Lisa Flieg

“The automotive industry is about to undergo the biggest change in its history.” Matin Ebrahimchel of Lab1886, the Daimler incubator

Something big is a-happenin’ in CODE_n SPACES. For a number of months now, there’s been an “innovation team with a difference” pacing the corridors of the campus in Stuttgart. This year marked the launch of the new Daimler incubator Lab1886, which chose CODE_n SPACES as the premises for its fourth site, aside from Berlin, China, and the United States. The “global innovation machinery” – as it likes to call itself – was already announced at the GFT Inspiration Day (see here for our write-up). Matin Ebrahimchel, CEO of LAB1886 GmbH, joined us for an interview on the new incubator and the underlying initiative.

More…

Lisa Flieg

Antti Vihavainen of Cozify: “Obeying lean startup principles – that’s easy to say, but it’s really difficult to get right”

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.

More…

Lisa Flieg

Every euro we invest has to be earned first – an interview with Sarah Haide from MyCouchbox

Last week we heard from Sarah Haide, the founder of the snack startup MyCouchbox in our article on Female Pioneers Part 2. Today we’re back with a fascinating interview in which Sarah divulges why she launched MyCouchbox in the first place as she describes the journey she has been on as the co-founder and CEO of the e-commerce company. The business founder from Stuttgart also explains why the model based on subscription boxes was actually plan B at the beginning and how involuntarily bootstrapping her own firm also has its advantages! The result was a candid interview on differences between the owners, the constancy of core values in a setting that is subject to continual change, and the importance of understanding human nature when selecting staff.

More…

Lisa Flieg

Startup Codeatelier: “Don’t set up a company in the hardware sector” Interview Part 2

We continue our Alumnus catch up with Codeatelier and provide you with more founders news of Waldemar and Jochen. If you missed the start, don’t forget to catch a glimpse at part 1. But finally, find our why they don’t necessarily recommend establishing a startup in the hardware sector to other entrepreneurs. Furthermore the founding duo sheds light on what’s behind the new startup project Steuerbot.

More…

Lisa Flieg

Startup Codeatelier: “Our tip to entrepreneurs? Find partners and an amazing co-founder!” Interview Part 1

We love alumni reunions! At the GFT Inspiration Day, we had the opportunity to meet up again with smart home startup Codeatelier. Its two founders, Waldemar and Jochen, gave us an update on what’s been happening since they took part in the CODE_n CONTEST back in 2013. And here’s what we can tell you: There has been a lot of development, since through the competition and the platform at CeBIT, they were able to find a key partner to help them grow further and have now even come up with another startup idea – Steuerbot – which they are currently working on. You’ll also learn in part 2 of the interview why the founding duo doesn’t necessarily recommend establishing a startup in the hardware sector to other entrepreneurs ;-).

 

More…

Lisa Flieg

Tech founder Tobias Günther: “A balanced lifestyle is crucial for your long-term success”

At the CODE_n event “The Art of Guidance – The Complexity of Leading Corporations and Startups”, Tobias Günther shared some pearls of wisdom from his life as a tech founder (fournova Software). How do you lead a remote team? How do you create a unique culture in your own company that the employees feel part of? Tobias spoke about his first-hand experiences in his presentation and also recommended a leadership style that is modest and which regards colleagues as competent partners. Today, we are speaking to him about how the topics of founding a company and stress management are related, and what he does to maintain the right balance despite many challenges. Teaser: That’s where mindfulness comes into play. Once again, we have a number of valuable tips and a wealth of inspiration to share with you!

More…

Lisa Flieg

“VCs enjoy a relaxed conversation too”, says Andreas Helbig from Project A

Startups watch out. Today, we’re switching sides. Look forward to an exciting interview with VC Andreas Helbig from the Berlin-based venture capital firm Project A. Andreas has already revealed during his talk at the GFT Inspiration Day on July 29th, 2017, that Project A is looking to step up its activities in southern Germany in the future. After all, in addition to digital health, financial technology, insurance technology, and new business models in the field of real estate brokering, B2B platforms and Industry 4.0 are now also the focus of investment for Project A. Today, Andreas reports in his capacity as VC from the other side of the “game”, and tells us what No-Gos startups absolutely need to avoid on the pitch deck, and what VCs really value. He also provides tips on how you can successfully gain access to investors, and what to do when the big moment arrives: With this insider knowledge, you’re guaranteed to make a good impression on your next pitch!

More…

Lisa Flieg

Sina Gritzuhn: “One main reason startups fail is because the team crumbles”

Germany has an international reputation for successful industry and traditional products, many of which it has been honing and perfecting for decades. The startup scene has been coming more and more out of the woodwork recently! This new flurry of activity is not just limited to the German capital, however. The German startup ecosystem is quickly sprouting roots in areas many hours’ drive from Berlin and it’s turning out to be quite diverse. “There are some exciting German startups and they’re not just based in urban areas or ‘hotspots,’ they’re all over the country.” Sina Gritzuhn has now joined forces with her co-founder Sanja Stankovic to turn up the spotlight on the outer reaches of German entrepreneurship, where she believes the media are not doing enough to tell people all the great things that are going on.

We decided to speak to Sina about their vision of improving the visibility of the regional startup scenes in Germany and easing accessibility. Sina also took the opportunity to reveal what drives her and who it was who provided her with so much personal inspiration when it comes to entrepreneurship! She also has three tips for business founders – a treasure trove of experience with the definitely-do’s of successful startups.

More…