Felix Jansen

Interview: CODE_n Alumnus tado° Is Taking the Next Step

In 2013, tado° was among the finalists of the CODE_n CONTEST. Since then, the Munich-based startup has become a fixed feature in the international smart home market. In our interview, CEO Christian Deilmann speaks about the Internet of Things (IoT), the role startups play in the IoT market, and his experiences with CODE_n.

Felix Jansen: Hi Christian! Deloitte recently released a market forecast stating that by 2020, one million households in Germany will be using smart, networked sensors and devices. That’s three times as many as today. How does your company see the market at the moment? Are we really about to see a breakthrough in smart homes?

Christian Deilmann: Everyone talks about smart homes, but if you ask some follow-up questions you discover that a lot of people don’t really know what the term means. Smart homes always involve a certain degree of complexity, and customers don’t yet know exactly how they will benefit. With tado°, we’re focusing on one specific part of the home, the heating system, because it accounts for most of the household energy consumption. Our smart heating controls let us show customers the precise advantages of networked products: they lower costs and are better for the environment while at the same time increasing comfort.

In the world of technology, at the moment hardly any phrase is bandied about more than “the Internet of Things.” Can it live up to the hype?

We’re all certain that in the future, all important aspects of our lives will be tied up with the digital world. This will lead to the creation of much better products, an entirely new customer experience, and a service industry which wouldn’t be possible without networking. Examples include networked cars, which make car-sharing programs possible, or smart thermostats, which save energy when no one is home or heat less when the sun is shining. Everywhere we look, online products will replace the offline products, making many aspects of our lives much easier.

Christian Deilmann

This area is being pushed by major players such as Cisco, Microsoft, etc. What role can startups play in this broad field?

More…

Janina Benz

Meet the CODE_n13 finalists for: Renewable Energies & Energy Storage

For a succeeding energy transition it’s of great importance not only to generate renewable energy but also store energy in an efficient way. The finalists of Renewable Energies & Energy Storage concern themselves with these topics. Meet Bluerise*, Greenergetic, Helioz, PROSOL Invest*, SOLARBRUSH, Solarkiosk, st.a.r.-systems* and Yunasko.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Greenergetic - Florian Meyer-Delpho

Greenergetic – Florian Meyer-Delpho

_______________________________________________________________________________

Helioz - Martin Wesian

Helioz – Martin Wesian

_______________________________________________________________________________

SOLARBRUSH - Ridha Azaiz

SOLARBRUSH – Ridha Azaiz

_______________________________________________________________________________

Solarkiosk - Andreas Spiess

Solarkiosk – Andreas Spiess

_______________________________________________________________________________

Yunasko - Andrii Buvailo

Yunasko – Andrii Buvailo

___________________________________________________________________________________

*As soon as we receive the questionnaires of Bluerise, PROSOL Invest and st.a.r.-systems they will be found here as well.

Janina Benz

Meet the CODE_n13 finalists for: Carbon Footprint & Sustainability

Carbon footprint became a buzzword of the 21st century. It acts as an indicator for sustainability. The innovations of our finalists in this field help to have a better eye on the carbon footprint and therefore offer an opportunity to reduce it. Have a look at Carbon Control, EcoChain, ecotastic, Get-neutral, Opara, Sustainable Reference and TheGreenAge*.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Carbon Control - Darragh Kirby

Carbon Control – Darragh Kirby

_______________________________________________________________________________

EcoChain - Boudewijn & Jochem Mos

EcoChain – Boudewijn & Jochem Mos

_______________________________________________________________________________

ecotastic - Anna Yukiko Bickenbach

ecotastic – Anna Yukiko Bickenbach

_______________________________________________________________________________

Get-neutral - Holger Rupp

Get-neutral – Holger Rupp

_______________________________________________________________________________

Opara - Gustavo Monteiro

Opara – Gustavo Monteiro

_______________________________________________________________________________

Sustainable Reference - Andy Bäcker

Sustainable Reference – Andy Bäcker

___________________________________________________________________________________

*As soon as we receive the questionnaire of TheGreenAge it will be found here as well.

Janina Benz

Meet the CODE_n13 finalists for: Smart Grid & Demand Management

Our finalists’ in the area of Smart Grid & Demand Management had some good ideas about how to tailor energy supply to demand. Check out Kiwigrid*, Luxoft, Tenrehte Technologies and Venios and learn more about their efficient innovations.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Luxoft - Sergey Bakulin and Dmitry Vilchinsky

Luxoft – Sergey Bakulin and Dmitry Vilchinsky

_______________________________________________________________________________

Tenrehte Technologies - Jennifer Indovina

Tenrehte Technologies – Jennifer Indovina

_______________________________________________________________________________

Venios - Jonas Danzeisen and Dr. Christian Köhler

Venios – Jonas Danzeisen and Dr. Christian Köhler

___________________________________________________________________________________

*As soon as we receive the questionnaire of Kiwigrid it will be found here as well.

