Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Roboception from Germany

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Roboception, one of our CODE_n CONTEST finalists in the Photonics 4.0 cluster, offers innovative navigation, real-time perception, and manipulation solutions for robotic systems. The startups’s innovative sensor solutions enable customers across all robotic fields to generate real-time 3D data products that also revolve around timing and location. It aims for highly intuitive, user-friendly interfaces, parametrization, and programming. As a result – and this is really good news – no detailed knowledge of robotics is required to set up or operate our solutions. Roboception CEO Michael Suppa tells us just how this is done!

What is Roboception all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Michael: Roboception offers innovative real-time perception, navigation and manipulation solutions for robotic systems.

Vision in robotics is a very challenging problem. Today’s vision solutions are nowhere near being as efficient and intuitive as they need to be in order to comply with the rapid advances in the robotics industry. What’s more, a very strong expertise is still required to operate them, hence only real experts can set up these solutions. Last but not least, the robot’s environment must be engineered and adapted in order to achieve robust and reliable operation of a vision system. All of this requires individual engineering, resulting in high cost and limited versatility. Add to that the fact that camera solutions and lasers usually come at a high price (for just the sensor!) so that in combination with the engineering cost, an automation of processes becomes economically unviable, especially for small batches.

We founded Roboception to overcome these drawbacks and make robot vision available to a wide range of both existing and novel applications. It is our mission to enable our customers to equip each of their current or future robots with our solution and to hence allow them to perceive their environment.

Our low-cost innovative sensor solution is combined with an intuitive user interface enabling even non-experts to work with robot vision. From the very first line of code we’ve written, we have been working closely with interaction designers in order to achieve this challenging goal.

Finally, our robotic applications are ready-to-use so that our customers can directly generate value in automating previously manual processes in their production.

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The Roboception Team and Their Product

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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Ginmon from Germany

gm_logoCODE_n CONTEST Finalist Ginmon allows customers to invest money in a globally diversified portfolio based on proven scientific methods. Customers gain access to high returns while enjoying the low risk associated with broad investments in over 10,000 companies in 47 countries. The FinTech startup provides a transparent, all-inclusive solution that enables customers to understand their investments and give them the feeling their finances are in safe hands. How? That’s what CEO and founder Lars Reiner, told us in this interview.

What is Ginmon all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Lars: Ginmon is all about providing a modern and efficient personal wealth management. While working for one of biggest commercial banks in Germany I realized that proven scientific concepts were often not offered to customers. Those concepts are taught around the globe and proven many times. Banks do not offer products based on those concepts because they are very low margin and not as profitable as traditional products. Therefore to really profit from professional wealth management one has to study investment theory and do it himself or pay horrendous sums to personal wealth managers. Additionally it seemed to me that large companies could not or did not want to react and adapt to the possibilities digitalization provided. As a technology and innovation loving person I had a concrete idea about how customers could benefit from digitalization, but the established financial industry did not provide me with the right setting to implement those ideas. Finally the request of many friends and family members who were looking for a solution to build wealth efficiently triggered my decision to start Ginmon. To put it in a nutshell: I wanted to implement the ideas I had for digital wealth management, provide an investment concept which was up date only restricted to professionals and last but not least enable my friends and family members to build up wealth efficiently.

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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Luxflux from Germany

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LuxFlux is a sensor company which develops and markets compact and cost-efficient micro-spectrometers. The spectral information gathered by the solution is used to identify and compare products and materials. The CODE_n CONTEST Photonics 4.0 finalist is located in the “sensor valley” in Reutlingen and seeks partners across all industries to build solutions based on their spectrometer capabilities. We talked to Founder and CEO Dr. Jan Makowski, who told us more about Luxflux:

What is Luxflux all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Jan: LuxFlux combines compact micro-spectrometers with machine-learning algorithms to deliver cost-efficient and easy-to-use solutions that allow the quick identification of substances such as polymers or pharmaceuticals.

