Startups of the Month – April 2020


Energy Efficiency and Environment, Energy Storage, IT & ICT

Our four Startups of the Week in April at a glance

In April, the startups Wecreation, IoT connctd, Qarnot and Ice on Battery gave us exciting insights into their solutions and innovations with their Startup of the Week interviews. We have compiled statements about their business models, markets, target groups and solution approaches for you here shortly. You can read the details in the individual interviews. If you want to contact them directly , feel free to use the messenger function in our database. There you can also present yourself with your own profile and get in contact with the startups.

WeCreation – Focus on the human part of digitalization (CW15)

“We empower organizations to actively shape the future through cultural change and future competencies and to use change as an opportunity.” Christian Binninger, Co-Founder Wecreation GmbH

Digitisation is not only being pushed forward technically. Rather, people are directly involved. This is why the start-up company WeCreation focuses on “the human part of digitisation”. Through agile projects, in various workshop formats or through leadership and team coaching, they accompany organisations in their transformation processes from within. This involves developing creativity, learning processes, teamwork and the acquisition of future skills. With their WeAcademy, people can deepen what the’ve been learning in the form of “blended learning”. In the wake of the Corona crisis, WeCreation has launched three new online formats. All organisations can benefit from their service offerings. Since its founding, WeCreation has focused on the energy industry and has worked closely with municipal utilities and utility companies. Its customers include the Haldensleben municipal utilities, the Menden municipal utilities and the Dessau municipal utilities. You can read more details about them and their services in the interview or find out more in their customer requests.

To the Startup of the Week interview CW15

IoT connctd – IoT platform for scalable data-based services (CW16)

“We designed and implemented the open and scalable Service Creation IoT platform to simplify the development of data-based services.” Axel Schüßler, Co-Founder and CEO of IoT connctd

IoT connctd has created a service platform for the use and application of IoT data. This helps customers to develop data-based scalable services. IoT connctd supports the technical implementation, such as data generation and evaluation, as well as agile further processing through simulations, tests, pilots and finally scaling. Their cloud-based IoT service platform maps the individual steps. The Startup addresses its offer to device manufacturers in the form of software. They can use the IoT platform as IoT backend. For service developers there is the GRAPH API, which works like a Google search engine for the Internet of Things. Here, IoT connctd takes care of the decoupling of user data and IoT data. They encrypt all interactions and allow only authenticated access. Hosting is provided in Germany and the EU. IoT connctd has a broad range of services on offer. They are also establishing a data marketplace to organise the targeted exchange of data. Their service offers around the IoT platform can be accessed worldwide. In contrast, they are currently focusing their projects on the European market. Further information, contact details as well as requests for partnership can be found in their requests in our database.

To the Startup of the Week interview CW16

Qarnot Energy – Patented Green IT approach uses waste heat from IT calculations (CW17)

“We use waste heat from IT calculations to heat buildings and water sustainably.” Paul Benoit, Co-Founder and CEO

With the increased use of modern IT technologies in the course of digitalisation, energy consumption is also rising. The provision of computing capacity in data centers is thus accompanied by increased energy requirements. At the same time, data centres generate a high amount of waste heat. Qarnot Energy has developed a solution approach. They make sensible use of the waste heat generated by data centres. This works by making it available to the energy system again through their patented technology. For this purpose, they have developed a computer heater and a digital water boiler. With these, they supply heating-customers with heat and computing-customers with computing power. Connections to the fibre optic network ensure an effective distribution in buildings with IT resources and heat. Their sales activities are focused on the B2B sector. Most customers are located in France. However, Qarnot Energy intends to extend its range of products to the European market, with a particular focus on the UK, the DACH region and Northern Europe. By recovering waste heat as a resource, Qarnot Energy can both reduce energy consumption and contribute to a significantly reduced carbon footprint of computers. Its worldwide patented technology enables an innovative, sustainable and economical Green IT approach that creates a node between IT and buildings. To contact Qarnot Energy directly, you can use our database and its requests.

To the Startup of the Week interview CW17

ICE-ON Battery – storing energy in cold (CW18)

 “We are working on an innovative cold energy storage system. The technology is patented and allows to store excess energy and reduce greenhouse gases.” Dariusz Ziemski, CEO

ICE-ON Battery uses ice as an energy source to store energy in the form of cold. Cold in turn is needed for industrial cooling processes or for air conditioning systems. With ICE-ON Battery, both conventionally produced and renewable energy can be stored in the form of ice. Heat is released when cold is converted into electricity. A combination of these two creates the conditions for an optimized use of energy in an energy multi-system. In combination with photovoltaics or wind, the efficiency of renewable energy can be increased and at the same time the energy efficiency of cooling and heating systems can be improved. This brings economic advantages and simultaneously reduces greenhouse gas emissions. ICE-ON offers its cold storage systems to system providers and companies in the renewable energy sector. They also work with industry associations, research institutes and governmental organisations. The first pilot projects are currently being launched in Germany. ICE-ON Batteries offers its customers a comprehensive range of services, including planning and concept studies, installation, maintenance and training. There will also be software solutions for remote control. Have a look at the database to learn more about their cooperation request.

To the Startup of the Week interview CW18

Qarnot Computing is the Startup of the Week 17: Computing anywhere


Energy Efficiency and Environment, IT & ICT

For a long time, the topic of digitisation was associated with an environmentally friendly alternative to e.g. printed products. However, the increasing demand for energy was often not taken into account in this context. Little by little, critical voices are also being raised: For example, newspaper articles talk about “conflicting goals” or even “fire accelerators for environmental destruction”. This is a complex problem for which there are only a few solutions to date. Our start-up of the week, Qarnot Energy, is of the opinion: Why not combine the advantages of digitalisation with the sustainable use of energy? In our interview with CEO and Co-Founder Paul Benoit, we talk about how exactly this works and how existing potential can be used in a targeted manner.

