Rehappy is the Startup of the Week 48: Motivation and knowledge software for stroke patients


Uncategorized

A stroke poses great challenges for those affected. Patients need a lot of strength and patience to regain their lost abilities. The road to recovery often takes a long time and is very exhausting. Physical as well as emotional support is very important. Our Startup of the Week Rehappy has developed a digital solution to help stroke patients find their way back into life. Pavle Lederer from Rehappy met us for an interview on how this works.

Hello Pavle! Thanks for taking the time for us today. What is Rehappy?

Rehappy activates, informs, and accompanies stroke patients in their aftercare. We e work with an app, an energy band, and a web portal to bring their healthcare into the digital age and pave the way back into a happier life.

How exactly do you approach this issue?

We focus on the patients in the follow-up care to increase their self-efficacy and compliance through individual motivation and knowledge transfer. The goal is also to improve their therapy results in the long term. Because there is only one person who can change the consequences of a stroke: the patient himself!

Scientific studies show that every form of physical activity increases the plasticity of the brain (learning ability) and positive emotions further promote learning success. However, many patients are completely overwhelmed by the stroke and are unable to organize their everyday life in a new way. Therefore Rehappy accompanies the patients back on the way to a happier life. Through individual and targeted information, Rehappy shows the patient how the new life situation can be approached actively. We want to help them stay motivated – every day anew and always with a positive perspective.

Components of Rehappy are a certified app, an energy band, and a web portal. To ensure that each patient receives the support that is relevant to them, the Rehappy software adapts the content to the individual needs of each patient. The increased self-efficacy and compliance, as well as the positive conditioning, can reduce the rate of depressive traits, the loss of relearnt skills, and the rate of reinfarction.

The patient himself experiences short-term support in coping with his “life crisis stroke” and gains a higher quality of life in the long term. Cost units such as health insurance companies and pension insurance reduce the costs of care, both in the short term and especially in the long term.

What functions does Rehappy offer?

Patients wear the energy band in their everyday life. They receive daily feedback on their performance and the importance of their own recovery. In addition to motivating messages, they receive individually tailored content. This includes daily changing tips that explain the background to the therapies and offer support in dealing with administrative tasks. 

Rehappy is characterized by its adaptation to the patients’ needs. Based on the physical and emotional condition as well as the personality traits, the Rehappy software continuously adapts the individual support plan. The barrier-free app design allows easy and intuitive operation for physically limited users and smartphone novices.

At what stage are you with your product?

We were one of the first companies in Germany to apply as DIGA (Digital Health Application). Rehappy is currently operating on the second healthcare market. With the listing as DIGA and certified medical product, it will be possible to participate in the first health market.

The target group is relatively clear: stroke patients. Does the severity of the stroke make a difference in use?

Yes, of course. Rehappy is aimed at all stroke patients who are cognitively able to process the content conveyed and can operate their smartphone with one hand. In addition, success has already been achieved with patients who had suffered a stroke several years earlier.

There are 270,000 strokes every year in Germany alone, of which at least 85,000 patients fall into the rehab target group due to their state of health, age & affinity for technology (with an upward trend). In addition, there are over 1.4 million patients who live with the consequences of a stroke in Germany.

You have already mentioned that you are already present in the market. What is your vision for Rehappy? What have you already achieved?

As a certified medical device, our goal is to be a pioneer of therapy-accompanying digital health services for neurological diseases. 

Our software was selected as one of 119 companies on the shortlist for the Digital Health Award in 2019. We also won the healthy hub in 2019 and signed our first contract with the mhplus health insurance company.

 

Pavle, unfortunately, we have already reached the end of our interview. Thank you very much for the exciting interview. We wish you continued success at Rehappy! 

If you want to learn more about Rehappy, please visit their Innoloft profile.

Green-Y is the Startup of the Week 47: Affordable, Clean & Efficient Energy Storage System


Energy Efficiency and Environment, Energy Storage, Energy Supply

The issue of green energy poses two major challenges: The storage of energy from green energy and the question of heat/cold generation. In the ideal world, this is achieved with a single device. For some, this may sound like a high cost and energy expenditure. Our Startup of the Week Green-Y uses the well-known compressed air storage technology and solves the above-mentioned problems, in an efficient and sustainable way. Dominik Schnarwiler, co-founder of Green-Y, tells us more about the technology in today’s interview.

Hello Dominik! Great, that you are here today. To get you started, why don’t you tell us what Green-Y does? 

Green-Y combines electricity storage and heating/cooling in one device. This is reducing costs and emissions from buildings.

An important mission. How exactly do you make this possible?

We base Green-Y on patented air reservoir technology. There are two main processes: The charging and discharging of the accumulator. When charging, we compress air, which requires electricity and generates heat. The compressed air is then temporarily stored in compressed air tanks.

