Dirk Baranek

Angel Labs at CODE_n EVENTS: Boot Camp for Angel Investment

Getting discussions going between startup founders and seasoned entrepreneurs is a fundamental aspect of the CODE_n ecosystem. That’s why CODE_n is hosting a one-day boot camp for Angel investors on Friday, November 14, 2014. The meet-up is directed at business angels and anyone who would like to become one. It will provide initial pointers on how to support promising startups with action and advice.

The format – dubbed Angel Labs – hopes to attract companies and private investors looking to enter the swiftly developing startup scene with the aim of offering dedicated support. Angel Labs have already been organized at various business hot spots across the globe, but never in Germany. This meet-up has been planned as part of CODE_n EVENTS and will be held at GFT headquarters – a genuine debut event for Germany.

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Felix Jansen

“Partners should always be found on a level playing field” – an interview with Jakob Schreyer from orderbird

At the first run of the CODE_n CONTEST back in 2012, orderbird was one of the Top 10 contest finalists. Since then, the Berlin-based startup has continued to develop. The latest chapter in the story of its growth: successfully arranging a new funding phase and bringing a new strategic investor on board. We talked to Jakob Schreyer, CEO at orderbird, about his company and the way innovation is dealt with in the financial sector.

Felix Jansen: Hello, Jakob. Congratulations on entering a new funding phase. You’ve raised more than 10 million US dollars with orderbird. How do you plan to use that money?

Jakob Schreyer: Thanks. We plan to invest heavily in product development and expansion in new markets. With our Series B funding phase, we aren’t just receiving a considerable investment, but we are also embarking on a new strategic partnership with our main investor, ConCardis. We will be working in close collaboration, specifically in the area of cashless payments, but we are sure to both benefit from know-how exchange in many other areas as well.

Jakob Schreyer CEO Orderbird

Last year, you launched a pilot project with PayPal. Yet ConCardis, your newest and largest investor to date, is a more traditional company from the credit business sector. In your collaboration, have you noticed that you approach the topic of innovation from very different angles?

The area of “mobile payments” has garnered a lot of attention in recent years. The topics moved forward by big American players such as PayPal, and now strongly pushed by Apple, are arriving in the German-speaking world. ConCardis has shown a great openness to innovation. Targets seem to lie further apart when it comes to traditional B2B companies.

To what extent do you find the financial industry willing to fundamentally question established business practices and move toward new digital business models?  More…

Dirk Baranek

StartUpBus GER & FRA make a stop at CODE_n

On their way to the Pioneers startup festival in Vienna, two busloads of young entrepreneurs stopped by at CODE_n on Sunday evening. While en route from Paris and Amsterdam, the passengers developed new startup concepts in the style of a “rolling hackathon” of entrepreneurship. The buses made a stop at CODE_n for their creatively-minded riders to showcase their projects and the associated business development ideas in 3-minute pitch presentations. The theme of the evening: “Growth Hacking.”

StartUpBus-bei-CODE_nSunday, 6:00 p.m. – a bus pulls up in front of GFT Technologies in Stuttgart-Hohenheim. 20 young founders armed with laptops and plenty of new ideas disembark from the StartUpBus GERMANY. The “buspreneurs” from the StartUpBus FRANCE have already turned up and made themselves at home in the GFT building. Having arrived unexpectedly early that afternoon, they improvised by turning the GFT location into a co-working space. The atmosphere is relaxed, focused, business-like: With the founders gathered around laptops in groups, concepts are discussed, developed and poured into presentations. There’s only time for a quick bite and a short introduction to CODE_n before the “pitch battle” gets underway. Each project team has only 3 minutes to present their business concept and discuss ideas for business development all the way to mass market rollout.  More…

Sally Ogilby

Social Startup: Exploring the world. Investing in people.

OneSeed Expeditions operates on the idea that travel can accomplish real and meaningful good. Founded by a group of former teachers, researchers, and guides, OneSeed uses the power of exploration to fund creative solutions to poverty. Our model is pretty simple: you take an amazing trip and a local entrepreneur gets the capital needed to grow their business.

Bishnu, Chris and Tek - founders of OneSeedExpeditions

Bishnu, Chris and Tek – founders of OneSeedExpeditions

While studying at Yale University and SIT (The School of International Training), Chris Baker traveled to Nepal to conduct research in Kathmandu and the Khumbu region near Mt. Everest. He studied Nepali, lived with a local family, and spent time exploring the mountains. Chris returned to Nepal twice more with Kiva, a microcredit organization aimed at connecting lenders with borrowers around the globe. While working with Kiva, Chris partnered with microfinance institutions, visited borrowers in the field, and saw how effective microfinance can be to help people alleviate themselves from poverty.

OneSeed Expeditions was founded in 2010 when Chris met Bishnu Thapa and Tek Bahadur Dong. Bishnu’s passion stemmed from her background as trekking guide in Nepal, which led her to research the challenges and opportunities that women guides face. Tek also brought valuable knowledge about Nepali tourism and had been dedicated to the industry for over a decade. Conceived as a social enterprise with a sustainable revenue stream, OneSeed Expeditions grew directly out of the research and work experience of its founders. OneSeed’s founders bring a unique mix of mountain guiding, ethnographic fieldwork, and non-profit skills.