Hi Paul, thank you so much for taking the time for us today. For a better start: How do you describe Qarnot Computing in one sentence?

Qarnot reuses wated heat from IT computations to heat buildings and water sustainibly.

A very recent subject. How exactly does this project shape up in terms of your target groups and the technology behind it?

Qarnot is the first company in the world which reuses waste heat from IT computations to heat buildings and water.
Qarnot has two kinds of clients: computing clients buying computing power on the one hand, heating clients who need ecological heat in their buildings on the other hand.Qarnot developed a computing-heater, QH•1, and a digital water boiler, QB•1, which both embed microprocessors as heat sources and are connected to the fibre optic. By spreading IT resources where heat is directly needed, Qarnot reduces the energy consumption and the carbon footprint of computing.
The more you need heat, the more we send computations. The faster your microprocessors are running, the more they release heat, which is directly reused within the building.Computing-heater, QH•1 and digital water boiler, QB•1, are installed in apartments, social housings, public buildings, swimming pools, heating networks…

You just said you’re the first company to use such a technology. Do you see this as your USP too?

We have been the first in the world to launch that kind of technology (patent in almost every country in the world). Qarnot proposes a digital circular economy approach in which heat, a waste for computing, becomes a resource within the building. Qarnot succeeds at linking two distinctive kinds of actors: computing/IT ressources and building. Our approach for green IT makes our technologies disruptive, innovative and ecological.

How does the associated business model look like? Do you have different approaches for “producers” and “users”?

Our unique approach is both ecological and economic, on two main business sides:
– we provide green cloud computing cheaper than others (2 to 4 times)
– we heat buildings for free once the investment is done. The “heating clients” first buy a computing-heater or a digital-boiler, and then we reimbourse the electricity bills, we do the maintenance and we replace the machines for free every 7-8 years.The computing-heater embeds sensors and interfaces that provide services towards smart building: air quality sensors, movement sensors, temperature sensors, luminosity sensors, QI charging module, NFC, Wifi Module…

You have just mentioned a few potential customers, such as public institutions or apartment owners. Which market segments exactly do you address within this target group?

We only work with B2B clients, that are divided into two parts:
In the computing area we provide high performance computing for big banks (BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Natixis in France), 3D animation studios (our last client is Illumination Mac Guff), fluid dynamics, machine learning (AI), molecular docking…
In the heating sector we work with social landlords, public buildings, apartments buildings, swimming pools, heating network managers…Most of our clients are French, most of the buildings we equiped are in France. We have a new project in Finland, where we installed digital boilers to provide hot water for a heating network.
We are starting right now to launch our business abroad, especially in Germany-Austria-Switzerland, UK and in the Nordic Countries.

It looks like you guys have already established yourselves pretty well. What are the latest developments in your company?

Our products (computing heater and digital boiler) are already launched on the market. Time showed they are working very well, and clients are happy with them.
Our computing clients are very satisfied too: the contracts we have are getting bigger, we succeed at having new ones and we recently made efforts to widen the sectors we address (e.g. AI, pharmaceutics, industry…). Our latest news is a successful 6M€ fundraising we achieved in March, with several prestigious investors: Engie, Groupe Casino, A/O Proptech and Caisse des Dépôts (public group serving the public interest and the country’s economic development).

Paul, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We wish you every success in the further development of your company and hope to hear a lot more from you.
Those who want to support you can take a closer look at your Innoloft profile or contact you via our Messenger.

IoT connctd is the Startup of the Week 16: IoT Service Creation simplified


Energy & Environment, IT & ICT, Mobility

By now it is normal that technology helps us humans to perform activities. The Internet of Things connects physical and virtual objects and lets them work together. Our Startup of the Week uses IoT not necessarily for smart homes and voice assistants, but for the development of data-based services. CEO Axel Schüßler of IoT connctd told us more about this in an interview.

Hello Axel! Thank you for taking the time today. What do you offer at IoT connctd?

We designed and implemented the open and scalable Service Creation IoT platform to simplify the development of data-based services. We offer service providers and manufacturers the flexible and universal system.

In doing so we pursue 3 overriding goals. For example, supporting the creativity of customers in service development and the use of data from networked devices. They no longer have to deal with technical features and specifications.

The second goal is to support agile developments. First simulate, then test and pilot, then scale. The platform supports each of these steps.

The third goal is to let the platform grow with customer requirements. Furthermore, we want to support digital trnasformation in an efficient way. We guarantee high quality and availability at the same time.

A very exciting topic. Can you tell us more about your technology?

The Internet has been functioning for years through interfaces and the various combinations to generate services and products. We bring this model into the physical world. Internet services and everyday things merge. For this purpose we have developed the cloud-based Service Creation IoT platform with a range of functionalities. Independent of specific infrastructures, “things” are described in a particularly “Internet-suitable” way. For us, this means Things concept and is derived from and compatible with the “Web of Things” the Internet standardization group W3C. We give these things a physical or logical structure. For us this means UNIT concept and supports any form of digital twins.

Data wants to be read out or things want to be controlled. Everyone offers APIs for this. But if these APIs are not well designed, the developer will have a hard time. That’s why we offer a very innovative GRAPH-API in addition to the classic REST-API. It is a really cool tool for developers who can use our platform like a Google search engine for the Internet of Things! We strictly decouple the user data from the IoT data, because only our customers should create this link. IoT connctd is not a “data copy company”. All interactions are encrypted and access is only possible via secure authentication!

Are the services always run in the cloud?

