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.


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…

Felix Jansen

“Partners should always be found on a level playing field” – an interview with Jakob Schreyer from orderbird

At the first run of the CODE_n CONTEST back in 2012, orderbird was one of the Top 10 contest finalists. Since then, the Berlin-based startup has continued to develop. The latest chapter in the story of its growth: successfully arranging a new funding phase and bringing a new strategic investor on board. We talked to Jakob Schreyer, CEO at orderbird, about his company and the way innovation is dealt with in the financial sector.

Felix Jansen: Hello, Jakob. Congratulations on entering a new funding phase. You’ve raised more than 10 million US dollars with orderbird. How do you plan to use that money?

Jakob Schreyer: Thanks. We plan to invest heavily in product development and expansion in new markets. With our Series B funding phase, we aren’t just receiving a considerable investment, but we are also embarking on a new strategic partnership with our main investor, ConCardis. We will be working in close collaboration, specifically in the area of cashless payments, but we are sure to both benefit from know-how exchange in many other areas as well.

Jakob Schreyer CEO Orderbird

Last year, you launched a pilot project with PayPal. Yet ConCardis, your newest and largest investor to date, is a more traditional company from the credit business sector. In your collaboration, have you noticed that you approach the topic of innovation from very different angles?

The area of “mobile payments” has garnered a lot of attention in recent years. The topics moved forward by big American players such as PayPal, and now strongly pushed by Apple, are arriving in the German-speaking world. ConCardis has shown a great openness to innovation. Targets seem to lie further apart when it comes to traditional B2B companies.

To what extent do you find the financial industry willing to fundamentally question established business practices and move toward new digital business models?  More…

Michael Hehn

Corruption Trak: “At CODE_n we met a lot of people and realized the giant we are dealing with which also forced us to rethink our strategy…”Corruption Trak: “At CODE_n we met a lot of people and realized the giant we are dealing with which also forced us to rethink our strategy…”

Michael Hehn: Hello Ishan! On CODE_n 2012, you were the participant who traveled the longest distance to Hannover. Could you please tell our readers from where you came, and which idea you brought with you?

Ishan Agrawal: We came all the way from Singapore to CeBIT for CODE_n 2012. We had been working on a not-for-profit to fight corruption in India. We call it Corruption Trak. It is a technological solution to the menace of corruption. People can report cases of corruption by filling up a simple short form to talk about details of corruption incident. We then try to channel this data to the relevant authorities so that action can be taken on these reports.

Corruption Trak with Johanna (CODE_n Team)

Corruption Trak with Johanna (CODE_n Team)

MH: Your platform is easy to use, and it is without controversy that corruption is a major problem. Still, the number of submitted reports is not very high so far. Do you have an explanation for that?

IA: The bigger the problem the tougher it is to solve, and a problem like corruption involves dealing with the government as well as educating the citizens. At CODE_n we met a lot of people and realized the giant we are dealing with which also forced us to rethink our strategy. Instead of going right in and publicizing the platform for getting more reports we have decided to gain strong support first, with external organizations and the government agencies of India, so that we can make full use of the reports on our website. We want to close the loop with people reporting and their reports being heard and acted upon instead of us just being a data collection tool, which by itself would be great as well though. After CODE_n we are spending our efforts towards this goal, so hopefully in the near future you can expect some interesting news from us.

MH: I was crossing the Russian-Mongolian boarder by train this year. For me it worked without problems, but others reported later that they were more or less forced to to buy a $10, worthless “health insurance” to get the stamp in their passport. Later I found several blog posts mentioning similar incidents. How could Corruption Trak help here?

IA: As I mentioned earlier, the scale of the problem is too big to tackle all at once. Once our tool is used to its full capacity Corruption Trak can certainly help in the case mentioned. A case reported could be acted upon by the local authorities or at least make the problem known and evident, thereby forcing the authorities to take some action.

MH: Only very few countries are nearly corruption-free, according to Transparency International´s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index. Are there plans to start your service in additional countries and help fighting corruption also there?

IA: We definitely are thinking of keeping ourselves as a globally used tool as the technology itself is generic enough for its international use. We will open our versions for other countries as soon as the time is right and we find the right people to take this movement forward in their own country.

MH: Corruption Trak is non-profit. How do you cover your costs, p.ex. for hosting or for event participations like CeBIT?

IA: Being students comes with its perks. Our school has been supporting us so far and the rest has been our own expenses. We think even if we have to spend some from our own pockets, it is worth the change that we want to see. It’s a small price to pay for all the possibilities that Corruption Trak brings with it. That being said we are looking at a more sustainable approach to go forward. We think the key is to focus on our relationships with other organizations for support.

