E-car sharing is just the beginning: How a municipal utility is opening up a new business segment with Innoloft


Energy & Environment, Mobility

 

Energy transition, digitalization and new mobility concepts – trends are changing the environment in which municipal utilities and energy suppliers operate. Driven by these changes, many are pursuing the expansion of environmentally friendly forms of energy and the development towards a digital company in order to position themselves on the market in the long term. One such company is Stadtwerke Neuss in North Rhine-Westphalia, the energy provider for the city’s 150,000 citizens.
With which new offers and business models should we start? Which technologies and partners are needed for implementation? And how can we ensure that a sustainable and profitable business model is created in the long run? These are questions that Stadtwerke Neuss has asked itself and to which Innoloft has the answers. How we found these answers – more about that in the following.

From the idea to the business model

As an innovation driver, we at Innoloft support you with brainstorming, business model development and the corresponding implementation. In a first step, innovative ideas for new business models and their functionality were explained and sources of income and cost structures evaluated in a joint workshop with the municipal utility. The aim is to jointly develop a business model tailored to the customer’s requirements and needs. The focus of Stadtwerke Neuss was primarily on creating a new, comprehensive mobility offer for its own employees and customers as well as citizens and visitors to the city of Neuss.
The selected solution is a mobility platform that provides long-term access to flexible mobility in Neuss in the form of electric sharing offers. Revenues are generated directly through the sharing operation on the one hand and through cooperation with local companies on the other.

Suitable implementation partners from the Innoloft Innovation Network

After defining the business model, the components required for implementation are determined and compared with the customer’s existing resources. For the components to be procured additionally, the market is screened for potential partners. For this purpose, we primarily use our digital innovation network, which represents over 4000 products from innovative startups and established companies as solution providers.
The Aachen-based startup Digital Mobility Solutions (MOQO) – as part of our network – was commissioned in the Neuss project with the technical implementation of the sharing offers. MOQO offers a Shared Mobility Platform as a white label solution, through which the most diverse vehicles can be integrated and made available to users. The platform digitalizes all processes from booking and billing to driver license validation.

Profitability does not fall by the wayside

In parallel, a detailed profitability calculation is carried out on the basis of indicative offers. For this purpose, all foreseeable costs are summed up before a viable business model or a comprehensive financial plan is developed. After the profitability calculation has been agreed, the partners in question are selected. In addition to the financial aspects, interface functions and integrability are also taken into account.
On top of the concept work, we also accompany the project implementation. As project managers, we ensure that not only all parties involved work together smoothly, but also that all components fit together seamlessly.

A result with a future

As a result of our joint work, Stadtwerke Neuss was able to open its first two mobile stations. The people of Neuss now have four electric Renault Zoes at their disposal, which can be borrowed via a booking platform. In the long term, the mobile stations will be expanded to include other forms of mobility and vehicle types. Then it will be possible for customers to explore the streets of Neuss on electric scooters and the offer will be completed with pedelecs. An increase in the number of stations is also planned. In addition, a local building construction association is already looking forward to cooperating with the municipal utility. In the next few weeks, it will also be able to offer its tenants two electric Renault Zoes for use in one of its residential areas.

Opening up innovative business fields with the Innoloft Innovation Network

The example of Stadtwerke Neuss shows that trends successfully create new business areas for energy suppliers and that it is often possible to fall back on existing solution providers when implementing corresponding offers and business models. For this reason, the Innoloft Innovation Network offers companies the opportunity to search for innovative products and services and to contact the relevant provider directly via the platform.
Furthermore, we support in different ways the fast and cost-effective development of new business models as well as the development of holistic innovation processes. If you are interested in our offers and services, please contact us directly and arrange an appointment today.

The Business Development Agency of the City of Aachen and Innoloft launch digital innovation platform for EUREGIO Meuse-Rhine


Banking & Finance, Energy & Environment, Health & FoodTech, IT & ICT, Mobility

Digital platform supports Aachen’s companies and startups

With its digital innovation platform (DIP), the Business Development Agency of the City of Aachen supports companies and start-ups: The platform offers the possibility to get new business partners (for example B2B customers). In addition, the innovation platform presents innovative technologies and solutions from the region and thus supports companies in innovation scouting.