When we unload, the air from the compressed air tanks expands again at a later stage, which recovers electricity and generates cold at the same time. Thus, it is combining electricity, heat, and cold in one device.

In principle, one knows this technology for a long time, which allows us to reduce risks, complexity, and costs by using standard components. Yet, the technology has now been decisively developed further and the energy density is increased by a factor of 3, doubling the efficiency of heating and cooling. As a result, Green-Y can be used to heat and cool efficiently in a decentralized manner, i.e. directly in the building, which in turn makes its use as an electricity storage device cheaper.

Green-Y can be used in buildings and industries where there is a need for electricity storage, heating and/or cooling. Typically, Green-Y optimizes the use of electricity from the grid and the internal consumption of e.g. photovoltaic electricity, heats rooms and hot water, and cools rooms and servers.

What is the unique selling point of Green-Y?

Green-Y is environmentally friendly and profitable. The customers benefit as follows:

  • The profit is increased by reducing energy costs, which results in low amortization periods.
  • We can reduce emissions by replacing fossil fuels and integrating renewable energies.
  • Green-Y is environmentally friendly and recyclable, as only air and water are used as working materials.

Compared to competing products, the battery and heat pump, Green-Y is more than 5 times cheaper and does not generate any environmentally harmful waste. The latter is mainly produced by the limited resources of lithium and cobalt in the battery and by the environmentally harmful refrigerants in the heat pump. Thus the combined approach brings the unique selling propositions that clearly set us apart from the competition.

How do you integrate your product into a lucrative business model?

Our business model is initially based on a one-off sales margin, supported by a recurring share of maintenance and repair. In the future, we plan to introduce other business models, such as a contracting model with the end customer, which will cut the high acquisition costs for the customer and result in attractive recurring revenues for us.

Initially, we are approaching the end customer directly with the first installations B2C. In doing so, we take the first step into the market and aim for a product/market fit. After that, the aim is to address the so-called multipliers as quickly as possible. In doing so, the device or a B2B license is sold to e.g. energy suppliers or heat pump manufacturers. This allows us to scale quickly and efficiently.

You have already briefly touched on your target group. Could you elaborate on this topic further?

Of course. The technology is scalable from small applications in the single-family home sector to medium-sized applications in trade and industry and large applications centrally at an energy supplier.

In the beginning, we are clearly focusing on medium-sized applications in the commercial and industrial sectors. The first two customer projects were secured in a Swiss office building. An ideal application was identified there for market entry.

The niche market for office buildings in Switzerland already represents an annual market volume of over CHF 200 million. After the first projects have been realized nationally, we are quickly aiming for the DACH sector before we also want to operate throughout Europe and intercontinental.

This all sounds like very exciting developments. Where do you stand now?

The patented technology is validated on a prototype in a laboratory environment. We were also able to secure our first two customer projects. The next big step is the realization of the pilot project at a customer’s site. Installation in the Swiss office building will start in 2021. After that, we plan to install the first commercial devices in early 2022. For this purpose, we are currently looking for 2-3 further customer projects.

At the same time, we were able to conclude a successful seed investment round in summer 2020. This secures our financing up to and including the pilot project. We plan a Series A financing round for the end of 2021 to enable the commercialization of the product.

We are currently looking for new team members and investors for the next investor round. Also, we want new strategic partners for market entry, and customer projects for early 2022. Are you interested? Contact us and join the journey into a green energy future!

 

Dominik, thank you very much for the exciting conversation! We wish Green-Y every success for the pilot projects and the search for investors. 

If you would like to learn more about Green-Y, you will find more interesting information on Green-Y’s profile in our innovation network.

AmbeRoad is the Startup of Week 46: Experts for handling company data


Uncategorized

“Say, where can I find that document from the meeting last week?” – Everybody knows this sentence. Especially when things have to be done quickly, you get lost in some folders and can’t find what you’re looking for. Now there is a solution: Our Startup of the Week ambeRoad has taken up the problem and developed special software that elegantly solves this problem. So that the employees finally find the data that they are looking for. How exactly does all this work? We spoke to Philipp Reißel, CEO of ambeRoad, about this.

Hello Philip! Thanks for taking the time for us today. What exactly is ambeRoad?

With our Enterprise Business Search Engine we can make hard-to-find company data easily accessible!

You use artificial intelligence for that, right? Which functions does your product offer exactly?

Exactly! Our product is a SaaS software, which can be used by companies to create added value. Our software ambeRise searches all company data for a specific search term. The user enters a search query into an intuitively designed search mask and receives the results from our software. In the background, we have a series of processes which search all internal company data sources with the help of artificial intelligence (Natural Language Processing, NLP). ambeRise places itself in front of the company’s data; i.e. one of the great advantages of ambeRise is that the data structure does not have to be changed.

