Goerke, Founder & CEO of CODE_n Alumnus GPredictive
As CODE_n finalists from 2014, they are attending CODE_n15 at CeBIT as start-up veterans: GPredictive from Hamburg analyzes buying behavior from customer data to derive patterns for the future. The young company offers its analytical expertise as software-as-a-service. This means that it is affordable for smaller and medium-sized companies too.
As alumni, you’re again represented at this year’s CODE_n15 at CeBIT. Looking back, what were your impressions last year of your CODE_n premiere?
Björn Goerke (GPredictive): I think the entrepreneurial spirit at CODE_n is really exciting. There was a tremendous amount of energy in the venue. And the interest that our stand generated was simply overwhelming. It was usually after 4 p.m. before I managed to get anything to eat … Being mobbed by so many interested trade fair delegates was great fun. Everyone who came to see us really enjoyed looking at our business model.
What’s happened to your start-up in the last twelve months?
Björn Goerke (GPredictive): We’ve doubled in size and we now have a ten-strong team. We sourced a major investor in the form of Target Partners, and we’re now in a position to increase our team even further. Overall, we’ve massively optimized our product approach. Our analytics solution “Scores out of a box” now runs virtually fully automatically, which means that we’re able to respond much more quickly than we did a year ago. We now have a mature product and a growing number of satisfied customers. More…
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.
Success begins with a great founding team.
Founders are the literary “foundation” of a start-up, decisions about with whom you want to build your company are THE major factors of success. Great teams can make a bad idea fly, but not the other way around.
Your co-founders’ qualities, expertise and flexibility are responsible for the actions your start-up team can and will take and therefore determine your start-ups future path. Decisions like: “How do we do it?”, “When will we do it?” and “Will we do it at all?” are a matter of consensus in your team.
So choosing your co-founders carefully and wisely is very important. Experienced founders invest time in building great and complementary teams, sometimes even before they decide about which business idea to follow.
At mitgründer.com our users have the possibility to get in touch with thousands of potential co-founders and they search in hundreds of cofounder ads for their complement (You!) for great founding teams.
With a population of about 540,000 people, Luxembourg doesn’t even rival major German cities like Stuttgart in terms of size. That said, the grand duchy is home to a lively startup scene. And since the geography of the market is quite limiting, young companies based in Luxembourg tend to be open to the outside and often look for business opportunities abroad. One initiative that supports local startups in their development toward international markets is the non-profit organization Europe4Startups.
And it was the team assembled by the young multiple founder Jérôme Zois who hosted the first founders’ forum and startup conference in Luxembourg on October 19. At this event called Founders in a Castle, we introduced ourselves as partners and presented CODE_n. The concept: Take up-and-coming startups from Luxembourg, a number of their most exciting counterparts from the rest of Europe, and investors from Paris, Brussels, London, Berlin, Israel and Silicon Valley. Then bring them all together at two of the most exclusive locations in the country. The Mudam, or Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art, was chosen for the pitching session. Then came a stop at House 17 – the exclusive “private members club” – for the startup party of the year. More…
At 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, we’ll all be eagerly awaiting the StartUpBus Germany. Approximately 30 “Buspreneurs” will then be welcomed, each ready to present the strategies they’ve developed while en route to us. The strategy topic: how to ramp up their business models. We also plan to highlight the topic of collaboration between startups and corporations. If you’re interested, you’re welcome to attend!
StartUpBus Europe: Hackathon at 100 kph
6 buses are traveling across Europe for three days, following various routes on the way to the Pioneers Festival in Vienna. The event has been organized as a hackathon. During the bus ride, passengers will work up their startup idea – from the initial concept to the finished product, including the business model. The winner will be announced at the final stop in Vienna.
Bus stop at CODE_n: Sunday, Oct 26, 6:00 p.m.
The German StartUpBus will make a stopover at CODE_n @ GFT Technologies in Stuttgart on Sunday evening. The event will look primarily at scaling and growth hacking: How do startups really get off the ground; that is, how can they be prepared for a mass market? And how could collaboration with established companies contribute to this?
A couple of years ago, it would have been impossible to build an electronic device from scratch in just three days – or at least it felt that way. Nowadays, this is a reality. In fact, it happens all over the world, all the time. Thanks to 3D printers, CNC machines, cheap and easy-to-use solutions like the Arduino, the Raspberry Pi or the Intel© Galileo, plus the availability of inexpensive sensors, people can transform their ideas into smart, connected products – working prototypes – all in a matter of hours. “IoT is at a tipping point right now – idea, product and market are closer together than ever. All you need is smart people with ideas,” says Philip Moynagh, Intel’s senior vice president regarding the Internet of Things. Ideas and smart people we found at the Hardware Hackathon in Dublin.
Following the Fall 2011 launch of crowdfunding on the Seedmatch and Innovestment platforms, this new-fangled financing instrument also took to the stage at the CeBIT trade show this year. Topping the bill at the event were two business startups, Changers.com and carzapp, the two recipients of coveted crowdfunding services from Seedmatch at the CODE_n contest. Both young companies have already reaped the rewards of crowdfunding: carzapp successfully revved up 363 investors with its concept and attracted capital worth €250,000. As Changers.com prepared to lower the curtain on its funding drive on May 2, 2013, it had 151 small investors offering a total of €80,750. In both cases, investors within the “crowd” participate via an equity-like shareholding loan (a German “partiarisches Darlehen”). Accordingly, every investor is entitled to a share of the startup’s commercial success.
René Klein – CEO of www.fuer-gruender.de
The usual approach taken on other platforms is based on classic “dormant equity” holdings. The German Efi think-tank (the Expert Commission on Research and Innovation) looked closely at this area for its 2013 annual expert report, concluding that, “In the opinion of the expert commission, equity-based crowdfunding could play an increasingly important role [in the future], especially during the early-stage financing of startups.”
This is also underscored by recent data from our crowdfunding monitor issued on March 31, 2013. In the first quarter of 2013, seventeen startups attracted no less than €1.8 million via crowdfunding platforms. The total value of all 67 funding rounds conducted to date in Germany is thus more than €6.5 million. There are a whole host of platforms for startups to choose from, with Seedmatch, Innovestment and Companisto topping the list of larger platforms. More…
Priti Ambani is a thought leader and prominent writer on social and environmental enterprises, start-ups and Web 2.0 businesses. She is the Managing Editor of Ecopreneurist, a notable business blog. Specializing in her ability to work with impact organizations from the ground up, Priti has developed successful business and communications strategies for fledgling start-ups, social and environmental enterprises. She also serves as a sustainability consultant at GreenDen Consultancy and advises on corporate social responsibility and the triple bottom line. Priti is a Professional Engineer and holds a Master’s degree in Biological Resources Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Janina Benz: What’s changed most about sustainable business within the last five years?
Priti Ambani: The last five years have been quite transformational. The recession made many people re-think sustainability in extreme ways. Some business owners distanced themselves from their “good business” goals as a cost-saving measure, while others doubled down on environmental and social responsibility as a way to increase the bottom line. The conversation has moved on from “what can I do to help our environment?” to “what can I do to sustain my business?” and the answer has involved being more efficient with resources and minimizing waste. Some new trends have emerged that replacing traditional business models. More…