  • after this the roll out can get started




Timeline (exemplary dates)

Application Phase
28.02.2020 - 06.04.2020
06.04.2020 - 13.04.2020
Pich & Selection Day
24.04.2020 - 22.05.2020
25.05.2020 - 07.08.2020
Midterm presentation
Midterm presentation
Demo Day
DB mindbox Alumni

Current Batches

Future of Customer Interaction

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New Era of Construction Tech

New Era of Construction Tech

Advances in digital technology and big data, new materials and energy and design approaches are creating a wave of innovation within the construction industry. Ride the wave and sign in for the next DB Accelerator …