Nadine Korany

Do you want to rise your startup in Applied FinTechs? Apply for the CODE_n CONTEST!

Your innovations in Applied FinTechs are radically changing our environment – how we live as society and how we do business professionally. Whether we pay for our coffee, need a credit or set up an automatic payment for the rent, every day we are consciously or unconsciously using financial services while incidentally huge amounts of data are being collected. The ever-present linkage of the financial sector and our everyday life illustrates the huge potential for Applied FinTechs to bring major changes for society.

FinTech revolutionizes a variety of financial services such as mobile payments, social mining, money transfers, predictive analytics, fundraising or cognitive automation – and this brings many improvements for private and commercial use. No wonder that global investment in FinTech has skyrocketed from $ 930 million back in 2008 to over $ 12 billion by the beginning of 2015! Step by step FinTech startups are disrupting the traditional finance system. We are thrilled to find out what the next big step will be! Do you have an ace up your sleeve with your startup in Applied FinTechs? Make the move and apply for the CODE_n CONTEST! More…

Edina Mezildzic

CODE_n SPACES Residents | Refine Projects: Lean prinicples with tiny Post-it notes – big style!

Meet our CODE_n SPACES resident, Refine Projects! Methods knowledge paired with innovation and operative implementation power – that’s just how Refine adds sustainable value to its customer’s projects. We talked to CEO and founder Bülent Yildiz to discover how the Refine team uses Post-it® notes and Legos to structure complex projects and make them more efficient. Read on to learn more about how the company was founded, how the construction industry has been turned on its head, and about the challenges they faced in finding just the right team.

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Let’s start with the obvious: Can you explain, in layman’s terms and maybe with a couple of nice examples, what exactly you do?

Bülent: We reduce complexity in projects worth millions – all with the help of Post-it® notes and Legos. Manufacturing in construction projects is so efficient these days, it’s like the automotive industry 60-80 years ago. Back then the automotive industry produced products without prefab units, without production systems, and without concentrating on added value. Therein lies the problem as we see it, and for us at Refine, therein also lies the solution.

Then there’s the trend that anyone who watches the news will spot: These days, 70% of all projects go over schedule and budget – even up to 200% over budget. We tackle the complexity of managing thousands of individual processes on dozens of projects. We simulate project flows with Post-it’s and create project delivery systems for our customers. This hands them a tool for lean project management. We’re consultants but we’re also instructors on lean construction.

And who’s your solution for?

Bülent: We focus on one-off projects in the construction industry, but our solutions are also applicable to complex, cross-industry projects. Our customers include large corporations like Stihl but also smaller to medium-sized local construction companies, as well as bricks and mortar businesses like the Mondi Group. More…

Nadine Korany

Your Startup is driving forward in Connected Mobility? Head to the finish line and apply for the CODE_n CONTEST!

Your startup in Connected Mobility is reinventing the wheel! By developing new transportation and supply chain solutions for people, goods and information you are driving the revolution of mobility. Innovations in Connected Mobility will not only have a tremendous impact on the economy by finding more efficient ways for transportation, but also improve the integrated services for information processing, data security and manufacturing. One key technology of Connected Mobility is the Internet of Things, a concept of non-living objects intelligently communicating with each other. By means of this information technology we can expect groundbreaking changes for both our society and economy.

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Nadine Korany

Want to stand out with your startup in HealthTech? Apply for the CODE_n CONTEST!

Your startup in the field of HealthTech is making a true difference for our everyday life! When digitalization merges into the health sector, we witness life-changing discoveries. Every advance in this sector is a victory – from improved diagnostics, to innovative prosthetics or profitable data management. Medical technologies revolutionize step by step the treatment and prevention of diseases. Therefore, health is one of the most important fields where technology needs to be applied: In 2015 medical technology was again the field where the most patent applications (12 474) were filed and with a growth of 11% it was also one of the fastest growing sectors.

