Tag: startup

Rethinking gastronomic experiences – ORDA at WERK1

Chris, Janis and Peter study together, have lunch break – and are hungry! In the restaurant of their choice they can get one of the crowded, coveted tables. But the only waitress is somewhat overwhelmed by the midday rush. The clock is ticking. A line of other guests, who want to order their food to take with them, wait with growling stomachs. Why is it not possible to order an app? Would be much easier! And the time until the finished meal could be used productively. At some point the waitress and also the food will come. Damn,… is it possible to pay with a card? No. “You could organize that quite easily with an app, too,” the three think. The idea for ORDA was born – that was 2017.

Gastronomes and customers should benefit

This is ORDA’s mission: In order to fulfill it, the app takes over the steps that can be digitized during a restaurant visit and thus simplified or accelerated: Order and payment. For the guest, ORDA has the advantages of ordering quickly via the smartphone, making cashless payments and avoiding long waiting times. Gastronomes can thus significantly increase their profitability, for example through optimized capacity utilization and higher average shopping baskets. On the other hand, they can pay more attention to the guest by relieving the service staff.

Always a bit “smoother”

Digital ordering and payment systems are already in use here and there. But since ORDA is already available on your own smartphone, this makes the whole thing much less complicated for the user. For ORDA, the biggest challenge is to build a B2C2B market and maximize the benefits for both the user and the restaurateur without compromising. The goal is to give users the opportunity to use their time and enjoy their lunch break as much as possible.

ORDA feels “poodle well”

Since ORDA went live with its first restaurant in 2017, the 13-person team has been able to focus on building a strong team and working closely with users and partners after a successful investment round. Here, at WERK1, the startup has felt “poodle-well” since the beginning of 2019. They are happy to take advantage of networking opportunities such as the AfterWERK or the monthly factory breakfast. At the same time they are inspired by the feeling of “being part of something bigger”, says Head of Marketing, Carmen de la Iglesia, when we meet them for an interview in the WERK1 Café. Just as a very special district of Munich, the Werksviertel, is designed outside, ORDA can actively help shape the future of the business hub in WERK1. And not just them!

From WERK1 to all of Europe

By 2028, ORDA’s vision is to be the pioneer and pioneer of digital ordering and payment in gastronomy throughout Europe. The ORDA team is expected to double within this year. We at WERK1 wish you continued success! And we are already looking forward to the gastronomic experience 3.0 also finding its way into the works district in the future. For an even more relaxed lunch break.

WERK1 - Resident - ORDA - Logo

Startup: ORDA
Kontakt: kontakt@orda-app.com
Webseite: www.orda-app.com

Curiosity.ai in WERK1 – The Mission: Free Knowledge from Company Documents

One complete day per working week – according to a study by the management consultancy McKinsey, an employee wastes so much time on average searching for information before he can tackle his actual tasks. WERK1-Residents Leon Zucchini and Rafael Fernandes came across this problem in their everyday work and developed a solution. Their startup Curiosity.ai helps companies to extract the knowledge they have accumulated over the years from unstructured documents such as e-mails, presentations, etc. and to exploit previously untapped potential.

WHAT DOES CURIOSITY.AI OFFER?

Leon explains: “Imagine the Internet without Google. In most companies, the working day looks exactly like this. You’re surrounded by logs, presentations, text fields in databases, but you can’t find anything if you don’t know the exact term your colleague used to store the document 20 years ago. Searching for helpful content not only takes time, it’s also frustrating. The AI technique of the two helps to prevent this, to avoid duplication of work and to point out hidden connections.

This works by the AI software extracting the information from all documents of the company and combining it to a so-called knowledge graph, which maps the complete company knowledge. Based on this technology, employees can access the knowledge: Via cognitive search functions, automatic tagging and document analysis. Co-founder Rafael explains the special feature of the system: “No artificial intelligence is perfect right from the start, errors are normal. The unstructured language that prevails in companies is extremely complex. Our approach has been to develop a system that keeps improving by learning from its users. After all, they are the experts! And they make it more intelligent over time.”

