Nadine Korany

The secret’s out – these 52 finalists will be celebrating the digital disruption at the CODE_n new.New Festival in September

Over 380 young companies from all over the world applied for one of the four contest clusters under the overarching theme of ‘Digital Disruption’; now the best of the best have been chosen. The 52 finalists from 11 different countries will be travelling to Karlsruhe in Germany this autumn to present their digital business solutions at our new.New Festival, to potential customers, investors, mentors and visitors. Early bird tickets are available as of today.

“From Israel to Germany and over to the U.S., the young startup businesses represent an exciting spectrum of digital solutions in the four contest clusters: Applied FinTech, Connected Mobility, HealthTech and Photonics 4.0,” says GFT CEO and CODE_n Initiator Ulrich Dietz. As different as these four clusters might sound, they all have one thing in common; representing areas in which the digital revolution will take place – quickly, thoroughly, disruptively – changing our lives forever. Wonder what that future might look like? Our CODE_n Finalists of 2016 have the answers and while we will introduce all 52 startups in detail soon, we decided to present some exciting handpicked examples first!

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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

How can startups and corporates successfully collaborate? Best practices with business incubators, accelerators and partnerships

Many reasons why startups and corporates seek collaboration are clear: startups benefit from funding, expertise as well as from a business and sales network, while large corporates profit from startups’ innovative power, operational speed and creativity.  A large percentage of corporates stated that they require startups to enable innovation for their business. In an equal collaboration, the vital effect of startups for the innovation process of big companies meets the need of startups for a powerful patron. But when new and established businesses come together, they most likely face challenges like a culture clash or the struggle of control and independence. However, equal and successful collaboration is possible! Find out how with the best practices in incubations, accelerations and partnerships.

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Nadine Korany

Leverage your startup in the field of Photonics 4.0 – Apply for the CODE_n CONTEST. Now!

We know that your startup will take digital transformation to the next level. Light and its many applications have already revolutionized our society, industry and environment. Especially the transformation into the Industry 4.0 would not be possible without the technologies provided by Photonics 4.0 – such as advanced laser systems, image processing, and optical sensors. With light applications as key enabling the technologies of the future, the 21st century will depend as much on photonic innovations as the 20th century depended on electronics. Its vital importance already manifests in the vast growth of the photonics industry between 2005 and 2011, which doubled more than that of the worldwide GDP.

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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

CODE_n SPACES Residents | blickshift: cutting-edge eye tracking technology

Meet our CODE_n SPACES Resident blickshift! The spin-off from the University of Stuttgart develops software for efficient analyses of the eye movement behavior. Their product, in short, enables the automotive, marketing, and gaming industry as well as the usability research to develop new applications and services based on eye tracking technology. We talked to Michael Raschke, one of the three team members of blickshift about his vision, entrepreneurship in general and the decision to move into our CODE_n SPACES:

Let’s start out with the obvious: Can you explain, in lay terms, maybe with a couple of nice examples, what exactly you do?

Michael: Sure. Imagine you’re interested in finding out how people actually read an illustration in a newspaper. So you show ten people an illustration and ask them a question about it; then you draw their eye movements. A handful of standard techniques already exist for this type of analysis, and, in principle, you can use them as they are. But the moment you need to analyze the information in more detail and find out how specific individuals looked at the illustration, or whether there are groups of people who tend to look at it the same way, these techniques show their limitations. Or it takes an eternity to evaluate just a small experiment. We’ve developed a solution that sidesteps these disadvantages, allowing for extremely efficient eye movement analysis involving a large number of people. In essence, it’s based on the use of big data analytics in combination with highly interactive visualization techniques.

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And who’s your solution for?

Michael: One example would be the car market. Imagine a situation like this: You’re driving down a road and you get to a really busy intersection with lots of people in cars and on motorcycles, and even pedestrians. And then there are road signs and traffic lights. Car companies want to know about drivers’ eye movements in such situations, so that they can evaluate them and adapt their driver assistance systems to better match the driver’s perceptions. The idea is to warn drivers about dangers they may not have noticed or perceived properly. So, for example, there might by a pedestrian who’s just about to cross the street and was almost overlooked. Car companies, their suppliers, and research institutions are carrying out tons of eye-tracking experiments on this at the moment.

