Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Celebrating one year CODE_n SPACES – opening of 14 new offices planned for January 2017

Some of you celebrated with us last week – it’s been one year since the opening of our CODE_n SPACES. And the first 12 months proved: space to do some serious digital pioneering is rare and sought after! That’s why GFT decided to extend the CODE_n SPACES innovation campus by setting up 14 further offices in the building right next door.

img_9971At CODE_n, the world never stands still. One year CODE_n SPACES confirmed just that. It was a year in which the CODE_n team, digital startups, innovation teams of international companies and managers with entrepreneurial experience moved and settled in. A year in which all of these residents enjoyed the value of a dynamic, lively network and quite a few good parties, just like the one for our first birthday.

And we’re moving further along: so far being integrated into the new GFT Corporate Center, the CODE_n SPACES are now being extended into the neighbouring building, adding a combined total floor area of 10,000 sq meters in January 2017. Located in Stuttgart’s Fasanenhof, the SPACES couldn’t be positioned any better: near the airport, near the highway, the underground right outside the door taking you directly to the city center.

“We were among the first residents in the building and having offices just a stone’s throw from the airport has done wonders for our image. The offices at CODE_n are the ideal complement to our main office in Ulm, which is where our senior managers and IT experts work,” states Dr. Helmut Mahler, former CIO of a major automotive company and founder of the cyber-security firm Code White.

Why should my startup move in?

Being a resident at the CODE_n SPACES means becoming a part of a complete ecosystem. Industrial partners, mentors, universities and other startups all belong to our worldwide CODE_n network. Access to extensive resources, a helping hand and a shoulder to rub with are factors that are given at any time. Where else would you find networking opportunities and valuable know-how so easily? More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Your working environment can boost productivity and creativity! Lessons from Google and Facebook

First they revolutionized the way we work, now they change the spaces we work in. Leading tech companies like Google, Facebook or Amazon completely transform our work life at the Their working environments are urban legends: something between a theme park and incubator for digital pioneers. Either way it sounds like a lot of fun! Which is great, as the happiness of employees is proven to increase productivity by 31% and creativity by a factor of three. Enough reasons to further investigate the perfect office surrounding. What does the perfect working environment look like?

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Edina Mezildzic

Co-working spaces vs. own office – the benefits and disadvantages of shared office spaces

When you run a business, there are a lot of decisions to be taken into account. One of the most important ones is where and how you want to work. The options are countless: Your own couch, the coffee shop around the corner, a fast-food restaurant, mom’s living room – basically any place, where you can get internet access may be a possible office. But sooner or later, you might think about setting up an office at home, renting one or join a co-working space. But this decision shouldn’t be made lightly! While co-working spaces and own offices can provide a long list of benefits, both of them also have their disadvantages. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Co-working spaces vs. own office – the benefits and disadvantages of shared office spaces

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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

CODE_n SPACES Residents | CODE2ORDER: Digital Service Platform for Hotels and their Guests

Our CODE_n SPACES Resident CODE2ORDER started out with developing a software for restaurants, now they’re deep into the hotel industry. Their product allows guests to access information related to their trip or make use of hotel amenities – all through their smartphones. We talked to Patrick Luik, one of the three founders, about the initial idea, the current status and how they ended up in our CODE_n SPACES.

Patrick Luik

Patrick Luik, Founder of CODE2ORDER

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

Patrick Luik: Digital communication between hotels and guests currently only takes place before and after a guest’s visit, not during their stay. That’s why we’ve developed a service and marketing platform that bridges the gap between all three of these phases. The platform allows guests to access information related to their trip (guest maps, points of interest, etc.), or even make use of hotel amenities like room service, the hotel shop, feedback tools, and more – all through their smartphone, and without having to install a special app. Everyone wins with this solution, the hotel and the guest.

And who’s your solution for?

Patrick Luik: Our solution is aimed primarily at hotels that are looking to offer their guests better, more digital services. It doesn’t matter whether the hotel has 30 rooms or more than 15,000 rooms (chains, for example). Secondly, the solution is also for hotel guests.

What made you think of the idea? And what made you set up the company?