Platform solution for business activities

The DIP is available free of charge to all companies in the Aachen region. Thus, numerous features of the platform enable the initiation of business relations between companies and the direct exchange among each other. For this purpose, companies, research institutions and start-ups can register on the platform and enter their own profile. This profile can then be used to post products, services and technologies to communicate them in Aachen and beyond. To enable solution providers and solution seekers to find each other directly on the platform, it is possible to publish customer and cooperation requests in the form of “Requests” on the platform. A matchmaking algorithm helps to find suitable partners and customers automatically.

Contact initiation and networking by digital means

Users have the possibility to get in contact with each other via the built-in chat functions. This facilitates the exchange in times of home office without the opportunity for personal meetings. “The DIP platform can thus take on a sub-task of trade fairs, events and conferences, namely getting to know, networking and initiating business and innovative projects,” says Dieter Begass, Head of Economic Development Aachen. It allows us to overcome spatial distances, because it enables us to exchange with business partners independent of time and location. After Corona, the DIP will continue to be operated for registered users and can provide valuable support to companies, research institutes and start-ups in initiating cooperation and finding innovative solutions.

It is precisely with this in mind that the HYPEREGIO DIP was initiated by the Department of Economics, Science and Europe of the City of Aachen and other players such as AGIT within the framework of the Interregio programme “Hyperegio EarlyTech” and implemented together with Innoloft GmbH. The official launch of the platform will take place on September 7. Interested parties are asked to register for the digital launch event at https://kurzelinks.de/diplaunch. From September 7th, a free registration will be available under the link https://hyperegio-dip.eu.

 

About the DIP Platform

The objective of the “Early Tech Program” is to network innovations from companies and research institutes in the Euregio. Economic added value can be generated by creating synergies and accelerating the market launch of technologies. A large part of the activities for networking and creating transparency in the area of innovation will be bundled digitally. The digital innovation platform (DIP) serves this purpose. It is docked to the constantly growing digital innovation network of Innoloft GmbH and to the Hyperegio platform as user interface. With their presentation on the platform, startups, research institutions and companies can draw attention to projects and their own products, network with each other and enter into new collaborations. In the search for competencies and innovative customer solutions, DIP helps with innovation scouting.

About Innoloft GmbH

The Innoloft network promotes innovation by connecting the most innovative players from all technology sectors. The network is designed to break down barriers between companies, investors and start-ups worldwide and open up economic opportunities for them. To this end, specific digital formats are used to identify development partners, new technologies, investment cases or customers and to bring together corresponding players on the B2B platform. Users are thus supported in partner acquisition, innovation scouting and lead generation.

Hybrid Lidar Systems is the Startup of the Week 34: Smart Sensoring and Automotive


IT & ICT, Mobility, Smart City & Buildings

The mobility sector is facing radical change, as we redifine mobility in terms of safety and sustainability. This is an exciting time in which many organisations develop new solutions that incorporate the latest technology. Today we talk to Ingo Diettele, CEO of Hybrid Lidar Systems. The Startup of the Week has developed exciting solutions to meet the needs of the modern transport system.

Hello Ingo! We’re glad you’re here today. Can you give us an insight into the German transport system and current developments? What role does your startup play in it?

Germany has one of the densest road and rail networks in the world. In this context, safety-relevant requirements of all types of mobility are essential areas of consideration for the industries involved. Among other things, autonomous mobility plays an important role in current discussions.

Mobility and safety have thus entered into an inseparable symbiosis. Sensors that take over the functions of the human eye and our experiential knowledge are indispensable for making autonomous driving possible. Research is increasingly focusing on LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors. These sensors are not ready yet to enter the mass market, but due to their characteristics they represent a potential solution for nationwide, fully automated driving that meets safety standards.

