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: 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…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: creditshelf from Germany

cs_logocreditshelf is an online marketplace bringing together SMEs and professional investors, providing unsecured loans ranging from €100k to €2.5m with a runtime of 1-12 months. Based in Frankfurt, the CODE_n CONTEST Finalist makes sure that each accepted loan project goes through a detailed risk analysis before it is uploaded for a blind bidding process. We talked to CSO Daniel Bartsch (PhD) about his company: FinTechs, he says, naturally compete with banks – but he also tells us why this is not at all creditshelf’s goal.

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

Daniel: In times of low interest rates and tighter regulation banks do increasingly refrain from serving financing needs of small and medium sized companies. Stepping into this gap creditshelf is offering short-term working capital loans to SMEs, online via a lending platform connecting borrowers directly to our network of professional investors. Using cutting edge peer-to-peer technology we make available to our investors a new asset class that was previously reserved for banks, whilst we provide quick and easy funding to SMEs at attractive rates.

The creditshelf team at the "Frankfurter Gründerpreis" winning second place as best FinTech.

The creditshelf team at the “Frankfurter Gründerpreis” winning second place as best FinTech.

The idea was born following the financial crisis. The creditshelf founder team consists of senior banking and financial services professionals. First hand in our day to day banking businesses we realized that banks are not serving the financial needs of SMEs like they did before the banking crisis. In our heads came up different models how to fill this gap. We felt it was the right time for the introduction of a disruptive business model in corporate financial services. As a consequence we founded creditshelf late 2014, and quit our banking jobs. Fast forward 18 months, we are sitting in our small new office in Frankfurt am Main, with a team comprising 20 people across sales, risk management and IT, serving SME clients. To date, we have originated a significant double-digit million EUR amount of loans to these “Mittelstand” companies that mark the backbone of the German economy. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: CRiskCo from the United States

logoOur CODE_n CONTEST Finalist CRiskCo revolutionizes the credit approval process and helps loan providers with key challenges such as financial data acquisition, response time reduction and better risk assessment. The startup’s infrastructure connects to accounting systems in a one-click process, collects relevant data, standardizes it, and sends it to the loan provider in seconds. CEO Erez Saf told us some more details about his FinTech company!

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

Erez: CRiskCo is disrupting the credit information business, a field ruled by giants such as D&B and Experian, which lack the tools and data needed to predict or manage credit portfolios. We help businesses reduce bad debt and make good credit decisions by providing credit risk information, by predicting future defaults and by assessing risks of current and potential customers. CRiskCo’s revolutionary approach includes the use of unique Artificial Intelligence algorithms, Big Data models and a cloud based technology. CRiskCo’s goal is to enable trust between businesses worldwide and enable new credit solutions to address SMB’s needs.

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In my former role as CTO for a SAP Partner and an SME consultant, I had developed ad hock solutions for businesses to manage and control their credit customers’ portfolios. I personally witnessed businesses deal with dozens of poor clients, who defaulted or displayed sporadic payment behavior. A couple of years later as the CIO of eLoan.co.il, a P2P lending platform, I was exposed to some great tools and innovative ideas for managing individual’s credit portfolios, which I noticed that the SME community lacked. This is what drove me to start CRiskCo. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Blockchain Helix from Germany

It’s time for the next FinTech finalist in our blog series: let’s meet Blockchain Helix! With their innovative solution, the German startup overcomes the problem of anonymous vs. legally secure transactions. Oliver Naegele, Founder & CEO, told us more!

Blockchain_Helix_LogoWhat is Blockchain Helix all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Oliver: Blockchain Helix is a Blockchain architecture that overcomes the problem of anonymous vs. legally secure transactions. We do this, by introducing an Identity management that handles privacy. We can streamline any KYC process and manage the user accounts with our technology.

We are driven by the fact, that Web 2.0 has data leakages and loss of data self-determination. Internet nowadays is not suitable for an internet of values and transactions. That´s why we need an approach to give back trust and our long work with blockchain and portal-solutions leads to this.

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

Oliver: We are working on a technology that we call Trusted Web“ or Web x.0“. Our Helix technology gives us the capabilities to have privacy and security by design. Blockchain is a true gamechanger and the way we want to introduce it for everyday and everybody use and hide the disturbing wallet-usage is disruptive.

You’re one of the 13 finalists in the Applied FinTech contest cluster. Which challenges do you think young companies have to face in this sector? How do you handle these challenges?