MH: Did you profit from the huge media attention for your project during CeBIT to find partners? Can we expecting major news in the next couple of weeks/months?

IA: We definitely did. Although our main market is India and the press has more been in Europe, it has benefited us in validating the concept and we have gained a lot of credibility and trust when the media from different parts of world appreciated and praised our efforts and the product we are building. It definitely was a great start for building all of our future relationships.

We have been quietly working these months, and we are expecting some results soon. We would definitely inform the amazing CODE_n community first thing of any exciting news that is worthy sharing.

MH: Are you able to balance both the Corruption Trak project and your career plannings? I think you were students when developing the platform, but are about to start working (or even already did so).

IA: It has been the toughest thing definitely. I am still in school while my other 2 co-founders have started working full-time. I think we still are able to take time out to work on Corruption Trak out of our sheer passion and hope to see things change. I wish I had the luxury to work on it full time, but we have been trying our best. Definitely having 3 people in the core team helps, as we can distribute work and leverage on everyone’s networks.

Ps: We really miss being at CODE_n and all of the wonderful people we met there!!

MH: Thank you Ishan! Hope to see you again soon. 🙂Leider nur in Englisch verfügbar!

Janina Benz

Jakob Schreyer: “We’re incredibly surprised at how fast things have gone… But it’s important not to place too much value on press limelight and first successes. So 2012 will no doubt be full of suspense for us.”

Jakob is orderbird’s CEO and also one of our CODE_n finalists. We are very happy that we got the chance to ask him some questions regaring the status quo of orderbird’s development.

Janina Benz: Can you give us a quick overview of who you are and what orderbird does?

Jakob explains orderbird App to Dr. Philipp Rösler (Federal Minister of Economics and Technology)

Jakob Schreyer: It was Bastian’s idea – he’s our founder and product manager. His job at the time – working out in the field with cash register systems – together with his love of Apple products was the ideal combination for getting things started. We hope to become the primary ordering and payment platform in the restaurant and catering business. The first step involves creating an iPad cash register system for the industry, the second step involves developing a platform for directly connecting diners, further services, etc.

JB: How many restaurants currently use orderbird?

JS: A year and a half after founding the company in the heart of Berlin, orderbird AG has grown to become a company with 27 employees and over 350 satisfied customers throughout the German-speaking countries.

JB: Where are you focusing your strengths, individual restaurants or going for the big chains?

JS: At the moment, we’re still concentrating on individual restaurants. In the mid-term, we’d definitely like to reach both target groups though.

JB: How do you regard orderbird’s success? More…

Janina Benz

Matthias Lamberti: “There are very few things I would actually have done differently, apart from maybe publicly releasing the letter I sent to my bank at the time to cancel my contractual relationship. ;-)”

Matthias Lamberti is founder and manager of yavalu, a financial platform for effective asset management. The yavalu team also participated in the CODE_n contest and was selected by the jury as a top 10 finalist. We met Matthias for a face-to-face interview at the CODE_n headquarters in Stuttgart.

JB: Leaving a position as asset manager in a large corporation to start your own business was a big step to take. What inspired you to establish yavalu?

Matthias Lamberti (CEO yavalu)

ML: You’re right, it certainly was a big step – and absolutely the right decision. The financial industry is set to change dramatically in the next few years. With yavalu, we want to play an active part in shaping this change and in finally giving customers control over their finances and investments again. I worked for many years in risk and asset management myself, and in the end, I was incredibly disillusioned and disappointed in the poor quality of service provided and the prevailing practices in the industry. The longer I worked in the field, the more I became convinced that it was possible to consult people properly on financial matters; to help them understand the issues and charge fair prices, all with the aim of giving them control over their finances and investments. This was my motivation.


Janina Benz

mytaxi: “The media coverage was particularly impressive. Days after CODE_n, people were still blogging, tweeting and posting about myTaxi.”

Now that a month has passed since CeBIT took place, we were curious about the CODE_n12 Award winner, and asked the team at myTaxi what they’ve been up to since the trade show. MyTaxi’s marketing manager, Mareike Bruns, and location manager for Hamburg, Fabian Mellin, are no doubt familiar to most of our readers because they accepted the prize at the CODE_n Award Show. We interviewed the two of them and asked about their personal impressions of CeBIT.