Of course we are a cloud company, but this does not mean that everything is always and everywhere in the cloud. We offer the possibility to run services combined in the cloud and locally. This means that data acquisition, data processing can also be done in the EDGE device – i.e. locally. The service developer then decides which services or data are used in the cloud. For us this is quite natural and the question of cloud or “on premise” does not arise here at all. It is a clear “both and”.

Our platform grows in minutes with the requirements of our customers. Hosting takes place in Germany and the EU. But we can also get close to international markets on all continents with our customers. Together with our infrastructure partners, we thus ensure very fast platform interactions.

What sets you apart from other competitors?

We offer software to manufacturers to use our IoT platform as an IoT backend while maintaining full control over the devices or keeping them in place during their life cycle (via remote access and device management).

For service developers we offer a very flexible working environment and the already mentioned GRAPH-API. What is that? A simple and familiar example explains it quite well.

As an operator of parking garages I want to offer a service to assign the exact parking space. For this purpose, I have digitally recorded my car parks and my parking decks and the individual parking spaces, some with sensors, others with cameras. Some car parks also have charging infrastructure for electric cars. It is the developer’s goal to develop the query in such a way that it can be performed efficiently and quickly.

So it would be silly if I had to query every parking space individually. So our platform works like a search engine: “Give me the nearest free parking space with charging station” + “Set the usage indicator to reserved” + “Start the timer when the sensor detects the car as parked”. All these combined queries are not feasible in classic API logic and thus lead to many individual queries. With our API there are basically 3 combined and filtering queries. The whole thing is really efficient!

I see. What is the business model behind the services?

Initially, we built the Service-Creation IoT platform for service developers. Therefore we offer free access for testing and a fair pay-per-use model for commercial use.

However, we also know that not all of our partners have IoT skills or service creation experience, but they do deal with customer requirements or operational process problems. Therefore we offer a range of project-based support from IoT coaching to full-stack co-development, which we partly implement with a partner network.

As an additional model, we are currently preparing to enable the owners of the data to pass on this data to authorised users and receive a data fee for this. The role of connctd here is to orchestrate a data marketplace without being the owner of the data itself and to ensure a very simple process for the diverse provision and use of data. There is much talk of Open-Data: We believe that there should also be a coordinated marketplace for data of various kinds where the players can interact commercially.

Which industries are you addressing with your solution?

From the very beginning, our orientation was to provide a universal service creation IoT platform so that any kind of device manufacturer can represent their innovative products on the Internet and service developers (energy providers, telcos, banks, insurance companies, facility managers, media houses/publishers, health care providers, logistics companies, etc.) can safely concentrate on their line of business and applications.

Our know-how lies in IoT and cloud services. The areas of application are thus multifaceted and start with Smart Home/Building, go on to Smart City and extend to mobility, logistics, transport and production. Our high-performance IoT platform supports service offerings worldwide, whereas we have so far concentrated on the European market for projects.

How far is your platform with its services in terms of development?

Our offer is “ready to use”. Yet we still work on it constantly, of course. We have a number of additional platform functionalities in preparation to provide even more comprehensive support for service developers and manufacturers. The main focus is on tools for data analytics.

Today our platform is already in use in various industries. We also report regularly on this on our website.

We are aware of the situation – especially in the energy industry – that first-time contact with IoT requires special procedures. For this reason, we also focused on the Service Creation Process at E-World 2020 in Essen. In this way we show how much our partners and customers can concentrate on WHAT and how little they have to worry about HOW. At the E-world we also showed examples of how our solutions suit more secure data sharing perfectly. The data could be shared with third party developers, who should not be granted direct access to their own, e.g. LoRaWAN infrastructure. In addition to that we demonstrated how easily e.g. energy-related services can be based on different systems.

Axel, we thank you for the interesting interview! We wish you continued success and are eagerly following your developments. If anyone wants to know more about you, they can find more information on your Innoloft profile and in your requests.

Startups of the Month March 2020


Energy & Environment, Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

Our five startups of the week in March at a glance

In the month of March we presented five startups in our Startup of the Week format in an interview. Interviews were conducted with Blue Boson, FSIGHT, Motius, SPAROX and AMPEERS ENERGY. Here we give an overview of their solutions in our Startups of the Month article. If you want to learn more about their offers, you can also have a look at their profile in our Innoloft database. There you will also find their and other customer and partner searches.

 

Blue Boson – water treatment without any chemical additives

Blue Boson uses a technology for the treatment of contaminated wastewater that does not require any chemical additives. This enables them to remove incrustations and deposits in an environmentally friendly way. By protecting systems from corrosion, they extend their service life. They are already on the market with two patented products called SCAT® and SCAT REXCIT®. Their hydraulic flow modules ensure supramolecular treatment of water, but are also suitable for treating other liquid or gaseous media. They manufacture or modify their equipment according to requirements and application. Fully automated, they can be operated around the clock. They distribute their products according to the ESCO model. This refers to an energy-saving contracting model that is geared to energy efficiency and cost savings. They also offer equipment rental and sales as well as other services.

To the Startup of the week interview KW10

FSIGHT – Artificial Intelligence Platform for the energy sector

The startup FSIGHT focuses entirely on artificial intelligence and shows how this can be used profitably in the energy industry. With its energy management platform, energy flows can be calculated with foresight and adjusted according to demand. With the help of their Energy-AI platform, they can combine the consumption behavior of consumers with the energy production of renewable energies and energy market prices. They use over 40 machine learning models for this purpose. Their trading model for energy communities allows private households, commercial customers and industrial companies to trade the electricity they generate themselves. In addition, energy savings of up to 20 percent can be achieved for end consumers. At the same time, its platform helps to stabilize local power grids. Its Software-as-a-Service solution benefits energy customers and consumers as well as energy companies and network operators. FSIGHT’s customers are located all over the world.