BACKGROUNDS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE STARTUP

The startup journey began six months ago – only in Leon’s living room. An important milestone was the move to WERK1. “That was a great step forward. Interesting discussions and contacts to other start-ups and investors have already taken place in the first few days. And we were welcomed friendly from the very beginning”. In addition, there would be the advantages of Munich as a location: Good connections, capital and a high quality of life. “It is not for nothing that Munich is repeatedly voted one of the most liveable cities. We also noticed this in the first job advertisements,” says Leon. “The applications came from 20 different countries.

WHAT’S NEXT?

The good feedback on the job advertisements meets well for Leon and Rafael. “Of course, we need very specially trained employees. And we need them very soon. Curiosity is growing steadily: First customers are on board and first product versions go live.” Despite their busy schedule, it is important for Rafael and Leon to get involved in the WERK1 community and give something back. Leon: “We already have many ideas that could be implemented together. So far, thanks a lot to you from WERK1 for doing such a great job!

WERK1 - Resident - curiosity.ai - Logo

Startup: Curiosity.ai
Website: www.curiosity.ai
Contact: hello@curiosity.ai

gasido at WERK1 – From coworking into your own office

When Cornelia Klaubert from Munich – then employed by the Linde Group – fell on deaf ears with her idea of using the possibilities of digitisation for the sale of industrial gases, she quit and immediately put her vision into practice herself – parallel to the pregnancy and birth of her child. Perseverance ‘par excellence’ and that has paid off. After about 1.5 years the team of her start-up gasido consists of four people and in addition to first customer relationships, there are talks with big food companies who want to buy nitrogen from gasido. A success story as it is written in the book and closely interwoven with WERK1. In the meantime, they have made it from coworking to their own office.

SELL GASE ONLINE – WHY?

“After five years in the industry, I noticed how little digital affinity the industry ticks. B2B sales are still completely analogous and run via personal contacts,” Cornelia explains to us when we meet her for an interview in the WERK1 Café. “The potential of the digital operational routes has not yet been tapped at all”. That’s exactly what Cornelia wanted and wants to change. Because: From oxygen in hospitals for the ventilation of patients, to bars that use nitrogen to tap beer, to welding work – the market comprises many products that we all have to deal with on a daily basis. “I believe that these are products that will be sold digitally in the long term. And I think we need to start now. That’s why I quit and started back then.”

TEAM AND CUSTOMERS

The greatest demand at present is for welding gases. The gasido customers to date include, for example, workshops or shipping companies that require the special gases for ships. According to the founder, the next step is to approach major customers. She is primarily supporting her CTO Thomas Obkircher, who is working on the joint start-up from Berlin. There are also the developer Julie Fang and her colleague Karin Stopp, who takes care of customer support and marketing. Cornelia herself studied at the Technical University of Munich and earned her doctorate. It was a matter of course for her that she would also like to found a company here.

WHY WERK1?

“I think a network is very important. And that’s what I have here. During my studies I enjoyed learning in the library – shared suffering is half suffering. That’s why I moved my workplace here to the coworking space right from the start. At WORK1 I think it’s great that so many startups with a digital background come together here and you’re inspired by so many exciting CVs.” The on-site networking obviously works: After all, Cornelia met her CTO Thomas at WORK1. The next milestone was the “Next Commerce Accelerator”, which gasido won. Next Steps: The relaunch of the online shop with improved functions is just finished, new customers are in the pipeline.

FOUNDING? SOMEHOW YOU DO EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING AT THE SAME TIME

When you start up, you have to deal with a variety of tasks: SEO, market analysis, sales, accounting…the list is long. So you have to get used to a lot of things quickly and accept that you don’t understand everything in detail. If someone prefers to work on one thing, but then works in depth, then you’re better off in established companies.”

The establishment of a company and a family at the same time does not exclude Cornelia. “I once read that founders in Germany are on average 35 years old. And at this age, of course, the topic of family is relevant. We also want our companies to shape the future world of work, and we should find a solution for combining family and company. Of course there are also sleepless neighbours. But I gladly accept them if my family and gasido develop well together”.