In addition, existing access rights are respected and our NLP model intelligently extends the search query. ambeRise searches document titles, as well as the document contents of all authenticated documents for the extended search query. Finally, ambeRise intelligently sorts the results obtained according to relevance, whereby this is a continuous learning process. Since we function as an individual solution and thus avoid the costly and complex way of implementing a complete solution, our system is ready for use much faster.

What is the exact use case for such software? Why is your product useful?

Users of our software find documents and data in your company much faster than you would without our search engine. Everyone who has ever worked in a company probably knows it: You are looking for documents that you don’t need every day, you are looking for documents that you have worked on a long time ago, but you don’t know the exact wording for the search query anymore. Most conventional search engines fail to find these documents.

The next step of the search is the tedious clicking through all folders in complex server structures. Sometimes you are lucky and find the document, sometimes you are unlucky and have to fill in a document again or have to ask colleagues and additionally take up their time. The reason for the tedious search? Documents have not been saved according to the corresponding specifications, documents are saved in the wrong folders and servers or you do not know the corresponding keywords.

The added value of our product is clear: A search query in ambeRise and we find the document you are looking for! Thanks to our intelligent extension through the NLP model, ambeRise can also find documents if the user no longer knows exactly what keywords he is looking for. It thinks along with you. Even if colleagues are temporarily absent due to illness, quarantine, holidays, etc., the loss of knowledge can be compensated. Accordingly, the employees save a lot of time. They can use their time more effectively and with added value for the company.

How do companies pay for this?

Our business model is based on a pay-per-employee model. We charge a small monthly fee for each employee who uses our tool. This allows companies to plan their costs. A second product of ours, the amberAtlas, is an intelligent business directory. Companies can contact us for the purpose of sales optimisation, market characteristics or competitor analysis and we search live for all publicly available data on parameters specified by the customer. For us, a yellow pages directory is not just a simple extract from a database built up over years, but a daily updated list with all available information.

For whom is ambeRise suitable?

We address the B2B market. The industry is of secondary importance to us, as we retrain our Natural Language Processing model for each industry, so that corresponding technical terms do not pose a problem when searching. We tend to see the application area of ambeRise primarily in medium to large companies, as these companies have the corresponding data volumes. At the moment we operate in the DACH area, but in the medium term we would like to enter the international market.

Are you already present in the market?

We went through our proof of concept in the context of the KISS42 Challenge of the RAG AG. At RAG AG ambeRise will go into daily operation in the next few weeks. In addition, we were able to win the Digital Info Management Challenge of Siemens Energy at the Ruhrsummit 2020.

 

Philipp, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We will follow your further way and wish you a successful market entry!

If you want to learn more about ambeRise, you can find out more about them here.

Ormera is the Startup of the Week 45: Automated energy billing with blockchain


Energy Efficiency and Environment, Energy Market & Trading, Energy Supply, IT & ICT

The energy transition is still in full swing. With the trend towards tenant electricity and smart buildings, there is a large amount of administrative work to be done. This includes, for example, the entire billing process. Our Startup of the Week Ormera has developed an innovative platform for this. It connects the electricity meter to the account and thus automates the entire billing process with the help of blockchain. Ormera is the optimal meter-to-cash solution for independent administration and electricity billing for the association for own consumption. We met with Ormera’s CEO, Fabian Baerlocher, for an interview to learn more about this exciting approach.

Hello Fabian! Thanks for taking time for us today. For a better start: How do you describe Ormera in one sentence?

Ormera is the leading platform for the billing of IoT devices in smart buildings until 2026.

The whole thing works for you with the help of Blockchain, right? Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

Right. The Ormera platform automates the entire billing process – from reading the IoT device to the account statement – via block chain. In an intuitive online portal, the users keep track of the produced and purchased electricity, heat and water consumption as well as the charged tariffs. With this solution, Ormera helps self-producers, energy companies and property management companies to overcome the administrative hurdles of energy and IoT billing, thus contributing to the energy turnaround. 

In general, the platform is capable of monetizing data from any IoT device. In other words, wherever measured values need to be converted into tariffs subject to certain conditions, Ormera offers a simple solution. This enables Ormera to create the technological basis not only for renewable energies, but in the long term also for highly efficient Smart Cities and all interoperable systems. It is ideally suited for billing newer forms of energy and applications in the future. You can also integrate charging stations for e-vehicles or innovative battery storage systems into a site network, as well as you can integrate smart building or a ZEV (association for own consumption) into the platform.

I see. Where do you see your USP?

Ormera’s solution links intelligent electricity, heat or water meters – so-called smart meters – as components of the Internet of Things with the blockchain and further directly with the bank account. Everything that is measured is deducted from the bank account with minimal administrative effort. By using the blockchain, we can massively increase cybersecurity, end customers have full transparency and the billing process is radically digitalised. This enables significant savings, both in terms of workload and costs.

How do you design the associated business model?