To the Startup of the week interview KW11

Motius – Modern technologies for every kind of use case

Motius GmbH has an answer to the rapid changes in the tech world. Its mission is to open up technologies for customers from the most diverse areas for their respective fields of application. For this purpose the Motius team uses extensive tech expertise. As technology experts, they serve the innovation needs of their customers on the one hand through their interdisciplinary talent pool and on the other hand by integrating technology and management hubs. In doing so, they offer support in generating ideas and applications, in providing proof of concept and in product rollout. Motius focuses less on specific industries and target groups and more on the application of new technologies in a broad customer segment. Motius has been on the market for seven years. For some time now, they have been among the fastest growing start-ups in Germany.

To the Startup of the week interview KW12

SPAROX – Amazon for spare parts in the energy sector

Sparox procures spare parts for energy systems. Via their platform, they supply plant operators of all types of energy production in German-speaking countries. For this purpose, they have built up a network of suppliers with a wide range of products. Their portfolio currently includes over 15,000 spare parts. There is an emergency function on the platform for spare parts that are needed quickly to prevent plant failure. With SPAROX3D they also serve a segment where 3D printed spare parts can be ordered. For plant operators, the use of the platform is free of charge. For suppliers they charge a transaction fee. Especially in the current corona crisis, the added value of the Sparox platform is evident, not least in the avoidance of downtimes and the securing of energy supply.

To the Startup of the week interview KW13

AMPEERS ENERGY – Energy Management 4.0 for Decentralized Energy Supply

With their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, AMPEERS ENERGY are giving the decentralized energy turnaround the right impetus. Based on a self-learning technology, it allows decentralized generation to be combined and controlled with energy consumption. AMPEERS ENERGY offers three cloud-based applications that can also be used individually. These include its AE District Manager as a comprehensive neighbourhood energy management solution, its AE Local Supplier fully automated, integrable tenant electricity software and its AE Fleet Optimizer solution for intelligent control of charging processes and loads for electric fleets. All three components interlock technically, are user-friendly and connect market participants. Their SaaS solution not only enables innovative business models, but also provides all participants with environmentally friendly efficiency advantages and cost savings. AMPEERS ENERGY’s approach not only convinced the jury members of the kraftwerk city acceleration bremen Challenge last year, but also won the Fraunhofer Gründerpreis 2019.

To the Startup of the week interview KW14

AMPEERS ENERGY is the Startup of the Week 14: The future of energy


Energy Efficiency and Environment, Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

The energy industry is changing. Where for many years only a few large companies set the tone, there is now the opportunity to become an energy producer through decentralised generation with the help of renewable energies. However, this requires external help. This comes, for example, from our Startup of the Week AMPEERS ENERGY. They won the kraftwerk city accelerator bremen Challenge and also the Frauenhofer Founder’s Prize last year – successes that are quite impressive. We wanted to know more and talked to Gerrit Ellerwald, Managing Director of AMPEERS ENERGY, about the startup and the idea.

Hello Gerrit! We are happy to learn more about your startup today and therefore we will start right away. What does AMPEERS ENERGY do?

At AMPEERS ENERGY, we make it easy for companies to tap the potential of the decentralized energy revolution – economically and ecologically!

That sounds very exciting! How does the whole thing work in detail?

First of all, you should know that as an SaaS company, we offer three cloud-based applications. Those applications enable companies to save money, automate processes and protect the environment. In addition to the AE District Manager, which is a complete energy management solution for the district, there is also the AE Local Supplier. This fully automated and integrated tenant electricity software takes care of the administrative side of tenant electricity projects. And the AE Fleet Optimizer exists above it. By consolidating all relevant data, the intelligent software takes over the control of the load and charge management of e-fleets.

The basis of these products is an extremely powerful Fraunhofer software which is able to connect all decentralized processes relating to energy generation and consumption. It ist is also able to control them in a targeted manner. This is possible through the use of self-learning technologies.

This technology basically consists of two components – an energy management component and a billing component. The energy management component controls and optimizes generation and consumption facilities. The more heterogeneous these plants are, the better the technology can play out its strengths. Similar to a conductor, you orchestrate all the producers and consumers in a neighbourhood and can thus save money. This is based on linear optimization models and the basic idea that one tries to make generation and consumption coincide. In very, very simple terms, the car should be charged when the sun is shining. Load peaks are absorbed by trying to switch on flexible loads when other loads are not running at the same time.

The billing component is an energy data management system. It is used to take the various energy data from the management systems, such as from the meter and the generation components, and assign it correctly according to the source. It can create bills for the customer or fulfill the obligation to report to distributor and government authorities. Intercepting the relevant energy data correctly, making it transparent, and billing or forwarding it correctly is the job of the billing component.

These components can also be used individually, for example only the energy management in the neighbourhood or only the billing component in tenant electricity projects. However, the great advantage of our offer is that the components can be combined. For example, the charging station can also be billed correctly for controlled fleet charging in the neighbourhood. This is what makes the product so strong.

At the moment many are dealing with the decentralization of energy supply, what separates you from their ideas?

AMPEERS ENERGY ensures that energy generation, transport, consumption and billing are as simple as, for example, e-commerce today. In this way we enable our customers to enter the energy management 4.0 environment, in which all players and technical components are seamlessly integrated. Each individual market participant can thus realize considerable savings potential, in some cases up to 40 percent. E-vehicle fleets can become a real alternative to existing diesel vehicles through our SaaS solution and much more. New types of business models based on intelligent energy can thus be created.

The big difference to our competitors is that we take a holistic view of decentralized business models and do not just deliver partial solutions. With us, you get the complete software support for the implementation of an overall decentralized business model. And this in turn is so user-friendly that we clearly differentiate ourselves from our competitors thanks to this intuitive usability.

