Ulrich Dietz: Passion, perseverance, a certain willingness to take risks. But in the long run of course, growth. If you want to be successful, you need to have faith in your own ideas.
AW: Do these principles apply in the same way today as they did when you founded your IT company 25 years ago?
UD: More than ever before, good ideas also need friends and a critical exchange of views. Factors such as internationality, networking skills and flexibility also play an increasingly important role. Compared to the old days, decisions have to be taken more quickly in these fast-moving times. An entrepreneur needs a feeling for the right decision – sometimes it’s a spontaneous gut feeling.
AW: You yourself recently initiated the innovation contest CODE_n. What do you expect from the competition?
UD: Many young people around the world are thinking about our current and future mobile society. CODE_n aims to bring together these fresh new ideas, present them to an international audience and thus give them a chance to achieve global success. But CODE_n is also the start of a wide-reaching community, a global innovation network based on sustainable support and mutual exchange.
AW: What will participants receive if they win?
UD: The participants will receive an exceptional platform to showcase their concepts, products and apps. The presentation at the CeBIT fair will feature a unique backdrop – a highlight certain to attract considerable media interest.
AW: Prestigious awards certainly raise a company’s profile. But it’s still a long way from actually implementing the idea.
UD: Gaining attention is only the first step. What then follows is ongoing business support. The aim is to help young companies take the next growth steps and launch their ideas on an international market.
AW: What kind of support can the CODE_n partners offer the winner?
UD: IT start-ups have plenty of creativity, but often don’t have the necessary business and technological know-how or experience. For this reason, experienced managers of our strategic partners will be offering personal coaching. Over a period of two years, a network of managers will provide the winner with advice and help, for example discussing growth strategies or important company decisions.
AW: The topic of the contest is “Mobility”. How relevant do you think this topic will be in future?
UD: These days, every child knows how to use a smartphone; such mobile devices will also be used increasingly by companies in future. Each employee will have access to the Internet. This combination of growing private and business use will lead to a myriad of new application opportunities.
Every IT company is currently working on new developments – whether security solutions, new database applications, operating systems or new devices and apps. It’s the right time to initiate a start-up movement.
AW: Do you expect many applications from abroad?
UD: We’ve already received over 200 applications from more than 30 countries. They include some fantastic business concepts which really whet the appetite. The CODE_n hall at the CeBIT will not only be showcasing a wide variety of mobile business concepts but also a cultural variety of young companies from around the world. I’m already looking forward to meeting them and exchanging views.