Cozify – Revolutionizing Home Automation, something we headlined in 2015! At the time, the CODE_n15 contestant was pursuing a vision to provide home automation to everyone. In a follow-up with Antti Vihavainen 10 months after participating in the CONTEST, he told us the latest developments regarding the successful shipping of the first Cozify hubs, which also brought valuable customer and market insights. Cooperation with big players and continuous work with international channel partners really helped boost the business. “Obviously our task is to copy and improve on the progress we made in Finland,” Antti now tells us. Two years on, we had the pleasure of chatting with him again and so much has happened. Prepare yourself for the fact that Cozify is daring to transform the insurance sector from acting as a reactive provider of compensation to becoming a proactive companion in life – based on an enhanced vision of expanding out of the smart home toward a more comprehensive smart living concept! Fail fast, iterate fast, and the balancing act between quick revenue and hunting scalable opportunities are just some of the topics Antti discussed with us.
We continue with an in-depth look at the trend of robotics and AI! Today, let’s turn to another fascinating startup story, this time in a field undergoing sweeping developments – especially when it merges with educational technology (EdTech): our Spanish CODE_n alumnus Aisoy Robotics. Aisoy creates “emotional entertainment robots” that are changing the way people play, learn, discover, and have fun. Will they revolutionize the education industry by getting robots to teach children – not only in terms of knowledge acquisition but also emotional intelligence? Learn more in this interview with Aisoy Robotics and its founder and CEO, José Manuel del Río.
Today we catch up with CODE_n Alumnus and Industry 4.0 (smart factories/connected manufacturing) startup Evercam. The founders Marco and Vinnie embarked on their business idea in 2010 by filming construction projects in Berlin. Much has happened since then. They’ve relocated to the capital of Ireland and now work in partnership with Lensmen, a leading player in the Irish photography and videography market. The startup is gaining success providing a monitoring software platform for the worldwide construction industry.
When entering the CODE_n CONTEST in 2015, the Hamburg-based startup Connected-Health.Eu had exactly one goal: to improve the connection between doctors and patients. The young company based around Johannes Jacubeit (Ph.D.) has come a long way since then, constantly improving the idea behind their product: finding a modern way to transfer a patient’s health data (medical records, radiographs, …) into the doctor’s office – via smartphone – securely and conveniently. For our CODE_n Alumni catch-up series, we had a quick chat with Gabriel Adorf, Designer at Connected-Health.Eu about the latest developments.
Following on from your time as a CODE_n Finalist, what have been Connected-Health.Eu’s greatest achievements?
Gabriel: We have succeeded in building a running beta version of our hardware and are testing it in 20 doctor’s offices in Hamburg. Corresponding to that we have successfully launched an iOS and an Android App. We have raised a seven digit seed investment in 12/2015 from High-Tech-Gründerfonds, Innovationsstarter Fonds of the city of Hamburg, and a group of private investors. (Editors note: You can find all the information in the respective press release.)
What lessons have you learned or failures you’ve experienced and how have you coped with them?
Gabriel: We talked to an investor too long, that eventually just jumped the ship after three months of negotiations. We should have canceled the deal way earlier. We coped with it by having better investors now who really believe in the product as well as the team.
What were your biggest takeaways from your time at CODE_n?
Gabriel: We learned how important it is to get everybody from the team out of the office from time to time to speak to customers and to people who never heard a thing about the product. It helps you in every position in the company to know how to explain everything in a few sentences and to know all the common questions about the product. More…
In our first interview with parkpocket, Karoline Bader, CFO of the future mobility startup, told us all about their initial idea and vision. A lot has happened since then: the team backing siblings Karoline and Stefan Bader worked hard; parkpocket celebrated a product relaunch today. Originally based in Munich, they grew immensely and recently opened a second office in Stuttgart, located in the CODE_n SPACES. This goes hand-in-hand with even bigger news: GFT, the initiator behind CODE_n, has invested in the startup once selected as finalist for the CODE_n15 CONTEST.
