Lisa Flieg

“HealthTech is going to change our society” | Former CODE_n residents from monikit talk about their high-tech wearable for epileptics

Today we’re psyched for a special reunion! Our former residents from HealthTech startup monikit are visiting us again at CODE_n SPACES and have a lot to share. Founding duo Florian Lutz and Kevin Klett and their team were located on the Innovation Campus until November 2016, pouring their passion into a project to develop a wearable device that will help epileptics prevent seizures and manage their condition more effectively. When they were ready to take the next step in product development several months ago, the ambitious team moved to the University Hospital in Tuebingen, where they can test the system on patients suffering from epilepsy. Their aim is to finalize product development and launch their device as a smartwatch in the near future. In this exclusive interview, the co-founders brought us up to speed on when their smartwatch will hit the market, the hurdles that can crop up when developing medical devices, and why their small startup took the leap despite these difficulties. As always, we’ll ask the founders to give us some insights into the ups and downs on their startup rollercoaster, the challenges they face, and their top three tips for anyone who’s thinking about starting their own business.

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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…

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…

Felix Jansen

CODE_n SPACES for Future Mobility in Stuttgart – Innovation Campus for Startups and Digital Pioneers

It’s the start of something completely new in the Stuttgart: CODE_n SPACES, an arena specially dedicated to innovation at the GFT Group’s new corporate center. Measuring 2,000 sq m, the arena gives startups, innovation teams at established companies, and creative thinkers all the space they need to dive into the task at hand and define the shape of things to come. On board since its inception: EnBW, closely involved as a strategic partner of the CODE_n innovation platform. The focal topic: Future Mobility.

GFT Corporate Center

CODE_n SPACES: a place to explore creativity without limitation

“The first question we posed was, ‘What, aside from a brilliant business concept, do young and established firms need to be innovative and successful and to be part of the transition into a digital society?’ The answer was patently obvious: a place for both parties to explore their creativity without limitation; to collaborate and network with universities, international businesses and investors. This fired the starting shot for our very own innovation ecosystem, CODE_n SPACES,” states Ulrich Dietz.

The founder and CEO of the GFT Group already got the ball rolling for CODE_n in 2011. Every year since then, the international startup contest, which awards a prize of €30,000, has been hitting the headlines at CeBIT, the world’s biggest IT trade show. And all for the right reasons: The initiative has become a mecca for digital pioneers worldwide. Following in the footsteps of the online platform CODE_n CONNECT, which the GFT Group only recently catapulted from the launch pad, CODE_n SPACES now becomes the next extension to the initiative.

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