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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Once a sales rep for cash registers, now a business founder: how orderbird set up a new business

If the name orderbird rings a bell, it’s probably because it was one of the ten finalists at the very first CODE_n CONTEST in 2012. The startup also now rings different bells – think ‘ka-ching’ – as one of the five most successful mPOS systems in the world. And the initial spark of genius behind its business concept is still the same today: The startup from the Berlin suburb of Kreuzberg can convert iPads into an ordering system for the catering industry. Five years after it was set up, the former CODE_n contestant is now organizing its own successful startup competition, naturally with a slant toward catering. The aim of its Gastro-Gründerpreis (gastronomy startup award) is to help lateral-thinking caterers with €10,000 of startup funding. In its third year now, the much sought-after award is bestowed at Berlin Food Week and the jury includes well-known German experts such as Christian Rach, Cynthia Barcomi, and Sophia Hoffmann.

 We invited the CODE_n alumni at orderbird to join us on the occasion of our fifth anniversary and tell us about their own early days as a startup. How did its founders come up with the idea of turning an iPad into a ordering system for catering? And how did they get the right people on their side? Read more about the story of a startup – from the initial insight and inspiration to becoming a full-blown publically traded company.

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The new management team at orderbird (left – right): Artur Hasselbach, Thomas Köhl, Patrick Brienen, Jakob Schreyer, and Bastian Schmidtke

The ingenious idea behind orderbird first came to Bastian Schmidtke in 2009. He was scrolling through the Business Insider website when he read about the U.S. military using the iPod Touch as a remote control for bombs. Bastian was selling cash register systems in southern Germany at the time, and his thoughts immediately leapt to catering: More…

Nadine Korany

Leverage your startup in the field of Photonics 4.0 – Apply for the CODE_n CONTEST. Now!

We know that your startup will take digital transformation to the next level. Light and its many applications have already revolutionized our society, industry and environment. Especially the transformation into the Industry 4.0 would not be possible without the technologies provided by Photonics 4.0 – such as advanced laser systems, image processing, and optical sensors. With light applications as key enabling the technologies of the future, the 21st century will depend as much on photonic innovations as the 20th century depended on electronics. Its vital importance already manifests in the vast growth of the photonics industry between 2005 and 2011, which doubled more than that of the worldwide GDP.

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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

CODE_n SPACES Residents | blickshift: cutting-edge eye tracking technology

Meet our CODE_n SPACES Resident blickshift! The spin-off from the University of Stuttgart develops software for efficient analyses of the eye movement behavior. Their product, in short, enables the automotive, marketing, and gaming industry as well as the usability research to develop new applications and services based on eye tracking technology. We talked to Michael Raschke, one of the three team members of blickshift about his vision, entrepreneurship in general and the decision to move into our CODE_n SPACES:

Let’s start out with the obvious: Can you explain, in lay terms, maybe with a couple of nice examples, what exactly you do?

Michael: Sure. Imagine you’re interested in finding out how people actually read an illustration in a newspaper. So you show ten people an illustration and ask them a question about it; then you draw their eye movements. A handful of standard techniques already exist for this type of analysis, and, in principle, you can use them as they are. But the moment you need to analyze the information in more detail and find out how specific individuals looked at the illustration, or whether there are groups of people who tend to look at it the same way, these techniques show their limitations. Or it takes an eternity to evaluate just a small experiment. We’ve developed a solution that sidesteps these disadvantages, allowing for extremely efficient eye movement analysis involving a large number of people. In essence, it’s based on the use of big data analytics in combination with highly interactive visualization techniques.

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And who’s your solution for?

Michael: One example would be the car market. Imagine a situation like this: You’re driving down a road and you get to a really busy intersection with lots of people in cars and on motorcycles, and even pedestrians. And then there are road signs and traffic lights. Car companies want to know about drivers’ eye movements in such situations, so that they can evaluate them and adapt their driver assistance systems to better match the driver’s perceptions. The idea is to warn drivers about dangers they may not have noticed or perceived properly. So, for example, there might by a pedestrian who’s just about to cross the street and was almost overlooked. Car companies, their suppliers, and research institutions are carrying out tons of eye-tracking experiments on this at the moment.

