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.

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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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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…

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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Nadine Korany

Do you want to rise your startup in Applied FinTechs? Apply for the CODE_n CONTEST!

Your innovations in Applied FinTechs are radically changing our environment – how we live as society and how we do business professionally. Whether we pay for our coffee, need a credit or set up an automatic payment for the rent, every day we are consciously or unconsciously using financial services while incidentally huge amounts of data are being collected. The ever-present linkage of the financial sector and our everyday life illustrates the huge potential for Applied FinTechs to bring major changes for society.

FinTech revolutionizes a variety of financial services such as mobile payments, social mining, money transfers, predictive analytics, fundraising or cognitive automation – and this brings many improvements for private and commercial use. No wonder that global investment in FinTech has skyrocketed from $ 930 million back in 2008 to over $ 12 billion by the beginning of 2015! Step by step FinTech startups are disrupting the traditional finance system. We are thrilled to find out what the next big step will be! Do you have an ace up your sleeve with your startup in Applied FinTechs? Make the move and apply for the CODE_n CONTEST! More…

Nadine Korany

Your Startup is driving forward in Connected Mobility? Head to the finish line and apply for the CODE_n CONTEST!

Your startup in Connected Mobility is reinventing the wheel! By developing new transportation and supply chain solutions for people, goods and information you are driving the revolution of mobility. Innovations in Connected Mobility will not only have a tremendous impact on the economy by finding more efficient ways for transportation, but also improve the integrated services for information processing, data security and manufacturing. One key technology of Connected Mobility is the Internet of Things, a concept of non-living objects intelligently communicating with each other. By means of this information technology we can expect groundbreaking changes for both our society and economy.

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Nadine Korany

Leverage your startup in the field of Photonics 4.0 – Apply for the CODE_n CONTEST. Now!

We know that your startup will take digital transformation to the next level. Light and its many applications have already revolutionized our society, industry and environment. Especially the transformation into the Industry 4.0 would not be possible without the technologies provided by Photonics 4.0 – such as advanced laser systems, image processing, and optical sensors. With light applications as key enabling the technologies of the future, the 21st century will depend as much on photonic innovations as the 20th century depended on electronics. Its vital importance already manifests in the vast growth of the photonics industry between 2005 and 2011, which doubled more than that of the worldwide GDP.

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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

CODE_n SPACES – First Innovation Hub Opens in Stuttgart

CODE_n SPACES is the name of the latest element in the CODE_n ecosystem. In addition to the CONNECT digital platform, the SPACES are an all-year-round, physical platform that networks promising startups and established companies. On the first and second floors of the newly built GFT headquarters in Stuttgart’s Fasanenhof, spaces have been created over an area of 2,000 square meters that are geared entirely towards innovation in terms of their design and function. They were designed by the artist and sculptor Tobias Rehberger. In our interview, Ulrich Dietz, CEO of the GFT Group and the initiator of CODE_n, explains the concept behind the SPACES and extends an invitation: Digital pioneers can apply straight away.

GFT Corporate Center

The first CODE_n SPACES in Stuttgart are now ready. Who are you looking to appeal to with this innovation hub?

Dietz: CODE_n, whether it be with the elements CONTEST, CONNECT, EVENTS or SPACES, generally always has one goal: we want to offer people with unusual ideas a platform – lateral thinkers, digital pioneers, designers of the future. Young companies need to network with experienced people and established companies in order to promote the development of new, groundbreaking business models. With the SPACES, we have put together a creative space for this collaboration to take place. Digital pioneers, young startups, experienced managers, but also teams of innovators from large companies, can register with us and apply for a place in the SPACES.

What requirements must an applicant meet to secure a place in the SPACES?

Dietz: We are intentionally not focusing on a specific target group or on definite requirements, because what we want is the right mixture of exciting projects and ideas. Our desire is to also bring together startups and companies that might actually be in very different stages of development. Whether it be an early-stage startup or an already well-established young company, none of this matters for the application process. The idea needs to convince people, and then we can agree on the use of the SPACES individually. Applications can come from any industry – even though we naturally assume that the Stuttgart site offers tremendous potential in terms of mobility and industry, we’re very open to other areas too.

What’s special about the CODE_n SPACES?

Dietz: The SPACES combine the concept of creative design thinking premises with the idea of co-working and a professional working environment at the same time. The flexible elements in the “Super Duper Studio”, designed by artist Tobias Rehberger, means we are able to respond spontaneously to the different target groups and applicants in the CODE_n SPACES. At the same time, our digital pioneers and innovation teams have the opportunity to improvise by themselves and adapt their office to the conditions they want to work in. Flexible dividers, for example, allow offices to be quickly rearranged, expanded or merged. There are options for quiet time, as well as open areas, offering everything that a young company needs in its early stages. Experienced managers on the second floor have the ability to move into a prestigious, high-quality office.

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