Urban Energy is the Startup of the Week 43: Smart City of tomorrow


Energy Supply, Mobility, Smart City & Buildings

The topic of electromobility has become an integral part of current socio-political debates. Although the goal set by the German government in 2010 of having around one million electric cars on German roads by 2020 is far from being reached, the number of newly registered electric vehicles is rising steadily. What should always be borne in mind, is that if many e-cars are connected to the power grid for charging, this can lead to new charging peaks and in the worst case to a grid overload. Our startup of the week, Urban ENERGY, addresses this problem and is developing a cloud to optimize network utilization. In our interview with Managing Director Paul Dittrich, we learn more about their solution.

Hello, Paul! We’re glad you’re here today. We start directly with the first question: How would you present Urban ENERGY in one sentence?

urban ENERGY takes energy management to a new level with AI and optimises network utilisation!

And how exactly do you make the AI usable for these purposes? Feel also free to tell us something about your products and services in this context.

The urban ENERGY Cloud Platform is a modern solution for the integration of cost efficient and highly scalable Smart Grid Analytics in real-time. Data from existing charging stations or energy management solutions can be centrally integrated and reused within milliseconds. In addition to the platform provided as a service (PaaS) for the development of their own use cases, customers also benefit from the Data Analytics function for Smart Grids. The urban ENERGY Cloud platform, which can be operated on-premise, public (e.g. AWS, Azure) or hybrid, provides a highly modular all-in-one solution to operationalize Energy Intelligence in real time using predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics and machine learning.

This sounds very promising, especially with regard to the technologies used. In order to survive on the market in the long run, you still have to prevail against competing companies. Which unique selling proposition do you use to approach this competition?

Yes, there are already major players such as Siemens with heavyweight solutions or providers in certain niches such as charging station or classic energy management for buildings. urban ENERGY fills this gap and takes on the role of an energy broker for the integration of different applications with the aim of making a Smart City as energy- and cost-efficient as possible through artificial intelligence.

How do you integrate your cloud solution and the various services into one business model?

Even before urban ENERGY was founded, we held discussions with potential customer groups for over a year. During this time, we have optimized our business case and developed a license model that is optimal for the customer. A relevant profitability for the customer is already given from 5 charging stations. In addition to charging points, other use cases such as predictive maintenance or predictions of energy quantities are also possible. With adesso AG, a large IT company, and Phoenix Contact, a globally active electrical engineering group, we not only have two investors, but also strategic partners with an extensive sales network. We are currently conducting further talks in the energy and real estate industry.

And where is your target market located?

In addition to municipal utilities, projects are carried out in close cooperation with the relevant real estate companies. urban ENERGY is also becoming increasingly interesting for logistics and commercial companies that want to gradually electrify their vehicle fleets. Supplying several trucks or buses with electricity at the same time will be one of the great challenges of the future that urban ENERGY wants to take on. We are currently concentrating on the German-speaking region, as we are receiving more and more enquiries from public utilities and housing associations who see the challenges in the distribution network and are looking for appropriate solutions here.

Where do you stand at the moment with the development of Urban Energy? Is your cloud platform already usable?

Exactly, the actual IoT cloud platform is already in place. We are currently expanding this Energy Data Hub to include further use cases: e.g. the temporal shifting of loading processes, the prediction of energy quantities from renewable energies. We are therefore currently looking for the first projects to test the urban ENERGY platform and the first use cases. As part of a research project starting in December 2019, we are working over a period of three years together with the city, the municipal utilities and the TU Dortmund as well as the Fraunhofer Institute on a neighbourhood solution.

That brings us to the end of our interview. Thank you very much for the exciting answers! We wish you continued success and would like to take this opportunity to draw attention to your Innoloft profile and your Innoloft request. Interested parties can find more information about you there.

ParkEfficient is the startup of the week 41: Intelligent management of company’s parking areas


Mobility

As progressive as many companies are now: Innovation stops with the management of their parking areas. Parking spaces are usually allocated per employee and are therefore empty during holidays, business trips or sick days. Not only does this sound uneconomical, it also creates dissatisfaction among employees who are looking for a parking space every morning.
Our startup of the week is tackling this inefficiency. ParkEfficent is developing an app with which vacant parking spaces can be determined and re-allocated. Managing Director Konstantin Wilms explains to us in the interview how exactly the app works and what other added value ParkEfficient offers.

Hi Konstantin. Thank you for taking the time today! Would you give us a short pitch to get us started?

The ParkEfficient App helps companies to achieve 140% utilization of their parking space – without risky overbooking, but with an intelligent allocation system.

That sounds like a very benefit-oriented solution. What does the app look like in detail and how does it work?