Furthermore, thanks to the cooperation with Fraunhofer, we have the advantage of continuously integrating further innovations into our SaaS solutions. This is a market advantage that probably no other startup has.

You just mentioned that you’re a SaaS company. So you offer the applications as a service. What exactly do you charge for?

Yes, we are a Software-as-a-Service company and generate revenues by licensing our products to customers.

Pricing consists of a setup fee, and a usage fee. In the Set Up Fee, we calculate the setup expenses, such as customizing the system or connecting the interfaces to the system. And to keep the entry hurdle low so that monthly costs are not too high, the pay per use fee is paid after use. For tenant electricity projects, this is per apartment/per meter. We calculate the pay-per-use fee for neighborhood management and for fleet optimization per KWh.

For the time being, we are not planning to provide any additional services outside our core products. We are concentrating on the continuous development, implementation and maintenance of our products.

Who exactly are you addressing with your solutions? Do you also address markets outside Germany?

There are three main target groups for our services: Energy suppliers and service providers, the real estate industry and fleet operators.

For our tenant power and neighbourhood solutions, for example, all medium-sized and large housing construction companies are suitable. Also all companies with relevant large housing stock (church, private, public and co-operatives) are relevant customer groups. There are approximately 40 million apartments in Germany – 10% of which are tenant electricity and suitable for the AE Local Supplier. All larger building complexes with a heterogeneous generation infrastructure are suitable for our neighbourhood energy management system.  Examples for this group would be airports, shopping centres, purely residential districts or various mixed districts. The AE Fleet Optimizer is worthwhile for all companies that have at least 10 electric vehicles.

And to the question of internationalisation we can answer that we are already in the process of internationalising in the DACH region. At the end of the day, our solutions are not limited to the German energy market. With a (neighbourhood) energy management system, the only question is what should be optimised. And if this involves cost optimization under boundary conditions (e.g. maximizing the own power consumption), then this is only a mathematical function that is optimized. It is possible to use our product everywhere internationally. At the moment we focus on the DACH region, later on Europe and finally everywhere where our products can be used.

Now, we only have one question left. As winner of the kraftwerk city accelerator Bremen Challenge and Frauenhofer Spin-off your idea is very popular. Where do you stand with your startup at the moment?

We have successfully completed the first financing round. The first two products (District Manager and Local Supplier) are successfully on the market and we have a double-digit number of customers. At this point, we would like to proudly announce that we have won the Fraunhofer Founder’s Prize 2019. This prize honours the most successful Fraunhofer spin-off of the year active on the market, whose products and services have a direct social benefit.

We find it motivating to make an active contribution to the energy turnaround and thus also to a greener future with our daily work. And for those who also believe that we should no longer just talk about the energy turnaround, but finally tackle it, we encourage you to join us and take a look at our website. There you will find open job offers (and the contact details for a initiative application).

Thank you for the interview!

Gerrit, we also thank you for the interesting conversation! We wish you continued success and will follow your developments with great interest. If anyone wants to learn more about you, we invite them to check out your Innoloft profile and your requests.

SPAROX is the Startup of the Week 13: The platform for spare parts in the energy sector


Energy Supply, Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

Procuring spare parts for energy plants is a real feat. Above all, it requires a lot of patience. The search for suitable suppliers takes a long time. In addition, delivery times of several months must be expected. Our Startup of the Week has found the solution that saves energy suppliers time and money. With its platform, SPAROX offers an online marketplace that quickly connects plant operators and suppliers. We spoke with Sonja Zahradnik-Leonhartsberger, project manager at SPAROX.

Hello Sonja! Thanks for taking the time today. Why don’t you describe SPAROX in one sentence at the start?

Sure. We connect the plants and spare parts in the energy sector and have created a strong German-speaking network, which can also help in emergencies within a very short time.

How can someone who needs spare parts also get them?

We operate an intermediary platform for spare parts, where plant operators with critical spare parts and suppliers with a wide range of products are involved. In addition, we have established an emergency function in case of imminent plant shutdown and have also connected the 3D printing technology. The aim is to connect spare parts, plants and suppliers in the energy sector. We want to make it reliable and easy for all parties involved to make the right spare part available at any time.

Is this emergency feature one of your unique selling points?

Yes, exactly. That way we can avoid plant downtime. For many plant operators, long delivery times are a real problem. We often speak of several months. With our platform, operators can network with each other. We have thus considerably simplified the search, purchase and sale. We are also the largest platform in the sector, which is of course another advantage.

Is your platform for free? How do you generate revenue?

The use of the platform is free of charge for system operators. From the suppliers, i.e. the sellers, we receive a transaction fee.

Since you supply spare parts for the energy sector, your target group is clearly defined, right?

Yes, that’s right. We address plant operators in the energy market as well as their suppliers in the entire German-speaking area. We focus on all types of energy generation and grid operators.

You just mentioned that you are the biggest platform. What size are we talking about? What stage is SPAROX in as a startup?

The platform www.sparox.eu has been live since Feburary 2019. We currently have more than 15,000 spare parts online. Another 5,000 spare parts will be uploaded within the next few days. We are an innovation project within the framework of the Wien Energie Innovation Challenge Sprint Edition 2018. As a corporate startup of Wien Energie, we thus have a very strong owner. Currently our internal team consists of 8 employees.

Sonja, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We wish you continued success and hope to hear much more from you.

If someone is interested in more information about SPAROX and the platform, please have a look at the Innoloft profile.

Motius GmbH is the Startup of the Week 12: Technologies and products of the future


IT & ICT

We live in a world with many changes and emerging technologies. But which technology will help me best in product development? What should I base my solution on? Our Startup of the Week Motius answers these questions. They specialize in new technologies and use them to realize projects in a wide variety of areas. Johannes Hussak, Technical Executive at Motius explained to us exactly how this works.