Patrick Luik: Our original idea was actually something entirely different. We initially developed a solution for the restaurant industry. After some time, we swapped tables for rooms and it unlocked a whole bunch of possibilities and ideas within the hotel industry, which we’re now also following up on closely and implementing. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Best creative thinking techniques – 3 tips to generate great ideas and how to put them into a business model

An innovative idea is the starting point of every new business. The new product solves an existing problem or brings a whole new world of possibilities for the industry. However, we all have experienced that identifying the problem is only the first step on the long road to an innovative solution. This road called ‘generating a great idea’ is paved with many creative and strategic challenges. But no worries – there are also as many techniques for creative thinking and business model development to guide you through this road. Whether you are about to launch a startup or update your existing business model, we’ve got you covered with a selection of the best three creative thinking techniques. Get inspired by them!

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Edina Mezildzic

CODE_n SPACES Residents | Refine Projects: Lean prinicples with tiny Post-it notes – big style!

Meet our CODE_n SPACES resident, Refine Projects! Methods knowledge paired with innovation and operative implementation power – that’s just how Refine adds sustainable value to its customer’s projects. We talked to CEO and founder Bülent Yildiz to discover how the Refine team uses Post-it® notes and Legos to structure complex projects and make them more efficient. Read on to learn more about how the company was founded, how the construction industry has been turned on its head, and about the challenges they faced in finding just the right team.

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

Bülent: We reduce complexity in projects worth millions – all with the help of Post-it® notes and Legos. Manufacturing in construction projects is so efficient these days, it’s like the automotive industry 60-80 years ago. Back then the automotive industry produced products without prefab units, without production systems, and without concentrating on added value. Therein lies the problem as we see it, and for us at Refine, therein also lies the solution.

Then there’s the trend that anyone who watches the news will spot: These days, 70% of all projects go over schedule and budget – even up to 200% over budget. We tackle the complexity of managing thousands of individual processes on dozens of projects. We simulate project flows with Post-it’s and create project delivery systems for our customers. This hands them a tool for lean project management. We’re consultants but we’re also instructors on lean construction.

And who’s your solution for?

Bülent: We focus on one-off projects in the construction industry, but our solutions are also applicable to complex, cross-industry projects. Our customers include large corporations like Stihl but also smaller to medium-sized local construction companies, as well as bricks and mortar businesses like the Mondi Group. More…

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…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

CODE_n SPACES Opening Party: Exceeding all expectations

There’s been lots of talk lately about our CODE_n SPACES, what with the whole startup community picking up pace in Stuttgart, our first residents moving into our new location and last, of course, the official opening. Needless to say this called for a party, so we called upon Southern Germany’s innovative community with overwhelming results: tickets went like hot cakes! They were out of stock three days before the RSVP-deadline. 120 guests representing corporations, startups and press, came to celebrate the CODE_n SPACES inauguration with us.

Fair enough, you might think, but why Stuttgart? Let’s get real on the facts: Stuttgart, placed on rank 16 in the European Digital City Index 2015 (that’s right!), not only is home to our GFT Corporate Center, but also to a thriving industry with a lot of huge global corporations, such as Daimler, Bosch or Züblin. Big names, all attending our party last Thursday! The guest list also included VCs, law firms and – of course – startups.

What we’re especially proud of is the fact that we were able to welcome nearly every single startup initiative of Stuttgart to our CODE_n SPACES Opening Party! Bundesverband Deutsche Startups, was there, just as well as Business Angels Region Stuttgart, e.V. and Startup Stuttgart, to only name a few. This sums up how well established the connections in Baden-Wuerttemberg really are; we feel and are surrounded by a true entrepreneurial spirit.

Naturally, visitors got to have a look at the already occupied office space and overall workplace of our residents: The IT security experts Code White with their founder Dr Helmut Mahler, CODE_n Alumnus parkpocket as well as Refine Projects in addition to Dr Bernd Bohr (a consultant from the automotive field, and among other things, a member of the supervisory board at Daimler AG and Knorr-Bremse). The list of residents (and therefore party guests) has recently been enhanced by CODE2ORDER, digitalizing services for restaurants and hotels. More…