Lisa Flieg

The healthtech revolution is gaining ground! But how are entrepreneurs protecting their own health?

In a recent interview with Tobias Günther, we explored the topic of work-life balance and how he has handled stress while starting up his own company. When asked whether the founder of a startup is even able to strike a healthy balance between work and other aspects of life, he answered, “You definitely can. And, maybe more importantly: you have to! The alternative of constantly overstraining yourself is simply not sustainable.” On the other side of this equation you’ll find ambitious entrepreneurs in the fields of medicine and healthtech working to keep improving human health in a wide range of areas. Their inventions are making a contribution toward empowering people to lead healthy lives that are worth living. We recently reported on monikit, the team planning to launch the first smartwatch for epileptics in 2020. BABYBE medical is working on a high-tech cushion that supports the development of premature babies in incubators.

But how do entrepreneurs actually take care of their own health in the high-pressure environment of a startup? And what does healthtech have to offer a group that has been shown to carry a very high stress load? We decided to get to the bottom of these questions and went looking for answers among the healthtech startups that are part of our network. Feedback from Soma Analytics, AmbiGate, and SimyLife helped us paint a better picture of the state of healthtech and entrepreneurship.

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Lisa Flieg

“It’s all about Darwinism and survival”: fintech feature part 2 with Blockchain HELIX, Kantox, and fino digital

In part 1 we promised you that we still have more expert opinions in the pipeline, ready to discuss the future of banking and finance and what it holds for us! In the prelude, Nordic hotshot meniga suggested that banks face a real risk of losing their position of power as players like snapchat or WeChat enter in disguise – along with giants like Amazon and thousands of emerging fintechs. However according to meniga, a CODE_n alumnus, making digital banking a drastically better environment as well as gathering speed in providing a top-notch user experience could be a lifeline that allows banks to keep pace with the emerging competitors. What do other players think? Three additional visionary fintechs predict where the digital disruption of the banking and finance sector will lead. But be prepared – they don’t offer easy answers!

CODE_n in a conversation with the CEOs of Alumni Blockchain HELIX, Kantox, and fino digital.

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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Quantum Base from the UK

qb_logoMeet another one of our CODE_n CONTEST HealthTech Finalists: Quantum Base designs, develops, and delivers quantum security solutions, which are based on quantum mechanics rather than mathematical complexity. This is the only proven way to save digital information securely. The British startup was spun out from Lancaster University and provides solutions that are 100% secure and guaranteed by the laws of physics. Dr Robert Young, Co-Founder of Quantum Base, took the time to tell us all you need to know about his startup!

What is Quantum Base all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Robert: At the core of our organizational philosophy is a fundamental belief that product, data security and integrity is a sensible and basic human right, indeed a requirement, in all modern-day societies.

The digitized, connected societies we inhabit are driven by a dependency on ever-increasing security requirements, but how can you depend on anything if you can’t trust it? At Quantum Base our core concern is guaranteeing 100% product security, authenticity or data integrity. So whether we’re talking about a pill to a painting, to a prize-winning horse; or a form of packaging or even a bit of data on a network or in free space, we use the laws of quantum physics to create simple, small, practical and cheap quantum security solutions that are 100% provably secure. It is this level of unbreakable security which we can deliver, that bridges the current, and ever-increasing gap in security between the good guys and the bad guys.

How did we make this happen? Well, the idea was to smash together a world leading scientist, two sharp technologists, and a really average entrepreneur. Then add in some super smart people, and stick them all in the mixer together. We said, if we create an environment of trust, mutual respect, and driven by a real need to dramatically and urgently disrupt the way things are done in the security space, we’ll find a better, smarter way of thinking about the security and integrity of literally everything we work, use, buy consume, communicate, and play with.

Finally, we encourage them all to make beautiful music together, you know, the stuff that gets you just there, in the heart; the stuff that moves you, shakes you; makes you want to cry, gets you pumped, and bang, literally! …the result is Quantum Base.