Ormera charges its customers an annual license fee per metering point with a one-time installation fee and/or an annual partner fee. Customers who want to use Ormera can choose between several modules with different requirements. At the same time we receive project fees from technology partners, for co-production of the platform.

At the beginning of the interview you have already named a few potential customers, such as energy companies or property management companies. Which market segments exactly do you address within this target group?

After a successful pilot phase, we launched the platform with various partners in May 2019. Ormera addresses B2B customers such as energy suppliers, real estate managers and planners. We are also working with technology partner ABB to simplify the direct connection between the measurement data and the blockchain. For the development of this comprehensive platform we need the right partners. While Ormera is already widely known in the energy services market, the focus is now on the real estate market. Acquisition talks are being continued and contracts with further partners are being concluded. The start-up thus builds a stable customer base and ensures that the real needs on the market are directly incorporated into the development of the platform.

With market penetration in Switzerland in 2021, Ormera plans to expand its activities to the DACH region, UK and Scandinavia in 2022.

It looks as if you have already established yourselves quite well. What do current developments in your company look like?

20 B2B customers of the 30 largest energy companies, real estate and engineering offices in Switzerland for electricity billing already use the platfrom. We are currently developing an MVP for heat/water billing. Further use cases, such as the billing of e-charging stations or digital contract processing via the platform are in planning. The platform can already read different types of meters. Together with technology partners such as ABB, we are further developing the interfaces.

In addition to product development, the development of the company is a major task. Originating from a project of PostFinance and Energie Wasser Bern, we had an external IT development. In the last few weeks we have redesigned the IT and hired excellent architects and developers to internalize the IT. This includes the establishment of a nearshore team in Portugal. 

We are also very active on a strategic level. We have expanded the energy case, which was originally focused on Switzerland, and are now focusing on expanding our verticals to include the general billing of IoT devices and the European environment. For this we need additional capital. Therefore we are seeking new investors for the next financing round of CHF 2 million in Q1 2021.

 

Fabian, thank you very much for this exciting interview! We wish you continued success and look forward to following Ormera’s developments,

Those who find Ormera interesting can visit their Innoloft profile for more information on the company, product and funding request.

Sourc-e GmbH is the Startup of the Week 44: Optimise print purchasing


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Ordering printed products is often a laborious matter. Not only for the end customer, but also for the printers. Now there is a solution that offers many advantages for both sides. Our Startup of the Week sourc-e digitalises processes in the field of print products. Lucas Scherer explains in an interview how exactly sourc-e optimises print purchasing.

Hello Lucas! Thanks for answering our questions today. Let’s start right away with the first question. Who is sourc-e?

sourc-e offers a platform that digitises the purchase of individual print products and enables print costing in seconds, making processes easier and more efficient for both printers and buyers.

Do you use an algorithm for this? 

Exactly! We digitise the print purchasing process using a unique algorithm. The basis for the intelligent calculation is machine data and the associated cost rates of high-performance printing companies.

What advantages does sourc-e offer?

Sourc-e maps the strategic and operational purchasing process from tendering to print production on one platform. Sourc-e brings together buyers and printers on one platform. The price calculation data is based on current machine data, which is automatically compared with the customer’s print requirements. The prices are calculated within seconds. Customers can integrate their own printers into the system and actively influence price benchmarks for tenders. For printers and print buyers, this simplifies and streamlines the processes involved in tendering and handling print jobs. As a technology supplier, sourc-e provides companies not only with the calculation solution but also with various shop systems that we design individually according to the customer’s requirements. No matter what solution the customer wants, the tendering process becomes more efficient and easier.

New revenue potential is created for printers because the procurement process is covered by the sourc-e platform and all technological framework data is stored.  Sourc-e brings together supply and demand, so that all parties involved save time, money and resources.  In doing so, sourc-e not only uses technology, but also provides customers with experts who have extensive know-how in the printing industry. In this way, sourc-e’s customers receive the best possible advice in all matters.

How do you generate revenue from this?

Generally, we charge a licence fee for the use of the print intelligence platform and the individual shop solutions of sourc-e docked to it. In addition, our specialists can also process complete orders directly. For this direct print procurement sourc-e charges a processing fee.

You just mentioned a few potential customers, such as printers. Which market segments are you addressing exactly?

We address both suppliers and buyers of print products in medium-sized companies who want to have their print products produced quickly and efficiently without having to go through long tendering procedures. The topic of internationalisation is on the agenda and is to be further expanded and rolled out on the platform side.

Is your platform already usable?

Yes, with cloud-based software solutions such as the Print Intelligence platform, sourc-e has launched an efficient purchasing and distribution tool that is used efficiently by companies like Vaillant and Dunlop as well as by publishers and printers.

Lucas, that brings us to the end of our interviews. Many thanks for these exciting insights. Of course we wish you continued success for the future.

