Filiz Sarah Gärtner

“Karlsruhe is motor of digitization and hotspot for digital pioneers”

You want to know why your startup should settle down in Karlsruhe rather than Munich or Berlin? Who better to speak to than Matthias Hornberger – board member of our new.New Festival supporter Cyberforum and CFO of Kizoo – who knows the city better than anyone else. In this interview, we also took the opportunity to talk to Matthias about his opinion of many more aspects, like the way the tech scene has changed over the years or his advice for startups fishing for venture capital.

Matthias, you are CyberForum’s Chairman of the Board, and CFO of Kizoo Technology Capital, an investment company with a focus on digital startups. Which advice do you give a startup fishing for venture capital?

Matthias: Build a great product disrupting a large addressable market with a clear focus and a strong, tech-oriented team. Swing for the fences! The business model of venture capitalist does not allow for investments into small target markets or products far away from having true customer impact. (A solo entrepreneur also does not fit the ideal profile. Especially in tech startups, teamwork and complementary skills are absolutely necessary).

Matthias Hornberger, CFO, Kizoo Technology Capital GmbH

Matthias Hornberger, CFO, Kizoo Technology Capital GmbH | Fotograf: Christian Ernst

Talking process, preparation is key. Create an equity story convincing enough not only for the upcoming round, prepare a crisp pitch deck and then strive to get `warm` introductions. This significantly increases the chance to earn a shot at the can, a date to present personally. Know your counterpart before you enter the ring and – if you lose the bout – hang in there. Stamina is the most important character property of entrepreneurs – young or old. More…

Accenture

Guest feature Accenture: Digital individual

When standardized work is increasingly taken over by computers, it is individuality and creativity that enable us to do truly meaningful work. This offers huge opportunities to the individual – we can now choose how to shape our careers, we can structure our work more flexibly, and our talent, ambition and ingenuity are the keys to success.

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Pamela Maruschke, Managing Director at Accenture

Looking back at the beginnings of my career, I am amazed at how rapidly this change has progressed in the course of just a couple of years. When I started my first job 16 years ago, little did I assume that I would end up at a consulting company. Building fancy slides was not really my thing, what I wanted to do instead was to work hands-on by implementing software for different customers. I believed that the best way to achieve this was in a traditional software business, so I started work for a software vendor in the telecommunication industry after my studies. In the early 2000s telecommunications companies were moving towards a more client-focused business and were far away from a digital one. Some of my most challenging projects took place during this time. One of them was the biggest customer care and billing implementation at a larger mobile operator. I was part of the ‘war room’ experts who managed and monitored this migration in a 24/7 shift over days. After this huge project, I worked in other implementation projects as an expert in the field. Working for software vendors gave me a wide range of experiences around the end-to-end project cycle while always being dedicated to the software that needed to be implemented.

After quite some internal struggle on whether this was all there is, I decided to dare the leap into the consulting world in 2004. And what an experience it was. I jumped straight ahead into an assignment in Moscow, in an expert role. Suddenly, I was confronted with the slides I dreaded so much, in a city so unlike what I was used to. While it did indeed take me some time to adjust to things, my work proved more rewarding than before. In the years to come, I had the pleasure to work in countries such as South Africa, the Nordics, the UK and Switzerland. I got to know different cultures that immensely enriched my life. As I was always working hard and travelling a lot, this forced me to be quite strict when it came to my personal life and quality time management. Establishing travel rituals and ensuring to re-charge my energy level were key to handle the challenges I had to face in my work environment. Sports has always been a part of my life, therefore there is nothing better than a great mountain bike ride in summer and an intensive snowboard run in winter to get my energy level back and my mind clear for new tasks that lie ahead. The more challenging the ride, the better I feel. More…

BMBF

Guest feature | What makes photonics disruptive?

“Photonics 4.0” is one out of four themed clusters on the agenda at this year’s CODE_n new.New Festival. The German photonics community is taking advantage of the occasion to meet up there at the “Photonik Strategie Forum 2016“. The sector is expecting a wide selection of input on the subject of the digital transformation at the start-up festival.

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(Quelle: VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH)

The international photonics market generates annual sales revenues of around 350 billion euro and is expected to grow to around 615 billion euro by the year 2020. But what is photonics? Photonics is derived from the word “photon”, which is the light particle, and electronics. The term photonics is used for technologies which generate light, control it or harness it for our use.

