Lena Gaede

Promising tech startup hubs worldwide: Helsinki is up and coming! Here are its strengths, weaknesses and special power

What comes to your mind when you think of startup hubs? Silicon Valley, Berlin? Those are no doubt some of the best-known cities in that context. But we all know the world of startups is always in motion! New centers of innovative entrepreneurship come up like rising stars and offer new possibilities. Just like Helsinki! Finland’s capital has evolved to an innovative stronghold and surely is a city to keep an eye on. Helsinki is said to host over 500 tech startups and holds its share at the Nordic countries having Europe’s fastest growing startup scene. Let us dive deeper into the strengths, weaknesses and special powers of Helsinki as a tech startup hub!

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Codeatelier

Guest feature | Codeatelier @ CODE_n new.New Festival

Like the festival wristband? Cool! Fancy food trucks & Indie rock pop? Top international startups? We can’t miss that! That’s why homee goes festival. From September 20 to 22 the Codeatelier Team took part in the CODE_n new.New Festival in Karlsruhe.

codeatelier_2We’re back as alumni!

This year CODE_n invited us to Karlsruhe, so that we could present our product homee to the festival visitors. As CODE_n alumni, we were allowed to take our place in the Community Area.

How did we manage to get there? For Codeatelier and homee, the journey started as long ago as 2013: Back then, in the CODE_n13 competition, which took place in Hannover during CeBit, we made it into the finalists – and won! homee convinced the jury and was honored with two prizes.

homee has become famous

Today, three years later, we can look back on a period of success. Without the opportunities provided by a platform like this, homee might not be in the position which we now enjoy: established in the smart home market. Each and every day, we are delighted that our Smart Home control unit makes living more convenient for our customers. More…

Robin König

Find your perfect business match to tackle the future together – with CODE_n CONNECT!

The digital disruption brings great challenges for every business. To stay competitive, companies need high adaptability, innovation and market know-how. But don’t worry, you are not alone! Innovative startups and experienced corporates can team up and use the enormous potential that lies in the synergy of their strengths. And yes, no matter if you are looking for an innovative startup or an experienced corporate – there is a company out there that offers those qualities that complement your business. Together you will be able to conquer all challenges! But how to find your perfect business match? That’s what CODE_n CONNECT is all about. Read more to learn about the benefits of CODE_n CONNECT for startups and corporates.

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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…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

CODE_n Alumni | Catching up with … Connected-Health.Eu!

When entering the CODE_n CONTEST in 2015, the Hamburg-based startup Connected-Health.Eu had exactly one goal: to improve the connection between doctors and patients. The young company based around Johannes Jacubeit (Ph.D.) has come a long way since then, constantly improving the idea behind their product: finding a modern way to transfer a patient’s health data (medical records, radiographs, …) into the doctor’s office – via smartphone – securely and conveniently. For our CODE_n Alumni catch-up series, we had a quick chat with Gabriel Adorf, Designer at Connected-Health.Eu about the latest developments.

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Following on from your time as a CODE_n Finalist, what have been Connected-Health.Eu’s greatest achievements?

Gabriel: We have succeeded in building a running beta version of our hardware and are testing it in 20 doctor’s offices in Hamburg. Corresponding to that we have successfully launched an iOS and an Android App. We have raised a seven digit seed investment in 12/2015 from High-Tech-Gründerfonds, Innovationsstarter Fonds of the city of Hamburg, and a group of private investors. (Editors note: You can find all the information in the respective press release.)

What lessons have you learned or failures you’ve experienced and how have you coped with them?

Gabriel: We talked to an investor too long, that eventually just jumped the ship after three months of negotiations. We should have canceled the deal way earlier. We coped with it by having better investors now who really believe in the product as well as the team.

What were your biggest takeaways from your time at CODE_n?

Gabriel: We learned how important it is to get everybody from the team out of the office from time to time to speak to customers and to people who never heard a thing about the product. It helps you in every position in the company to know how to explain everything in a few sentences and to know all the common questions about the product. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

CODE_n Alumni | Catching up with … SQream Technologies!

SQream Technologies, based in Israel, was CODE_n Finalist in 2014, starting out with graphics processors that captured, stored and processed bid data within seconds. What was already a big deal then has since turned into a business model proving valuable for several industries, including Genome, Cyber Security, Finance and IoT. In his interview CEO and Co-Founder Ami Gal tells us in detail about the amazing things you can do with big data – from Cancer Research to defense cases and gives insight about the development of his company since CODE_n.

Following on from your time as a CODE_n Finalist, what have been Sqream Technologies’ greatest achievements?

Ami Gal, CEO and Founder, SQream Technologies

Ami Gal, CEO and Founder, SQream Technologies

Ami Gal: SQream’s greatest achievements name a few domains. For starters, SQream’s customer base is growing rapidly. The broad range of use cases SQream DB can be implemented in, has lead to an interest from organizations that have supported our product strategy, leveraging it to answer real-life needs of DBAs and researchers.