Our product is an app that can be individually adapted to the needs of our customers. Parking management in companies is often a complex problem that is strongly dependent on the organisational form, location and accessibility of the parking spaces.The majority of German companies offer their employees a very limited number of parking spaces, which are allocated according to the principles of fixed allocation or limited access. This inevitably means that up to 40% of the parking spaces are not optimally utilised every day, for example due to holidays, business trips, illness or mobile work.In addition, there are large differences with regard to the leasing/subsidisation of parking spaces: While some companies rent parking spaces/access points for a whole year, others rely on monthly debits or individual models.We offer unique solutions for unique cases.For each corporate customer, a profile is created that can only be accessed by employees. Modular features are then added. Depending on requirements, parking tickets can be offered on a monthly or daily basis and can be purchased free of charge or for a fee. Costs can be invoiced via the app or via a link to the customer’s payroll accounting system.With ParkEfficient, employees on long waiting lists have the opportunity to use the company’s own parking spaces. No more time is wasted on cost-intensive parking searches in large cities. The data collected by the ParkEfficient App enables daily forecasts to be made. For a utilization of up to 140%.

There are already some services for parking space management. What do you see as the USP that motivates companies to use your solution?

Previous ParkApps only offer the rental of parking spaces to third parties. ParkEfficient, on the other hand, concentrates on company-owned parking spaces and employees. The primary aim is to increase employee satisfaction. Additional income can be generated, for example by subletting to employees.Flexibility and efficiency. This makes ParkEfficient unique. We are able to map the needs of our customers in real time and offer an individual solution. In addition to our know-how, we also have a large amount of data at our disposal, which allows us to predict the constantly changing workload. This is particularly interesting for new construction projects – the number of parking spaces to be built is often a critical factor in planning, where investors and cities negotiate against each other. New laws and regulations allow investors to reduce the number of new parking spaces to be built if intelligent parking management solutions are demonstrably used. This is what ParkEfficient offers.

Software solutions are distributed by many companies as license models. Is that the same for you or do you use a different business model?

For the use of our app we usually charge a license fee. This varies, based on the previously collected potentials that our app creates on site and the number of additional features booked.In addition, we offer our customers the option of individual customizing, for which a one-time payment is usually required.We are constantly developing our business model further. In the meantime, in addition to our standard product (the procurement of fixed parking spaces), we offer intelligent solutions for the optimisation of parking areas operated by First-Come-First-Serve. In addition, we are currently developing optimization options for office space utilization.

During your previous answers you briefly addressed your customers: Companies with their own parking spaces. Do you make any further selections within this target group?

We primarily address companies with their own parking spaces. The more parking spaces and locations a company has, the more lucrative the business becomes for both sides. However, this does not mean that we only serve companies with a certain number of parking spaces: our solution also offers profitable solutions for small companies. In cities such as Düsseldorf, Cologne or Dortmund, an externally rented parking space costs up to 390 euros a month, in Zurich even 500 euros. An unused parking space means one thing above all else: loss. This is where we come in and offer companies an intelligent and resource-saving way out. Currently our marketing is aimed at companies in NRW. However, we also want to address cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Vienna as soon as possible. Our business model is scalable and can therefore be transferred to any company worldwide.We also support new construction projects that can reduce the number of parking spaces to be built by using ParkEfficient.

ParkEfficient was founded in 2017 and since then surely pushed the development of its products steadily. In terms of agility: Has your strategic direction changed since then, or are you still pursuing your core vision?

The core product was developed in 2018. At that time we invested in the product design, the business plan and the business concept. The core version initially only addressed customers with fixed floor space. In the meantime, that has changed: Features such as e-parking spaces, ParkSecurity (allocation of women’s and guest parking spaces as well as parking spaces for people with disabilities) and in-App payment transactions expand our product portfolio.And the list is getting longer and longer; as is the demand for the ParkEfficient App.With our solutions, we want to make a contribution to society by using existing resources sparingly and efficiently.

Konstantin, that brings us to the end of our interview. Thank you very much for the exciting input! Of course we wish you much success with the further development of ParkEfficient and hope to hear a lot more from you. At this point we would like to draw attention to your Innoloft profile as well as your Innoloft funding and customer requests.

Energieloft becomes Innoloft: Here´s why! The Story behind us.


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

 

Dear network member, dear network partner,

1st October 2019: Energieloft becomes Innoloft. A day and a milestone that we have been working towards for a long time. You wonder what moved us to this step? We’d like to share this with you and take you through our startup journey. Let’s first take a look back at the very beginning, the starting point of our journey.