This involves recording the eye movements of between 50 and 100 people in different situations, then analyzing the results and translating them into driver models that can be applied to vehicles further down the line. The analysis takes up a huge amount of time.
If you think about semi-automated or even fully automated driving, which the carmakers tell us will happen, they won’t just have to evaluate 50 or 100 guinea pigs, they’ll have to evaluate thousands, if not tens of thousands – just to allow for the development of extremely reliable driver assistance systems. Where we come in is when it comes to efficiently evaluating data from as many test drivers as possible, with just a few clicks of the mouse. At the moment, lots of things have to be done manually. Data has to be exported out of one application and imported into another. Lots of programs have to be written just to answer specific questions. This takes up a huge amount of time, so it’s very expensive. Also, it’s easy for errors to creep into the analysis. Our startup offers a solution to such problems. More…

Nadine Korany

The race is on! The CODE_n16 startup competition is now open for applications!

As the CODE_n16 CONTEST contest kicks off, we are once again seeking the world’s most innovative startups and ground-breaking business models. This year’s focus fields include FinTechs, Photonics, Mobility, and Health. Don’t miss your chance to become one of the 50 CODE_n CONTEST Finalists and benefit from free exhibition space during our CODE_n new.New Festival this fall. Not only will this be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet digital disruptors and outstanding entrepreneurial personalities, but the winner of the CODE_n16 Award – to be announced during a spectacular show – will receive prize money totaling €30,000. Interested? We have all the information you’ll need on the four CONTEST clusters and how to apply.

important dates 2Let’s start at the beginning. Your company was founded in 2011 or later? Perfect. With that you’ve already cleared the first hurdle. What we’re looking for are startups with ground-breaking new hardware or software solutions, IT applications, or IT-based business models that fit in with the overall contest theme: “unveiling digital disruption.” It’s not important that your innovation is already available on the market.
What’s mainly relevant is that your business model relates to one of the four focus topics of this year’s CONTEST: Applied FinTechs, Connected Mobility, Photonics 4.0 or HealthTech.

Applied FinTechs powered by GFT: from machine learning and robotics consulting to smart living through to Blockchain

Banking can seem like such a dry topic, but don’t be fooled: Financial solutions are based on new thinking, new technology, all put together in a clever way, which, in many cases, are a lot closer to the customer than you might think. Applied FinTechs, as we call these solutions, have been of particular interest to the CODE_n initiator and cluster representative GFT. The company recognized early on that fresh ideas from the outside make it much easier to stay at the forefront of technological (r)evolution.

Machine learning, robo advisory – there are many terms to describe how we automate financial tasks that were formerly in human hands. Maybe your startup knows how to become even better at this? Perhaps your business model is related to smart living and works to create a better customer journey, perhaps it’s were FinTech meets the Internet of Things, or perhaps you work with predictive analytics or the personalization and dedication of services. Or maybe you even have a business model based on blockchain technology. Any of these ideas are welcome in the Applied FinTechs cluster.

Connected Mobility powered by HPE: smart ecosystems for digitalization – from manufacturing to utilities and transportation

When thinking of Connected Mobility, a number of application scenarios come to mind: with aspiring ideas, buzz words like smart city or smart homes have become part of our everyday lives. And yet, there is still so much potential to make our lives easier and more connected. Our new partner and cluster representative Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has come up with a global IoT program, featuring markets such as manufacturing, automotive, logistics and transportation, as well as utilities. However, as a big company with more than 250,000 employees, it’s not always easy to be as flexible as a startup. Knowing that innovation is key, they have found a solution for this – they’re more than open to building strong partnerships, underpinned by collaboration and support: developing new innovative technologies – together. More…