At the beginning of every new year, the German startup website Für-Gründer.de takes a close look at all of the startup competitions being organized in Germany. When they first embarked on their annual endeavor, there were 124 such contests. Now that number has risen to over 163. A good 20,000 applications came flooding into the competition mailboxes in 2016. Of those, 756 startups received an award from an expert panel of judges. So it looks like startup competitions are groovy-groovy at the moment. Small wonder really: startups are fully aware of the benefits of taking part in a competition – above and beyond the obvious prize money.
A highly insightful panel discussion, two inspiring talks from the different worlds of corporate life and startups, plus an audience which just kept digging deeper. These were just some of the highlights of the CODE_n event held on February 21, 2017 at CODE_n SPACES: The Art of Guidance – The Complexity of Leading Corporations and Startups
CODE_n will be hosting an exciting event early this year on a crucial topic that drives many executives at established companies, SMEs, and startups alike: leadership. How will the role of leadership change in this modern age, especially given the way it is so closely shaped by new models for working, increasingly distributed teams, and digital disruption? Can leadership adapt to agile teams and increasingly blurred hierarchies? These questions and others will be addressed in an exchange of experiences on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, at The Art of Guidance – The Complexity of Leading Corporations and Startups. It’s a CODE_n EVENT in the Guidance/Leadership series.
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 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.
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.
(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…
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…
The Falling Walls Foundation renowned for its meeting of the “brightest minds on the planet”, as the BBC called the annual Falling Walls Conference, set up a new global forum for science based start-ups in 2013. At Falling Walls Venture, they are invited to present their business concepts to investors, opinion leaders and a distinguished jury on 8 November in Berlin.
When you think about the start-up scene, fancy mobile apps, devices or new online services instantly come to mind. The connection to science and basic research seems to be a very remote one, as is the interconnection between universities and venture capital. When money is spent on science and research, you are often confronted with the question: What is the economic benefit? How does this have a positive impact on the economy and can it – in the end – create new jobs? The answer is: definitely yes!
Numerous start-up companies arise from new scientific findings that resulted from research conducted at universities: companies operating in medicine, life sciences, biotechnologies or IT, developing new materials, vaccines or green technologies. These are the start-ups the Falling Walls Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Berlin, wanted to create a platform for by launching Falling Walls Venture in 2013: A showcase for new companies that are founded by researchers and based on new scientific insights.
Half time at CeBIT: Two days lie behind us already and there are two more to come. But even as the week progresses, CODE_n hall 16 – the hotspot for innovation – has further aces up its sleeve. Future Mobility, Future Banking, Future Finalist – these terms may seem distant or even unreal, but the future is closer than you think: it’s right here with us in Hanover, Hall 16.
For quite a few impressive woman and a couple of courages men, the day started out with a breakfast around the main topic Into the Internet of Things, hosted by SAALZWEI, the business online magazine for female readers. Apart from coffee and great food, visitors received input on the management of successful IT companies, by Marika Lulay, COO of GFT and got to listen to the founder story of Katja Beyer and Dr. Moria Shimoni of CODE_n finalist VAYSUSENSE. Dr. D. Knodel encouraged women to look into programming – the closest thing we have to a superpower!
From IT to Future Mobility: that’s what the conference program on Wednesday seems to be all about. Around midday, the hall is on the move – showing smart mobility and logistics with Frank Rinderknecht and team Rinspeed, Peter Fuss and Dr. Rainer Scholz from CODE_n partner EY, before Accenture presents what driver’s want: an automative survey, taking the sales cycle online. More speed comes from a rather unusual participant: Allianz. Insurance as an enabler for new mobility concepts is something the Allianz Digital Accelerator has in mind. More data-driven, indidivual mobility ideas come from Blue Yonder, showing how algorithms will improve personal travel. More…