Hello Johannes! I’m glad you’re here today. We’ll start with a quick question. In one sentence: What is Motius doing?

Motius is an R&D company that specializes in new technologies and develops innovative products and prototypes.

That sounds very exciting. Could you tell us a little bit more about the use of these new technologies?

We use the latest technologies to develop innovative products and prototypes for our customers. Due to our broad tech expertise, the solutions we develop are used in a wide range of application areas: from medical technology to the automotive industry, from autonomous driving to smart cities. Due to our user-centric approach we do not simply rely on buzzwords and short-term trend technologies. Instead, we always find the technologies that help our customers best. Whether artificial intelligence, AR/VR, data science, additive manufacturing or robotics: we always know what’s right.

So you work with a variety of technologies. Is that the advantage of Motius?

Yes. The tech world is constantly changing, changing faster than ever before. This is a challenge for any company, as it forces them to constantly take into account the latest developments and build up extensive expertise. Motius exists to solve this problem – with our tech expertise we serve the innovation needs of our customers. We work directly at the pulse of tech trends and help shape them as technology experts.

We achieve this through our fluid structure, which we achieve by mixing our interdisciplinary talent pool of over 800 tech talents and experienced technology and management hubs. Using a specially developed, AI-based system, we automatically identify the best possible candidates from our community for a wide range of project roles. This allows us to always involve the appropriate experts in the project – and remain specialized in the latest technologies in each tech cycle.

How do you incorporate all this into a business model?

We accompany our customers on the complete path from the idea to the proof of concept and product rollout. We offer all services around this process: starting with consulting and Design Thinking Workshops, through the development of first prototypes and MVPs to the market launch. This wide range of services enables us to always meet the needs of our customers. We work with agile work contracts, i.e. there are clearly defined goals on the basis of which the final invoice is drawn up. This enables us to react flexibly to new developments or circumstances even during a project and guarantee the best possible result.

You have already mentioned your customers, who come from many different industries. Do you therefore address different markets?

In general, we focus on the application of new technologies. In this context, it is of secondary importance to us how precisely the customer is defined: from hidden champions in medium-sized businesses to world-famous companies, international organizations and governments. We help our customers to apply the latest technologies in a meaningful, innovative way. With our offices in Munich, Stuttgart and Dubai, we are currently mainly active in the European and Arabic regions. However, we are constantly expanding.

This brings us to the last question: Where do you currently stand with the development of Motius? I’m sure you’ve been working hard on it since its founding.

We are now entering our seventh year with Motius. In this time we have developed enormously, have matured from a small development company to an established startup in Germany. We have been among the fastest-growing startups in Germany for years – and that until the end of 2019 as a bootstrapped company. To illustrate this: within the last year alone, we had to expand our headquarters in Munich three times in order to cope with our growth. As already mentioned, our references are a cross-section of the various economic sectors and types of companies. We are extremely proud of this. We want to become the best place for Techies and enable them to change the world through their work – with the latest technologies and the most innovative products.

Johannes, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We wish you continued success and hope to hear much more from you.

If you are interested in more information about Motius, please take a look at their Innoloft profile.

gridlux is the Startup of the Week 9: Quick identification of attractive fibre expansion areas


IT & ICT

In the long term, there is no way around the expansion of fiber optic networks. However, the identification of potential expansion areas for fiber optics has so far involved considerable effort. Estimating the associated costs is also not a quick matter. Artificial intelligence can help here. The solution for that comes from our startup of the week, gridlux. Lukasz Glowacki, Business Development Manager at gridlux, told us in an interview how their product works exactly.

Hello Lukasz! The fiber optic expansion occupies municipalities, regions and even the federal level. The planning is very complex. How do you find a remedy with gridlux?

By means of artificial intelligence gridlux identifies interesting areas for an efficient FTTH / FTTB (Fiber to the home / Fiber to the basement) extension automatically and makes them comparable by means of an effort indication.

How is this information provided?

Our online tool is a software-as-a-service solution that can simply be accessed via an URL. Based on AI-supported algorithms, we automatically identify interesting areas for an economical FTTH / FTTB expansion. With the effort indication the areas can be compared with each other.

Why is gridlux’ idea special? How do you stand out?

The entire planning process, including the identification of potential development areas, is very complicated and expensive. Our procedure makes the rough planning simple and understandable. We enable the client to take an active role and make future expansion decisions based on data and facts – and thus gain competitive advantages. In addition, our intuitive online tool enables real-time expenditure indication, e.g. for municipalities and counties (funding procedures).

The use of artificial intelligence has many advantages. Basically you can say that we digitize the strategic rough planning process with the use of AI supported algorithms. Many telecommunications companies and planning offices use standard software tools for planning, such as AutoCAD or Google Earth. However many result lists still have to be created manually. Another advantage is the time component. The conventional process takes a lot of time. Our developed algorithms calculate even large areas in seconds. As a result, this reduces costs and increases planning reliability. Furthermore, gridlux is more comfortable than the common software solutions. Why? Because all relevant data such as addresses, streets, surface type and use, socio-economic data or the availability of connections are part of the online tool. You no longer have to buy data and import them into your software at great expense.

You have just mentioned that you offer your online tool as a Software-as-a-Service service. Is it the only product you have in your portfolio?

No, actually our portfolio consists of two products.

On the one hand, the mentioned online tool for the effort indication and development of new areas. We charge an annual license fee for the tool.

On the other hand, there is the “Strategic Rough Planning Service”, in which we use artificial intelligence to identify and automatically calculate interesting development areas. Here we provide our customers with a ranking list of the most attractive areas, even for very large areas. The price is calculated from the number of address points that are to be calculated.

Do you keep a broad target group? Or did you narrow it down to one specific customer group?

