Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Community Life from Germany

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Not a lot of people like to deal with insurance issues. A fact, of which the team of Community Life was aware of, too. Reason enough for the Frankfurt based FinTech to design really easy to understand key protection products that people can get completely online. Founder Claudia Lang (Phd) told us more about the idea behind Community Life.

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Dr. Claudia Lang

Claudia, what is Community Life GmbH all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Claudia: I was on the board of a life insurance company, so know the industry from the inside. What I saw more and more was that people are not happy with insurance companies. They know that the right insurance protection can be important, but they would prefer going to the dentist to filling out an insurance application. They think: “I can’t understand it, so I can’t trust it, all that paper stuff and then the insurance salesman monopolising my couch.” So we decided to tackle all of that and make it better. That is why we designed really easy to understand key protection products that people can get completely online. Customers have a secure portal on which they can change information about their policies and see their entire transaction history, including phone calls and chats. And we disclose how we earn our money because openness is an important part of trust. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: egoHEALTH from Italy

eh_logoIn the western world it is estimated that, each year, about 40 billion US $ are spent for the treatment of hospital infections which nevertheless cause 140,000 more deaths. Isn’t it great to know that our CODE_n CONTEST Finalist egoHEALTH has a solution to this? After a long research, they came up with a wearable device which, without any new duty from the Health Professionals, will contrast hospital acquired infections. Founder Gabriele Messina, a doctor himself, told us more about his startup:

What is egoHEALTH all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Gabriele: Sometimes the hospital nature to solve health problems, paradoxically turns into a vehicle of infection. The medical literature has proved the importance of fighting hospital infection to reduce both the health damages of patients (clinical complications and mortality) and healthcare costs due to increased patient’s length of stay and treatment. The treatment of nosocomial infections is increasingly complex and costly, even for the development of resistant microorganisms. The problem is particularly severe for the elderly, infants and debilitated subjects (transplants, invasive surgery, etc.) and immuno-deficient people. In the western world (USA and EU-28), having a population of around 800 million people, it is estimated that, each year, about 40 billion $ US have spent for the treatment of hospital infections which nevertheless cause 140,000 more deaths.

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All things that come into contact and are shared between health staff and patients are possible carriers of infection. Nosocomial infections are often due to inadequate and shallow management of cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting and sterilizing processes. The operators’ hands are the main vehicle of germs/viruses transmission and cause of hospital infection. The stethoscope is the most known portable instrument in the medical field and is frequently used by doctors and nurses for the auscultation of diagnostic sounds. It has been demonstrated that stethoscopes are contaminated as the hands of health operators, but while there is a lot of concern for disinfecting the hands, for example disinfectants ‘distributors attached on walls, there is no attention for stethoscopes. Yet the stethoscope head is always in contact with the patient! The stethoscope membrane can easily carry germs/viruses/fungi from one patient to another and/or from doctor to patient and it requires disinfection before each new visit. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Bank4You / TaxFree4U from UK

VAT refund for purchases made in the EU – in a simple mobile and online way. What sounds too easy to be true, is what the solution of our next CODE_n Finalist Bank4you / TaxFree4U offers. Co-founder Dan Chernavski told us more about his startup and “banking without borders”.

What is Bank4you / TaxFree4U all about? How did you come up with the idea?

bank4you_logoDan: TaxFree4U is the VAT Refund for purchases made in the top shopping destinations in the EU (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain). The idea to create it occurred to me, when after my European travels and shopping I decided to get a VAT refund through one of the existing Refund operators. Just for the record, I didn’t manage to get it, because my declaration was incorrectly completed. Just imagine how angry I was having wasted more than 4 hours waiting, filling in forms etc. for nothing!

Today the world is going online and uses mobile technologies in daily life to save time. Therefore, I decided to develop a mobile VAT refund service – TaxFree4U – that allows you to solve 2 major issues: correctness of completing forms and saving time.

“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?

Dan: These days whole world lives in a rush and mobility is our main advantage. Applications and online services are in trend at the present day market, and it is because of their flexibility and possibility to save time for the client. TaxFree4U is the VAT refund service that suggests the minimal involment of the customer into any paperwork, and saves him/her from waiting in queues while getting the refund.

You’re one of the 13 finalists in the Applied FinTech contest cluster. Which challenges do you think young companies have to face in this sector? How do you handle these challenges?

Dan: Innovative mobile products demand that the clients get used to them and learn how to use them. All our clients are very busy with their daily life, and as they have to deal with great amounts of information each day, they have no time for filling in any details and forms manually, not to mention for standing in queues! We developed the simplest procedure possible than any existing one on the market for getting the VAT refund. All you need to do is to complete the 4 easy steps and you will receive up to 19% from the price of your purchases. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: fino from Germany

These days, even your bank account switch happens digital and runs off paperless. The next CODE_n finalist in our blog series – fino – offers a digital account switch service. By now, more than 80 banks are using fino’s service, which helps them in the on-boarding process of new customers. We talked to Florian Christ, founder and CEO of fino. In our interview, he tells us all there is to know about his FinTech.

fino_logoWhat is fino all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Florian: At the end of 2014, fino started with the idea to enable people switching an existing bank account to a new bank within a few minutes without any paperwork. During that time, an account switch to a new bank was only possible with a lot of paperwork for both the customer and the bank. After building the founding team of fino, the development for the digital account started in May 2015. In September 2015, just six months later, the first version of the digital account switch was ready for launch as a web and mobile solution. Today, two years later, the account switch service has been used by thousands of customers across Germany, helping them to move their old account to a new bank.

