The US continues to lead the field in attracting tech startups as we reviewed in our previous article “Pros and cons of promising tech startup hubs worldwide: Europe vs. US”. Digging a little deeper, Illinois, specifically the Chicago land area, is growing rapidly and has a hugely dynamic and supportive business environment suited especially well to tech startups.
Chicago is more than a world-famous musical title! Business friendliness, coupled with the fast-paced lifestyle, strategic location, relatively low cost of doing business, and healthy economic growth make Chicago an ideal city to start a new business.
Long gone are the days when entrepreneurs would start their business right in their hometown. Nowadays, the financial, social and digital advantages that each city can offer to startups have become a lot more important. Since founders often have the agony of choice when searching for a suitable place, we like to take a closer look at cities with promising startup hubs worldwide in a regular basis to determine their pros and cons.
Karlsruhe is excited to welcome the CODE_n new.New Festival including this year’s 52 finalists of the startup contest. The whole city is known for influencing the industrial history of the German southwest – not only by inventing bicycles and cars some decades ago, but also by shaping today’s digital transition. The universities located in Karlsruhe combined with one of Europe’s highest density of ICT-SMEs involved in research and development and quite a few renowned research institutes produce a unique number of interesting emerging startups, especially in the field of hightech and ICT. Unsurprisingly, two of the 52 CODE_n finalists are from Karlsruhe.
We would like to introduce some of the most promising young companies based in the “Fächerstadt” to you:
CODE_n finalist otego – revolutionizing the sensor market
otego is poised to be the first manufacturer of low-cost thermoelectric generators (TEGs) that are suitable for mass use. By avoiding batteries in IoT devices, otego TEGs are a sustainable solution for harvesting energy using wireless sensors and actuators. otego aims to sell its generators directly to sensor manufacturers and smart home OEMs. To achieve this, the team is setting up its own production line (capacity 1 million TEGs per year) and is already in regular contact with many potential customers.
CODE_n finalist Kinemic – gesture control at a new level
Kinemic develops software to control and interact with digital devices – from smart watches, to smartphones, AR glasses, and PCs. All it takes is a few hand and arm motions. Kinemic is currently developing its first finished products with major German enterprises. Later, the plan is to license the patented technology to OEMs and other software developers.
ArtiMinds fills the gap between autonomous and self-learning robots and classical industrial robots by providing software that is widely applicable and specialized in extremely fast and intuitive generations of complex, sensor-adaptive motion programs for robot arms, grippers and tools. This allows the industrial use and application of robotics even for varying processes and products and small production lots.
Silicon Valley is a magnet for startups seeking investment. Its “cool” image is attractive to young entrepreneurs seeking to make their fortunes. The influx of these billion-dollar wannabes is reminiscent of the California gold rush in the 19th century.
Venture capital firms on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California, have investment reserves that exceed many countries’ GDPs and there are more VCs and angels scattered across the Bay Area than anywhere else in the world. This may make Silicon Valley look like tech’s El Dorado but London’s streets are still paved with gold.
Government support and US big businesses boost London tech scene
Much is made of the lack of investment money in London. Financial support is improving as the UK’s capital city establishes itself as Europe’s foremost tech startup zone. The British government has played a large part in this and has encouraged large US tech companies to set up incubators and accelerators which offer cheap, or even free, accommodation for startups during the vulnerable period when they are establishing themselves.
This vote of confidence from the American mega-companies is beginning to make London more competitive but, to exert any real pressure on Silicon Valley, there still needs to be a greater pool of funding to support later stages of company development, enabling startups to mature and stand a better chance of thriving. According to Tech City, a government funded initiative to support the UK’s startup ecosystem, the money available is increasing annually and has grown tenfold since 2010 to $1.4bn last year. More…
Carbon footprint became a buzzword of the 21st century. It acts as an indicator for sustainability. The innovations of our finalists in this field help to have a better eye on the carbon footprint and therefore offer an opportunity to reduce it. Have a look at Carbon Control, EcoChain, ecotastic, Get-neutral, Opara, Sustainable Reference and TheGreenAge*.
Carbon Control – Darragh Kirby
EcoChain – Boudewijn & Jochem Mos
ecotastic – Anna Yukiko Bickenbach
Get-neutral – Holger Rupp
Opara – Gustavo Monteiro
Sustainable Reference – Andy Bäcker
*As soon as we receive the questionnaire of TheGreenAge it will be found here as well.