 

How it began

 

Why is progress on the energy transition, one of the greatest challenges of our time, moving so slowly? This was the question we asked ourselves four years ago at the end of 2015. We, the founding team, were in the final stages of our studies and were looking for answers to the big question in our immediate environment. As it turned out, outcomes from many research projects remained locked away in old file cabinets, never reaching implementation in the business world. How could we change this? Our solution: A digital platform that digitizes the transfer of research – “ener.wi – transparente Energiewende” – was born.

We quickly noticed that research and established companies are quite well connected and that interest in our platform was limited. However, we repeatedly received requests from contacts in established companies: “We’re looking for startups with innovative technologies and business models. Do you also have these in your network?”

Since we are a startup ourselves, we were also confronted with the fact that nobody knew us and that finding pilot customers and partners was a big effort. It became very clear to us that young and nameless startups developing highly innovative business models and technologies, are not sufficiently networked. From this problem came Energieloft at the beginning of 2016.

 

From database to network

 

Initially “only” a startup database, we soon came to the conclusion that a database alone does not solve the networking problem sufficiently and that digitisation offers far more options. Thus the development of new, intelligent formats, such as our Startup Speed-Datings or Challenges, led us away from a pure database to a network.

At the same time, more and more companies realized that they needed the innovative power of young, avant-garde companies. Whereas newly founded startups are looking for partnerships with established companies to gain access to customers and resources. For both sides, this means tangible win-win advantages. Both newcomers and established companies benefit from cooperation. Since then, more and more startups and established companies from the energy sector in Germany joined our network and came together via our platform, our formats and our projects in the field of business model development. A success of which we are quite proud of.

 

Industry convergence and internationalisation meets Energieloft

 

In recent years, established companies in the energy sector have been pivoting more and more to new sectors and looking for new business fields as part of their innovation activities. As a result, we kept being asked more and more often whether we as Energieloft also addressed new topics such as mobility, smart city or industry 4.0. Slightly irritated, we always replied: “Yes, of course! We are an innovation network.” This gave us the impression that even the name “Energieloft” might not be the best choice for the established energy sector.

At the same time, not only did we want to accelerate innovations abroad with our network, but the startups in our network also signalled the interest in networking abroad. When we began to stumble across the name “Energyloft” with our first partners and customers abroad, we thought to ourselves: “Hmm, that’s actually not our name, it’s not how you write it”.

Not only the experiences described above, but also the realization that global and cross-sectional innovations are necessary to solve the social and economic challenges of our time. This led us a while ago to the conclusion that Energieloft must become Innoloft.

And here we are: Innoloft.

 

Not just a new look: Energieloft becomes Innoloft

 

We’ve been working for several months on our change of name and corporate identity. But not only that. Our platform should also come with a new look and new features to make networking even faster and easier.

Our new intelligent matching system is waiting for you! It will connect you with suitable business contacts in a matter of seconds based on your requests. In addition, Innoloft now offers you a personalized network feed that will keep you up-to-date on relevant network activities, but also many new search and filter functions to make it even easier for you to find innovations and partners.

We’re very excited to show you our new features, and we have many more in our pipeline!

We kindly invite you to take a look at our new platform! We look forward to your feedback, reach us any time at contact@innoloft.com.

Your (now) Innoloft Team

Nekonata XR Technologies is startup of the week 35: We virtualize mobility, safety, training


IT & ICT, Mobility

Nekonata XR Technologies is an european tech venture performing in the field of automotive retail & testing. The company develops the worlds first mixed reality testdrive system using real vehicles. The technology supports Marketing, Sales and R&D Executives on their way to autonomous driving. Lukas Stranger, CEO of Nekonata XR Technologies, takes us along his startup journey and explains how this technology will be applied in the automotive industry.

Hi Lukas, thank you for taking us on your journey. As mentioned in the introduction, Nekonata XR Technlogies connects the real world with the virtual one. Can you describe in one sentence what your startup is doing?

Nekonata provides the world’s first mixed reality showcase and test-drive system using real vehicles, supporting Sales, Marketing and R&D Executives on their way to autonomous driving.

That sounds very innovative. How can sales and marketing managers as well as customers benefit from your XR technology?

Our technology is tackling challenges occurring within the sales cycle at dealerships, tradeshows or launch events, which usually do not allow an initial interaction with the presented car. Lecatex supports Sales & Marketing Managers to convey the car’s brand story as well as its technical features like advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) into interactive mixed reality driving experiences, easily understandable for consumers. For Sales & Marketing Executives, Lecatex is a simple tool supporting in the negotiation and explanation process with customers, if and which assistance system or engine power should be considered and fits best to them. Due to the high realistic environment, R&D centers use the technology to test human factor interactions. The technology is designed to be installed in the dealerships car’s, waiting for its potential buyers to show what it has to offer regarding ADAS, features and performance.

