Kathleen Fritsche

Going up: mastering the elevator pitch

Kathleen Fritzsche - Marketing & PR from CODE_n12 finalist Conceptboard and Startup Weekend Stuttgart

Kathleen Fritzsche – Co-founder of Startup Stuttgart

Kathleen Fritzsche is co-founder and head of marketing at Accelerate Stuttgart and StartUp Stuttgart, the entrepreneurial community for the Neckar Valley and Baden-Wuerttemberg regions in Germany. She has been captivated by the startup community since attending the first Startup Weekend in Stuttgart in 2010.

The brief, structured presentation of your business concept – the so-called “elevator pitch” – is a central element in garnering acceptance and enthusiasm for your business idea.

An elevator pitch can last anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes depending on the situation. A key factor? Make sure you have thoroughly thought through the ins and outs of your idea before presenting it to larger audiences or potential capital investors. Initial feedback from your personal network and people who know your industry is incredibly valuable. These kinds of connections bring in new perspectives and helpful hints. The best thing to move you forward is critical thinking and shedding light on potential weaknesses early on. More…

Thibaut Loilier

Software – building the foundation for Big Data Success

Thibaut Loilier is in charge of Market Research for GFT. As author for CODE_n he shares his knowledge of the start-up industry & technology trends.

Thibaut Loilier is in charge of Market Research for GFT. As author for CODE_n he shares his knowledge of the start-up business his time in Silicon Valley.

Thibaut Loilier is in charge of Market Research for GFT, member of the innovation team and author of GFT public whitepapers (Open Innovation, Mobile BankingMobile Payment and IT Trends). Before joining GFT, he worked as Business Strategy Analyst for BNP Paribas in San Francisco with responsibility for strategic analysis and relationship with Silicon Valley’s technology and innovation ecosystems (start-ups, academics, clusters…). He brings his experience within and knowledge of the start-up industry & ecosystem to the CODE_n initiative.

In the first post of this series “Building the Foundations for Big Data Success”, we introduced several companies that are addressing different software challenges posed by the world of big data, companies like  Cloudera, Domo, Data Gravity, and Sqrrll. These companies are, of course, just the tip of the iceberg – the number of start-ups entering the big data marketplace is growing every day.

If you’ve been researching big data players, you may have come across the Big Data Startups Blog. On December 9th, the site published an eye-opening infographic showing the massive scale of investments being made by the new dedicated big-data VC funds in big data start-ups and the huge sums of money changing hands in big data IPOs and acquisitions. More…

Mark van Rijmenam

How To Develop A Big Data Strategy To Outperform Your Competitors

Mark van Rijmenam is founder of the BigData-Startups.com and guest blogger for CODE_n

Mark van Rijmenam is founder of the BigData-Startups.com and guest blogger for CODE_n

A Big Data study from 2013 by Tata Consulting Services showed that 47% of the 1217 firms surveyed had not yet undertaken a Big Data initiative. A similar research project by the SAS Institute in 2013 revealed that 21% of the 339 companies questioned did not know enough about Big Data and 15% of the organisations did not understand the benefits of Big Data. Several other surveys show more or less the same picture. Many organisations have no idea what Big Data is, even though all those brontobytes heading our way will change the way organisations operate and are managed. Big Data offers a lot of opportunities for organisations. An IBM 2010 Global CFO Study indicated that companies leveraging Big Data would financially outperform their competitors by 20% or more, and McKinsey reported a potential increase of 60% in operating margins with Big Data.

Although many organisations do not yet understand Big Data, it is pouring into all organisations from almost every angle imaginable. Every day, small and medium-sized enterprises can easily collect terabytes of data, while startups can effortlessly reach gigabytes and large multinationals can even generate petabytes without any problem. However, simply having massive amounts of data is not enough to become an information-centric organisation that stays ahead of its competition.

Big Data Strategy - McKinsey reported a potential increase of 60% in operating margins with Big Data

Big Data Strategy – McKinsey reported a potential increase of 60% in operating margins with Big Data

Note that I deliberately do not call these organisations data-driven organisations, but rather information-centric. The difference might seem subtle, but in fact the two terms are very different. Data, after all, is useless without the right tools at hand and the right culture in place. Only when data is transformed into information can it become valuable for an organisation. Information-centric companies have a culture that relies on data that is stored, analysed, and visualized, and in which the results form an integral part of the company’s strategic decision-making. More…

Ignasi Barri

Infrastructure – Building the Foundations for Big Data Success

Dr. Ignasi Barri is an expert in innovation management in the technology surrounding and shares his experience on the CODE_n blog

Dr. Ignasi Barri is an expert in innovation management in the technology surrounding and shares his experience on the CODE_n blog

Dr. Ignasi Barri is member of Applied Technologies in GFT Company. His fascination for technology and business helps him in his main goal: empowering innovation in the whole company. Innovation and business experience are combining perfectly to help him in being an author for the CODE_n organization. 