These typically include high-power lasers which can cut effortlessly through metal sheets measuring several centimetres in thickness. Or super bright LEDs in car headlights which illuminate the road in every situation perfectly using an intelligent sensor system. This also includes various types of high-precision optics which are used in lifesaving imaging techniques and microscopes, which are installed in compact smartphone cameras or which look into the depth of space as eyes of telescopes.

When we encounter the science of photonics in everyday life, it is often “visible invisible”. And yet it is essential for many aspects of life in our modern digital age. This is particularly significant in the case of the Internet. Only with an almost infinite number of short light pulses in fibre optics our gigantic volumes of data actually can be transported around the entire globe. More…

Stadtmarketing Karlsruhe

Guest feature | 15 Reasons to Choose Karlsruhe

What many people associate with Karlsruhe are the Federal Court of Justice, the Federal Constitutional Court as well as the city’s soccer team, the Karlsruher SC. Being a young and innovative city, Karlsruhe has so much more to offer to its inhabitants and visitors, though. Check out the following 15 reasons (there are many more, of course) why Karlsruhe is the perfect location to visit or settle down:

1. Karlsruhe offers 3,240 square kilometres of space for ideas.

Karlsruhe is one of Europe’s most prosperous technological centres. And if you happen to have a good idea yourself, more than 10 advisory centres for startups can help you transform your idea into a viable business with a sustainable future.

22. We prove every day how well this actually works.

Karlsruhe is Baden-Württemberg’s strongest economic region and ranks among the top ten economic centres on a national basis. And that is of course great for the people of Karlsruhe, too, because at 4.7 %, the unemployment rate is among the lowest in Germany.

Illustration Bundesverfassungsgericht3. What makes Karlsruhe a “secret capital”?

Everyone in Germany knows that Karlsruhe is home to the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Court of Justice. But how many people realise that there are other key national institutions here, such as the Max Rubner Federal Research Institute for Nutrition and Food, or the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute?

4. So you like swimming?

Then why not take a dip in one of Karlsruhe’s twelve indoor or outdoor swimming pools, or one of more than 20 recreational lakes in the region? Or do you prefer to keep your feet firmly on dry land when it comes to sport? Then you could take advantage of our excellent network of cycle tracks or simply go jogging. No less than 60 % of the city area is green and the Hardt Forest begins just beyond the market square.

5. The fan-shaped layout of the “Fächerstadt” makes for a beautiful cityscape.

And you will need a fan yourself, because Karlsruhe enjoys warm, Mediterranean-like summers! With 1691 hours of sunshine, it is the fifth sunniest city in Germany. The balmy summer evenings will tempt you to linger at one of the many restaurants, cafés or bars that give the city its southern flair. More…

Svenja von Bartenwerffer

Guest feature | Karlsruhe – here is where the tech startups are

Karlsruhe is excited to welcome the CODE_n new.New Festival including this year’s 52 finalists of the startup contest. The whole city is known for influencing the industrial history of the German southwest – not only by inventing bicycles and cars some decades ago, but also by shaping today’s digital transition. The universities located in Karlsruhe combined with one of Europe’s highest density of ICT-SMEs involved in research and development and quite a few renowned research institutes produce a unique number of interesting emerging startups, especially in the field of hightech and ICT. Unsurprisingly, two of the 52 CODE_n finalists are from Karlsruhe.

We would like to introduce some of the most promising young companies based in the “Fächerstadt” to you:

CODE_n finalist otego – revolutionizing the sensor market

otego is poised to be the first manufacturer of low-cost thermoelectric generators (TEGs) that are suitable for mass use. By avoiding batteries in IoT devices, otego TEGs are a sustainable solution for harvesting energy using wireless sensors and actuators. otego aims to sell its generators directly to sensor manufacturers and smart home OEMs. To achieve this, the team is setting up its own production line (capacity 1 million TEGs per year) and is already in regular contact with many potential customers.

CODE_n finalist Kinemic – gesture control at a new level

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. Kinemic 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.

ArtiMinds Robotics – redefining the way of robot programming

ArtiMinds fills the gap between autonomous and self-learning robots and classical industrial robots by providing software that is widely applicable and specialized in extremely fast and intuitive generations of complex, sensor-adaptive motion programs for robot arms, grippers and tools. This allows the industrial use and application of robotics even for varying processes and products and small production lots.