The potential buyer simply steps into the car, equipped with the Nekonata Sensor-System, allowing to transfer real world inputs into virtual world outputs, puts on our unique mixed reality glasses showing a virtual world outside the car and enjoy its interactive virtual guided tour through the cars assistance systems and learns how they were operated. The vehicle is placed on small turntables to ensure an appropriate rotation of the steering wheel when driving in mixed reality.

With your XR technology, customers can gain insight into the inner workings of a vehicle and get a deeper feeling of new technology. Would you say that these impressions are realy strong sales arguments for your customers?

The technology allows to showcase potential buyer’s new vehicle technologies appropriately and in a way that was not possible until now. Today, cars, trucks and motorcycles become safer every day. Unfortunately, for Sales and Marketing Executives, it is nearly impossible to demonstrate and sell these technologies easily leading to decreasing revenues on newly developed ADAS.
With our solution, we make these systems transparent for potential buyers while supporting sales and marketing on their customers journey.

The technology and the solution approach is one side of the coin, to earn money the other one. Can you tell us what is your business model about?

Our business model is based on the license of the interactive guided mixed reality showcase experiences to dealerships and car manufacturers + a success fee on every ADAS sold with the technology.

As a startup from Austria, which is your market focus and which target groups do you like to adress your solutions?

Our target audience is primary the automotive industry in specific its manufacturers, R&D centers and dealerships.
Nekonata XR Technologies operates internationally, as we already serve customers in Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
With over 200 car manufacturing companies and over 300.000 Dealerships worldwide, we face a huge market potential for a comprehensive technology-rollout.

This leads to my last question: What phase of implementation are you currently in?

We are currently conducting further proof of concepts with our latest software-update to gain further market feedback and fit. We furthermore are closing our first financing round – so far, the company is 100% bootstrapped due to successful customer projects in our early days such as with Mercedes Austria.

Thanks a lot, Lukas, for the exciting insights into your startup. This gives us a pretty good idea of how XR technologies will be applied in the future. We wish you good luck with your market and technologie roll-out. We will keep carefully an eye on your further developments. At the moment you are looking for an investment. Anyone who wants to learn more about you and your product Lecatex finds more information on your Energyloft Profile and your Request as well as your contact infos.

blue oceans Trend-Report Vol. #2: Smart Mobility Services


Energy & Environment, Mobility

What kind of business models are used to conquer the market of shared mobility? – Industry report analyses market trends

The range of shared mobility services available in cities is growing. In addition to the car, bike and ride sharing services that have been available for years, there is now an increase in e-scooters and electrically operated pedal scooters as well as pooling services. One of the reasons why these services are becoming more attractive is their easy access. Location and availability can be easily determined by app via the smartphone. Billing is usually automated when the user logs off. Prices are transparent and acceptable. As a result, Smart Mobility Services are attracting more and more users.

This does not only include tourists and visitors. The offer is also used by local companies and inhabitants of cities. Companies have also discovered sharing and pooling services. More and more companies are setting up their own vehicle fleets, which they make available to their employees or allow them to make use of such services. Because in many places cities reach their traffic limits. The consequences are traffic jams, noise and air pollution resulting from emissions. But there are technically mature economic solutions that can reduce the environmental burden through new offerings and services.

A broad spectrum of new mobility services for passenger and goods-transportation systems

Not only individual passenger transport can benefit from these mobility services. Goods can also be transported in a variety of ways using innovative vehicles. The logistics and transport sector offers great market and application potential for mobility services. Especially for the last mile in cities, Sharing and Smart Mobility services offer opportunities to reduce traffic congestion.

But who are service providers? What solutions do they offer? What industries do they come from? What business opportunities do they see and what business models do they apply? We asked ourselves these and other questions and, together with energate Energiefachverlag, a leading B2B communications service provider, produced the current trend report “blue oceans” focusing on “Smart Mobility Services”.

Trend report analyses growth opportunities for Smart Mobility Services

You will not only find out which trends have been taken up and followed up by start-ups or which offers have already been established by companies in the mobility and energy sectors. The market for mobility services opens up new business opportunities for energy suppliers (EVU) and municipal utilities in particular. We have compiled a trend analysis on how they use these for their own purposes and which market trends are emerging.

In interviews, insiders from selected start-ups and companies from the mobility and energy sector tell you about their project experiences and provide background information. In News and Calls you can find out about cooperation opportunities. We also introduce you to the most common business models in the mobility sector for Smart Mobility Services. All information on start-ups, business models and investments is based on exclusive data from our Energieloft database.

An exclusive market survey conducted by energate among the users of its information services for Trend-ReTrend report analyses growth opportunities for Smart Mobility Servicesport reveals how decision-makers and managers from the energy and mobility sectors assess the mobility market and its developments. More than 80 companies from municipal utilities, energy suppliers, energy and mobility service providers, automotive and consulting companies took part. energate has compiled a summary of key results of the survey for you. All details about the survey including graphics are available in the full version of the report, which you can also order as a print version.