If you would like to learn more about sourc-e, please have a look at the corresponding Innoloft profile.

SNAP GmbH is the Startup of the Week 43: Moving people


Health & FoodTech, IT & ICT

You canControlling technical systems with the help of thoughts – for many people this still sounds like science fiction. But it is already reality. Our Startup of the Week SNAP GmbH develops products and services in exactly this area: the interface between the human brain and technical systems. Sinah Grube from SNAP GmbH explained to us in an interview how exactly this works and what SNAP GmbH contributes to the development.

Hello Sinah! Thank you for taking the time for us today. Please explain what SNAP GmbH does.

We at SNAP GmbH, based in the BioMedicineCentre in Bochum, concentrate on the development of products and services in the following areas brain-computer interface (BCI systems), artificial intelligence (AI systems), data hosting, technical assistance systems and motion analysis.

Your vision lies in the field of brain-computer interfaces. How does that work?

The BCI is an interface from the human brain to a technical system, such as a computer or a mobile phone. In electroencephalography (EEG), we place electrodes on the scalp to record the activities of the brain. The neurological data obtained can be used to control technical systems in the environment through the pure thoughts of the human being. The possible applications are immense and offer great potential for the future (e.g. from the entertainment industry to health care). We are currently also part of two funded projects in this area, VAFES and ReXo, which are supported by the State of NRW and the European Union.

At ReXo project workers develop a biomechanically designed, adaptive exoskeleton for the upper extremities. In that project SNAP enables control of the rexoskeleton via the brain. Our goal is the training of a very well-functioning AI solution for a BCI. So SNAP GmbH decided right from the start to evaluate kinematic data for various fields of application. Thus we are not only AI specialists in the field of neurological data, but also in the evaluation of kinematic data. One example of an AI solution is our AI-based motion detection system, which we call AnaKin (analytical kinetics).

For motion analysis, we have developed our own in-house sensors that are attached to the body for data acquisition. The AnaKin records the movements of the wearer and memorises certain movements. Of course, it is also possible to purchase our own portable sensors, so that the movement data can be individually trained with the AnaKin. The trained AI can recognise whether, for example, a person carries out a movement correctly or not. On customer request SNAP GmbH as a service provider also offers pattern recognition and motion analysis on AI basis of already existing data sets recorded with external sensors. In addition to movement tracking, there is also the possibility of pure gesture control with our sensors. Only with a wristband equipped with our described sensors, gesture control becomes reality. With this, smartphones, games, tablets, drones can be controlled by a single wipe with the hand in the air.  

This is really an exciting field. What makes you stand out from your competitors?

In fact, there are very few companies in Germany that develop BCI systems, so we as a company are already extremely interesting for external partners and investors. In addition, we record and analyse neurological data synchronously with kinematic data. This combination is also not always common. 

Our motion analysis with our self-developed sensors offers the user considerable added value, asan inertial sensor transmitted the data wirelessly. Consequently, mobile use is also possible outside a laboratory. You can easily attache the sensor to the body with straps. An app collects and analyses the data. Furthermore, a USP in motion analysis is the connection to our individual AI solution. With regard to our digital assistance system, it can be said that we have the special feature here that our therapy platform is used in telemedical care. For example, doctors and physiotherapists can view the course of movement and training data. 

The trend towards video consultation hours will also increase more and more due to the current Covid-19 situation. Digital and AI-based assistance systems will provide an optimal basis for this. A very noteworthy point is, of course, that all neurological as well as kinematic data will be stored in Bochum and processed in compliance with DSGVO.

In addition to our products and services, the people behind the scenes at SNAP are unique. We are an intercultural, young, dynamic team that works every day with a great technical passion to invent technology that enhances our capabilities, our community and our world.

How do you integrate your solutions into a successful business model?

In the field of brain-computer interfaces we receive many interesting and individual enquiries for the development of new business fields. In the case of specific enquiries, we work together within the framework of development contracts. Furthermore, we are currently being supported in the BCI area by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the European Union within the framework of two funding projects, VAFES and REXO.

Our business model for processing kinematic data is similar to our BCI. The customer can choose between two options within the first meeting: 

  • The customer buys SNAPs specially developed sensors, which they need for data acquisition of the movements. Subsequently, an AI solution for the motion data is trained with our sensors in a customised service. 
  • The customer does not need any sensors, as data records from external sensors are already available. Therefore, we only train an AI for the existing motion data with the AnaKin individually according to customer requirements. 

We market our digital assistance system, the IRhythmic, as a training device and can be purchased from us on the market including a corresponding app. 

As our focus is on the health industry, we also offer a prevention course from SNAP GmbH for fall and movement prevention. The statutory health insurance companies usually pay for almost the complete prevention course.

An important note to all investors: We are always on the lookout for further investors, as venture capital can greatly accelerate the development of the BCI for the consumer market.