So it’s not always all just “glossy” and heal in the innovative startup world. But it’s worth holding out and believing in your idea. Cornelia Klaubert and her B2B platform gasido provide the proof.

Startup: gasido
Website: https://www.gasido.de/
Contact: service@gasido.com

Chatchamp – “Continuous Improvement” in WERK1

Busy silence reigns in the room. The desks are littered with creative chaos, the walls full of mind maps and results from the latest brainstorming sessions. Between all the notes there is an Asian lettering – translated: “Continuous Improvement” No question who enters the office of the young Munich startup Chatchamp immediately notices that someone is burning for his idea! “Instant messengers like the Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp are now firmly anchored in our daily communication and although they were previously mainly used for private messages, we are now experiencing a development that customers would also like to be addressed in this way. We have recognized this trend,” says Felix Belau, one of the three founders of Chatchamp. Since April this year, WERK1 has been able to give the ambitious crew and their promising vision a “home”.

CHATCHAMP SEES TREND REVERSAL AT INSTANT-MESSENGERN

Founded a good two years ago by Felix Schröder, Felix Belau and Dominik Grusemann from Munich, the start-up focuses on messenger services such as Facebook and WhatsApp as its new B-to-C communication channel. “We have simply recognized that communication is shifting more and more. Instead of e-mail and the like, people want to be addressed more personally and individually,” explains co-founder Felix Belau. Together with its two partners, the team has developed software that makes it possible for online shops to communicate individually with customers via instant messengers. The advantages: The customer can also express wishes and feedback. In this way, the company gets to know the customer better, can send targeted content that is really relevant to him and thus increases customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and ultimately sales.

An approach that obviously works: First customers use the software successfully. Felix: “That was a big milestone for us. When I think about how it all started, it gives me the creeps.” What does the co-founder mean by that? Quite simple! The moments that every startup knows. Felix calls them “the crunchy moments when you can’t predict how long you’ll be around.” What helped most in critical situations was the friendship that prevails in the team. Felix and Dominik have known each other for 15 years. After getting to know each other, Felix joined the team at the Munich Startup Alm, a workshop lasting several days for founders. Together, the three experts combine their know-how and many years of experience in the fields of IT, business and marketing.

MUNICH, BERLIN AND BACK – AT WERK1 UNDER FOUNDERS

After a short flying visit in Berlin – Chatchamp has qualified for an accelerator of the Axel-Springer-Verlag – the three are back in Munich. “Right at the beginning we started in Munich, but then we were still in a small room in a shared office near Nordbad,” recalls Felix. And here comes the second aspect of the goose bump factor: he also remembers the afternoons when the agency’s employees, who were also sitting in the office, left the office radiantly. And he was far from finished with his colleagues. “Then you sit there, alone and frustrated. Here at WERK1 it’s quite different. We really like this startup atmosphere. We get to know so many other founders and can draw on each other’s experience. Everybody is helpful and if, for example, you need to get involved in sales and Co. Input needs, help is only a slack message far away and minutes later 3-4 people offer their experiences. And: We see which challenges the others overcome. This is extremely motivating”.

The founders of Chatchamp say that it is not only the premises from which the young company profits in WERK1. The fact that they are supported in the organisation of events and meetings, for example, as well as in other bureaucratic and logistical steps, is also a huge advantage of the location. For example, they recently organized their first own Meetup in the Eventspace and had help from the Event Team.

COURSE SET FOR THE USA

What the future holds for Chatchamp we want to know about Felix. “USA” is the short answer. There they applied for one of the German Accelerator programs. Meanwhile, the team has grown to a good ten people. In addition to the three founders, various sales & marketing and developers are on board. Felix comments: “We glow”. So nothing stands in the way of the motto “Continuous Improvement”. We at WERK1 are delighted to be able to provide Chatchamp with the breeding ground for so much zest for action!