Table of content

 

If you like, you can take a look at the trend report and get a small reading sample here.

Free Reading Sample

The Full-Version of the Industry Report you can find here: blueoceans.energy/

CIRRANTiC is the Startup of Week 33: Guiding New Mobility.


Mobility

Electromobility is currently determining the socio-political discourse on new and promising mobility concepts. However, this trend topic was already recognised as such by our startup of the week in 2014 and successfully implemented in the form of digital services. Managing Director Ulrich Heitmann explains more about CIRRANTiC’s ideas, potentials and services in our interview.

Hello Ulrich. Nice to have you here today. Can you give us a short pitch to get us started?

CIRRANTiC creates infrastructures for electric mobility, for example by guiding electric car drivers to the best public charging station for their current needs.

And how exactly do you do that? What is the idea behind it?

The change in mobility towards e-mobility is in full swing. Charging is always part of the process. To ensure that EV drivers can use their vehicles as efficiently as possible, we support them with our information and services. We provide the free MOOVILITY app for all EV drivers, support charging station operators and traction current providers with our B2B whitelabel mapsites and automotive manufacturers with our information web services. The novelty of our services is the focus on multisource data, quality assurance and enrichment, forecasting, tariffs and eWallet charging tariff management.

What concrete added value does the use of your services offer?

Our services enable EV drivers to use their vehicles in the best possible way, even in unknown regions and on long distances. We provide the necessary confidence in loading infrastructure and avoid negative surprises in loading costs. EV driving is safe and easy – and saves costs! Our USPs are the prediction of charging station availability / usage, our provider-independent tariff overview and embedding and our completely new eWallet service to be able to use all charging tariffs in one app. Our demand for quality information convinces global navigation service providers worldwide, such as Apple Inc.

You have just addressed EV drivers as profiteers of your services, that is a very broad field. Could you specify your business model a little?

Our business model is B2B. This means that charging station operators and traction current providers benefit from informing our users/ EV drivers about their services and making their use as simple and safe as possible. Automotive manufacturers and navigation service providers benefit from our globally unique coverage and market-leading quality standards. In addition, with our Business Intelligence Portfolio we support customers in the area of Market Insights and will soon also provide a portfolio for the vehicle trade.

And your market is the B2B mobility sector? What potential do you currently see there?

Our market is the automotive and energy sector. B2B Target groups are all charging station operators, traction current providers, automobile manufacturers and navigation service providers as well as the vehicle trade. In the process of the shift from fossil fuels to sustainable and efficient e-mobility, a market worth billions is currently growing in Europe alone. We have been operating internationally and globally from the very beginning and prove this on a daily basis. Of course, our services are also available in the B2C sector, i.e. for end users.

You’ve already named a nameable partner or customer – so you’re not completely new to business and can already sell your products well. What are your next steps towards further growth?

We have been in the first growth phase since 2018. Our products are mature and have been proving their efficiency in B2C and B2B daily for several years. Customers such as Apple Inc, AUDI, Porsche, renowned charging station operators such as Innogy, EnBW and IONITY, networks such as ladenetz.de and Stromnetz Hamburg, institutions such as StMWi Bayern, traction current providers such as VLOTTE and Deutsche Telekom benefit daily from using our services and upgrading their core products. Our next big App Update with completely new unique features is about to be launched. We are currently in intensive talks with investors on the Stage A financing round, with the help of which we aim to expand our position as the leading information platform for e-mobility providers and users over the next 2-3 years.

Ulrich, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We wish you much success for the further realization of your vision. Those who would like to support you in this, may have a look at your Energieloft profile and your Energieloft Request in which you are looking for sales partners and investors

Stage clear for the new ENERGIELOFT presentation


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

We have been working intensively on the relaunch of our portal for months. Now we are happy to officially announce it. But not only the frontend has changed, also our dashboard and backend has new features for you. So with the relaunch we give you numerous new tools, with which you can accelerate your innovations. What functions these are and how they fit inot our LOFT System, we would like to show you.

All new ENERGIELOFT functions at a glance

Since 2015 we have been accelerating innovations in the areas of energy, mobility and smart cities as well as in related areas such as IT, industry 4.0 and financing. The ENERGIELOFT database is the heart of our innovation ecosystem. It supports the screening of the market, scouting of applications, analysis of new product concepts as well as the development of business sectors on the basis of new technologies and business models.

Carefully structured according to individual technology segments, the database provides you access to relevant information. With the relaunch, content that is relevant to you will now be displayed in a personalized feed. We will inform you in real time about current solutions from startups, requests and news that interest you.