So, in maybe less romantic terms, it’s two normal guys (friends), The Royal Society (arguably the greatest scientist in the world), world-leading scientists at a world leading institution, and business leaders and visionary’s. All trying to change the way the world views or “does” security in many different ways. It’s about absolutely believing that you can, and have to, create small, cheap, and practical products or solutions; quantum security solutions so elegantly simple, that anyone can use them, so anyone can have the security we feel is their right. So here at Quantum Base that’s what we’re doing, we’re building it, and we hope that the people will come, see our vision, and help us build our 100% provable and unbreakable security products, guaranteed by the laws of physics. For us building provable trust and security serves as the building block for everything else.

Quantum_Base_Team_pic

The Quantum Base Team

“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?

Robert: What’s so fundamentally different is our Optical Q-ID or Q PUF (Quantum physically unclonable function) uses new two-dimensional materials (e.g. graphene like sheets) that can be read with a smart phone and cheap filter. The devices are secure to the atomic scale; as secure as it’s possible to build, and the best bit – they can be mass-produced to ensure they are amazingly cheap. So, in terms of authentication for instance, you can tag any product or any packaging whatsoever, because the devices are literally miniscule (microscopic, e.g. a few thousand atoms in size).
As each one has its own unique ID, and can literally be placed on any surface, of any thing, it means you can address each one directly in real time, using Internet or new media technologies with a remote database.
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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Bodle Technologies from United Kingdom

Another meeting with one of our finalists is on the agenda! In the third part of our series, we talked with Peiman Hosseini, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Bodle Technologies, who told us all there is to know about the UK based startup. Bodle provides advanced optoelectronic solutions for revolutionary displays and smart windows.

What is Bodle Technologies all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Bodle_LogoPeiman: It all started from a breakthrough in optoelectronics published by our founders in Nature. Our unprecedented technology can filter, steer or dim light at a flick of a switch and most importantly, without consuming any power after the switching is completed. The research has received broth popular and scientific press coverage across the world from India and Australia to Europe and the US such as the MIT Technology review, New Scientist, The Economist, Fortune, BBC news and many others. More recently, we managed to acquire a considerable amount of venture capital funding and spun out Bodle Technologies, a startup company that aims to commercialize various applications based on our invention.

“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?

Peiman: Bodle’s entirely solid state technology could enable a new generation of flexible, ultra-thin, reflective displays, with thicknesses in the range of nanometre and ultra-high resolution. Several features distinguish this technology from what is currently available: such displays will be naturally ultra-high in resolution with pixels in the nanometre region. As a comparison, the latest generation LCD / OLED displays have pixels more than 600 times bigger than Bodle’s proof of concept. Bright colours are created by interference without using filters, dyes or organic materials. This feature allows the creation of deeply saturated colours with a gamut larger than that of LCD and even OLED displays. The switching time is also amazingly short; the average switching speed of current LCD display is in the µs range, 100 to a 1000 times slower than our proof of concept. Because of the reflective nature of Bodle’s display technology, no back illumination is necessary in order to clearly perceive an image and power consumption is drastically reduced. Such displays would be readable even in bright sunlight – something that the current colour displays are not capable of. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

CODE_n Alumni | Catching up with … Massive Analytic

Massive Analytic, a pioneer in Artifical Precognition, was one of CODE_n’s finalists in 2014 and has come on leaps and bounds since its time with us in Hanover. In our next part of the CODE_n Alumni catch-up series, we talked to CEO George Frangou about the young company’s most important learnings and greatest achievements (like building a relationship with Microsoft) since then.

massiveanalytic

Following on from your time as a CODE_n finalist, what have been Massive Analytic’s greatest achievements?

George Frangou: I would say our greatest achievement has been the launch of Oscar AP on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace in June of this year. Our technology is now available for purchase. It’s exciting to be building that relationship with Microsoft. We’re also proud of our entry to the Lockheed Martin Virtual Technology Cluster. Getting both of those endorsements have been great for us.