Around half a million – that’s the amount GFT invested in the startup with the parking solution; however, the bond between the young company and its investor goes beyond money. Ulrich Dietz, CEO of GFT and CODE_n initiator, believes that the parkpocket solution “will solve a very essential issue. An issue that millions of people face on a daily basis.” To Stefan Bader, CEO of parkpocket, Ulrich Dietz has taken on the role of a mentor: “For us, GFT is a partner and advisor, rather than just an investor,” he says. The relationship is also special in the sense that, while GFT has acquired quite a few firms in the past, this is its very first startup investment.
Embedded into the CODE_n Ecosystem
With the opening of an office in the CODE_n SPACES, parkpocket is automatically embedded into the CODE_n Ecosystem – even more so now than they were before. Although CODE_n has been set up as an international startup initiative, bringing in partners and know-how from all over the globe, being based in the CODE_n SPACES Stuttgart means: being close to Baden-Wuerttemberg’s strong industrial environment. As a future mobility startup, parkpocket will definitely be benefiting from the fact that the automotive industry is literally right around the corner.
By 2020, there will be an estimated one billion smart meters in consumers’ homes around the world, able to give live feedback on energy use. These smart meters will “talk” directly to utility companies, providing them with a gateway to a wealth of valuable data.
Adlai Goldberg, Partner, Advisory, EY Switzerland
In a workshop on smart energy, EY’s Adlai Goldberg and Alain Bollack debated what the implications are for both industry and the consumer. “As a consumer, when you have live data on your energy consumption, you’ll be able to see how much you’re spending and change your habits or take steps such as insulating your house,” said Bollack. “Smart meters will also make it easier to switch providers.”
He said the home is the last space where there is a battle for control; once people get used to the smart meter, they will add more and more devices and want to control them remotely from their phone or tablet – generating a goldmine of data. “The question is, who gets control of that gateway – will it be utility companies, telecoms companies or entertainment and games companies?” asked Goldberg. “Will it be a large player or a new entrant to the market who comes up with a brilliant innovation?” More…
Businesses in all sectors “must wake up to the huge potential of 3D printing or risk losing out”, said Dr Susanne Wosch, speaking at CODE_n.
Dr. Susanne Wosch, Senior Manager, Advisory Services, EY
Companies’ entire value chains are being affected by this disruptive technology, said Wosch, EY Senior Manager, Advisory Services, Strategy, Innovation Management. “If you don’t use it, one of your competitors will.”
Additive manufacturing has been around for almost 30 years, but it is only with the rise of digital technology that it has really come into its own. It has multiple possible applications, from rapid prototyping to marketing, where, for instance, a company could print sample packaging to show its clients.
Faster, cheaper, easier
There are many advantages of producing items using 3D printing rather than conventional manufacturing processes. Two main ones are that, firstly, it simplifies and shortens the production process – the product is printed in one go, even if it has moving parts, so there is no need for assembly. Secondly, it reduces costs: you don’t have to pay for and store items “just in case”; instead, you print them only as and when you need them. More…
Smart cities – where everything is connected – offer huge potential for making people’s lives better. But they also create a much greater risk of cyber attack.
Ken Allan | Partner | Global Leader, Cyber Security
At a CODE _n workshop on protecting the smart city, Ken Allan, Global Leader, Cyber Security at EY, said the problem is that when everything is connected, there is a much greater “attack surface,” leaving previously secure sites vulnerable to hackers. “The number of devices and systems that are connected provide pathways into the things we care about,” he said. “There’s an entire industry out there trying to work out ways to take advantage of this connectivity for malicious purposes. These are not just lone-wolf hackers but organized groups and, in some cases, nation states.”
Hackers becoming more sophisticated
The ramifications are huge. Cyber attacks are becoming highly sophisticated and increasingly persistent, and there have been many instances where hackers have failed to break directly into an organization but have managed to gain access to a third party and then use the links between the third party and the target organization to jump across systems. We have to think about not just the cyber security of our own city, company or government but also the security of everything these organizations are linked to. More…