You can use the new request function to submit your own requests and thus find suitable investors or products and solutions. Our new Live Matching function simplifies the contact process. You get quick and easy access to matching contacts. In addition, we have integrated a variety of other intelligent support systems into our digital innovation ecosystem.

Accelerating innovations together

“Create Tomorrow Together” is our slogan and main mission. With all the new features and the increased range of functions, you can now even better initiate cooperations, receive relevant information more quickly and accelerate your innovation projects. We also simplified processes and the management of more than 3 000 active users of our ENERGIELOFT database.

Explore the new LOFT system and convince yourself of the many new functions. Click here to go to the login.

In just six month start of a CarSharing mobility service


Mobility

Municipal utilities have always been reliable suppliers of electricity and gas. However, in addition to energy as their main pillar, they are opening up new fields of business in the course of changing markets and offers. This also applies to Stadtwerke Langenfeld.

In just six months, they have launched a new mobility service offer on Langenfeld’s roads together with the startup Digital Mobility Solutions GmbH (MOQO) and support from ENERGIELOFT. Since the beginning of this year a flexible car sharing service LFeld.mobil has been available to the inhabitants of Langenfeld.

Customers can gain access via the Langenfeld mobility platform. Here they can initially register free of charge, have their driving licence confirmed and deposit payment information. The vehicles can be accessed by downloading the app, preferably on the smartphone in the Google Play Store (Android) or in the App Store (iPhone). There is currently a Smart ForTwo electric vehicle and a Seat Leon to choose from.

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If a vehicle of the Langenfelder CarSharing fleet is needed, it can be activated simply by smartphone. After activation, the doors can also be opened without a key. Once the journey has been completed, billing is automatically carried out using the stored bank data.

The project could be realized by the whitelabel offer of Digital Mobility Solutions GmbH. By providing their mobility platform, they take over the operation and management of shared mobility services for companies. They also take care of keyless access to CarSharing vehicles, customer support and apps.

This means that the CarSharing concept can also be transferred to other municipalities and companies. With their whitelabel approach and their Software-as-a-Services package, they offer various players the opportunity for integration. ENERGIELOFT supports the process of business model development.

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ioki is the Startup of the week 29: inspiring smart mobility


IT & ICT, Mobility

Input, output, artificial intelligence – these are the components that make up the name of our startup of the week. ioki thus addresses the problem that rural regions in particular, but also individual districts of large cities, are still poorly connected to public transport. But how can this so-called “last mile” be bridged and existing mobility concepts be innovated? We met with ioki’s CEO, Michael Barillère-Scholz, and had the whole thing explained to us in detail.

Hello Michael. Thank you for taking the time! Would you give us a short introduction to the topic at the beginning?

Sure. Our motto is: Making mobility flexibly accessible for everyone – anywhere, anytime, whether in big cities or in the countryside and without your own car.

That sounds very exciting! What exactly does the concept behind this motto look like?

ioki was founded as part of Deutsche Bahn AG’s digitization offensive and is a full-service provider for digital forms of mobility on the road, offering all services from a single source. We provide coordinated system modules such as platforms and apps, driver-based and autonomous vehicle concepts or Mobility Analytics, which can be flexibly and individually put together for our customers. In this way we enable third parties, such as cities, transport companies or municipal authorities, to operate new forms of mobility in public transport under their own name and design. This involves sustainable solutions that secure our mobility in the long term, are economically viable and socially balanced, while at the same time protecting the environment and ultimately improving the quality of life.

New mobility concepts such as on-demand ridesharing or car sharing services are already established in some, mainly large cities. Where do you see the advantage in your services that differentiates you from previous providers of these solutions?

As a rail subsidiary, we come from the public transport sector and have decades of experience with public transport DNA. Our goal is not to replace public transport, but to complement it sensibly and to relieve traffic by an integrated, demand-oriented mobility concept. In addition to the on-demand platform, our Mobility Analytics team can use simulations to see where, when and how it makes sense for customers such as municipalities and transport associations to implement offers in their systems. There are still many rural regions where the first and last mile is not adequately connected to public transport. This is where ioki comes in and evaluates the interfaces to public transport. But also in big cities like Hamburg there are badly connected districts, namely Lurup and Osdorf. Here you can use the ioki Hamburg Shuttle from the front door to the next S-Bahn stop at the HVV rate. This integration into the local tariff system is an important unique selling point.

You have just mentioned that you offer your services in a white label model. What other aspects do you integrate into your business model and what services can customers expect?