You just mentioned that you focus on the health industry. Are these the only potential clients you are addressing?

We address a very large target group with our products and services. Our focus is on the entire healthcare sector as well as the games industry. In the healthcare sector we can offer a grandiose added value in the area of prevention as well as rehabilitation. In the games industry, on the other hand, we can offer interactions with computer games, for example. We are currently gaining a foothold in the German market. For the future we cannot and do not want to exclude international marketing.

What stage of development are you currently in? And where do you want to go?

Very good question – because there is actually something from every development phase in our company. Our vision is and remains that we will develop a robust, intuitively operable BCI system that recognises and implements commands from the brain – a kind of “Siri” for thoughts. Due to our unique selling points, we have already received several requests for such a BCI system. So far, we can only process relatively simple commands with the BCI and are still bound to the computer. We want to become more precise so that, for example, a paraplegic person can move his hand – or legs – as naturally as possible with the help of an exoskeleton.

The next step is to transfer the AI (for neurological data) to portable devices. On the other hand, we have already successfully launched our sensors for motion analysis with the motion recognition system AnaKin. The same applies to our digital assistance system – the IRhythmic. Here we are in good contact with health insurance companies. End customers, such as hospitals and physiotherapists already use the training device. Our certified prevention course is also already successfully conducted online. Our sponsored projects, ReXo and VAFES, got off to a good start at the beginning of the year and we are on schedule here with our cooperation partners and are thus keeping on course.

 

Sinah, thank you very much for the exciting interview. We will definitely continue to follow SNAP’s developments and wish you continued success!

If you would like to learn more about SNAP GmbH, please visit their Innoloft profile.

Healex is the Startup of the Week 42: Connecting clinical research and clinical care


Health & FoodTech, IT & ICT

Currently, the medical sector has a major information management problem. This has been caused by the increase in knowledge in its scope, but also in the level of detail. The consequences are delays in the transfer of research results to effective therapies and massive cost increases due to increased expenditure. The medical sector definitely needs a solution. Our Startup of the Week, Healex, has developed an exciting platform approach that can help many stakeholders in the healthcare sector. We met Christoph Plamper from Healex for an interview.

Hello Christoph! Thank you for taking time for us today. Please explain shortly what Healex is.

Healex is a software and consulting company based in Cologne and Berlin that develops products and solutions for the efficient planning, control and acceleration of clinical trials, for therapy consulting in patient care and for the management of large volumes of clinical and health data.

You have developed your own platform for this, right? What is the goal of the platform?

Yes, exactly. The “Healex Site Management System” (SMS) brings together sponsors, researchers and investigators on an innovative platform and enables the planning, implementation and collaboration in clinical studies across multiple sites. Clinical studies are thus significantly accelerated and digitally managed. By supporting international medical data standards such as “FHIR” and the “Healex Clinical Hub”, a FHIR-based platform for structured clinical data, the “Healex Site Management System” (SMS) and our other solutions can be seamlessly integrated into existing hospital systems and research infrastructures, enabling the easy integration and use of structured clinical data for research and care.

What is special about this approach?

We bring together sponsors from pharma, clinics, research networks, researchers and investigators on our platforms. With the platforms we provide powerful collaboration tools and solutions for structuring clinical data. Both ensure that personalised therapies can be developed faster. In addition they are more data-driven and thus more cost-effectively in the long term.

Do you only sell your Healex Site Management System?

No. We develop and sell IT solutions in the B2B healthcare market, mainly our own but also partner solutions. This happens usually through multi-year license agreements, both SaaS and on-premise. We focus on platform models as well as product families and individual products. Roughly, we have divided our product and business model into two levels: Our core products are primarily aimed at large hospitals, pharmaceuticals and research organizations and are networked infrastructure solutions. Our Corona web tools are flexible web solutions that many industries can use. The core of our business model is that you can use almost all our solutions independently but also connect them and use them together. Business model is 70% product sales and development and approx. 30% consulting. We do not offer any other services apart from our core products.

Who falls within your target group?

Our target groups are mainly large university hospitals and research networks. Many hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and health insurance companies are customers as well.

What are your successes that you like to look back on?

For more than twelve years we have been supporting research groups and physicians in the integration of clinical care and research. Due to our close cooperation with one of the largest university hospitals in Germany, we have deep experience and proven solutions to critical processes and problems in clinical research and care. For many of these challenges, we have already delivered solutions that thousands of researchers and physicians use every day in numerous multinational clinical trials.

 

Christoph, that brings us to the end of our interview. Thank you very much for the exciting interview! We wish you continued success and will definitely continue to follow your developments.

If you want to learn more about Healex, you can take a look at the corresponding Innoloft profile.

