Lisa Flieg

Jennifer Indovina from smart energy startup Tenrehte: “Hire slow, fire fast”

She’s a CODE_n Alumnus, a TED fellow, and a passionate entrepreneur on a mission to save the world from energy waste. We had a chat with a real pioneer in smart energy, the fabulous Jennifer Indovina, founder of Tenrehte Technologies! By creating the PICOwatt device, Jen has helped make the world a better place by saving tons of energy. After founding Tenrehte in 2010, Jen has staffed a great team and brought her small but ingenious helper into data centers around the world. She continues to inspire others – especially women – to do their own thing. In our interview, she shares insights into her convictions as a social-minded founder, her straight approach to leadership, and the hustle and bustle of entrepreneurial life. This one is a ripsnorter.


Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Guest article | EY: Smart energy meters to provide valuable “gateway” to the home

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

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…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Partner interview: Uli Huener of EnBW on digitization, transformation & the energy transition

‘We are living the change – the course for change has been set. We’re fully aware of how important innovations are for our future’, as Uli Huener emphasises in our interview. Uli Huener is Head of Innovation Management at EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG. This year, EnBW is the new partner of CODE_n, the ecosystem designed to network digital pioneers.

Bild am anfangMr Huener, the energy industry in Germany faces major challenges in implementing the energy transition, not only technologically but also economically. What is your assessment of the pressure for change?

Uli Huener, EnBW: For the energy sector, the extent of anticipated change and need for transformation is unprecedented: there are social and fundamental market changes occurring simultaneously. This places strong pressure on the business models that have historically characterised the energy industry. In addition technology trends such as digitalization, increasing device connectivity / machine to machine communication put pressure on the existing utility business. Classic customer-supplier relationships are changing drastically, revolutionising the industry across the existing value chain. More…

Dirk Baranek

Finalist | Greenbird (Norway): Software for the digital power utility

CODE_n15 Finalist Greenbird from Norway is offering power utility companies the application Metercloud to provide ways to integrate smart metering and smart grids into existing business applications – at a reduced cost. This allows Greenbird and its integration service Metercloud to enable power utility companies to become digital. We talked to Thorsten Heller, CEO of Greenbird, about the details.

More information about Greenbird: CODE_n CONNECT | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Where did your idea for the company come from?

Thorsten Heller, Greenbird: The founders of Greenbird had many years of experience as integration architects and integration developers for the biggest power utilities in the Nordics. Experience from these companies revealed that most utility companies start from scratch when they develop and implement integrations for their business applications. This approach translates into high-risk projects with regard to costs and time to market. Years of experience from the utilities industry also showed that the business processes required for implementing smart metering and smart grid technologies are very similar among utility companies. These findings were the foundation for establishing Greenbird and our core service Metercloud – a big data integration service for smart metering, smart grids and the Internet of Things.


Janina Benz

Crowdfunding goes green – Econeers supports an energy transition from the grassroots

Michael Brey - Corporate Communications at Econeers

Michael Brey – Corporate Communications at Econeers

The story behind Econeers
We have started Econeers in October 2013 as sister-platform of Seedmatch, the German market leader in crowdfunding for startups and partner of CODE_n. So we have transferred our experience as well as  the proved concept of crowdfunding to the prospering field of renewable energies and sustainability. That was because we discovered large similarities between both concepts: The energy transition in Germany has been basically driven by civil investors right from the start. Almost 50 percent of the renewable energy facilities are paid with private money. Since 2001 over 880 energy cooperatives have been founded by citizens intending to strengthen their independence from large energy groups. So starting a new crowdfunding platform with a focus on clean energy projects in order to create an easier and more efficient way of civil participation was just a logical consequence for us. More…

Janina Benz

Reunion with CODE_n13 alumnus Daniela Schiffer from Changers

Daniela (Changers) with Felix, Johanna and Elke (CODE_n Team) f.l.t.r.

Daniela (Changers) with Felix, Johanna and Elke (CODE_n Team, f.l.t.r.)

Yesterday we welcomed Daniela Schiffer – co-founder of Changers and CODE_n13 winner – in our office in Stuttgart (Germany). Seven months after CeBIT we were curious what has happend in the meantime.