More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Don’t miss out! 5 reasons why you need to come to the CODE_n new.New Festival on Sep 20-22

In times of digital transformation, it is more important than ever for companies to keep up with trends and stay proactive. Don’t you sometimes wish you had a crystal ball to see what’s going to be the next big thing for your industry? Visiting our new.New Festival can almost feel like having that power: the festival is all about innovation and will uncover current and future developments of digital transformation. Here are 5 reasons you won’t want to miss the event!  

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More…

HPE

Guest feature | IoT platforms as the fundamental element of new service models in connected mobility

When establishing the connected mobility ecosystem, the industry should learn from the experience of the telecommunications industry. A proof of concept with a BMW i3 has demonstrated the transferability of these concepts to the car. They lay the ground for a rich service ecosystem which has space for many profitable business models.

BMW i3 | Copyright: Sabine Schulte

BMW i3 | Copyright: Sabine Schulte

IoT platforms are the future control centres of the data- and service-driven mobility world. They will connect all stakeholders in the digital value chains and monitor and control vehicles with all their functions.

A prerequisite for this is openness. The platform must be able to communicate with the vehicles and their bus systems via different media and protocols. Another requirement is a federal structure of the service marketplace. The IoT platform brings together data and services from the vehicle and its environment. It also provides data and services to other service providers – all safely, reliably and in compliance with any data protection standards.

Finally, it takes features that transform data into commercially viable services – this includes, for example, device management, the use of various telecommunications providers, collection and analysis of data streams, application development and the integration of external and internal application landscapes.

IoT platform in practice: proof of concept with BMW i3

These characteristics can be found in technologies which are used by the telecommunications industry. This industry has many years of experience with the extremely high demands of managing millions of networked devices and their services. In order to demonstrate how these technologies can be employed in connected mobility, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and automotive engineering services company IAV implemented a proof of concept (PoC) which is currently being extended with several carmakers. The PoC was implemented with a BMW i3, which was equipped with bidirectional IoT Gateways based on an HPE Edgeline server, and HPEs “Universal IoT Platform”. More…

Christian Birnesser

Guest feature | Digitalization: 11 reasons why Karlsruhe is ready for the future

Digital solutions are finding their way into all areas of life and work. With this digital transition, we are seeing disruptive technologies present the old economy with staggering challenges. Entire industries are being forced to redefine themselves from one day to the next – and traditional business strongholds are following suit. Christian Birnesser from our CODE_n new.New Festival partner Cyberforum has summed things up for us in a feature called 11 reasons why Karlsruhe is ready for the digital transition. And what kinds of things the city should focus on despite – or maybe because of – its terrific starting point:

1. Lead through IT

The “fan-shaped city” already got a head start in the race to introduce digital solutions. As a bastion of Germany’s IT industry, Karlsruhe is inherently digital: The region is home to roughly 4,200 IT companies providing 36,000 jobs. A 2014 EU study of the most important ICT hubs on the continent listed Karlsruhe as a frontrunner thanks to its strong foundation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – right behind metropolises like Munich, London, and Paris.

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(Image Source: KTG Karlsruhe Tourismus GmbH)

Where other locations have to start at square one, Karlsruhe already has a great footing. Now it’s important to keep up the momentum and not give out just before the finish line.

2. A new IT generation is up and coming

Karlsruhe is a college town with 43,250 students at 9 universities and schools of applied sciences. Nearly 20% of these students are enrolled in IT-related programs. The renowned faculties at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HsKA) attract talented students from all across the country. IT and informatics have never before been in such high demand: In the winter semester of 2015/2016, there were 730 first-year students enrolled in informatics courses, just at KIT alone. That’s more than were registered back in 2012/2013, when double the number of high school graduates headed off to college. So this is know-how that has come to be very important in the age of digitalization.

It might sound like a broken record but: Today’s students are the specialists and managers of tomorrow. If they can be attracted to stay put and not move away, that’s great for the local economy – for the long term.

3. Breaking ground for business

The fan-shaped city has cultivated a very attractive startup scene. There’s a good level of exchange and people meet up regularly at events like the founders’ BBQ. The support that’s on offer is also exemplary: The Center for Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship (CIE) is an ideal first port of call for business founders. It’s located directly on the KIT campus. With its CyberLab, the CyberForum runs its own incubator or accelerator especially for IT and high-tech startups. And both the city and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) are in a great position to offer consulting services. Beyond this, all key stakeholders have become involved in the network of founders in Karlsruhe. More…