This involves recording the eye movements of between 50 and 100 people in different situations, then analyzing the results and translating them into driver models that can be applied to vehicles further down the line. The analysis takes up a huge amount of time.
If you think about semi-automated or even fully automated driving, which the carmakers tell us will happen, they won’t just have to evaluate 50 or 100 guinea pigs, they’ll have to evaluate thousands, if not tens of thousands – just to allow for the development of extremely reliable driver assistance systems. Where we come in is when it comes to efficiently evaluating data from as many test drivers as possible, with just a few clicks of the mouse. At the moment, lots of things have to be done manually. Data has to be exported out of one application and imported into another. Lots of programs have to be written just to answer specific questions. This takes up a huge amount of time, so it’s very expensive. Also, it’s easy for errors to creep into the analysis. Our startup offers a solution to such problems. More…

Nadine Korany

The race is on! The CODE_n16 startup competition is now open for applications!

As the CODE_n16 CONTEST contest kicks off, we are once again seeking the world’s most innovative startups and ground-breaking business models. This year’s focus fields include FinTechs, Photonics, Mobility, and Health. Don’t miss your chance to become one of the 50 CODE_n CONTEST Finalists and benefit from free exhibition space during our CODE_n new.New Festival this fall. Not only will this be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet digital disruptors and outstanding entrepreneurial personalities, but the winner of the CODE_n16 Award – to be announced during a spectacular show – will receive prize money totaling €30,000. Interested? We have all the information you’ll need on the four CONTEST clusters and how to apply.

important dates 2Let’s start at the beginning. Your company was founded in 2011 or later? Perfect. With that you’ve already cleared the first hurdle. What we’re looking for are startups with ground-breaking new hardware or software solutions, IT applications, or IT-based business models that fit in with the overall contest theme: “unveiling digital disruption.” It’s not important that your innovation is already available on the market.
What’s mainly relevant is that your business model relates to one of the four focus topics of this year’s CONTEST: Applied FinTechs, Connected Mobility, Photonics 4.0 or HealthTech.

Applied FinTechs powered by GFT: from machine learning and robotics consulting to smart living through to Blockchain

Banking can seem like such a dry topic, but don’t be fooled: Financial solutions are based on new thinking, new technology, all put together in a clever way, which, in many cases, are a lot closer to the customer than you might think. Applied FinTechs, as we call these solutions, have been of particular interest to the CODE_n initiator and cluster representative GFT. The company recognized early on that fresh ideas from the outside make it much easier to stay at the forefront of technological (r)evolution.

Machine learning, robo advisory – there are many terms to describe how we automate financial tasks that were formerly in human hands. Maybe your startup knows how to become even better at this? Perhaps your business model is related to smart living and works to create a better customer journey, perhaps it’s were FinTech meets the Internet of Things, or perhaps you work with predictive analytics or the personalization and dedication of services. Or maybe you even have a business model based on blockchain technology. Any of these ideas are welcome in the Applied FinTechs cluster.

Connected Mobility powered by HPE: smart ecosystems for digitalization – from manufacturing to utilities and transportation

When thinking of Connected Mobility, a number of application scenarios come to mind: with aspiring ideas, buzz words like smart city or smart homes have become part of our everyday lives. And yet, there is still so much potential to make our lives easier and more connected. Our new partner and cluster representative Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has come up with a global IoT program, featuring markets such as manufacturing, automotive, logistics and transportation, as well as utilities. However, as a big company with more than 250,000 employees, it’s not always easy to be as flexible as a startup. Knowing that innovation is key, they have found a solution for this – they’re more than open to building strong partnerships, underpinned by collaboration and support: developing new innovative technologies – together. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

CODE_n SPACES: Tobias Rehberger designs “Super Duper Studio” for digital pioneers

What are spray cans, colorful adhesive tape and a giant mirror doing inside GFT’s headquarters? Artist and sculptor Tobias Rehberger, who designed the innovation hall at the first CODE_n CONTEST at CeBIT 2012, has now turned his attention to the SPACES, the latest element in the CODE_n ecosystem. In our interview, he reveals his concept for the design of the space in which startups and established companies from the Stuttgart industrial zone will network in the future. High-profile managers move into the second story of the building; the first floor is reserved for digital pioneers who may have groundbreaking ideas, but who still need space and vital contacts. The CODE_n SPACES are set to change this.