Our project focuses on the research and (further) development of LiDAR sensors and their applications, concentrating on a completely new approach. The decisive factor was the invention of an innovative measuring method. This allows data acquisition using novel digital signal processing algorithms with a very low computational effort.

A vehicle optimally equipped for traffic has to meet various industrial requirements. The currently available advanced technology offers partly precise and expensive solutions. With our product LiSSA (LiDAR for Smart Sensing and Automotive) we present a unique approach that meets and even exceeds the requirements. Due to the low computational effort, the innovation can be offered reliably and cost-effectively. With our hybrid process, in addition to high resolution (double VGA), a high degree of accuracy (<1 cm), a guaranteed laser safety class 1 (eye-safe), and a range of more than 200 meters are possible.

The combination of several novel approaches enables better object classification, which is a crucial safety factor for the movement of autonomous vehicles in a dynamic environment.

How exactly do your sensors work?

With our LiSSA Automotive it is possible to generate a high-resolution LiDAR image to detect objects. The software algorithms make it possible to change parameters that were previously firmly anchored in the chip. By using our multiplexing approach it is possible to drastically increase the usable chip area and thus to generate a high-resolution image. In addition, we are currently working on further novel components and can thus optimize the resolution in the future. The goal is to equip every moving object in road traffic with our LiDAR sensor technology so that we can raise traffic to a new level of security!

The high-resolution data that we provide with the help of our sensor is available for further processing both inside and outside the vehicle. LiDAR sensors are indispensable for further linking of the vehicle. Among others in the fields of logistics, consumer electronics (smartphones/tablets), augmented reality or even wind power and drones: Wherever a machine must or should be able to “see”, you need a LiDAR sensor.

You have already presented many unique values of the LiDAR sensor technology, can you go into more detail about the most important USP of your solution?

As already mentioned, we offer a significantly higher resolution with our product: This is done by our signal processing algorithm, which also drastically increases the usable chip area. In addition, an innovative multi-spectral approach is part of the project – this allows several areas of the environment being simultaneously, resulting in a faster and higher resolution environment detection.

Is your innovation already usable?

Not yet. Currently the Hybrid Lidar Systems is mainly in the research and development process. In our laboratory we are manufacturing the first LiDAR sensors in manual work with prototype components. We are active in the field of optoelectronics, as well as hardware and software programming and act as a design center.

Within the next two years we aim to revolutionize autonomous mobility using LiDAR sensors. The long-term, overriding goal is to use our sensor to provide the basis for safe and cost-efficient mobility for the mass market.

I see. In which industries is your product at home? Only the automotive industry?

Not quite. The main target group is the international automotive industry, yes. However, we have also established numerous contacts with other industries that require the advantages of LiDAR sensors. The “seeing” is an elementary property that is needed in many sectors (logistics, industry, wind energy, health care & sports, traffic & mobility) to take products to a new (safety) level.

You mentioned earlier that you are still in the research phase. What is the next big milestone for you?

We have been pursuing our goals since the end of 2018, the founding of the company. At the end of Q4 this year, Q1/2021 we plan to book our first automotive project. Our industrial product LiSSA Industry is already available for order and will be delivered to the first customer in the logistics sector at the end of this year.

Ingo, unfortunately we have already reached the end of the interview. Thank you very much for the exciting insights into the automotive world and your innovative solution. We wish you continued success! 

If you want to learn more about Hybrid Lidar Systems, you can have a look at the Innoloft profile.

Startups of the Month – June 2020


Energy & Environment, Health & FoodTech, IT & ICT, Mobility

Our five startups of the week of june at a glance

In June, the startups OMNIA, Genie Enterprise, Famedly, Vimbee and Synertics gave us exciting insights into their solutions and innovations with their Startup of the Week interviews. We have briefly compiled statements about their business models, markets, target groups and solution approaches for you here, in our startups of the month format. You can read the details in the individual interviews. Moreover, you can contact them directly via our messenger function in our network. Here you can also present yourself with your own profile and get in contact with the startups.  