Gerhard Müller (E&Y), Ulrich Dietz (GFT), Mareike Bruns & Fabian Melling (myTaxi)

Janina Benz: CODE_n took place about a month ago. The press coverage of the finalists and visitor interest in CODE_n exceeded all expectations. What hopes and ambitions did you bring along to CeBIT four weeks ago?

myTaxi (MB): The CODE_n Award offers startups the unique opportunity to present themselves to professionals and specialists on an international stage. We wanted to use this innovative framework to effectively position our young business venture in the media limelight and establish important contacts. Of course, our ultimate goal was to take home the prize, but none of us seriously thought we would.

JB: Looking back, how would you describe the 5 days spent at CeBIT?

myTaxi (FM): myTaxi attracted overwhelming attention. Interested end users, bloggers, journalists, investors, even politicians came by our stall to find out more about the app. This not only met our expectations but exceeded them by far. The week in Hanover was simply amazing! Not to mention the fantastic atmosphere in Hall 16 and the amazing support of the CODE_n team.

JB: Having won the CODE_n contest, we’re dying to know what you’ve done with the trophy?

myTaxi (MB): The trophy survived the move to our new location and has been given a place of honor in the office with a view of the Elbe.

JB: What happened after CODE_n? Were any of the contacts or stimuli immediately fruitful? Have any of your plans progressed faster as a result?

myTaxi (FM): Definitely! The many interesting discussions we had allowed us to exchange ideas that have directly affected our day-to-day work. The media coverage was particularly impressive. Days after the trade show, people were still blogging, tweeting and posting about myTaxi.

JB: A Facebook group has been established for the CODE_n Community, allowing members to continue the exchange of ideas among participants. How important do you consider this networking within the startup scene?

myTaxi (MB): The startup market moves ahead at breakneck speeds. At myTaxi, we don’t intend to miss the boat on new opportunities. Successful exchange and networking among startups is essential for this. CODE_n offers just the right platform to ensure this takes place, allowing startups to keep their finger on the pulse of fast-paced innovation.

JB: Apropos startups: A few days ago, we heard reports that the Berlin-based company Taxi Pay is working with the Viennese software firm FMS/Austrosoft to release an app. What do you make of this new competitor? Are they producing a very different type of product or is it an obvious copycat?

myTaxi (FM): We haven’t tested the app yet, so we can’t really make an assessment. myTaxi was the first app to hit the market, making it the pioneer of taxi apps. Actually, we’re pleased that myTaxi has been so well-received and even inspired other service providers. What makes us so different is the fact that we don’t have a control center. myTaxi is independent, transparent and distinctly individual. We establish a direct connection between driver and passenger that allows both parties to get in touch with each other. Passengers can view the driver’s profile details, complete with a picture, and review the ride in the end. The evaluation at does not affect the order process when calling for a taxi, so good performance reviews do not directly affect the individual drivers.

JB: Time is really marching on for you guys. What kinds of things can we expect from you in the coming months?

myTaxi (MB): All kinds of things! We plan to relaunch the myTaxi app at the beginning of May. You can look forward to great new features combined with a new design, new functionality, and a whole new user experience. Internationalization is also at the top of our priorities list, but we can’t reveal which cities are next in line for our service – that’s top secret. 🙂

JB: Thanks for the interview. We wish you continued success and the best of luck


Janina Benz

Michael Melzig: “The intercompany teamwork between colleagues from GFT, Red Bull, Milla & Partner, Deutsche Messe and Ernst & Young was stellar. “Michael Melzig: „Das Teamwork mit den Mitarbeitern von GFT, Red Bull, Milla & Partner, der Deutschen Messe und Ernst & Young war super.”

Janina Benz: Hello Michael, could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

Michael Melzig: I’ve been with Fujitsu since 1999. Last July, I joined the central marketing department and entered a new role as senior product marketing manager. Throughout my time at Fujitsu and my previous career, I’ve worked in a variety of sales and marketing roles in fields including broadcast media, telecommunications, financial services and IT. Variety is extremely important to me professionally – having the right mixture of activities is the key to staying motivated. When I’m not working, I enjoy car and bike racing.

JB: At CeBIT, you were everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Where does your professional remit begin and end?

Michael Melzig

MM: In the central marketing department, I’m responsible for two areas: business client solutions and managed mobile services. My job includes localizing campaigns and adapting them for the German, Austrian and Swiss markets. I’m also the press contact for these two areas, a role which occupied me a lot at CeBIT. In addition, I was the Fujitsu technical partner to the CODE_n12 contest.

JB: In your work for Fujitsu, you visit a lot of trade shows and are more than familiar with the hustle and bustle associated with such events. Looking back on CODE_n12, was it a unique experience or just one of many?

