Rob Rijkhoek

Rob Rijkhoek (Greenclouds): “Never underestimate the impact of winning the CODE_n Award”

Rob Rijkhoek - Marketing Manager at Greenclouds

Rob Rijkhoek – Marketing Manager at Greenclouds

Rob Rijkhoek, Marketing Manager at Greenclouds, registered the company for the CODE_n13 contest with its theme: Smart Solutions for Global Challenges. After an intensive selection, Greenclouds came out on top amongst 250 participating companies from 35 countries – all young companies that had submitted digital business solutions related to the transition to alternative energy sources. Why Greenclouds succeeded?

We entered this high profile contest to share our idea and spread our word within the ICT industry. Our idea is simple; actively re-using excess IT capacity or underutilized resources. Peter Zonneveld and Michel Korpershoek founded Greenclouds in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 2009, as the answer for the growing over-dimensioning of IT capacity worldwide. Research by McKinsey & Company says it all. It shows resource utilization level in typical enterprise data centers vary from five to 10 percent, while still consuming energy. More…

Janina Benz

Reunion with CODE_n13 alumnus Daniela Schiffer from Changers

Daniela (Changers) with Felix, Johanna and Elke (CODE_n Team) f.l.t.r.

Daniela (Changers) with Felix, Johanna and Elke (CODE_n Team, f.l.t.r.)

Yesterday we welcomed Daniela Schiffer – co-founder of Changers and CODE_n13 winner – in our office in Stuttgart (Germany). Seven months after CeBIT we were curious what has happend in the meantime.

In our interview with Daniela we talked about her experience at CeBIT, the busy time after the trade fair show managing all the media requests, why saving energy can be fun, especially with a hip product and an active community involved. In the past months Changers doubled the number of sold products and increased the community engagement through gaming mechanisms. The team is busy finding new partners and is working on new distribution concepts.

Find the whole audio interview below.

René Klein

Crowdfunding – Raising the Bar for Business Angels and Venture Capitalists

Following the Fall 2011 launch of crowdfunding on the Seedmatch and Innovestment platforms, this new-fangled financing instrument also took to the stage at the CeBIT trade show this year. Topping the bill at the event were two business startups, Changers.com and carzapp, the two recipients of coveted crowdfunding services from Seedmatch at the CODE_n contest. Both young companies have already reaped the rewards of crowdfunding: carzapp successfully revved up 363 investors with its concept and attracted capital worth €250,000. As Changers.com prepared to lower the curtain on its funding drive on May 2, 2013, it had 151 small investors offering a total of €80,750. In both cases, investors within the “crowd” participate via an equity-like shareholding loan (a German “partiarisches Darlehen”). Accordingly, every investor is entitled to a share of the startup’s commercial success.

René Klein - CEO of www.fuer-gruender.de

René Klein – CEO of www.fuer-gruender.de

The usual approach taken on other platforms is based on classic “dormant equity” holdings. The German Efi think-tank (the Expert Commission on Research and Innovation) looked closely at this area for its 2013 annual expert report, concluding that, “In the opinion of the expert commission, equity-based crowdfunding could play an increasingly important role [in the future], especially during the early-stage financing of startups.”

This is also underscored by recent data from our crowdfunding monitor issued on March 31, 2013. In the first quarter of 2013, seventeen startups attracted no less than €1.8 million via crowdfunding platforms. The total value of all 67 funding rounds conducted to date in Germany is thus more than €6.5 million. There are a whole host of platforms for startups to choose from, with Seedmatch, Innovestment and Companisto topping the list of larger platforms. More…

Janina Benz

CODE_n13: Startup Contest @ CeBIT 2013 (Case Film)

Europe’s leading startup event CODE_n presented the 50 hottest startups from all over the globe. More than 250 startups from 35 countries applied to be part of the CODE_n Community live at CeBIT 2013. This video shows the highlights of five days full of entrepreneurial spirit and our 50 finalists which exhibited at CeBIT in hall 16!

Janina Benz

Key success factor crowdfunding – CODE_n initiates live funding at CeBIT

The bestowal of the special crowdfunding award at CeBIT was a big success. Why did we do it? Because even the best idea or the most innovative product does a startup absolutely no good if it doesn’t get out there, to the people. It takes money to get the word out. And financial means aren’t always easy to come by, especially considering the ever-increasing demands associated with implementing new technologies. In fact, preparing market-ready products eats up much more of startup budgets today than it did just a few years ago. It has been getting more and more difficult for small, young companies to get their hands on the capital needed to see their ideas take off. We wanted to introduce our finalists to a new topic, and show them yet another way to find potential investors: crowdfunding .

