MTH Unboxing: BottleAd

Using a rever­se ven­ding machi­ne as an adver­ti­sing plat­form? In this way, retailers and brands can draw cus­to­mers’ atten­ti­on to spe­ci­fic offers and pro­mo­ti­ons at a cru­cial moment of the cus­to­mer jour­ney. In the Febru­a­ry issue of the MTH Unboxing seri­es, Bot­t­leAd foun­ders Jost Wencke­bach and Mar­cel Pir­lich exp­lain their idea and con­cept in more detail. Read more in the Q&A!

MTH Acce­le­ra­tor: What did you do befo­re BottleAd?

Mar­cel: Befo­re foun­ding Bot­t­leAd, I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to do qui­te a bit in my pro­fes­sio­nal care­er; I worked in the finan­cial sec­tor and in mobi­le com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons. Through working many years for inter­na­tio­nal cor­po­ra­ti­ons, medi­um-sized busi­nes­ses, and in the start-up sce­ne, I was for­tu­n­a­te to acqui­re a wide ran­ge of know­ledge.
Befo­re Bot­t­leAd, I foun­ded and mana­ged a com­pa­ny in the field of AI-dri­ven digi­tal adver­ti­sing for over ten years. My idea at the time was to use ful­ly auto­ma­ted tra­ding sys­tems from the stock mar­ket to purcha­se ads on plat­forms like Goog­le and Ama­zon. We quick­ly rai­sed mil­li­ons from insti­tu­tio­nal inves­tors and then grew steadi­ly. After ten years, I was loo­king for some­thing new, some “entre­pre­neu­ri­al fresh air” and found an incredi­ble fit in Bot­t­leAd: making recy­cling more pro­fi­ta­ble through a simp­le model that has beco­me an inter­net hit.

Jost: During the past ten years, I worked as a con­sul­tant and then as a pri­va­te equi­ty inves­tor. I’ve not only been able to shape several com­pa­ny acqui­si­ti­ons and sales, but also to accom­pa­ny and sup­port the­se com­pa­nies in their deve­lo­p­ment. I have the­re­fo­re seen, ana­ly­zed, and deve­lo­ped many indus­tries and busi­ness models. As a result of the­se expe­ri­en­ces, I con­cei­ved the idea for Bot­t­leAd, a new adver­ti­sing plat­form that reaches cus­to­mers at a cru­cial sta­ge in their con­su­mer expe­ri­ence, right befo­re they make a purcha­se. This plat­form can be used throughout Ger­ma­ny and can be easi­ly internationalized.

MTH Acce­le­ra­tor: What are doing when you’re not working for BottleAd?

Mar­cel: I sup­port star­tups with capi­tal, know-how, and net­wor­king. I am acti­ve in the Entre­pre­neurs Orga­niz­a­ti­on (eonet​work​.org), a glo­bal asso­cia­ti­on of over 15,000 entre­pre­neurs who­se goal is to share lifel­ong lear­ning and per­so­nal deve­lo­p­ment with one ano­t­her. I am on the board of our acce­le­ra­tor to sup­port young com­pa­nies that want to grow quick­ly. Also, as a father of two child­ren, I get to enjoy the litt­le won­ders of natu­re every day!

Jost: My main focus right now is BottleAd––there is a lot to do becau­se we are cur­r­ent­ly expan­ding our plat­form very quick­ly. But, out­side of Bot­t­leAd, I’m hap­py to act as a spar­ring part­ner to founders/​managers and entre­pre­neurs in their M&A pro­jects and to sup­port them in this capa­ci­ty. With my expe­ri­ence I’m able to assist them in thin­king through the various tran­sac­tion sce­n­a­ri­os.
When it comes to leisu­re acti­vi­ties, it’s pret­ty dif­fi­cult to do much during the­se COVID times. When the gym is open, I’m hap­py to go. And when it’s pos­si­ble, I meet up with friends and talk about the important things in life, like cars. Han­ging out with friends and tra­ve­ling will hope­ful­ly come back some­time in the near future…

MTH Acce­le­ra­tor: What is BottleAd?

Bot­t­leAd: Bot­t­leAd is a new adver­ti­sing plat­form for food retailers with a dif­fe­rent impact: more satis­fied cus­to­mers, more sales, and more suc­cess­ful brands. We make unused sales spaces pro­fi­ta­ble. We do this by pla­cing adverts on cost-inten­si­ve rever­se ven­ding machi­nes, ther­eby making them more attrac­ti­ve while offe­ring brands a com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on plat­form at a cru­cial point in the con­su­mer jour­ney. We use a digi­tal net­work to con­nect count­less retailers to a lar­ge net­work that cur­r­ent­ly reaches as many con­su­mers as a mid-size TV station.

MTH Acce­le­ra­tor: Why the MTH Accelerator?

Bot­t­leAd: The MTH Acce­le­ra­tor gives us the oppor­tu­ni­ty to quick­ly gain a foot­hold in Potsdam’s start­up envi­ron­ment, to make important con­ta­cts, and to learn even more about star­tups, fun­ding, and talent. We have also been able to move into our first office in the MTH Space, which gives us a phy­si­cal work pre­sence appro­pria­te to our needs as a startup.

MTH Acce­le­ra­tor: Why BottleAd?

Bot­t­leAd: Bot­t­leAd is a very simp­le but impact­ful idea: to adver­ti­se at one of the most cru­cial sta­ges of the con­su­mer journey––just befo­re the moment of purcha­se. If you look a litt­le deeper, we occu­py a  trend: retail media. And the big play­ers have alrea­dy led the way: Ama­zon will earn over $20 bil­li­on with adver­ti­sing in 2021. We help small retailers grow, making them rele­vant for natio­nal and inter­na­tio­nal campaigns.

MTH Acce­le­ra­tor: What is your mission?

Bot­t­leAd: Bot­t­leAd brings the Goog­le Adsen­se plat­form model to food retail––with a uni­que touch­point in the cus­to­mer journey.

About the MTH Unboxing

The MTH Acce­le­ra­tor port­fo­lio is gro­wing and gro­wing. But what exact­ly do the teams do and, abo­ve all, what did they do befo­re they beca­me entre­pre­neurs? In MTH Unboxing, our new inter­view seri­es, we shed some light on the sub­ject and intro­du­ce the teams in more detail. MTH Acce­le­ra­tor Babels­berg is the pro­gram for star­tups and foun­ding teams from the metro­po­li­tan regi­on who are loo­king to explo­re tech­no­lo­gies and digi­tal busi­ness models and take their com­pa­nies to the next level.

Learn more about the pro­gram, our latest port­fo­lio star­tups and events in our newsletter.