Janina Benz

Meet the CODE_n13 finalists for: Smart Home

Home networking offers a comfortable way to save energy. Our finalists in the Smart Home category will show how this works. Welcome Codeatelier*, GreenPocket, Modern Wall, ROCKETHOME, tado° and WattioCorp!_______________________________________________________________________________

GreenPocket GmbH - Thomas Goette

GreenPocket GmbH – Thomas Goette

___________________________________________________________________________________

Modern Wall - Khaled Mouats

Modern Wall – Khaled Mouats

___________________________________________________________________________________

ROCKETHOME GmbH - Yüksel Sirmasac

ROCKETHOME GmbH – Yüksel Sirmasac

___________________________________________________________________________________

tado° GmbH - Leopold von Bismarck

tado° GmbH – Leopold von Bismarck

___________________________________________________________________________________

WattioCorp S.L.U. - Patxi Echeveste

WattioCorp S.L.U. – Patxi Echeveste

___________________________________________________________________________________

*As soon as we receive the questionnaires of Codeatelier it will be found here as well.

Janina Benz

Meet the CODE_n13 finalists for: Alternative Mobility Solutions & Electric Vehicles

A private car is still the dominating mean of transport, for sure most of you are a real proof for this. The alternative mobility solutions and electric vehicles respectively of our finalists in this category are not only resource-efficient but also entail a lot of other positive features. Meet: carzapp*, DeinBus.de*, e-volo, flinc, Green Transport Sàrl, Innovative Mobility Automobile GmbH, Organic Transit*, PlugSurfing, Selando and Skybus.

___________________________________________________________________________________

e-volo GmbH - Alexander Zosel

e-volo GmbH – Alexander Zosel

___________________________________________________________________________________

flinc AG - Michael Hübl

flinc AG – Michael Hübl

___________________________________________________________________________________

Green Transport Sàrl - Bernard Garcia

Green Transport Sàrl – Bernard Garcia

___________________________________________________________________________________

Innovative Mobility Automobile GmbH - Thomas delos Santos

Innovative Mobility Automobile GmbH – Thomas delos Santos

___________________________________________________________________________________

PlugSurfing GmbH - Adam Woolway

PlugSurfing GmbH – Adam Woolway

___________________________________________________________________________________

Selando GbR - Lars Schatilow

Selando GbR – Lars Schatilow

___________________________________________________________________________________

Skybus S.L. - Juan-Luis Sampedro

Skybus S.L. – Juan-Luis Sampedro

___________________________________________________________________________________

*As soon as we receive the questionnaires of carzapp, DeinBus.de and Organic Transit they will be found here as well.

Janina Benz

Meet the CODE_n13 finalists for: Urban Solutions

Intelligent networking of data and infrastructures gets more and more important especially in times of rising urbanization. Let’s welcome our finalists in the category of Urban Solutions: Optimale, panStamp and Lightbee.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Optimale - Peter Cheung

Optimale – Peter Cheung

___________________________________________________________________________________

panStamp - Daniel Berenguer

panStamp – Daniel Berenguer

___________________________________________________________________________________
Lightbee*: As soon as we receive the questionnaire of Lightbee it will be found here as well.

Janina Benz

Jennifer Indovina: “It takes more than just a strong personality to deal with the startup environment”

Jennifer Indovina is a cleantech entrepreneur, political energy advisor, and TED Fellow who is currently working to spread energy efficiency initiatives worldwide. Jennifer is the CEO and Co-Founder of Tenrehte Technologies, Inc., a cleantech company that produces wireless consumer electronics products. Tenrehte’s first product is the PICOwattTM Smart Plug, an energy-saving outlet adapter that gives you remote control over the power your devices consume. The PICOwattTM Smart Plug has received international recognition, winning the 2010 Best of CES Green Product Award, as well as being featured in the New York Times, Popular Science Magazine, Treehugger.com, and BusinessWeek. Jen’s latest TED talk, Eliminating Power Poverty, can be viewed online.

Janina Benz: Tell us about your company, Tenrehte.

Jennifer Indovina: Tenrehte is a cleantech electronics company. We make energy monitoring and control products that save buildings energy. We launched the company with our first product, the award winning PICOwatt Smart Plug, at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, and we’ve been moving full steam ahead ever since.

JB: In 2010, you were selected as a finalist in the Best Young Entrepreneur category for the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. In your opinion, what is the most important characteristic to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

JI: Self-awareness. I think the reason why it is so rare for an entrepreneur to be part of the right team, have the right product, and find the right market at the same time, is because the leader is not self-aware. It takes more than just a strong personality to deal with the startup environment: you also have to be passionate, fair, loyal, hardworking, and honest—first and foremost, with yourself.

JB: Do you think that entrepreneurs are born or made?

JI: I think it’s both. My family has the entrepreneurial spirit; my grandfather and father were both self-starters who were a part of their own startup companies. However, I also feel that I have been made into the entrepreneur I am today by my experiences. I have experienced triumph, failure, being powerless, being powerful, and feeling truly grateful for certain customers. Only because of these experiences do I feel worthy enough to call myself an entrepreneur.

JB: When working as Director of Marketing for Vivace Semiconductor, you led international teams based in the US, South Korea, and China. How did working with an international team change your process?

JI: Working with international teams at such a young age taught me how to blend into environments, to respect differences, and how to communicate effectively—the ultimate entrepreneur’s toolbox, if you ask me.

JB: What are your big expectations for CeBIT?

JI: CeBIT is the most incredible mix of international businesses; I expect this show will introduce incredible new opportunities. I am just so excited to spread the PICOwatt love all over the world.

Editor’s Note: We’ll be featuring some of our finalists on the blog in the weeks leading up to CeBIT, but their participation has no bearing on the contest results