Oliver: FinTech Startups more than any other sector (besides biotech) have to be more serious in business and has to deal with a very slow moving industry. This is a challenge as well as an advantage. Our very special challenge is that we are exploring the capabilities on a very early stage. Every Blockchain Technology like Hyperledger, Ethereum is public beta and evolving fast. This leads to higher development demands and workarounds. To overcome the fear of a new technology we do Blockchain events at our office and run the BlockchainLAB as an open dialogue platform. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Biowatch from Switzerland

We all know the dilemma: entering your PIN and passwords thousands of times a day is for sure secure – but can be very annoying. One of our great CODE_n CONTEST finalists provides a solution for that! In the next part of our startup series, you get to know Biowatch. The FinTech from Switzerland integrates biometrics into wearables and with that assures e. g. secure payments by vein authentication. Matthias Vanoni, Co-founder and CEO told us more about Biowatch.

Biowatch_LogoWhat is Biowatch all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Matthias: Biowatch is all about getting rid of all these authentication steps we get through everyday, thousand times a day. PINs, passwords, keys, cards, fingerprint, etc. Biowatch is all about wearing our device on your watch to replace all other means of authentication. Biowatch is all about securing our wearable with a wrist vein recognition system. Biowatch is all about the unicity of your vein pattern.

The idea comes from the Brit Joe Rice, when he first patented vein recognition in 1985. The concept of using vein pattern to activate a watch that would seamlessly further authenticate the user on his/her behalf, has been advocated by Joe for years until I  – PhD student on vein biometrics – convinced Joe to partner and eventually turn the vision into a product. This was during summer 2014.

“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?
Matthias:  For the first time in history, we integrate biometrics into wearables. This may not look like a disruption when compared to biometrics in mobile phones such as TouchID, but simply like an evolution. Actually, it really is a revolution, because biometrics integrated in wearables means the end of user authentication! Where TouchID asks the end-users to show their biometrics hundred times a day, Biowatch only asks the end-user to show his biometrics once while putting the wearable on. This disruption is made possible by innovation in image acquisition of a vein pattern from a wearable and overall miniaturisation-related issues. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: BuchhaltungsButler from Germany

52 CODE_n CONTEST finalists – that means 52 amazing teams, 52 innovative business models – and – also, 52 exciting interviews: Over the next weeks, we will present each finalist with a short Q&A, giving you a first impression and some valuable insights before you can get to know them yourself during our new.New Festival in September. We are happy to start off this series with BuchhaltungsButler – a Berlin-based startup belonging in our Applied FinTech cluster. Read on to find out all about their “out of the box accounting” tool!

Logo für BlogWhat is BuchhaltungsButler all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Maximilian:
BuchhaltungsButler is all about automatizing the financial accounting process. It is designed for the needs of SMEs and automatically turns transactions and invoices into accounting records.

The user just has to connect the bank accounts and upload the invoices. Instead of manually doing the sorting (invoice to transaction) and accounting work, the user only has to validate the automatically generated data.

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

Maximilian: We tried to design an accounting tool out of the box, that not only meets the requirements of freelancers and solo entrepreneurs but still meets the requirements of SMEs, currently working with Lexware or DATEV. Our main focus is automation. We do not want to over engineer our product and might never have all features DATEV has, but we aim to automatize 80%+ of the accounting work through AI, that is currently done manually.

You’re one of the 13 finalists in the Applied FinTech contest cluster. Which challenges do you think young companies have to face in this sector? How do you handle these challenges?

Maximilian: I believe that the FinTech industry is still behind other industries when it comes to digitalization. It is a sector that is mostly dominated by bigger players with larger resources, who are slowly getting aware of the challenges of digitalization. Although there is huge potential for Startups in disrupting this industry, there is also a big risk of being pushed out of the market by existing players, once they use their resources to build something innovative. So speed is absolutely crucial to succeed in this industry! More…

Nadine Korany

The secret’s out – these 52 finalists will be celebrating the digital disruption at the CODE_n new.New Festival in September

Over 380 young companies from all over the world applied for one of the four contest clusters under the overarching theme of ‘Digital Disruption’; now the best of the best have been chosen. The 52 finalists from 11 different countries will be travelling to Karlsruhe in Germany this autumn to present their digital business solutions at our new.New Festival, to potential customers, investors, mentors and visitors. Early bird tickets are available as of today.

“From Israel to Germany and over to the U.S., the young startup businesses represent an exciting spectrum of digital solutions in the four contest clusters: Applied FinTech, Connected Mobility, HealthTech and Photonics 4.0,” says GFT CEO and CODE_n Initiator Ulrich Dietz. As different as these four clusters might sound, they all have one thing in common; representing areas in which the digital revolution will take place – quickly, thoroughly, disruptively – changing our lives forever. Wonder what that future might look like? Our CODE_n Finalists of 2016 have the answers and while we will introduce all 52 startups in detail soon, we decided to present some exciting handpicked examples first!

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