The fourth time in a row ITONICS exhibited at Europe’s refurbished Business Festival for Innovation and Digitization in Hanover – CeBIT. Besides presenting our innovation management software solutions, we have been looking around ourselves a bit and checked out the start-up scene at the triple-punch event featuring exhibits, conferences, and networking. In this blog post, we would like to shed light on some of the most aspiring and cutting-edge tech start-ups we have discovered at CeBIT 2018.
There is no doubt that VR and AR were one of the main topics at this year’s CeBIT. Besides drones and robots, the VR glasses and headsets were some of the most represented gadgets in the exhibition space. Among them: the Munich-based start-up VISCOPIC. Yet the software company does not just offer mainstream AR and VR solutions. Indeed, the newcomer found a way to solve one of the most fundamental problems at DB Netz, a 100%-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn owning and managing a majority of the German railway system. By 2025, around 4,000 maintenance technicians will have retired. In order to keep up its operations, DB Netz needs to train a notable number of new employees till then. VISCOPIC’s interactive mixed-reality applications can close the gap between the interaction of theory and practice by illustrating railway technology and making it tangible.
The newcomer team virtually mapped part of the organization’s infrastructure to convey content digitally to new employees and lateral entrants using augmented reality as a training model. In this way, railway technology can already be illustrated and observed in classrooms. However, VISCOPIC does not just answer which AR and VR technology is best suited for certain use cases but also conveys to which problematic areas augmented reality can add value.
The mobility sector is currently undergoing a radical shift and traditional business models are fundamentally challenged by new concepts opening up uncontested market spaces. German start-up and tech company drivo offers a product that detects and processes mobility data to help companies and individuals leveraging the benefits of innovative mobility solutions. Drivo is an interdisciplinary team bringing together experts from mathematics, data science, UI/UX, telematics and mobility fields. Drivo is backed by neusta, a full service IT company dealing with software aspects. At CeBIT, they presented one of their solutions – “drivo App” – which applies gamification to visualize and interpret driving patterns in an intuitive way. Among other solutions presented at CeBIT, “drivo TELEMATICS” (an up-to-date fleet management system for SMEs) and “drivo LEAP” (a customizable solution of tapping into the full potential of telematics) were demonstrated.
No matter which industry, we see start-ups mushrooming up and closing supply gaps with digital solutions. Windcloud (the name speaks for itself) is one of those – connecting data center operations with sustainability by running its data center with energy coming directly from local wind farms. Based on a renewable energy infrastructure, consisting of a wind farm, a battery storage, and a biogas plant, the start-up offers “green data center services” to avoid the negative environmental effects that data centers traditionally cause. Not only the business model is revolutionary, also did the appearance at CeBIT differ from the rest. Self-harvested apples instead of the typical cookies and gummi bears, balloon sheep and a mini wind turbine instead of robots. We are curious what else we will hear from the company.
The mega-trend “Ageing Society” in combination with smart services and devices was given a high relevance and presence at this year’s CeBIT. Strictly speaking, the demographic change is not a trend but a statistical fact. This represents a huge challenge to healthcare systems because an increasing average age also means larger numbers of chronically ill and multimorbid people. Herzheim, a Bavarian start-up from Regensburg, deals with the development of smart home systems for elderly people based on the connection of installation devices, such as light switches and electric sockets, with intelligent wearables. The solution is intended in particular to support fall prevention and fall detection of elderly people living on their own. The two founders Andreas Edmund Pracht and Alexander Herfurtner started the project in university due to their passion for technology and sensors. Soon the questions arose: Who could benefit from our innovations? What do people actually need? We are pressing thumbs that the young entrepreneurs will stand out against big industry players!
If there is such a thing as a flagship start-up in terms of Industry 4.0, it is definitely ProGlove. The rising newcomer is developing a smart glove that could considerably facilitate and secure production and logistics in factories in the long term. A scanner and several sensors are installed in the glove, eliminating unnecessary work steps and avoiding incorrect handling. A corresponding warning tone sounds if a particular component is held or inserted incorrectly. Well-known customers from Bosch to KUKA and BMW are already convinced by the start-up around founder Thomas Kirchner. Recently there was also a million euro financing from chip manufacturer Intel.
In times where good and relevant digital content has become inevitable, the innovative French start-up Tilkee is developing a cloud-based application to optimize prospect follow-up by tracking business proposals, analyzing how marketing and sales documents are read, and predicting sales. Simply put, Tilkee helps other companies to considerably improve their sales and marketing follow-up campaigns. With the solution, clients are enabled to track how, when and where their sales and marketing proposals are read getting to know who opened their proposal and how much time they spent reading each part of the document. Due to this detailed tracking, customers know which part of their documents generate more interest and views. A sales proposal sent out through Tilkee is on average 24% more likely to be signed than others. The start-up managed to acquire partnerships with big customers such as Orange, Total, Gazprom, TNT and AG2R La Mondiale.