One specific use case worth mentioning is a large Genome Cancer Research Center in Israel that approached us, in need for a database being able to handle rapidly scaling large-size datasets in an ultra-fast manner. In search for mutations in specific chromosome positions, large post-sequence datasets were being manually compared to previous findings in other databases. The process was extremely time consuming with an old-school file base system. SQream provided the Research Institution with a database developed specifically for genome researchers – GenomeStack – a database with large-capacity storage enabling pre-uploading of other databases to GenomeStack, as well as uploading of the new research data. The database empowers genome researchers to perform an ultra-fast simultaneous comparison of millions of chromosome positions – with a click of a button. The outcome is an automatic, rapid way for researchers to get to their insights using a database instead of a file base, significantly shortening research timetables. We consider SQream’s contribution to Genome Research to be of great value and a huge achievement, as we are predicting the technology will impact millions of people’s lives.

There are a few other great achievements such as SQream’s geospatial analytics engine and our contribution to Defense related use cases, that is becoming a crucial – perhaps even a life-saving tool, in times when the world is experiencing unfortunate growth in terror-attacks.

What lessons have you learned or failures you’ve experienced and how have you coped with them?

Ami Gal: There are two things to be named here: At some point we understood that we can’t follow through on all customer requirements and that we have to stay focused. Another important issue is the DNA of your team. We have learned that even the slightest DNA issues shouldn’t be tolerated and definitely not compromised. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

CODE_n Alumni | Catching up with … Cozify!

Making home automation possible for everyone – that was the idea the Finnish startup Cozify presented as one of our 50 CODE_n Finalists at CeBIT 2015. A wireless smart hub, easy to set-up, use and expand, that would connect smart devices from different manufacturers into one seamlessly working entitiy. Back then we were convinced that the young company would do just great. 10 months later we met the team at WebSummit in Dublin and are more than happy to share the latest developments with you:

Following on from your time as a CODE_n Finalist, what have been Cozify’s greatest achievements?

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Antti Vihavainen, Business Developer, Cozify

Antti Vihavainen: During the CeBit, Cozify didn’t have a commercially available product, but we promised to start shipping in two weeks. We kept our promise and delivered the Cozify Hub to all people who had preordered. As it was the first version, it was essential that we had perfected the update mechanism so that end users didn’t need to do anything to receive the latest version of our firmware and the Cozify App.

In summer 2015 we experimented with various value propositions, marketing messages and price points. We also kept on adding new supported devices to the lineup. It was a bit of a surprise to note that the price was a much less significant factor than the wide range of support for the legacy smart home devices.

And the media picked up on that?

Antti Vihavainen: Yes, Cozify has been featured by several Finnish media companies. We were in the biggest car and technology TV show and most recently there was an article in the biggest technical magazine in Scandinavia. All of this has increased our credibility in a way that our sales in the home market have grown to a very satisfying level.

We have done joint marketing with a major electronics retailer in Finland, and noticed that the conversion rate is good enough for maintaining a sustainable business model.

We have continuously worked with international channel partners and are moving from trials and pilots for business as usual towards the beginning of 2016. Obviously our task is to copy and improve on the progress we made in Finland.
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Moritz Gräter

Moving ahead: GFT invests in CODE_n Alumnus parkpocket

In our first interview with parkpocket, Karoline Bader, CFO of the future mobility startup, told us all about their initial idea and vision. A lot has happened since then: the team backing siblings Karoline and Stefan Bader worked hard; parkpocket celebrated a product relaunch today. Originally based in Munich, they grew immensely and recently opened a second office in Stuttgart, located in the CODE_n SPACES. This goes hand-in-hand with even bigger news: GFT, the initiator behind CODE_n, has invested in the startup once selected as finalist for the CODE_n15 CONTEST.

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Around half a million – that’s the amount GFT invested in the startup with the parking solution; however, the bond between the young company and its investor goes beyond money. Ulrich Dietz, CEO of GFT and CODE_n initiator, believes that the parkpocket solution “will solve a very essential issue. An issue that millions of people face on a daily basis.” To Stefan Bader, CEO of parkpocket, Ulrich Dietz has taken on the role of a mentor: “For us, GFT is a partner and advisor, rather than just an investor,” he says. The relationship is also special in the sense that, while GFT has acquired quite a few firms in the past, this is its very first startup investment.

Embedded into the CODE_n Ecosystem

With the opening of an office in the CODE_n SPACES, parkpocket is automatically embedded into the CODE_n Ecosystem – even more so now than they were before. Although CODE_n has been set up as an international startup initiative, bringing in partners and know-how from all over the globe, being based in the CODE_n SPACES Stuttgart means: being close to Baden-Wuerttemberg’s strong industrial environment. As a future mobility startup, parkpocket will definitely be benefiting from the fact that the automotive industry is literally right around the corner.

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