Currently, OneSeed operates in four countries: NepalChilePeru, and Argentina. They run expeditions to Everest Base CampMachu Picchu, and the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, among many other locations. OneSeed partners with local microfinance institutions and lends 10% of its revenue to local entrepreneurs. With a focus on sustainability and low-impact travel, the team chooses partner lodges carefully to try to reduce the impact of their travelers. The OneSeed team believes that the model is replicable and hopes to continue investing in people and exploring other parts of the world.

Mitch Kranner

Corporate vice – startup virtue: The importance of technological innovation

Mitch Kranner - Head of Pioneers Blog

Mitch Kranner – Head of Pioneers Blog

Entrepreneurship is the driver of any economy. The reality is that established corporations shed jobs and lack new ideas. Entrepreneurs drive job growth and innovation. On average, they create over two-thirds of net jobs – stimulating wealth by driving innovation and bringing it to market.

Technological progress is a primary driver of human progress. Nonetheless, most cutting-edge technology will not solve any of our major challenges (global health, clean energy, inequality, education…) unless an entrepreneur pursues the idea and transforms it into a reality. More…

Janina Benz

Thomas Ohr: “More European entrepreneurs have realized the opportunity to create for international markets”

Thomas Ohr - founder and editor of EU-Startups

Thomas Ohr – founder and editor of EU-Startups

 

Thomas Ohr is the founder and editor of EU-Startups, an online magazine covering European startups. He started the project in 2010 due to his passion for startups and his excitement for Europe’s future. Since EU-Startups is still a hobby, he works in the marketing department of a German media company. Thomas Ohr works and lives in Freiburg, Germany.

Janina Benz: What is EU-Startups, and what inspired you to start it?

Thomas Ohr: EU-Startups is an online magazine covering Internet and mobile startups out of the European Union and the European continent. Aside from our focus on young companies, we also profile established firms or publish other news out of the tech space that has a commercial or cultural impact on European startups. Our vision is to connect the European startup scene and to encourage entrepreneurship within Europe.

JB: Over the last few years, how have people’s ambitions changed in regards to founding a business?

TO: More and more European entrepreneurs have realized the opportunity to create products not just for their home market, but for international markets. This is an important step which will lead to us soon seeing more and more European startups that succeed on a global scale.

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Janina Benz

CODE_n13 Jury: Interview with Murat Günak

Murat Günak is one of the most famous automobile designers in Germany. He has previously worked as a top designer for renowned automobile manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, Mercedes and Peugeot.

Since 2012 Murat Günak belongs to the management team of mia eletcrics. His idea was to develop a completely new electric car which would not be measured against conventional standards but which would set new benchmarks and create fresh awareness for modern mobility. Under his management, the mia evolved from an idea to the finished product.

Murat Günak - CODE_n13 Juror

Murat Günak – CODE_n13 Juror

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Janina Benz

Andreas Tschas: “Investing in sustainable technologies and our youth, is the only way out of today’s economic crisis.”

Andreas Tschas - CEO and co-founder of STARTeurope

Andreas Tschas – CEO and co-founder of STARTeurope

Andreas Tschas is the CEO and co-founder of STARTeurope, an Austrian company that aims to engage and trigger entrepreneurial spirit and action.

Janina Benz: What inspired you to launch STARTeurope? 

Andreas Tschas: I am deeply convinced that entrepreneurship, and investing in sustainable technologies and our youth, is the only way out of today’s economic crisis. For this reason I wanted to fill a critical niche in Europe’s business ecosystem. We are more than a launching pad for potential founders and the hub of the Austrian startup scene — we also represent the interests and concerns of startups, and find solutions and alternatives within a political and economic environment.

JB: What do you like best about working with startups?

AT: It is the excitement of unrealized potential coming to fruition. It’s the feeling we are not only contributing to their individual successes, but we are also playing a role in igniting positive influences on our global community — be it in terms of health, energy, communication or transportation. It is also rewarding to feel we are contributing to enhancing people’s lives and their families by the employment opportunities derived by a startup’s success. This is what fuels our insatiable passion to expand our focus and energies across Europe and beyond.

JB: How is the Vienna startup scene different from other countries’?

AT: The scene in Austria is still quite young; the differences have yet to emerge. Having said that, being situated in the heart of Europe and the gateway to the east makes Vienna a future powerhouse for startups to conduct business and thrive. One of our ongoing missions is to connect the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region to western Europe in order to access larger resources of capital.

It is also important to note the governmental support to help it scale. The Austrian government is making some positive inroads and their support is highly welcomed. There is still a long way to go for reforms, but they are making positive steps.

JB: Which European country do you think is a “rising star” in terms of a startup scene with high potential?

AT: I would say Estonia—they are already providing 6-year-old kids with an education in coding. This kind of attitude and direction will have a very positive affect on their future. More countries should take a note out of their playbook.

JB: What is the most difficult problem entrepreneurs face when founding a business?

AT: My top three would be: forming the right team around a brilliant idea, creating a sound business model, and maintaining an unwavering passion in every facet connected to what you are doing. If you can achieve this, support and success will follow.