In our interview with Daniela we talked about her experience at CeBIT, the busy time after the trade fair show managing all the media requests, why saving energy can be fun, especially with a hip product and an active community involved. In the past months Changers doubled the number of sold products and increased the community engagement through gaming mechanisms. The team is busy finding new partners and is working on new distribution concepts.

Find the whole audio interview below.

Paula Cizek

Congratulations to the CODE_n13 Winners!

After months of deliberation, we are proud to announce the winners of the second annual CODE_n contest! won first place in the Startup category, and GREENCLOUDS took first place in the Emerging Company category; each received prize money amounting to €15,000.

Although the two company serve different customers, their commitment to cleantech solutions is clear. Changers, based in Berlin, has developed portable solar-powered chargers for smartphones and tablets. The chargers measure the amount of CO2 that has been saved and convert it to “Changers Credits,” which are posted to the online community and can be exchanged for sustainable products and services. The Netherlands’ GREENCLOUDS has developed a technology platform that makes idle resources in data processing centers to others, which allows companies to create a new source of income while reducing the data centers’ carbon footprints.

CODE_n13 Award Show

CODE_n13 Award Show

The contest was highly competitive from the beginning: of the 250 companies from 35 countries that entered, just 50 finalists were invited to exhibit at the CODE_n hall at CeBIT. “We found selecting the winners was a very difficult task,” stated Ulrich Dietz, CEO of GFT and initiator of CODE_n. “Many of the finalists caught our attention with their exceptional business models addressing the energy transition.”

In addition, carzapp and Codeatelier were recognized with special prizes sponsored by the international automotive supplier, Continental, the newest partner to CODE_n. carzapp, based in Berlin, operates a private carsharing platform through which anyone can make their car available for rental, while Burgstetten-based Codeatelier has developed Homee, an app that allows users to control a variety of devices in their home. The companies will share a show booth with Continental at the international automobile show IAA in Frankfurt, as well as receive mentoring from experienced innovators.

Changers and carzapp are continuing their winning streak this week with additional awards: just yesterday, these two companies won a special crowdfunding prize at CODE_n. From now until May 5, private investors with a bank account in Germany can visit to buy shares in the companies starting at €250. In total, both companies have a chance to earn up to €250,000 in venture capital.

If you’re at CeBIT, we encourage you to stop by our both and congratulate the winners and the other finalists; they’ll be at Hall 16 until Saturday. Congratulations once again to all who participated!

To read the associated CODE_n press release please click here.

Janina Benz

CODE_n13 Jury: Interview Antonella Battaglini

Antonella Battaglini - CODE_n13 Juror

Antonella Battaglini – CODE_n13 Juror


Since 2001, CODE_n Juror Antonella Battaglini, a researcher for the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), has devoted herself to the area of renewable energy. She introduced her groundbreaking intelligent electricity network concept, called SuperSmart Grid, to the public in 2007. SuperSmart Grids connect transmission networks in order to distribute electricity from wind, bio mass or solar power around the globe – according to demand. Antonella Battaglini is also Programme Director of the Smart Energy for Europe Platform (SEFEP) and Co-founder of the climate organisation TheCompensators.

Janina Benz: Europe is theoretically able to fully generate its power from renewable energy resources. What is your ideal vision of an efficient and environmentally friendly power supply?

Antonella Battaglini: Europe has indeed large renewable resources, and it could even use 100% renewable sources to fuel its power sector. However, resources are not evenly distributed, and they are variable. To realize a power sector that is largely based on renewable sources, we need to become real Europeans by overcoming the national approaches to energy and developing a system which is good for the majority and not for a few. In this period of European crises, we need more Europe than ever, for energy security, price predictability, and for addressing the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation. My ideal vision is for us to become better citizens, be aware of our actions and make informed choices. My vision is to stop believing in black-and-white publicity, acknowledge that Earth is the only home we have, and quickly figure out how to share it and preserve it for future generations. Energy is one important piece of the puzzle. My vision is better and coherent policies to tackle the challenges in a coordinated and holistic way. More…