MM: For me, CODE_n12 was a remarkable experience. It set new standards, and posed new challenges for me. The intercompany teamwork between colleagues from GFT, Red Bull, Milla & Partner, Deutsche Messe and Ernst & Young was stellar. I’d like to thank everyone for their support. The seamless collaboration was what made it possible to implement the project so quickly. More…

Janina Benz

Looking back at CODE_n: PR and social media success at CeBITCODE_n Rückblick: PR und Social Media Erfolge auf der CeBIT

The first ordinary working week after CODE_n has come to an end – and we survived it! At first it was difficult getting back into the day-to-day office routine. We missed the comfortable sneakers, the constant activity, and of course the Red Bull. But most of all, we missed the CODE_n community. Over the five days of CeBIT, the collective enthusiasm for the initiative led to a true symbiosis between the organizational team, the partners and the finalists. There was even a real sense of belonging – let’s call it the CODE_n spirit!

Hanover is now far away again, and we’re all back in the office as usual. We launched into the CeBIT follow-up work right away on Monday. What successes did CODE_n achieve? Were the finalists satisfied? What can we do better next time?
CODE_n’s media resonance at CeBIT was sensational and exceeded all of our expectations. We haven’t received all of the press clippings yet, but so far, we’ve recorded press activity in 16 countries totaling a reach of over 51 million media contacts.
But what does this actually mean? Looking at German print publications alone, we were featured in 130 articles in newspapers and magazines with a total publication of 13 million copies!


CODE_n: Media Coverage at CeBIT 2012

IT and Internet savvy is something practically every CeBIT visitor has. So we appealed to the social media skills of our finalists and encouraged them to tweet along with us. With an average of 107 tweets per day, CODE_n seriously rocked the Twittersphere!

CODE_n wasn’t just one of the most popular hashtags, it was also one of the most discussed and most frequently mentioned topics. In terms of Twitter popularity, we even outranked a number of big players. So we’d like to say thank you to the Twitterati for making this possible – you’re stars!


Selected publications:

National Press:


ZDF heute




International Press:

Computerworld (USA)

techweek (Spain)

Executivos (Brazil)



Die erste Arbeitswoche nach CODE_n ist geschafft. Anfänglich war es schwer, wieder in den Büroalltag zurückzufinden. Wir vermissten die bequemen Turnschuhe, den regen Trubel und natürlich das Red Bull. Doch am allermeisten fehlte uns die CODE_n Community. Während der fünf CeBIT-Tage hat die kollektive Begeisterung nicht nur eine Symbiose aus Organisationsteam, Partnern und Finalisten, sondern auch ein echtes Zugehörigkeitsgefühl entstehen lassen – ich nenne es einfach mal CODE_n Spirit!

Hannover haben wir viele Kilometer hinter uns gelassen und sind wieder zurück im Alltag angekommen. Am Montag ging es dann zügig los mit den Nachbereitungen der Messe. Welche Erfolge konnten wir mit CODE_n erzielen? Waren die Finalisten zufrieden? Was können wir beim nächsten Mal besser machen?
Die Medienresonanz zu CODE_n bei der CeBIT war sensationell und hat all unsere Erwartungen übertroffen. Zwar sind noch nicht alle Clippings bei uns eingetroffen, aber bisher konnten wir schon Presseaktivitäten in 16 Ländern sowie eine Reichweite mit mehr als 51 Mio. Kontaktdaten verzeichnen.
Doch was genau verbirgt sich hinter einer solchen Aussage? Ziehen wir als Beispiel die Resonanz in den deutschen Printmedien heran, dann sprechen wir von 130 veröffentlichten Artikeln in Zeitungen und Magazinen mit einer Gesamtauflage von 13 Mio. Exemplaren – wow!


IT- und Web-Affinität gehören zu jeder Grundausstattung eines CeBIT Besuchers. Aus diesem Grund haben wir an die Web 2.0-Versiertheit unserer Finalisten appelliert und sie motiviert, aktiv mit uns um die Wette zu twittern. Mit durchschnittlich 107 Tweets pro Tag haben wir es tatsächlich geschafft, dass CODE_n die Twittersphäre gerockt hat.

CODE_n war nicht nur einer der meist genutzten Hashtags, sondern auch gleichzeitig eines der meist erwähnten und diskutierten Themen. Damit konnten wir sogar zahlreichen Big Playern den Rang ablaufen. Ein großes Dankeschön geht dabei an alle fleißigen Twitteristi, welche mitgeholfen haben, dies zu ermöglichen – ihr seid spitze!

Anbei noch ein paar ausgewählte Veröffentlichungen:

Nationale Presse:


ZDF heute




Internationale Presse:

Computerworld (USA)

techweek (Spain)

Executivos (Brazil)