Not necessarily. The solution is interesting for different target groups. In principle, it’s for all parties involved in the planning process of a fiber optic expansion project, for example, telecom carriers / telecommunications companies, public utilities, planning offices, cities and municipalities. Currently we offer our solution only for the German market.

In which phase is gridlux currently in? Is your product already in use?

At the moment, we are still an internal startup of EWE AG. Already, we have won our first customers for our services and are working on completing our online tool in this quarter. We were able to use our solution together with a major telecommunications provider (EWE TEL) and save the company a seven-figure sum. entega Medianet GmbH commissioned the calculation for a large city. We are confident that the solution will convince them and that we will then receive another major contract. In addition to that, we are  in further promising discussions with telecommunications network operators, planning offices and local authorities.

Lukasz, unfortunately we have already reached the end of the interview. We thank you, for the great interview and wish you good luck with the completion of the online tool! If people want to learn more about gridlux, have a look at the Innoloft profile and the corresponding requests.

Speaking of glass fibre: You want to find good contacts that will help your business and your projects move forward? Then join the Startup Speed-Dating at the Fiberdays 2020! Register now for free and find suitable business partners.

TeDaLoS is the Startup of The Week 7: The Future of Internet of Things


Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

Inventory monitoring systems are very important in the digital age. But only 5% of current storage areas can be automated by robotic systems. To make the processes more efficient, we need another solution. Our Startup of The Week, TeDaLoS, developed a system that delivers data in real time without the need for external resources or infrastructure. Thomas Tritremmel, CEO of TeDaLoS, told us more about it.

Hello Thomas! Thanks for answering our questions today. Why don’t you tell us what is behind the name TeDaLoS?

I’d be glad to. We have developed a patented system that enables sensor-based, digital and mobile inventory monitoring of goods in real time. With this system, we not only record the exact quantity of goods, but can also monitor their condition. Condition means for example temperature or vibration. In addition, we can also monitor the location of the goods on-site or transport. This is possible for all types of goods.

To successfully use the TeDaLoS system, no external resources or support infrastructure are needed. Moreover, nobody needs to be trained for the system.

That sounds like a very user-oriented solution. Feel free to give us more information about it.

Our sensor units send encrypted information directly to our cloud software, which decodes, validates, interprets and converts this data. The data can also be transferred directly to a leading system via interfaces. Set thresholds trigger an alarm message immediately if they are exceeded.

This system allows you to measure the physical distribution of stocks in decentralized storage locations in real time. In addition, it is possible to connect suppliers and determine accurate content quantities in transfer containers. But there are many other possibilities for use. The system is fully autonomous without local resource binding, includes special sensor technology, radio technology, data communication, cloud software and IT interface.

IoT has long been a big buzzword and especially in the field of logistics, more and more is being digitized. What is special about TeDaLoS?

Many departments of a company benefit from our solution. The processes in the departments run more efficiently. For example, the warehouse saves space, search times and inventory costs. In production, faster material provision is achieved in less production space. The purchasing and finance departments also benefit from more accurate information provided in real time. With TeDaLoS, the return on investment is less than 2 years.

Another advantage is that any storage location and any type of goods flow can be retrofitted. The application is carried out across locations and piece by piece.

How do you integrate your services into a business model?

Our pricing model consists of the purchase of the hardware, monthly costs for telecommunications, data transmission and the rental of the basic function of the cloud software, as well as one-time costs.

Since your product is related to warehousing, your customer segment is probably also in the field of logistics. Do you narrow it down to a niche?

Not really. 95% of all storage areas and intralogistic goods flows are not digitally monitored. The market for inventory monitoring via the Internet of Things will be worth around 300 billion US dollars by 2025. So we have many applications.

Our main target groups are of course primarily in the logistics and transport sector. However, we also supply customers in the healthcare, retail and industrial sectors. We are not focused on specific countries, but offer our services on an international level.

Is your product already usable?

Yes, since 2017 TeDaLoS is in operational use in customer projects from the Netherlands to Greece. We produce a standard sensor unit, but also special adaptations to various load carriers. Customers such as Kellner & Kunz AG and Canon already successfully use our sensor technology.

In September 2019, BITO-Lagertechnik, as an internationally operating industrial company in the field of storage and picking technology, strengthened its cooperation with us. Since then BITO Campus has been involved as a shareholder. The cooperation pursues the goal to offer mobile and autonomous systems for material and inventory monitoring via Internet of Things with combined know-how.

International sales partners with focus on the user target groups have already been acquired.

Thank you for this exciting interview! We wish you continued success with your idea.

If you want to learn more about TeDaLoS, please have a look at their Innoloft profile.

Review of the year – Innoloft highlights & the greatest successes in 2019


Energy & Environment, Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT, Mobility, Smart City & Buildings

 

By the end of 2019, we finished our strongest and most energetic business year to date since the founding of Innoloft GmbH. Even though we can not look back on a long company history, the year 2019 came up with a number of highlights for us that we would like to share with you through a review of the year.

Here we go!

 

Platform in a brand new look and an expanded range of functions

A step that set the course for us was without a doubt the relaunch of our platform. We have completely redesigned our platform to make it not only more user-friendly thanks to an optimized structure and use of modern web technologies, but also to offer our users additional added value through new features. Thus, our new platform comes with all kinds of new functions.

What kind of functions we integrated to improve the implementation of your innovation projects with the right partners you can check in the graphic below or read about it in our blog post, stage free …

 

Infographik innoloft benefits

 

But that’s not all!

 

Rebranding opens the door to new industries and internationalization

We continued as our previous (brand) name “Energieloft” was also put to the test, and with it our entire corporate design. It took several months to develop, adapt and redesign it. We were happy to officially announce our rebranding on October 1, 2019. The story behind how Energieloft became Innoloft can be found in this separate blog post: Energieloft becomes Innoloft: Here’s why! … . Furthermore, you can learn more about the evolutionary process that we have followed with our B2B innovation network since the end of 2015.