During my PhD Thesis I worked in the field of Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MOEMS). Upon graduation, I started my professional career in an electronics company. However, the idea of integrating optical functions onto a chip continued to fascinate me. Optical spectroscopy is a technology with applications in many industries waiting to be disrupted by chip technology. Marc (who has a business background) and I started LuxFlux at the beginning of this year. In addition to chip based spectrometers, we focus on algorithms to interpret spectral data to bring value to our customers.

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pattern recognition and algorithm

“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?

Jan: Today spectroscopy is costly and requires trained personnel. We combine cost-efficient spectrometer hardware with pattern recognition and machine learning algorithms. This opens up spectroscopy to new user groups – users which so far did not have access to costly and complex spectroscopy labs. The hardware comprises standard components which are mass-produced for consumer devices such as video projectors. The software’s algorithms make the device easy to use for everybody. We transform a complex spectrometer into a handheld measurement device. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: SpinDiag from Germany

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SpinDiag enables fully automated, PCR-based screening for drug-resistant pathogens in less than 30 minutes. The system consists of a disposable lab-on-a-disk and a portable device. Hospitals can screen quickly and reliably during patient admission and isolate and treat risk patients. This significantly reduces the risk of infection to other patients and cuts hospital costs. In this interview, Mark Keller, Co-Founder of SpinDiag, tells us more about the vision for his startup and the challenges their facing in this very specific sector:

What is SpinDiag all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Mark: Hospitals have a big and increasing problem with antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are brought in by patients and that can infect other patients. Our SpinDiag one system enables the detection of these antibiotic-resistant bacteria directly from common swab samples. Therefore, when patients are admitted to a hospital they can be tested quickly and non-invasively. This allows doctors to decide right away if a patient needs to be treated in isolation to protect others from getting infected. This idea actually came to us when we were talking to clinicians and became aware that the best way to prevent an infection is to know about it directly at the hospital gate.

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“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?

Mark: Our SpinDiag one system will be the first to cover all relevant antibiotic resistances while providing this diagnostic result in a fast and affordable manner. For the first time, this will allow hospitals to consistently screen any risk patient (or even every patient) at his or her admission. Because all in all, our system will save money both for hospitals and the health care system in general, will protect staff and patients and will allow targeted treatment of infected patients, we believe that it will disruptively change our way how we fight antibiotic resistances in the near future. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: NIMD from Israel

nimd_logoNIMD (noninvasive medical devices) is a medical device startup focused on the treatment of cancer currently at the R&D stage. Its revolutionary technology is based on microwave and nanotechnologies. The device of our CODE_n CONTEST finalist can heat and kill cancer tumors at low microwave powers and at high precision without causing damage to the surrounding tissue. Needless to say, the team around NIMD belongs to our HealthTech cluster and aims at finding a solution to cancer and improving people’s quality of life. We talked to Founder and CEO Anan Copty to learn more about his startup:

What is NonInvasive Medical Devices all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Anan: NIMD is a medical device startup developing cancer treatment devices at the pre-clinical stage. It utilizes microwave and nano technologies to selectively and noninvasively, heat and kill cancer tumors with no damage to the surrounding tissue. The device will also noninvasively detect early stage tumors. NIMD believes it has the ultimate device for cancer thermal treatment.

NIMD‘s team consists of a diverse, passionate and innovative group of scientists and engineers. It has finished its proof of concept stage, with IP generated, animal studies performed, and the company is currently raising its Series A round. We are targeting the European market, and then, the American and Asian markets.

After seeing so many close people die or suffer from cancer, a huge research was started to figure out what can be done. Both founders were working at Intel Corporation before the creation of the company. They decided to quit their jobs and start NIMD in January, 2015. It was a big risk to leave a stable job as both founders have families to take care of. But, both founders feel that is was the best decision they made and carried through with the project. Today, NIMD is making big progress. In less than one year with funding, NIMD built its team, built is laboratory, took the concept into a working prototype, tested the device on biological phantoms mimicking the body, and started performing animal studies. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: FaunaPhotonics from Denmark

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Our CODE_n Finalists FaunaPhotonics is planning to work in partnership with the crop science industry to offer seamless data integration between in-field sensors and the leading digital farming software platforms. This will enable crop science players to make advancements in data analytics. In this interview, CEO Frederik Taarnhøj lets us know how exactly this works and what it could mean for the agricultural market (- let’s just say right here – it could mean quite a lot)!

