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.


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.


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 ;-).



Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Finalist | PipesBox (Germany) – “Benefits of smart devices are still hidden to the masses”

PipesBox is a hub for the smart home. Users are given an opportunity to identify their own unique use cases for their personal digital life. PipesBox includes Web services (e.g., Dropbox, Twitter) and wearables (e.g., Jawbone UP) as well as hardware devices so that users can create powerful applications by combining solutions. It is open to all smart home technologies. Jan Krog, CEO of PipesBox answered some questions for our short interview.

More information: CODE_n CONNECT | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Where did your idea for the company come from?

Jan Krog (PipesBox): Prior to starting the company, Elmar (CTO and co-founder) did lots of research in the field of the Internet of Things. That was years ago, when IoT was an abstract idea that only the experts knew about. The question was: how could devices and Web services be connected in an easy way to create additional value for the user. And thus the idea of PipesBox was born.

For which kind of audience is your product or service intended and what problem is it solving?

Jan Krog (PipesBox): PipesBox is a product for the end user. Smart Home is on the edge of the mass market. But there are several problems in the way: walled gardens (technology lock-ins), usability, attractive solutions, …
But most important: people just don’t know what they can do with all their smart devices. The benefits are still hidden to the masses.
PipesMarket solves this problem by making all kinds of device combinations searchable and visible to the user. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Finalist | Muzzley (Portugal) – “One App that Rules them All”

Muzzley isn’t just an app to control and connect all your devices, it’s an IoT platform that gathers these devices in a single place, enabling them to learn with the user’s behavior, his context and routines. It’s made for users like you and me as well as manufacturers. Inês Raimundo, Marketing & Partnerships Manager at Muzzley knows all about the two founders and their intentions and has answered all our questions.

For more information visit CODE_n CONNECT | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Where did your idea for the company come from?

Inês Raimundo (Muzzley): Domingos and Eduardo, the founders of Muzzley, had spent a long time discussing the problem of having different kinds of physical interfaces (remote controls) in the home. This problem was tackled with a unified physical remote control, but the interface was way too complicated (lots of buttons) for the common user. This led both founders to think about the best interface for the user and they came up with a simple and much more useful answer – the smartphone, something that users are always carrying with them anyway. Also, they believed that the mobile should morph according to the device/appliance the user interacts with. At the very beginning of their brainstorming process, there were only a few connected devices such as the TV and set-top boxes, alarm systems and cameras, but they immediately built an imaginary world in which everything around them was connected and interoperable. This would mean devices would talk with each other and be controlled and managed by their app, which later on was called Muzzley.

By the time the team got their first devices under the control of the Muzzley app, they were already living in a world of the Internet of Things. They soon realized that the user would need more than just manual interaction, with the smartphone as the main gateway. That was when the first tests with intelligent algorithms for Muzzley appeared. The team’s been working on it ever since and the official launch was made at CES Las Vegas 2015 back in January.

Dirk Baranek

Video: Interview with Stefanie Sedlak (tado)

Tado is a Munich based startup. They are developing – together with their community – a solution for smart energy management via intelligent climate control. In practical terms this means a device with which you can control very smart, app based and user friendly your central heating unit but also the air conditioning system.

Here’s what they’re saying about themselves…

We at tado° have been working to optimize energy consumption of buildings and adjusting it to the actual demand of the residents since autumn 2010. We question the old, developing a new hard- and software generation for heating control to replace it. Our outstanding team goes down entirely new paths with our technology.

Tado was a finalist at CODE_n14 startup contest. At the CeBIT press conference end of July in Munich we talked with Stefanie Sedlak, marketing manager of tado, about their kickstarter campaign, their experience participating in CODE_n in 2014 and about women in the startup scene in general.

Janina Benz

Homee launched crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo

Only two months ago Homee was invited to join Continental at the IAA. Now Homee is back with big news! We proudly announce that Homee launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The aim is ambitious, they need to receive 100,000 € by the crowd within 42 days. In our last post we discussed the different funding options and that crowdfunding is getting more and more popular for startups and we keep our fingers crossed.

How does Homee work?

Homee is a cool gadget and a life-style product which is also a smart home solution of high quality. Control and connect all your favorite devices with Homee. You can combine different products from different manufacturers and even different standards; and bring them all together in the easiest way possible!

Homee: your home remote from Codeatelier on Vimeo. More…

Janina Benz

Waldemar Wunder: “Maybe Homee is becoming the Facebook for (energy) data someday”

As mentioned in the last blog post, two of our CODE_n13 finalists – Codeatelier and carzapp – were invited to join Continental at the IAA, offering the startups a unique opportunity to present their business ideas at the Continental booth for two days each. I headed over to the IAA in Frankfurt on monday to speak to Waldemar Wunder, co-founder of the startup Codeatelier. We talked about his expectations for the IAA trade show, the next big steps his product “Homee” will take and the CODE_n14 Contest.

Waldemar Wunder - co-founder of Codeatelier

Waldemar Wunder – Co-founder of Codeatelier

Janina Benz: Hello Waldemar, the IAA focuses specifically on the automotive industry. Your product, Homee, is a smart home solution. What were your expectations in coming to the IAA?

Waldemar Wunder: Although we aren’t from the automotive industry per se, the topic of smart homes is significant for average people – and there are plenty of them here at the show. So we see great potential for making lots of valuable contacts. More…