Lisa Flieg

Jani Penttinen of Alumnus Transfluent: “Success will be defined by the people around you”

The world is becoming smaller every day, not just because of the amazing technological advancements of recent decades, but also because of the way the internet and the digital revolution are eradicating physical and spatial barriers. Things taking place on the other side of the globe suddenly feel like they’re right next door to us – if only those language barriers weren’t still in the way. The CODE_n alumnus Transfluent was founded in the belief that all companies should have an easy way to become global and communicate with their customers in the local language. The conviction of the Finnish startup morphed into a leading translation provider with a global team and solutions that bring them to the forefront of innovative technology. We spoke to the CEO and founder Jani Penttinen about the things that make his business model unique and the journey towards becoming a global, rapidly expanding enterprise. Jani also divulges a couple of personal tips on setting up a successful team and how he successfully pulled together 800k through the crowdfunding platform Invesdor. And that was just the prep work before the planned IPO gets underway! Jani also tells us about the up-and-coming startup scene in Finland.

 

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Lena Gaede

Promising tech startup hubs worldwide: Belgium – a buzzing hub of entrepreneurship! Strengths and weaknesses of Belgium

Center of political power and great waffles: those are pretty much the first things that come to mind, when thinking of Belgium. Could be worse, right? But there’s more to Belgium than just that! In fact, Belgium ranks fifth in Europe for its number of fintech deals. Entrepreneurs benefit from the country’s contrasts and mixture of languages and cultures.

As Frederik de Witte, co-Founder of CODE_n Alumnus FleetMaster (formerly ivips), said,

“Belgium is a great country to build business critical software. The complexity of the country (tri-lingual, multiple government and legislations, …) and customer base (people expect state-of-the-art software that is tailored to their needs) results in the development of highly scalable, highly flexible solutions. As a result, we easily meet the requirements of multinational rental and lease companies that adopt FleetMaster today. This is quite unique and a direct result of our geographical origin.”

So, let’s have a deeper look at Belgium’s diversity. What exactly is it about the European capital that attracts young visionary minds? Let’s check out Belgium’s strengths, weaknesses and special powers as a promising tech startup hub!

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Anna Shaposhnikova

Guest feature | Transmetrics interview on Physical Internet shaping the future of global logistics

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the logistics industry. Innovation in the space has never been greater with new technologies like driverless trucks, artificial intelligence, delivery drones, smart infrastructures, collaborative platforms, and the industrial internet of things transforming the global logistics supply chain. Finally, an industry once criticized for being slow to embrace new ideas is getting recognized as the leading edge of how technology can solve real-world problems.

A great example of this is an initiative being pioneered by Prof. Dr. J. Rod Franklin known as the Physical Internet. It’s an idea focused on the physical realization of the digital internet to create an open global logistics system of physical, digital, and operational connectivity that will change how goods are moved anywhere in the world. As futuristic as the idea may be, according to Prof. Dr. J. Rod Franklin, it’s not a lack of technology that’s preventing the Physical Internet from becoming a reality today. What’s needed is a new mindset by the players in the industry.

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Lisa Flieg

“Bring lots of enthusiasm and perseverance”: Alumnus SpinDiag shares lessons learned in finding investors

Some exciting news from the CODE_n Community! When we read the story at the end of last month it was nothing short of phenomenal. One of our alumni, the HealthTech startup SpinDiag, has just drummed up €1.6 million in seed capital. The team plans to use the funding to roll out its revolutionary point-of-care screening system for antibiotic resistance and conduct initial trials in hospitals. The HealthTech startup has been working on its novel solution since 2016, following a spinoff from the Hahn-Schickard R&D institute. The system could potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives, thanks to a simple screening test that can ascertain in as little as 30 minutes if a patient is carrying drug-resistant bacteria and thus requires treatment in isolation from other patients. Introducing the screening systems to hospital wards could drastically reduce mortalities resulting from germs: Colonization and infections can be detected immediately and positive patients treated in isolation, thus preventing the transmission of drug-resistant bacteria in the long term. We spoke to the team about the seed funding initiative and asked them what tips they would give to startups. Of course, we were also dying to hear about their plans!

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Lena Gaede

Partnering up – let’s change perspective! 5 keys to success for corporations when collaborating with startups

The larger a business grows, the harder it becomes to champion innovation. Deep-rooted routines and long decision-making processes can keep a business from realizing its full potential. But there is hope! Thriving startups are driven by entrepreneurial energy, excitement, creativity and a killer desire to change things for the better. So, why not partnering up with a startup to ensure a fresh breeze?

But how do you guarantee success?

Corporations, listen up: here are our 5 tips for the collaboration with startups.

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Lisa Flieg

“Banks are at real risk of losing their power position”: FinTech feature part 1 with Meniga

Banks need to wrap up warmly – the upheaval across the whole sector has only just begun! Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are on a mission to revolutionize our monetary system, roboadvisors are superseding human financial advisors using sophisticated algorithms that predict the best personal investment strategy, or transfer money at the click of an icon on your smartphone. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is huge potential for disruptive concepts to take us off the beaten track into entirely new realms of banking and finance! The keys to the door for the promising FinTech startups now entering the market are customer service and automation. These two factors are defining current goals, as startups dare to challenge the hegemony of traditional financial services and the age-old banking system. How? By combining cutting-edge technology like blockchain systems, artificial intelligence and big data, and using them to create new and enhanced services for their customers. As part of our Future of Finance and Banking series, we will be looking at this fascinating topic and speaking to some of the “revolutionaries” in the sector. Their aim will be to predict developments in this rapidly evolving market from their standpoint, lifting the lid on visionary FinTech business and gaining insights into the kind of financial world we can expect to experience in the future!

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Lena Gaede

Status Quo and major challenges of digitalization for SMEs – and the solutions!

Digital transformation is only for the big players? What a persistent myth. In fact, digitalization holds great opportunities for SMEs and can even level out inequalities between small and big companies. Yet, not all small- and medium-sized enterprises embrace digitalization: A study by IDC from 2016 revealed that only 42% of small businesses worldwide are actively engaged with digital transformation to automate functions, derive real-time insights, and optimize processes for performance gains.

But there is so much to gain! The mentioned study also showed that there is a connection between the state of digital transformation and revenue growth: Whereas 52% of the most fast-growing SMEs stated a rather high progress in digital transformation, only 28% of companies with flat or declining growth declared the same. Still, it is understandable that smaller firms dread bigger investments and the risks that come with it. But standing still is also not an option. Instead, let us look at the major challenges of digitalization for small and medium-sized companies and how they can tackle it!

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Mathias Jäger

Guest feature | Startups@Reeperbahn pitch – we are waiting for your applications!

On September 20th, Hamburg will be THE place to be for startups and entrepreneurs. On this day, the Startups@Reeperbahn Pitch will take place. This international competition brings the best European startups together and is organized by the independent platform Hamburg Startups for the fifth time in Hamburg. How can you apply? What can I expect? It’s all coming up now.

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