What lessons have you learned or failures you’ve experienced and how have you coped with them?

George Frangou: The key lessons we have learned over the last year is to get our product messaging right. Often it is easy to be passionate about the product and describe it in a manner that does not resonate with the target audience. We were able to set that right on the back of our involvement in CODE_n and the client engagements that followed immediately.

What were your biggest takeaways from your time at CODE_n?

George Frangou: The biggest takeaway from CODE_n for me was seeing how many young innovative companies there are doing different and exciting things. It was great to share experiences and inspiring to see what’s going on. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

CODE_n Alumni | Catching up with … Soma Analytics

In 2012, our CODE_n Alumnus Soma Analytics started out with an honorable vision: to reduce work-related stress and make work-life more sustainable. Three years later the company, now based in UK’s startup hotspot London, has just been named Europe’s best mHealth Startup. Their flagship product is an evidence based mobile resilience program for employees which provides personalized improvement plans and interventions based on biometric information tracked by a smartphone. We talked to Johann Huber, CEO of Soma Analytics, about his initial idea, his achievements, tips for young founders and the advantages of his adoptive home London.

Following on from your time as a CODE_n Finalist, what have been Soma Analytics’ greatest achievements?

JohannHuber_SOMAAnalytics_komprimiertJohann: Believe it or not we met one of our first and biggest clients at the CODE_n booth at CeBIT. Now we are working together with them in three countries. Besides that we have just been named “Europe’s best mHealth Startup 2015” by the European Commission. We also collected more than one million Euros in external funding through grants and angel investment.

What lessons have you learned or failures you’ve experienced and how have you coped with them?

Johann: It’s been an extremely steep learning curve in the last one and a half years. The biggest learning is that a great product is not selling itself. You need to be as innovative in sales as you are in product development. When we started we didn’t have many reference cases so it took a lot of convincing to get the ball rolling and to build momentum. But it is not always a disadvantage to be a small company. Larger companies like innovation and the speed with which startups are moving forward… so whenever you meet someone there is a bit of curiosity and people are intrigued how life is in a startup.

What were your biggest takeaways from your time at CODE_n?

Johann: Of course the biggest amazement was that we won the selfie challenge with Ulrich Dietz, so I guess an awesome picture counts as our biggest takeaway! All jokes aside, through CODE_n we were able to meet some amazing thought leaders in big data and speak to very interesting companies. And as I mentioned above we met our first big client there.

What advice would you give to startups looking to enter CODE_n?

Johann: Be prepared to give your pitch at least 500 times – so take some sore throat medication with you to CeBIT. But seriously, you will pitch a lot so keep smiling and be energetic. Also get some gadgets to show people and attract attention to your stand. Through our stress measurement app we got a lot of attention and amazing press. It also helped to explore the halls around CODE_n. Last but not least I would definitely recommend sticking around for the evening events which are great fun. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Can London Tech Startups Step Out Of the Shadow of Silicon Valley?

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.

Source: istockphoto.com, © alice-photo

Source: istockphoto.com, © alice-photo

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…

Dirk Baranek

Finalist | Oden Technologies (UK) – infrastructure for the industry 4.0

oden technologies quadratThe London startup Oden Technologies delivers the complete infrastructure to manufacturing companies to enable them to implement Industry 4.0 quickly and conveniently. Sensors can collect data from machines, making devices visible, actionable and accessible anywhere and on any device. We asked the CODE_n finalist some questions.

Further information: CODE_n CONNECTWebsiteTwitter

Where did your idea for the company come from?

The idea came to me while I was studying industrial engineering, specializing in production. A professor sent me around to manufacturing companies to interview them on how they were doing continuous analytics and optimization. It was astounding to see how little was done and what the potential was. If the analytics was done, the data collection happened irregularly and manually. If the companies were using software (ERP or SCADA- type systems), there was a serious lack of intuitive visualizations and understanding of the data, and most importantly translating it into actions.

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