Semasquare is the Startup of the Week 41: Digitalisation of vehicle cockpits


Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

Easy handling, automation of functions and low installation effort – for cockpits in commercial and special vehicles this is desirable, but often not a norm. Our Startup of the Week semasquare GmbH has recognized this gap and developed new approaches to make vehicle cockpits more intuitive and efficient. Today we talked to Moritz Koch, Sales Business Development Manager about their solution.

Hello Moritz! Thanks for taking the time today! Explain to our readers what semasquare does.

We at semasquare offer HMI and software engineering for commercial and special vehicles.

What do your solutions contain?

semasquare GmbH offers expertise on hardware and software up to the cloud. We work in an agile manner and can thus iteratively develop the perfect operating concept for the respective area of application via first mockups using rapid prototyping with customers. After defining the operating concept, we select suitable hardware components together with the customer and develop the software according to his ideas. With our experience in the areas of UI/UX, design decisions are critically discussed to optimize the user experience for the end user.

How does your approach differ from that of other providers?

Previous concepts for operating commercial vehicles often still rely on physical input elements such as buttons and switches that automate vehicle functions only to a limited extent. This makes it difficult to map the complexity of the vehicles. Service providers usually only offer the development of a modern user interface. However, the knowledge required to integrate them into a cloud and thus exploit their full potential is still missing.

So you develop individual concepts and also implement them, right?

That’s right. We offer individual engineering services for commercial vehicle manufacturers. Our goal on the one hand is to make the operation of the vehicles suitably intuitive. On the other hand we want to make the complex tasks manageable. Furthermore, semasquare enables the transfer of the accruing data to servers or the cloud. Thus we help our customers to develop and implement new innovative, data-based business models. A further project, which we adapted to the Covid-19 situation, is a puzzle bot which Escape Rooms or other providers of experiences can use to create and offer individual tours.

Has a new target group developed for you? Or are you still addressing the special vehicle industry?

So far yes. Our previous customers are manufacturers of commercial and special vehicles with complex superstructures from the fields of street sweepers/canal cleaners. In addition, many other applications such as waste collection vehicles, drilling vehicles and fire-fighting vehicles in public road traffic are of interest. Furthermore, commercial vehicles that are not registered for public road traffic, such as construction machines, construction site, forestry and agricultural vehicles are also targeted. Manufacturers of commercial vehicles, users, brokers, rental companies and service providers using commercial vehicles are also interesting customer groups.

You already entered the market. What are your next steps?

Yes, the market entry has already taken place with a pilot project. A second customer is about to place an order. To simplify the entry for these customers, we offered a service for the development of an HMI in the first step.

In addition to cold calling, we use the existing network via the cooperative visibleRuhr, Bochum Wirtschaftsentwicklung, the university and company network ruhrvalley and other friendly companies. Once the pilot projects are completed, we plan to use the experience gained from the projects to develop platforms for HMI and the cloud. The idea is that they will accelerate the processing of further projects. Based on the development, the service should slowly be transferred to products. In the future, the cloud will be used via licenses. This will make the cloud a scalable product. We want to continue to offer services based on the HMI platform. Our intention is to further expand our current partnerships.

We will also work with the Institute for Electric Mobility at Bochum University of Applied Sciences and other partners to promote innovation and progress in the field of electric mobility for commercial vehicles. In addition to the references of the pilot projects, we will thus underpin our innovative strength. We will compensate for the increasing workload by hiring additional full-time employees and working students. Our overriding goal is customer diversification. In this way we want to ensure that one customer accounts for a maximum of 30% of total sales.

Moritz, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We wish you continued success with your goals. We hope to hear a lot more from you.

If you want to learn more about semasquare, please have a look at the corresponding Innoloft profile.

node.energy is the Startup of the Week 38: Optimal planning & management of decentralized energy concepts


Energy & Environment, Energy Efficiency and Environment

The hardware for the energy system transformation is available. There is a wide range of technical solutions. Only constantly changing laws, rules and regulations complicate the market penetration of decentralized energy concepts. To ensure that renewable energy solutions pay off even without public funding, our startup of the week has developed software and services for decentralised energy concepts. They not only simplify the planning and management of decentralized energy systems, but also offer a new business model for energy suppliers and service providers. Matthias Karger, CEO of node.energy GmbH, tells us in an interview how the software can turn them into digital full-service providers for decentralized energy solutions and how they can benefit from this.

Hello Matthias. Thank you for giving us some insights into your startup node.energy today. Can you briefly summarize in one sentence what your mission is about?

Sure. We offer a software solution with which energy suppliers (EVUs) can use the increasing own energy generation of commercial customers for their own business opportunities.