What is FaunaPhotonics all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Frederik: FaunaPhotonics is specialized in developing and providing laser devices in a new and exciting field. Our technology can perform real time spatial mapping of flying insects. For this we use a LIDAR, an instrument that emits a broad laser beam and detects the reflected light from insects, giving information about the size, behaviour or even color of the biological object. Accurate knowledge about the presence of pest insects in agriculture or disease vectors such as malaria mosquitoes is a key component in developing new and more sustainable strategies. Thus, we aim to quantify nature to ensure sustainable crop utilization and to improve tools for disease control and biodiversity for the benefit of mankind. We are working with partners in agriculture, malaria control and environmental monitoring to bring our new technique to market. The laser technology making this possible was invented by a creative researcher at Lund University in Sweden. FaunaPhotonics, which is based in Denmark is working hard to activate application of the LIDAR technology in high impact fields with very skilled employees joining our journey.
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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: NovioSense from the Netherlands

noviosense_logoNovioSense, CODE_n CONTEST Finalist in the HealthTech cluster, is a medical sensor company that develops cellphone-powered sensor devices for glucose monitoring in diabetics. Their first product is a non-invasive, wireless, cellphone-powered sensor that measures glucose levels in tears. CEO Dr. Christopher Wilson, has run us through his vision for the young Dutch company – which is quite amazing. Read for yourself!

What is noviosense all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Christopher: NovioSense is all about changing the status quo in diabetes monitoring. We are going to bring a non-invasive glucose monitor with the accuracy of minimally invasive devices at a price point that is accessible to all diabetics. The idea first came from two of my shareholders – they wanted to make a device that measures glucose in tears for type 1 diabetics. Type 1 diabetics are still part of the plan but over the past five years since founding the company and starting to raise the capital, we realised that this solution could be a whole lot more than a niche device. Providing the patient with the ability to take the equivalent of infinite finger pricks without pain and at a price point that is accessible to all opens the door to a market ten times larger than the original concept. Aside from the market size, it is something that all stakeholders want. We talked to doctors who told us that if we can be as accurate and reliable as the current devices but encourage patients to test more and take a more proactive role in the control of their disease. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Kantox from the UK

kantox_logoKantox is a multinational FinTech company offering FX management solutions which allow customers to manage their currency exposure, build hedging strategies, and automate FX transactions and process international payments in a smart way. Headquartered in London, the startup will join us as CODE_n CONTEST finalist at our new.New Festival in Karlsruhe, September, this fall. Prior to that, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Philippe Gelis has taken the time to tell us more about his company!

What is Kantox all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Philippe: Kantox is a FinTech company offering foreign exchange management solutions. We develop technology to solve one of the major pain-points faced by international companies: currency management.

Before founding Kantox, I worked as a strategy consultant for different consulting firms including Deloitte. During my time there, one of my clients exporting food and wine was exposed to a foreign exchange. With the assistance of my then-colleague and Kantox co-founder Toni, we tried to help him negotiate with banks. We soon realised that the negotiation process was expensive and complex for a mid-sized firm with no access to live rates.

This experience allowed us to identify a gap in the market and therefore, an opportunity for launching a business. Large companies have the resources and knowledge to manage foreign exchange well and to negotiate fair and transparent prices with banks. By contrast, SMEs either have enormous difficulty doing so. They lack internal resources, technology and negotiation power.

Philippe Gelis, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

Philippe Gelis, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kantox

At the onset, solving this painpoint was at the core of our value proposition. Our expertise, products, and solutions allow our customers to manage their currency exposure, build hedging strategies, automate FX transactions and process international payments in a smart and cost-efficient way.

As we expanded our business further, we realised that automation is at the base of efficiency in managing foreign exchange. In Kantox, we develop FX management software solutions that allow our clients to automate their currency strategy as well as to easily hedge their risk exposure.

We have also released our API end of last year to help clients completely automating the management of their foreign exchange exposure. That way, they have FX risk much better managed, they sabe time and increase efficiency. More…