OMNIA – Leading transformation processes to success (CW23)

We follow a very simple approach in what we do: ‘master, quantify, implement’.“ – Andreas Pointvogl, Managing Partner at OMNIA 

The energy turnaround is still in full swing. More and more companies and energy suppliers are converting their entire systems. However, this will cost time, money and probably also a lot of nerves. This is why OMNIA is focusing on precisely these transformation processes. Their expertise lays not only in the theory, but also in the actual implementation. OMNIA advises and accompanies their partners through every step of the process and the consultants become part of the team. This results in a mix of technical experts, development workers and politicians, which is unique in the market.

Customers include governments, international organisations, banks, public and private companies that are in a transition process, want to accompany it or initiate it. The current focus is on the energy sector, with OMNIA also developing new services in the field of sustainable financing. You can read more details about them and their services in the interview or find out more in their requests.

Read the full interview with OMNIA

Genie Enterprise – Using artificial intelligence (CW24)

„We digitize human perception by using the latest research findings to create practical, sustainable solutions.” – Regina Keßler, founder of Genie Enterprise

Genie Enterprise develops products and applications using artificial intelligence and machine learning. In addition, they support their customers with their expertise through classic consulting. With their products they solve concrete problems in a specific area. One of the applications is WineGenie, a digital sommelier that suggests suitable wines to customers in the online shop, but also on site. The startup also offers solutions for the customer service area, which they can adapt according to customer needs. Human behaviour and perception are always the important basis on which to build. Currently, WineGenie is about to enter the market. At the moment they develop and test further solutions.

With large medium-sized and large companies as a target group, Genie Enterprise is dedicated to a variety of projects to make life easier for people with the help of AI. For more information, contact details and partnership requests, please refer to our database in your requests.   

Read the full interview with Genie Enterprise

Famedly – Successful communication in the health sector (CW25)

„Good medicine is created through good communication and teamwork, therefore Famedly bundles all communication channels and ensures that the right information reaches the right people.“ – Dr. Phillipp Kurtz, CEO of Famedly

New health data is generated every second. Therefore, to ensure optimal patient care, you must exchange the data securely and efficiently. Otherwise, errors in treatment or diagnosis can occur. Famedly has developed a solution for that. Famedly is a decentralized platform for medical cooperation. It enables a large number of medical institutions, such as hospitals and doctors’ practices, but also pharmacies and inpatient care, to improve cooperation within and outside the institution. Depending on the needs, there are different functions that can be used.

All functions meet the requirements of data protection and are absolutely safe to use and forward data. The open source technologies used by Famedly offer such a high level of data security that  also the French government and the German Bundeswehr use them. With Famedly, security and data protection no longer slows down digital progress in medicine, but provides the decentralized platform for smooth digital change. To contact Famedly directly, you can use our database and its requests.

Read the full interview with Famedly

Vimbee – Platform for consumers and companies (CW26)

Vimbee can become the world’s first and only prosumer network that turns consumers into valuable prosumers for businesses.” – Ehsan Shirangi, CEO of Vimbee

Vimbee is developing a platform for the exchange between customers and companies. On this platform, consumers can provide product-related feedback. This way, companies receive direct feedback on the success of their product. This knowledge about the consumer can also be used for market research purposes. The global economic system is mapped in digital form, which promotes real data mining innovation, growth and knowledge on a global level. The user generated content provides the opportunity to conduct recommendation marketing. For consumers, the use of the platform is free of charge, while companies have to pay for access. Here Vimbee offers different price levels. Currently, Vimbee is at the end of its testing and development phase. Take a look at the database to find out more about their request.

