Lisa Flieg

Sina Gritzuhn: “One main reason startups fail is because the team crumbles”

Germany has an international reputation for successful industry and traditional products, many of which it has been honing and perfecting for decades. The startup scene has been coming more and more out of the woodwork recently! This new flurry of activity is not just limited to the German capital, however. The German startup ecosystem is quickly sprouting roots in areas many hours’ drive from Berlin and it’s turning out to be quite diverse. “There are some exciting German startups and they’re not just based in urban areas or ‘hotspots,’ they’re all over the country.” Sina Gritzuhn has now joined forces with her co-founder Sanja Stankovic to turn up the spotlight on the outer reaches of German entrepreneurship, where she believes the media are not doing enough to tell people all the great things that are going on.

We decided to speak to Sina about their vision of improving the visibility of the regional startup scenes in Germany and easing accessibility. Sina also took the opportunity to reveal what drives her and who it was who provided her with so much personal inspiration when it comes to entrepreneurship! She also has three tips for business founders – a treasure trove of experience with the definitely-do’s of successful startups.

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Iris Bröse

Guest feature bitkom | Get Started Founders’ Breakfast with Winfried Kretschmann

The startup ecosystem in Baden-Wuerttemberg is certainly alive and kicking, and it has expanded continuously in recent years. We’re organizing a startup breakfast on October 27, 2017 in Stuttgart to take a closer look behind the scenes of startup policymaking and politics in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg (BaWü). Our guests at the Get Started Founders’ Breakfast will be Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann, Caroline Dabels (founder of AmbiGate), and Sebastian Wagner (founder of Geospin).

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Lisa Flieg

“Open dialogue is a must”: Eileen Mandir talks about setting up agile teams at moovel

Eileen Mandir played a pivotal role in the first stages of setting up agile project management and self-organization at Daimler. From 2012 onward, she provided the input of a transportation expert before shifting into the role of Head of Product & Lab in 2014 at what was then called Daimler’s “mobility brand”: moovel. The project was then spun off into a standalone subsidiary, a kind of corporate startup living by the principles of day-in day-out innovation and born with the DNA of agile working. Eileen’s role was to develop the moovel platform and keep it moving forward. The goal was clear throughout: to develop a mobility platform that would become the most popular app and companion for traveling around in German cities. Eileen now works as a freelance coach and consultant, advising a variety of clients – from startups to major corporations, travel companies, and regional authorities – on the topics relating to digital business models in the travel and transportation industry. In parallel to this, she also coaches clients on leadership and innovation.

We spoke to Eileen about her exciting work at moovel, a unique opportunity to hear first-hand about the challenges that arise when setting up and organizing agile teams. Eileen was also willing to share some of her insights into and lessons learned in leadership and hiring agile teams. Enjoy a paramount example in corporate innovation.

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Lisa Flieg

“It’s all about Darwinism and survival”: fintech feature part 2 with Blockchain HELIX, Kantox, and fino digital

In part 1 we promised you that we still have more expert opinions in the pipeline, ready to discuss the future of banking and finance and what it holds for us! In the prelude, Nordic hotshot meniga suggested that banks face a real risk of losing their position of power as players like snapchat or WeChat enter in disguise – along with giants like Amazon and thousands of emerging fintechs. However according to meniga, a CODE_n alumnus, making digital banking a drastically better environment as well as gathering speed in providing a top-notch user experience could be a lifeline that allows banks to keep pace with the emerging competitors. What do other players think? Three additional visionary fintechs predict where the digital disruption of the banking and finance sector will lead. But be prepared – they don’t offer easy answers!

CODE_n in a conversation with the CEOs of Alumni Blockchain HELIX, Kantox, and fino digital.

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Laurent Kinet

Guest feature | Alumnus Swan Insights: our bird is soaring with Bisnode Group

Since its participation in the CODE_n CONTEST in 2013, Swan Insights quickly matured from a fledgling into a majestic bird, and is now part of the Bisnode Group.

Swan Insights’ mission was to use data science to turn information into insights. By capturing the value contained in publicly available information, the Swan.business platform contextualized data to provide business users with real-time insights that truly matter. Marketing, sales, and human resources executives can use the technology to improve their performance on a daily basis. From the massive amounts of unstructured text deluging the internet each second, the technology separates the wheat from the chaff by applying NLP and disambiguation techniques, coupled with extreme matching of individuals and organizations. One of the first startups to dive into this subject – which has since gone mainstream – Swan Insights also investigated business value by applying network science, especially social network analysis. Fun fact: Swan stands for Social Web Analysis.

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Ljubow Chaikevitch

Guest feature TTI | Startup or a permanent position – what should students choose?

Excellent engineers and computer scientists in Germany are awash with offers from big businesses these days – with ever better salaries, great work-life balance, company cars and other incentives, students are being hired right out of the classroom.

Nevertheless, there are people who choose a different path: starting their own companies. They want to bring their own ideas to market, delight their customers, make the world a better place. I am currently working with just such an entrepreneur at TTI Stuttgart GmbH, the startup center of the University of Stuttgart, and interviewed him about his attitude and his motives. Harald is 35 years old, a father of two and, after his PhD, decided to go for his startup ScatterBlogs instead of secure employment. Together with Harald, we shine a light on the opportunities and challenges of a startup straight out of college.

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Lisa Flieg

Jani Penttinen of Alumnus Transfluent: “Success will be defined by the people around you”

The world is becoming smaller every day, not just because of the amazing technological advancements of recent decades, but also because of the way the internet and the digital revolution are eradicating physical and spatial barriers. Things taking place on the other side of the globe suddenly feel like they’re right next door to us – if only those language barriers weren’t still in the way. The CODE_n alumnus Transfluent was founded in the belief that all companies should have an easy way to become global and communicate with their customers in the local language. The conviction of the Finnish startup morphed into a leading translation provider with a global team and solutions that bring them to the forefront of innovative technology. We spoke to the CEO and founder Jani Penttinen about the things that make his business model unique and the journey towards becoming a global, rapidly expanding enterprise. Jani also divulges a couple of personal tips on setting up a successful team and how he successfully pulled together 800k through the crowdfunding platform Invesdor. And that was just the prep work before the planned IPO gets underway! Jani also tells us about the up-and-coming startup scene in Finland.

 

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Anna Shaposhnikova

Guest feature | Transmetrics interview on Physical Internet shaping the future of global logistics

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the logistics industry. Innovation in the space has never been greater with new technologies like driverless trucks, artificial intelligence, delivery drones, smart infrastructures, collaborative platforms, and the industrial internet of things transforming the global logistics supply chain. Finally, an industry once criticized for being slow to embrace new ideas is getting recognized as the leading edge of how technology can solve real-world problems.

A great example of this is an initiative being pioneered by Prof. Dr. J. Rod Franklin known as the Physical Internet. It’s an idea focused on the physical realization of the digital internet to create an open global logistics system of physical, digital, and operational connectivity that will change how goods are moved anywhere in the world. As futuristic as the idea may be, according to Prof. Dr. J. Rod Franklin, it’s not a lack of technology that’s preventing the Physical Internet from becoming a reality today. What’s needed is a new mindset by the players in the industry.

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