Crowdfunding describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. It can also refer to the funding of a company by selling small amounts of equity to several investors.

A lot of people asked us how this cooperation came about. We wanted to offer our finalists the opportunity to familiarize themselves with crowdfunding opportunities. That’s why we turned to Jens-Uwe Sauer. He was a member of the CODE_n jury in 2012, and, as Founder and CEO of the German crowdfunding platform, Seedmatch, he brought a world of expertise to the table. Just what we needed for our little endeavor.

Working together, we came up with the idea of hosting a live crowdfunding event, right at CeBIT. According to Jakob Carstens, Head of Marketing at Seedmatch, the winners were selected according to very specific criteria:

“In our selection of the startups for the special crowdfunding award, we sized up t More…

Paula Cizek

Congratulations to the CODE_n13 Winners!

After months of deliberation, we are proud to announce the winners of the second annual CODE_n contest! Changers.com won first place in the Startup category, and GREENCLOUDS took first place in the Emerging Company category; each received prize money amounting to €15,000.

Although the two company serve different customers, their commitment to cleantech solutions is clear. Changers, based in Berlin, has developed portable solar-powered chargers for smartphones and tablets. The chargers measure the amount of CO2 that has been saved and convert it to “Changers Credits,” which are posted to the online community and can be exchanged for sustainable products and services. The Netherlands’ GREENCLOUDS has developed a technology platform that makes idle resources in data processing centers to others, which allows companies to create a new source of income while reducing the data centers’ carbon footprints.

CODE_n13 Award Show

CODE_n13 Award Show

The contest was highly competitive from the beginning: of the 250 companies from 35 countries that entered, just 50 finalists were invited to exhibit at the CODE_n hall at CeBIT. “We found selecting the winners was a very difficult task,” stated Ulrich Dietz, CEO of GFT and initiator of CODE_n. “Many of the finalists caught our attention with their exceptional business models addressing the energy transition.”

In addition, carzapp and Codeatelier were recognized with special prizes sponsored by the international automotive supplier, Continental, the newest partner to CODE_n. carzapp, based in Berlin, operates a private carsharing platform through which anyone can make their car available for rental, while Burgstetten-based Codeatelier has developed Homee, an app that allows users to control a variety of devices in their home. The companies will share a show booth with Continental at the international automobile show IAA in Frankfurt, as well as receive mentoring from experienced innovators.

Changers and carzapp are continuing their winning streak this week with additional awards: just yesterday, these two companies won a special crowdfunding prize at CODE_n. From now until May 5, private investors with a bank account in Germany can visit seedmatch.de to buy shares in the companies starting at €250. In total, both companies have a chance to earn up to €250,000 in venture capital.

If you’re at CeBIT, we encourage you to stop by our both and congratulate the winners and the other finalists; they’ll be at Hall 16 until Saturday. Congratulations once again to all who participated!

To read the associated CODE_n press release please click here.

Laura-Marie Schneider

Audio Interview with CODE_n finalist Rob Rijkhoek of Greenclouds

Since cloud computing is one of the hot topics at CeBIT, we didn’t want to miss the chance to talk to one of our cloud experts, GREENCLOUDS. The CODE_n finalists from the Netherlands developed a system that aggregates idle cloud resources, enabling organizations to buy and sell cloud capacity.

In his interview, Rob Rijkhoek, marketing manager of GREENCLOUDS, explains where he sees cloud-based technology in the future and speaks about GREENCLOUDS’ impact as a green company.

Janina Benz

Audio Interview with Daniela Schiffer from Changers.com

On the third day of CeBIT, we arranged an interview with Daniela Schiffer, co-founder of Changers.com. Changers.com is the first marketplace for private carbon emission trading. Founders Markus Schulz and Daniela Schiffer are very passionate about their startup: they want to motivate millions of people to produce their own energy, stop global warming, and increase the awareness of the impact of how our behavior affects society.

Interview with Daniela Schiffers from Changers.com

Interview with Daniela Schiffers from Changers.com

In the Soundcloud interview, we talk with Daniela about Changers, how hard the startup business can be, and why she thinks that there should be more female entrepreneurs.