Read the full interview with Vimbee

Synertics – Data Driven Mobility Solutions (CW27)

“Compared to other solutions, which often only represent descriptive data, we offer solutions that specifically evaluate data, merge it with external databases and thus generate significant added value for the user by creating algorithms and applying AI methods.” – Manuel Pessanha, CEO at Synertics

The mobility industry faces many challenges: E-cars, sharing models and ensuring efficiency. One thing above all is needed for this – data. You must analyze and evaluate this data before it can be used. Synertics develops suitable applications for exactly this case. In other words: their platform solutions promote productivity and profitability of products and services in the mobility industry. That means that Synertics focuses on investors, operators and communities involved in charging infrastructure, car sharing and micro-mobility. They thus offer an analytical tool that provides valuable insights by evaluating data. Founded in early 2020, Synertics is now in the process of refining its technology. A beta version was already tested in 2019. Check them out on our platform.

Read the full interview with Synertics

Synertics is the startup of the week 27: Data-driven mobility solutions


Mobility

Mobility is one of the big buzzwords of recent years. We need new mobility concepts if we want to build a sustainable yet efficient future. Data evaluation and data usage can help us to optimize processes in that sectore. Who takes care of such solutions? For example, Synertics, the startup of the week. Their CEO, Manuel Pessanha answered our questions in today’s interview.

Hello Manuel! Glad you could join us today. Let’s start with the first question: What do you do at Synertics?

At Synertics we develop digital and data-driven solutions for investors, operators and communities in the mobility industry to make location planning and fleet deployment more productive and economically efficient.

A fascinating topic. How do you implement it?

We offer platform solutions to increase the productivity and profitability of services and products in the mobility industry. To this end, data from various sources is actively collected, cleansed and evaluated. The results are then mapped onto the platform solutions we develop to provide users with insights that allow them to structure their processes more efficiently. This will enable locations to be evaluated more systematically, fleets to be deployed more purposefully and logistics teams to be more sensibly engaged.

Increasing efficiency in mobility is not necessarily a new topic. How do you approach it in relation to the ideas of other startups?

Compared to other solutions, which often only display descriptive data (e.g. battery levels, booking data), we offer solutions that specifically evaluate data, merge it with external databases and thus generate significant added value for the user by creating algorithms and applying AI methods. Thus, we offer an analytical tool that provides valuable insights by evaluating data.

What does your business model look like?

Our platform solutions are based on each other and have a modular structure. Therefore we set the prices according to functionality. The pricing model is subscription based.

You mentioned earlier that you are addressing investors, operators and communities in the mobility industry. The mobility industry comprises many individual sub-sectors. Do you design your solutions for all areas of mobility?

We devided the market for Synertics platform solutions into the following areas:
1. charging infrastructure (operators, investors and communities)
2. micro-mobility (operators and investors)
3. car sharing (operators and investors)
At the moment we are mainly operating in Germany, but plan to be present throughout Europe in the future.

How far have you progressed with your solutions? What are your plans for the second half of the year?

In 2019 we developed our beta version solution and tested it on the market through pilot projects. In addition, to test our solutions, we participated in our first Mobility Hackathon, in which we came second. Due to the positive feedback from the market, we officially founded the startup in early 2020. To further develop our technology, we are always looking for partners who are interested in increasing their productivity through data-driven approaches.

Manuel, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We wish you every success in your further company development and hope to hear a lot more from you. If anyone wants to support Manuel and Synertics: Please take a closer look at their Innoloft profile or contact them via our messenger.

Innoloft Benefits Program – Boost your Startup


Banking & Finance, Energy & Environment, IT & ICT, Mobility, Smart City & Buildings

 

Startups face numerous challenges with each startup period bringing its own. In the seed phase, every activity focuses on turning a concept and functional prototypes into a marketable product. According to this the focus is on winning customers and partners with a well thought-out business model. In addition to market access, startups primarily need advice and financing.

In the growth phase, the number of customers and thus the turnover increases. However, this in turn requires the recruitment of new employees and the establishment of suitable corporate structures. These often lay the foundation for the following years. At the same time, the expectations and quality standards of customers with regard to products and services often grow during this phase. Business strategies are also adjusted or expansion is carried out in this phase. New business partners are gained and the own company network grows.

But no matter what phase a startup is in, the lack of resources is always a bottleneck. Startups need support and assistance in the form of access to infrastructure and networks as well as to financial and non-monetary resources.