Sounds interesting. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

We have developed a special software and service solution, which enables EVUs to quickly and cost-effectively position themselves as digital full-service providers for their commercial customers. With the help of the Software-as-a-Service solution opti.node, EVUs can recommend the ideal mix of their own generation and grid connection to their commercial customers in just a few minutes based on a few, mostly known customer data. Through this proactive approach, the EVU positions itself as the first point of contact for the planning and implementation of the suggested solutions and services. Through the subsequent digital management of the energy concepts, as well as through the supply of the rest of the electricity and surplus marketing, permanent and profitable customer relationships can be established. opti.node can take into account a large number of generators and consumers, as well as storage and e-mobility infrastructure. All regulatory interactions, such as allocations and taxes, are included in the optimization of energy costs. In this way, energy supply companies can guarantee their customers the lowest possible energy costs.

So you generate value for energy supply companies and energy service providers by offering them a software solution based on decentralised self-power concepts what generates new revenues. What are the revenues do you generate for them?

With our SaaS, even complex decentralized power concepts can be planned and managed in minutes. Thus, EVUs can use the growing self-sufficiency of their industry and tissue customers as their own business opportunity. New sales potential arises from the planning, construction and implementation of own power concepts. In addition, a continuous management fee can be established via opti.node through operational management and the automatic fulfilment of reporting and operator obligations. For example, atypical grid usage, or EEG quantity limitations and notifications, as well as all e-mobility operator obligations are taken into account. The concept is rounded off by the supply of residual electricity and the surplus marketing by the energy supply company. This ideal mix of self-sufficiency and residual electricity supply results in a hybrid product with high customer loyalty.

Your software and service solution offers not only reduced complexity and bureaucracy for customers, but also provides EVUs a revenue model that is tailored to new market requirements. 

How do you generate revenue yourself?

We offer our product as a Software-as-a-Service model for which an annual usage fee is due. In continuous management, this is only due when new revenues are actually generated with customers.

And to whom your solution is adressed in general?

We address the entire value chain of decentralized power generation and automate it as far as possible.

In 2016 your company was founded and you spent some time developing your opti.node software. Since when is your solution available on the market?

Our software has been on the market since the beginning of 2019 and is constantly being further developed on the basis of new customer requirements. Our customers therefore benefit from a constantly growing range of functions.

Many thanks, Matthias, for the exciting insights. Then we keep our fingers crossed for the future and wish you every success. We hope to hear a lot more from you and are looking forward to your further developments. If you would like to learn more about node.energy, please take a look at your Innoloft profile or contact us directly.

Breeze Technologies is the Startup of the Week 35: Sensors for air quality


Energy & Environment, Energy Efficiency and Environment, IT & ICT

In recent months we have seen the positive effects of the lockdown on our environment. The smog has disappeared and the air was clear again in many places. However, many cities only measure their air quality selectively, leaving large gaps in the data. This is set to change now. We spoke with Robert Heinecke about his startup Breeze Technologies for this mission.

Hello, Robert. Thanks for answering our questions today. Let’s get right to it: what does Breeze Technologies do?

Breeze Technologies provides comprehensive air quality and climate data, generates recommendations for action and thus helps cities and companies to create a more liveable environment.

That sounds very exciting! Could you explain to us exactly how this works?

Gladly! We develop small and cost-effective air quality sensors that detect all common air pollutants in real time. They collect the data thus obtained in a central cloud. In addition, we also integrate other data sources, such as satellite data, in order to obtain the most accurate picture possible of the air quality in our cities. An artificial intelligence system developed by us evaluates this data in real time. It  provides optimal recommendations for action to improve local air quality. These are fed from a catalog of over 3,500 individual measures and range from photocatalytic asphalt in road construction to traffic control based on air quality data, such as that being tested in the city of Cologne as gatekeeper traffic lights.

By using artificial intelligence, your system gives new recommendations depending on the situation, right?

Right. Our system also measures the impact of the measures implemented, which enables us to make even better recommendations in the future. We also provide a similar service for building managers, whom we help to measure and optimise air quality in office environments. You can use our system both indoors and outdoors.

How did you build your business model?

We rent our sensors to companies and cities and charge an annual rental and maintenance fee. In addition to the measures recommended by us for improving air quality, service providers and manufacturers are acquired as partners who pay a commission fee for sales generated through us.

Do you keep your target group quite general?

Yes, we mainly address HSE and facility managers in larger companies and the municipal administration. The industry in which the company is active is not important for the time being.

Two years ago you won the Hamburg Founder’s Prize and you have already started exciting projects. Can you give us a little insight into that?

Sure. We have already achieved many successes with renowned pilot customers such as Deutsche Telekom and Smart City projects in Hamburg and Berlin. We also make some of the data we collect available to the public via a citizens’ platform. Our company has also been named one of the most promising European start-ups in numerous national and international competitions. These include, for example, the Hamburg Founder’s Prize, which you have just mentioned, the EU Top 50, an award from the German President and inclusion in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for social entrepreneurs.

Robert, thank you very much for this exciting interview! We wish you continued success.
If you would like to learn more about Breeze Technologies, please visit their Innoloft profile to find out more about their products and requests.