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

“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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Lena Gaede

Promising tech startup hubs worldwide: Belgium – a buzzing hub of entrepreneurship! Strengths and weaknesses of Belgium

Center of political power and great waffles: those are pretty much the first things that come to mind, when thinking of Belgium. Could be worse, right? But there’s more to Belgium than just that! In fact, Belgium ranks fifth in Europe for its number of fintech deals. Entrepreneurs benefit from the country’s contrasts and mixture of languages and cultures.

As Frederik de Witte, co-Founder of CODE_n Alumnus FleetMaster (formerly ivips), said,

“Belgium is a great country to build business critical software. The complexity of the country (tri-lingual, multiple government and legislations, …) and customer base (people expect state-of-the-art software that is tailored to their needs) results in the development of highly scalable, highly flexible solutions. As a result, we easily meet the requirements of multinational rental and lease companies that adopt FleetMaster today. This is quite unique and a direct result of our geographical origin.”

So, let’s have a deeper look at Belgium’s diversity. What exactly is it about the European capital that attracts young visionary minds? Let’s check out Belgium’s strengths, weaknesses and special powers as a promising tech startup hub!

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Lisa Flieg

“Bring lots of enthusiasm and perseverance”: Alumnus SpinDiag shares lessons learned in finding investors

Some exciting news from the CODE_n Community! When we read the story at the end of last month it was nothing short of phenomenal. One of our alumni, the HealthTech startup SpinDiag, has just drummed up €1.6 million in seed capital. The team plans to use the funding to roll out its revolutionary point-of-care screening system for antibiotic resistance and conduct initial trials in hospitals. The HealthTech startup has been working on its novel solution since 2016, following a spinoff from the Hahn-Schickard R&D institute. The system could potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives, thanks to a simple screening test that can ascertain in as little as 30 minutes if a patient is carrying drug-resistant bacteria and thus requires treatment in isolation from other patients. Introducing the screening systems to hospital wards could drastically reduce mortalities resulting from germs: Colonization and infections can be detected immediately and positive patients treated in isolation, thus preventing the transmission of drug-resistant bacteria in the long term. We spoke to the team about the seed funding initiative and asked them what tips they would give to startups. Of course, we were also dying to hear about their plans!

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