The energy sector will remain a very central pillar for us. But innovations are also waiting to be implemented in other industries, such as the health, financial and industrial sectors. In addition, we have committed ourselves to the ambitious goal of accelerating innovations across industries as well as worldwide, together with you across Germany’s borders – “Create Tomorrow Together”.

innoloft platform requests

 

Event highlights and successful projects in 2019

Of course, we did not only deal with our design and our platform during the year. In addition to the new strategic direction and positioning, we haven’t lost sight of our “daily business”. Filtered from our business repertoire, we would like to present you some selected event and project highlights from the past financial year, which we implemented together with customers and partners.

 

Startup Speed-Datings 2019

A central core element, which on the one hand is part of our digital innovation system, but on the other hand takes place analogously, are our Startup Speed-Datings. For this we traveled across Germany last year and even came to Paris in autumn. With our speed dating we bring startups together with established companies and investors.

In a very effective way, in short 8-minute dates, the participants who have previously registered on the web pages can be connected according to their wishes, interests and cooperation requests. To do this, we use an intelligent algorithm that, based on the entered data, selects the most interesting conversation partners.

At the following events in 2019, we organized our startup speed dating and matched a total of more than 700 participants at around 2,800 matches.

 

innoloft speed-dating

 

 

 

January: E-world – Europe’s leading trade fair for the energy industry, Essen
March: ISH – Industry meeting point for air conditioning, heating, cooling and bathroom design, Frankfurt am Main
April: Tech Festival, Berlin
April: HANNOVER MESSE, International Industry and Industry Fair, Hanover
May: The smarter E, leading trade fair for the new energy world, Munich
November: dena Energiewende Congress, Berlin
November: European Utility Week, Paris

 

Startup Challenges 2019

While our startup speed dating focuses on providing the participants with the right business contacts for innovation projects, our startup challenges are competitions at the push of a button. The startup challenges are also a central component of our B2B innovation network. They enable startups to participate in a targeted manner.

At the same time, established companies can advance their innovation projects and look for cooperation partners from the startup ecosystem. This results in a win-win for both sides. After all, startups rarely have their own established customer networks that have grown over many years. They also often lack the relevant experience on the market. Despite this, they often bring a lot of fresh know-how, new technologies, courage and willingness to take risks – in other words, the so-called “entrepreneurial spirit” that is needed to implement innovation projects.

With our challenges, we act as an intermediary and leverage our platform, which now has more than 2,500 established companies and around 2,000 startups. In 2019 alone, we were able to screen a total of 314 applications for our startup challenges and forwarded them to our partners.

The most successful challenges last year included:

U-START Challenge 2019 | Veolia, Thüga & BS | Energy
Metro Startup Challenge
EWE Mobility Challenge
E.DIS Startup Challenge

 

You can take a look at our challenges here…

 

Successful innovation projects

In addition to our digital platform and our white label partner platforms, events and challenges, we foster innovation processes in order to accelerate innovations directly in companies. We support you with know-how and innovation consulting for developing and searching for business opportunities, accompany the conception and implementation as well as conduct marketing and scaling.

Our innovation managers, who are specialized in industries and technologies, help you find suitable partners via screening and scouting and integrate them into projects. They advise you on the development of business models and develop customer journeys. In this way, we realized several successful innovation projects together with customers and partners last year.

You’ll find a selection of some of our innovation projects here …

  • IoT platform Stadtwerke Aachen
  • IoT platform evo Oberhausen
  • Digital power product, Stadtwerke Aachen
  • E-scooter sharing Aachen, business crowdfunding
  • Mobility project, Stadtwerke Neuss

 

If you have any questions about the individual projects, please do not hesitate to contact us!

 

What else to report …

Much more could be reported about the past year. Therefore we’d like to refer to further highlights in a short manner …

Our team grew from 18 at the beginning of the year to 28 team members at the end of the year. Together we spent a team week in the Eifel and let the year end with a cozy Christmas party.

Together with our cooperation partner energate GmbH, we published the trend radar for the energy industry blue oceans – a new trend report on important energy trends. The first report was focused on smart building solutions and was presented at E-world 2019 in February. A second industry report followed last summer on the topic of smart mobility services.

We started with new social media formats to let you participate in the current Innoloft events. Our follower numbers are developing positively and our social media community is growing happily. You can find us on the following channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Linkedin.

We started our first collaborations and projects in Asia in 2019 and are continuing to work with our white label innovation platforms, which we have also relaunched.

Last but not least … At the end of the year we were very pleased that Gründerszene Awards had chosen us as one of the fastest growing startups in the area of digital business models. After all, we made it into 21st place in Germany with our startup in the TOP 50 and became industry winners in the energy sector. You can find out how we achieved this in an interview with our CEO Sven. You can read about it here: Start-up scene … 

 

A big thank you to our team, customers & partners

Everything we have achieved in the past year would not have been possible without our customers and partners or without a powerful and committed team. Therefore, a big thank you to you and we look forward to continuing this. Because now it means to look ahead and start again with full energy and power ahead.

 

Outlook for 2020

The first projects are already in the starting positions and you can save the following dates. These are the events we look forward to in the first months of this year.

Save the date!

 

Startup Speed-Dating

February 11th & 12th 2020, E-world Startup Speed-Dating – Information & registration

March 5th & 6th, 2020, Fiberdays Startup Speed-Dating – Information & registration

March 24th, 2020, Tech Festival Startup-Dating – Info & registration

April 20th. 2020, HANNOVER MESSE Startup Speed ​​Dating – Info & Registration

 

The new year can begin. We are ready to take off!