We see ourselves as Mobility Tech enablers for public transport integrated on-demand mobility. We help our customers to set up and operate smart on-demand transport under their own brand. What’s special is that with this technology we give companies such as transport operators, municipalities or cities the opportunity to operate these new forms of mobility themselves and bring them onto the road. We provide the necessary technology and help companies make the leap into digital mobility, but we can also provide the full service if required. Our enterprise customers can then operate these services under their own name and design.
ioki can be used as a template and blueprint for external projects. Through our real laboratory and the pilots we have already put on the road, we know how to design and implement a project – and our customers can benefit from this experience. This is just as important for the national market as it is for the international market.

Looking at our ioki Hamburg project, more than 150,000 trips have been completed since it was established in July 2018 with a 20-vehicle electric fleet. In addition to integration into the tariff of the Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (HVV), our intelligent algorithm enables ridepooling: people with the same destination are picked up from different starting points and transported together. Based on its success to date, ioki Hamburg will also start operations in the Billbrook district of Hamburg this autumn. Billbrook consists to a large extent of an industrial estate with more than 1,000 resident companies and over 20,000 employees. For commuters in particular, ioki Hamburg’s offer in Billbrook will bridge the first and last mile to the existing public transport system and complement the existing bus lines.

You have named cities and municipalities as customers so far. Could you go into more detail about the target groups addressed by ioki?

As a B2B or B2G brand and tech enabler, cities, municipalities and transport providers are the most relevant stakeholders for ioki. Classic public transport is therefore an important target group, but there are also many opportunities for mobility within companies. An example of this is our project in cooperation with DB Regio and Roche, which commenced test operations in March 2019. To this end, we tested a digitally networked mobility concept between Mannheim and Lampertheim in the form of factory transport for Roche employees. In a further project with DB Regio Bus, travellers can be taken to and from Paderborn-Lippstadt Airport by the so-called “PAD Shuttle” in a 10,000 square metre service area. This is also an on-demand service that started its six-month test operation with 20 minibuses in April 2019. In the long term, the aim is also to establish the brand on the European market. In November 2018, for example, the first international pilot was the Postbus Shuttle in Lustenau/Vorarlberg, in cooperation with ÖBB-Postbus. However, the core market will remain Germany.

Last but not least, we would be interested to know which development phase ioki is currently in and which goals you are pursuing in the future. What news can we expect?

Within the framework of the pilot projects, we cooperate with strong public partners and established transport companies, with whom forward-looking mobility projects are realised in close cooperation. For example, we are working with the city of Wittlich, DB Regio Bus, Rhein-Mosel-Verkehrsgesellschaft and local bus and taxi companies to optimise the range of mobility services in and around the city of Wittlich in Rhineland-Palatinate. In May 2018, we introduced the first digitally bookable call bus in Germany to local public transport. In the first six months after its launch, the number of passengers even increased by 400%, underlining the success of the project.
We are also playing a pioneering role in the autonomous sector: Since October 2017, 25,000 passengers have already been carried on the first autonomous bus in Bad Birnbach. Our Hamburg fleet, consisting of 20 electric-powered and thus environmentally friendly ioki shuttles, also transports around 200 passengers a day. About half of these passengers can be transported to larger public transport stops. Due to this positive response, the project was extended by two years. In addition, a new area in Hamburg is to be served this year: Billbrook. This consists largely of an industrial estate with more than 1,000 resident businesses and over 20,000 employees. ioki Hamburg’s offer is intended to bridge the first and last mile to the existing public transport system and supplement the existing bus line, especially for commuters.
The next goal, which will be pursued over the next five years, is to introduce the company to the European on-demand market as a technology enabler for municipalities, cities, transport providers and companies. This is also intended to further spread the topic of individual public transport for customers, the industry and the parent company Deutsche Bahn. However, the core market will remain Germany.

Michael, thank you very much for this exciting interview! We wish you success in achieving your goals and would like to take this opportunity to draw attention  to your EnergieLOFT profile where interested people can obtain further information.

Groundbreaking innovative mobility service solutions – 8 examples from the LOFT ecosystem.


Mobility

More than 70 percent of all people in Europe live in urban areas and generate around 85 percent of EU GDP here. At the same time, the density of the population living in cities and conurbations is constantly increasing, as is traffic. This calls for clean, demand-driven, low-emission transport solutions, not only for people but also for goods.

With regard to today’s traffic problems such as congestion, noise, air pollution, particulate pollution, accident risks and a lack of parking spaces, better, environmentally friendly, cost-effective, safe and intelligent mobility solutions are needed. They are bringing innovative start-ups and young companies onto the market in the form of mobility services such as sharing, pooling and alternative transport services. They open up new usage options not only for end users, but also for trade and industry for the mobile use of employees, as well as for goods and freight traffic. The following selected examples illustrate this.