Meanwhile, more than 80 banks such as Commerzbank, 1822direkt, Wüstenrot and others are using the digital account switch of fino. The service helps banks in the onboarding process of new customers. Within that context, fino has developed a range of additional digital services in the past six months. All services were developed in close collaboration with banks. This includes a credit card and deposit switch application, as well as new processes for account opening and loan applications. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Kinemic from Germany

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Kinemic develops software to control and interact with digital devices – from smart watches, to smartphones, AR glasses, and PCs. All it takes is a few hand and arm motions. The CODE_n CONTEST finalist is currently developing its first finished products with major German enterprises. Later, the plan is to license the patented technology to OEMs and other software developers. Chosen for the Connected Mobility cluster and based in Karlsruhe, Founder Tomt Lenz and his team can call the new.New Fesitval they’re home game. Read all about the young company here:

What is Kinemic all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Tomt: Our main goal is to enable truly handsfree interaction with digital devices. Our gesture and hand-writing recognition technology is based on years of research at the university and we all saw the tremendous potential in the technology. There was also huge public, media and industry interest so it didn’t take that much brainstorming 😉

“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?

Tomt: Concerning the innovation part: One of our founders, Dr. Christoph Amma, invented AirWriting, a -so far- unique capability to enter text just by writing in the air. As to the disruption part: Currently there’s no way to easily integrate this input method or gesture control into any application and we’re planning to enable this.

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You’re one of the 13 finalists in the Connected Mobility contest cluster. Which challenges do you think young companies have to face in this sector? How do you handle these challenges?

More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Amparo from Germany

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Our CODE_n CONTEST Finalist Amparo focuses on simple but effective solutions for prosthetics in developing nations. Amparo‘s prosthetic socket will allow governmental and non-governmental organizations worldwide to provide services to more amputees and to extend their services with mobile outreach programs. We’ve talked to Co-Founder and Production Engineer Felix Dietrich about his young companies fascinating vision.

What is Amparo all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Felix: AMPARO is about empowering amputees. Amputation is an extremely impactful event in a person’s life, which involves not only overcoming physical challenges but psychological as well. Apart from readapting to a whole different lifestyle, amputees face the social stigma that confront people with handicap in our society, considering them as physically deficient/limited, incapable of performing certain tasks and economically unproductive. We have seen that prosthetic care is key to overcoming these challenges.

Throughout our field research, we realized that high quality products and services are constantly entering the market, however, 80% of the amputees around the world still do not have access to modern prosthetic products and services. In many instances, becoming an amputee can mean entering a poverty cycle.

AMPARO will change this! We aim to empower amputees all over the world to live their lives without limitations. Using human-centered design we are developing an alternative to traditional sockets that is a simpler, faster, more economic. This high-quality technology will help amputees across the world to walk again.

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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: LightFab from Germany

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LightFab produces prototypes and series of complex 3D glass parts from customer CAD data. Moreover, the German CODE_n CONTEST finalist (Photonics 4.0 cluster) sells machines to rapidly produce 3D glass parts using selective laser-induced etching (SLE). The LightFab 3D printer is also used for precision ablation, waveguide writing, internal glass welding, and two-photon polymerization. LightFab enables the mass production of 3D glass parts by scaling the SLE process with special high-speed modules. Jens Gottmann, one of the three LightFab Founders took the time to tell us more!

What is LightFab all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Jens: LightFab uses the photons from the fs-laser and the bits in a CAD-file to produce 3D glass things with revolutionary design freedom with the large precision and speed of the LightFab 3D Printer.

Starting about 2005 during our research time at RWTH Aachen University we experienced how the fs-lasers got rapidly faster (MHz) and more powerful (>100W) and it became clear to us, that we need faster digital beam moving systems to get the lasers’ power on the road. Thus, we developed a combination of 3D beam scanning system with micro focus including various modules for extreme high speed deflection. We demonstrated the scaling of the 3D glass printing process using our new high speed microscanner: With a tailored mass production machine we can produce 3D glass parts at costs only known from molded plastic parts. That was the time to bring this technology into the real world and to start LightFab.

The 3 founders and CEO of LightFab from left to right: Jens Gottmann (machines), Jürgen Ortmann (software & machine integration into production environment), and Martin Hermans (production of 3D precision parts)

The 3 founders and CEO of LightFab from left to right: Jens Gottmann (machines), Jürgen Ortmann (software & machine integration into production environment), and Martin Hermans (production of 3D precision parts)

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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: ioxp from Germany

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The augmented reality manuals, developed by the photonics startup ioxp, are step-by-step instructions from the point of view of the worker. Content is created by filming a correct procedure during actual work processes. The system of our CODE_n finalist extracts all explanatory information and allows adjustments to be made in post-production. The result is a multimedia instruction and assistance system. The system also uses hand tracking to recognize if something is executed incorrectly and subsequently issues alerts. We’ve talked to Co-Founder Alexander Lemken about the details of his solution:

What is ioxp all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Alex: The ioxp system enables industrial workers to teach, learn and assist with the help of Augmented Reality. Using latest machine learning techniques and computer vision technology, our system understands new working procedure from video observation. A worker can use the system to get assistance or training for the procedure in the form of step-by-step instructions, for example shown as Augmented Reality an data glasses.

The idea was born at the DFKI (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence). The basic impulse behind the idea is the desire to bring newest technologies to areas where they most benefit. Our technology allows Augmented Reality to play an important role in industrial work processes and actively makes work easier for industrial workers. Our systems take Augmented Reality out of the show rooms and marketing sector and give it into the hands of industrial workers. More…