Partner of the Innoloft Benefits Program

As a startup we know from our own experience how important it is to be supported in its activities. That is why we have initiated the Innoloft Benefits Program. Together with partners we offer you startup assistance.

Our partners currently include Amazon Web Services (AWS). Through their AWS Activate Program they provide companies with infrastructure services. As a startup, you can register for this via our platform and receive credits worth up to $5,000. One of the conditions to profit from the AWS-Benefit is that you invite another startup to our innovation network, which registers with its own profile. The invited startup in turn can use our network with all its features for free and can also participate in the Innoloft Benefits Program.

Click here for more information about the Innoloft Benefits Program:

Learn more about the Innoloft Benefits Program

Eventbuddy GmbH

One startup that could already profit from the Benefits Program is the Eventbuddy GmbH. The Eventbuddy GmbH offers an innovative and intuitive platform for event management and digital ticket sales.

“As a startup in the growth phase, you are quickly confronted with the scaling of your digital infrastructure. Through Innoloft’s Benefits Program, we were able to profit from a partnership with Amazon Web Services, so we can now focus on the further development of our platform.” – Lucian Holtwiesche, Head of Product 

Digital B2B support to cushion the corona crisis


Energy & Environment, Health & FoodTech, Industry 4.0 & Logistics, Mobility, Smart City & Buildings

Innoloft supports you with its digital network in times of Corona

The COVID19 pandemic is spreading worldwide. It affects all of us and comes along with lots of uncertainty. What we will face in the upcoming months nobody knows. The economic consequences of the crisis can’t really be quantified yet. Nevertheless, we are not completely helpless facing the crisis. While there are major cuts in the analogue economy and the “lockdown” forces to slow economy activities, digital solutions can help to bridge this situation. Millions of people in Germany and around the world currently work from home. Doing home office would not work without internet connections, digital tools and platforms.

Plenty of companies are currently offering support in these times of crisis. We at Innoloft would also like to contribute and help to cushion the economic restrictions. We’re making our digital network platform available as a “white label application” to networks, associations, clusters, trade fairs and other private organizations. For this purpose we adapt it according to your corporate design. Our Innoloft network operating system is designed to initiate business contacts and connect solution providers, such as startups, with solution seekers.

 

What features does our digital B2B networking platform provide you?

– Create company profiles & personal profiles

– Place technologies, products and services

– Find business partners

– Automated business matchmaking

– Share news across your ecosystem

– Access a global network of innovation stakeholders

 

In addition to these key functions, the digital B2B network platform with its network feed, chat and mailing functions between network members offers further opportunities to exchange information and stay in touch with network users. Thus, the platform supports you in establishing new business relationships and serving existing ones, regardless of time and place.

 

Economic added value via digitised business relations also for the time after COVID19

With our digital B2B network platform, we would like to give you support for a difficult period of time. For this reason our offer is limited in time. For a period of six month, we are able to provide you with the platform in your design and we’ll make ends meet to shift the development costs. The platform is only suitable as a business network and is not designed for private use.

In the long term, we want to be available to you as a digital B2B network that will enable you to prepare for the digital future, even after the coronavirus. Our platform offers you and your network members the chance to network effectively with other companies, start-ups, organisations. You can establish and maintain business relationships in a digital manner. With the functions mentioned above, our platform offers numerous opportunities for new “customer leads”, partnerships, contacts, innovations and projects.

 

Learn more about our Platform

Are you interested in our six-month Corona B2B support offer and would like to learn more about it?
Get in touch with our CEO, Sven Pietsch.

Contact and further information

Email: s.pietsch@innoloft.com
Phone: +49 152 33668237

Schedule an Appointment

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.

ChargeX is the Startup of the Week 5: Future-proof charging infrastructure for electric mobility


Energy Efficiency and Environment, Mobility

The switch to alternative drives in the field of mobility is in full swing. E-mobility is one way to implement the energy transition on the road. But the expansion of charging infrastructure is long and complicated. It is therefore only a question of time before a shortage in the availability of charging points appears. ChargeX, our Startup of the Week, has developed a product for that. It makes the assembly and development of new charging points easier and more efficient. An exciting idea, which we talk about in an interview with co-founder and CBDO Michael Masnitza.