Vulog Nice – SaaS mobility technology for Car-Sharing and more

Car-Sharing services are now available all over the globe in almost every major city. Hardly anyone knows that the technology solutions on which many of these services are based come from Nice. Vulog Nice has been on the market since 2006. It provides car sharing operators such as emov from Spain, Green Mobility from Denmark and Evo Car from Canada with their Software-as-a-Service mobility solution. Carsharing providers can use this solution to manage their sharing mobility offers comprehensively and individually. Based on its Vulogs in-car technology, Vulog Nice also develops software and hardware for free-floating offers, peer-to-peer car sharing, ride hailing, hybrid services and autonomous mobility pilots.

Hyper Poland – Revolutionizing transport infrastructure for logistic challenges in the 21st century

Groundbreaking logistics offerings do not require a distant view of America. A glance at Poland is all it takes, as the startup Hyper Poland is developing a Smart Logistic platform inspired by Hyperloop technology. Behind this platform lies a completely new transport concept, with which people and goods are to be transported in the future. However, its initial focus will be on demand-driven goods transport for distances of 5 km at speeds of up to 300 km/h, where goods are to be transported between production sites and distribution centers. A first pilot project is being planned.

Inno2grid GmbH – Mobility and energy solutions for a holistic energy system transformation

inno2grid GmbH, founded in 2015, has set itself the task of linking energy solutions with sustainable mobility offers. Its aim is to combine cost-effective and resource-efficient energy and mobility management services on the basis of intelligent IT systems. Inno2grid uses Smart Grid technologies and combines them with mobility solutions such as electric cars, e-bikes or public transport to integrate renewable energies into the system in sharing mode. The first test projects of their solution are running on the EUREF campus in Berlin.

Floatility GmbH – With the e-Scooter briefly to …

The company Floatility was founded in Hamburg in 2013, with the goal of using e-scooters to cover short distances in cities, such as public transport stops and individual destinations. This is why they have launched their “Free Floating” mobility service on the market. It includes the e-Floater, i.e. an electrically powered micro-scooter with a maximum speed of 25 km/h and a range of 15 km, as well as an associated platform consisting of the “Front End”, an app and the “Back End”, the vehicle management. In order to make it easier for cities, companies and event providers to get started, Floatility takes over the complete service including the installation of all components.

Chargecloud GmbH – Smooth loading of electric cars from anywhere

A lack of a nationwide charging infrastructure is still hampering the expansion of electromobility. At the same time, operators of charging infrastructures also face the problem of offering economic solutions. The company chargecloud, founded in Cologne in 2016, wants to provide a solution to this problem. The joint venture, which emerged from the merger of three companies, MENNEKES, powercloud and RheinEnergie, combines resources and know-how to offer a modular, cloud-based software solution for the operation of networked charging infrastructures based on an Internet-of-Thing (IoT) approach.

MOQO Digital Mobility SolutionMOQO Digital Mobility Solution – Shared Mobility Services from a single source

MOQO is a cloud-based platform provider for shared mobility services. They use it to organise the interface between vehicle providers and users. Payment services and other smart services are linked to the platform, as is fleet management, which makes their services interesting for companies in the real estate industry or municipal utilities. MOQO ensures the high quality and consistency of its services through an integrated service offering from a single source with the appropriate user software, hardware and customer service. In addition, offers from third-party providers can be integrated into the platform. Customers thus receive an attractive complete package based on a Software-as-a-Service approach. In addition, a variety of additional offers are possible.

Clever Shuttle – An alternative to the taxi

The startup GHT Mobility GmbH has launched a solution against overcrowded streets in cities under the brand name Clever Shuttle. With its ride-pooling service, users can share journeys together. This makes them significantly cheaper than normal taxi rides and also saves a lot of CO2. This is made possible by better utilisation of the vehicles. An intelligent algorithm developed by Startup bundles the journeys made by the users. Via the CleverShuttle app, bookings for the respective destinations are possible at a guaranteed fixed price. For its vehicle fleet, GHT Mobility relies exclusively on electric and hydrogen vehicles that are fueled with green electricity. Its ride pooling service is now available in various major cities in Germany such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Leipzig and Stuttgart. In addition to expanding their fleet, they are also working on introducing their service in other cities.

Match Rider UG – A ride for commuters

Most commuters travel a fixed distance at the same time every day. The Startup Match Rider has developed an app to relieve commuter traffic on roads and to offer commuters a tailor-made ride. Available via iOS and Android, the MatchRiderGO app enables commuters to make joint journeys to fixed routes at reliable times and transparent prices. This saves them unnecessary detours or long arrangements in advance. In addition, commuter rush hour trips by selected drivers are offered at 10-minute intervals. Match Rider is already active in Stuttgart and Heidelberg. They are rolling out their services in other metropolitan regions at home and abroad.