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Mr. Rehberger, this isn’t the first time you’ve worked with CODE_n. For the first CONTEST, you designed a trade fair concept that was intended to stay around for a few days and draw attention. With the SPACES, you are now creating a permanent area for young companies. At the same time, the startups are only staying for a finite length of time. What was the idea behind the design of the first floor?

Rehberger: The rooms may be permanently occupied by startup companies, but it’s primarily about flexibility and improvisation; the ability to change something quickly. When I think of startups, I don’t think of carefully planned and organized workflows, in which the next step is already pre-defined. Instead, I’m creating spaces here for people for whom exactly the opposite occurs: Spaces where they can improvise, where they can invent, where they can respond quickly to different situations. This is why we also have the garage element, the unfinished feel.

In the entrance area, the slogan on the mirror is quite eye-catching: Super Duper Studio. The checked pattern on the walls spans the entire floor. What’s behind this?

DSC_0508Rehberger: In the 1960s and 70s, there was a group of architects from Italy called Superstudio. They developed superstructures with Utopian constructions that covered entire landscapes. These architects used the check pattern as their trademark, because their ideas came from a checked sheet, the draft pad of an architect. This superordinate thing, this superstructure that takes over everything, it matches the philosophy of a startup very nicely. When you’re founding a company, you’re ready to give some things up: The work, the passion for what you do, overtakes all other areas of your life. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Can London Tech Startups Step Out Of the Shadow of Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley is a magnet for startups seeking investment. Its “cool” image is attractive to young entrepreneurs seeking to make their fortunes. The influx of these billion-dollar wannabes is reminiscent of the California gold rush in the 19th century.

Venture capital firms on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California, have investment reserves that exceed many countries’ GDPs and there are more VCs and angels scattered across the Bay Area than anywhere else in the world. This may make Silicon Valley look like tech’s El Dorado but London’s streets are still paved with gold.

Source: istockphoto.com, © alice-photo

Source: istockphoto.com, © alice-photo

Government support and US big businesses boost London tech scene

Much is made of the lack of investment money in London. Financial support is improving as the UK’s capital city establishes itself as Europe’s foremost tech startup zone. The British government has played a large part in this and has encouraged large US tech companies to set up incubators and accelerators which offer cheap, or even free, accommodation for startups during the vulnerable period when they are establishing themselves.

This vote of confidence from the American mega-companies is beginning to make London more competitive but, to exert any real pressure on Silicon Valley, there still needs to be a greater pool of funding to support later stages of company development, enabling startups to mature and stand a better chance of thriving. According to Tech City, a government funded initiative to support the UK’s startup ecosystem, the money available is increasing annually and has grown tenfold since 2010 to $1.4bn last year. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Guest article | EY: Changing the face of driving

Driverless car Budii was a magnet for the crowds at CODE_n, providing a rare opportunity to see what the autonomous vehicles of tomorrow might look like.

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Peter Fuss, EY Senior Advisory Partner Automotive for Germany, Switzerland and Austria

While many manufacturers are still at the drawing board stage with such cars, Swiss ideas factory Rinspeed has already given concrete form to its concepts. Budii, developed with the support of EY, is a self-driving, electric-powered Sport Utility Vehicle with a robotic arm that hands the steering wheel to the human driver or front passenger as desired. Its software compiles data from its surroundings, its own “experiences” and those of other vehicles along its route in order to make intelligent and intuitive decisions.

Provoking debate

Seeing such a vehicle “in the flesh” at CODE_n brought to life many of the practical, social and ethical issues associated with autonomous driving. And this, said Peter Fuss, EY Senior Advisory Partner Automotive for Germany, Switzerland and Austria, is precisely its role. More…