Hello, Michael! We are happy to learn more about your startup today and therefore we will start right away. What is your idea at ChargeX?

At ChargeX we develop modular charging solutions for electric cars.

It would be great, if you would give us some background information about your solutions. How does your idea work in detail?

With our modular charging solution for electric cars called “Aqueduct” many parking spaces can be electrified at low cost and with little installation effort. The modular concept enables operators of fleet parking lots and underground garages to expand their charging infrastructure cost-effectively and in line with demand.

The modular charging system of ChargeX starts with the start module. This is regularly installed by an electrician. It forms the first charging point and contains all core components such as the energy meter and the internet connection. Now further charging points, the expansion modules, can be added as required, simply as “plug & play”. Based on our intelligent charging algorithm, the electric car to be charged is determined during operation. From the customer’s point of view, we offer a modular multiple socket for charging stations. From a grid viewpoint, we create a small microgrid of charging stations to make optimal use of the existing grid connection.

Since electromobility is currently on everyone’s lips, most of the problems are already known and are being addressed by many young companies. What makes your solution special and how do you open up the way to practical application?

Aqueduct makes optimum use of the existing network infrastructure thanks to our sequential load management and the plug&play system reduces installation costs to a minimum. Our product concept focuses on advantages that can only be used if several parking spaces are electrified. In addition, we save many components, which also makes the hardware significantly cheaper. This makes it very easy for our customers to set up a large-scale charging infrastructure. Aqueduct is a complete system. Even the internet connection to a backend is pre-configured. So the customer only has to unpack it, install the system and he has immediately set up several charging points. If he needs more charging points in the future, he can easily add more modules.

What is the pricing-model for Aqueduct?

Our system is primarily aimed at companies that need charging points for their fleet or employees. Of course, it is also ideally suited for urban living areas, i.e. large underground car parks. Each charging module costs 750€. We offer a Starter-KIT consisting of 4 modules and all installation materials for 3499 €. If the customer needs an additional backend system, we deliver a partner backend directly with the system.

You have just briefly mentioned your target group that ChargeX addresses. In which other segments and industries are your customers establishing themselves?

Our charging solution is designed for private and semi-public charging of electric cars, i.e. at home or at work. The applications are the electrification of company parking lots, underground garages or garages of residential buildings with more than one electric car. The customers are communities of owners or operators of these fleet parking lots and underground garages. In addition to private individuals, a Renault car dealership was acquired as a test partner and we have validated our concept in several customer meetings and received LOIs.

We compete with manufacturers of low-cost charging stations and with hardware-oriented providers of load management systems. However, these cause high costs per charging point, are expensive to install or not suitable for the electrification of several parking spaces. By deliberately avoiding the market segments of quick charging stations and public charging, which are in the focus of the media, we can offer a more suitable and cost-efficient solution for the customer. We are targeting the growth market of charging infrastructure in the private and semi-public charging segment. Our product can be used throughout Europe.

Which brings me to my last question: You founded the company in 2017 and have certainly reached some milestones since then. What are these milestones? Where do you currently stand in the development of Aqueduct?

With our first prototype, we have achieved proof of concept thanks to the support of the Climate-KIC Accelerator. In mid-2018 we were able to convince the first business angels of our idea. The product (MVP) is certified since March 2019 and the first pilot customers like Volkswagen are already equipped with charging systems. Aqueduct can be ordered regularly. However, as a startup we cannot cover all areas of the value chain. We are primarily looking for local resellers for our charging solution. Currently we are looking for seed financing of 1.5M€ for the preparation of scaling.

Michael, thank you very much for the interesting interview! We wish you every success in the further implementation of your vision. If anyone would like to support ChargeX, please have a look at their Innoloft profile or the Innoloft requests.

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!