As we noted in our first Big Data post, careful planning is key for the successful creation of a big data-ready infrastructure. Big data requires more than a change in mindset – it requires a change in the technologies used to deal with the different types of data in play and the way they need to be handled to maximize the benefits.

Organizations must analyze what data they have and how they want to use that data in order to match back-end infrastructure needs to application requirements; simply looking at the data and the infrastructure as if they exist in separate silos will not provide an appropriate solution.

Five key elements must be addressed to develop an appropriate strategy that takes all aspects of big data use and optimization into account: More…

Pierre DeBois

Big data development startups can learn from the big enterprises

Pierre DeBois - founder of Zimana, a small business digital analytics consultancy

Pierre DeBois – founder of Zimana, a small business digital analytics consultancy

One trend that startups should pay attentions to is how long established firms in other industry verticals are leveraging expertise. Startups can learn from industry leaders who have seen unique implementation challenges and solutions.

I wrote about one example in an All Analytics post on Sears. For a number of years, Wall Street analysts questioned the value of Sears. Its stores were considered out of step with the digitalization of the consumer retail experience. Even the value of store locations was questioned because many of them were in malls with declining retail traffic. But Sears had been developing its operations efficiency through using Hadoop, an open source noSQL database.

The result of Sears’ dabbling in the database lead to the launch of Metascale, a consultation subsidiary that helps other retailers improve their Hadoop implementation and administration. Time will tell if Metascale changes Sears’ image with Wall Street analysts, but the subsidiary introduced a revolutionary business model for retailers – The concept of consulting based on their industry experience. This is not a sole example. Think Amazon and how it scaled its warehouse operations and databases and you can see what can be possible when your startup scales properly with an eye on data (and particularly, big data). More…

Janina Benz

Seven Tips for Using Social Media at CeBIT

CeBIT is right around the corner, and we know our finalists and attendees are busy getting ready for the big event. Before heading to Hanover, though, make sure you have a plan for using social media. It might not seem like a priority now, but following a few simple guidelines can make your conference experience even more successful:

Before CeBIT

  • Update your profiles. It’s obvious but essential: check that your profiles have the most current information and are properly linked. Make it easy for people to get in touch.
  • Alert your fans. Let people know you’re going to be attending via your existing social media channels, and start using the appropriate hashtags. (Hint: they’re #CODE_n and #CeBIT!)

During CeBIT

  • Tweet to meet. Let others know where you’re going, and when, so that they can connect with you in person.
  • Report from the field. See an interesting presentation, notice an emerging trend, or read an interesting tweet? Tell others about it—as long as it’s not confidential information, of course.
  • Keep track. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information flying around, so use an application like TweetDeck to monitor hashtags, mentions, retweets, and messages. You’re still using #CODE_n and #CeBIT, right? It’s the best way for your updates to be found!

After CeBIT

  • Record it. Write a blog post, create a video, collect your favorite tweets—whatever will help you capture the highlights of the event before you forget.
  • Stay in touch. Follow up on new contacts and work to maintain the relationship, both online and in person, over the coming months.

What other tips have you found helpful at past events? Let us know in the comments!

Janina Benz

Ridha Azaiz: “Get your idea checked from different angles”

Ridha Azaiz is one of the CODE_n finalists and the founder of Solarbrush. He started studying at RWTH Aachen University and transferred to Technical University Berlin in order to finish his Master’s in mechanical engineering. His research and development activities have led to many awards, such as the  Clean Tech Media Award and the start up award hy! Berlin

Janina Benz: Congratulations on being one of the 50 CODE_n finalists! Could you tell us about Solarbrush?
Ridha Azaiz: Solarbrush is a robotic cleaning system for solar panels. Cleaning is very important, especially in arid regions, as generators lose up to 35% in efficiency in a single month after a sand storm. The robot has a very lean and efficient drive that attaches to the inclined panels, which distinguishes the Solarbrush robot from others. It is also very light weight and can cross the solar panels, costing just a fraction of what competitors charge. We’re pioneers in the field and were first in shifting the focus from the cleaning and maintenance of photovoltaic (PV) cells in Europe to the sunbelt countries. Where there is lots of sun, PV produces the most output but also suffers from deposits. More…