Innovation Meets Scale

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Hill88 helps corporates engage with the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem, and helps early stage startups scale to sustainability.

Hill88's Story

After two decades of running software engineering teams, Steffen decided to expand his horizons at Stanford Business School in 2010-11 as a Sloan Fellow. Upon graduating, Steffen helped an early stage consumer wearables startup get to their first commercial product, while at the same time helping a large ($20B) global supplier to automotive get connected to the startup scene in Silicon Valley.


He realized that corporates and startups need each other:

  • Corporates need new ideas and faster time to market

  • Startups need scale in branding, production, and distribution

Yet, these two entities rarely mix well!  Steffen brings a unique skillset to the table, understanding the points of view from both a technical engineering and an operational business management perspective, and is comfortable in working in a frenzied startup setting as well as with serious corporates.    Steffen created Hill88 to create a virtuous cycle between startups and large corporates, creating win/win scenarios for everyone.

About Steffen Bartschat

Bartschat photo.jpg

Steffen Bartschat is the CEO & Founder of Hill88 and a Silicon Valley veteran for over twenty five years.   At Hill88, he has completed global engagements for a wide variety of established consumer and industrial companies, including Bissell, Faurecia, Cisco, and THX, as well as emerging startups including gestigon, LUMO BodyTech, Edlink, and WiederTV.

deep startup experience

As interim COO of wearable startup Lumo BodyTech, Steffen built its engineering team and assembled a global supply chain to ship initial product, while building and monitoring the company's 3 year business plan.  Lumo raised a successful "Series A" investment round in December 2012.

As Head of Business Development for gesture recognition startup gestigon, Steffen closed business deals with local corporates, uncovered new markets in Virtual Reality, and represented the company at pitch days and conferences. gestigon was acquired by Tier One global automotive supplier Valeo in March 2017.

Steffen is a member and investor at Sand Hill Angels and serves as co-chair of its Consumer Screening Committee.

He is a lead mentor at the German Accelerator, which is funded by the German federal government to bring promising startups to Silicon Valley for access to capital and the North American market. He also mentors startups in Stanford Business School’s Ignite program.

corporate insider

As Strategic Advisor for automotive supplier Faurecia, Steffen drove the startup scouting activities for the company in Silicon Valley, while also contributing to the adaptation of the innovation pipeline into its overall R&D process.

Earlier in his career he managed global engineering teams at Roxio (digital media), Broderbund (consumer productivity), Electronic Arts (computer gaming), and IBM Corporation (AI enterprise).

the right credentials

Steffen earned an MS Management degree as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow at Stanford Business School and holds BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

LinkedIn Profile:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/bartschat    


About the "real" Hill 88

The real Hill 88 is located in the Marin Headlands portion of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, where Steffen serves as a National Park Service Volunteer Docent.    The peak was named by the US Army during the cold war when it built several defensive missile batteries surrounding the city of San Francisco.

Today, the site is preserved by the National Park Service and it makes a spectacular hiking destination, providing 360 degree views of the Pacific Ocean, the Mt. Tamalpais watershed, San Francisco, and the Bay. Plan your visit at the Marin Headlands Visitor Center. 


Steffen decided to name his business after Hill 88 since it makes an excellent business metaphor - keeping the focus on climbing the numerous smaller (& achievable) peaks like Hill 88 as opposed to targeting the mostly unobtainable goals such as K2 or Everest...      

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