Startup: Chatchamp
Website: https://www.chatchamp.com/
Contact: info@chatchamp.io

Crashtest Security – the Cyber Security Innovation “Made in Munich”

Young, innovative and award-winning: Crashtest Security automatically searches for security gaps in WERK1 – in between, of course, it can also be “Bavarian – traditional”.

The topic of cyber security occupies developers, operators and users of web applications like no other, and this not only since the new EU data protection basic regulation came into force. The big question is: How can companies close potential security gaps as early as the development stage in order to protect their own data and that of their users against hacker attacks and external misuse? This step in application development requires a lot of manual effort and is accordingly complex, time-consuming and ultimately expensive.

The Munich startup Crashtest Security has a better solution: an automated crash test for web applications of all kinds. The software already scans applications at a defined point in time during the development process or later in live operation and thus provides the developer with timely indications of significant security gaps in the application. The effect: Maximum data security for developers with minimum time expenditure and significantly reduced costs even during development, before an application reaches live status. It takes little imagination to imagine the number of potential customers for the startup.

NO DESIRE FOR NINE-TO-FIVE

Felix, Janosch, René and Daniel have been residents of WORK1 since January 2018. Three nerds, one BWLer and the first permanent employees. Felix is responsible for sales, marketing and finances. The programmers Janosch, René and Daniel already developed software together during their studies at the TU Munich and founded the first GbR before graduating. They quickly realized how complex the subject of “security testing” still is in software development, and so they took the opportunity to start their first own start-up company. Already during his first internships and jobs, Felix noticed that a classic nine-to-five employee existence was out of the question for him. Whoever founds a company can decide with whom, what, how much and when to work – a great advantage that all four of them appreciate. In addition, one hundred percent of the founders are behind their own product and, if necessary, they like to work night shifts or get up early.

OPTIMAL CONDITIONS IN WERK1

In Munich/Bavaria the four crash testers found optimal starting conditions: In February 2017, they received the EXIST scholarship for one year and subsequently a place in WERK1. The first WERK1 half-year balance is very positive. They won investors and also won 2nd prize at the CEBIT Innovation Award 2018. Their test presentation at the trade fair in Hanover convinced the jury not only virtually, but also through a practical test on site: With a quick scan, the team automatically created PDF reports (vulnerability reports), with which the visitors could directly see security gaps in their applications and the added value of the crash test security software.

Your „One Sentence Pitch“?

We are automating the security test for web applications, which has been very time-consuming up to now and is mainly manual and therefore expensive.

Who needs it?

Anyone who develops websites/applications

How high do you estimate the WERK1 factor?

Very high – The combination of network and promotion is simply unbeatable, and by that we don’t just mean the inexpensive office space in downtown Munich. The community aspect here on site, the exchange with the other startups and coworkers, the networking within the industry and the events here on site are simply ideal.

WERK! - Resident - Crashtest Security - logo

Startup: Crashtest Security
Website:https://crashtest-security.com/
Contact: info@crashtest-security.com

AT WERK1 TO THE EUROPEAN TECH CHAMPION: FRANK THELEN INVESTS MILLIONS IN SMARTLANE

At the end of their time at WERK1, the Smartlane team has taken a big step towards their own vision of a complete digitalisation of the logistics industry!

Startup investor Frank Thelen and his team consider Smartlane to be a “European Tech Champion”, which was worth the biggest single investment so far. The team around founder Monja Mühling now wants to accelerate their own growth and build an international brand.

However, the Munich entrepreneur decided in favour of the Bonn founder and investor Frank Thelen and his venture capital fund Freigeist Capital, who is now investing a high single-digit million sum in the company founded in 2015, as the Handelsblatt learned exclusively.
Thelen, known from the TV-duel “Höhle der Löwen”, has not invested more in any other company to date. For good reason, as he thinks. “Smartlane has the potential to become a European tech champion,” he says.

Handelsblatt Online, 6. Oktober 2019

When experience, entrepreneurial spirit, the right idea and the necessary know-how from the fields of IT, logistics and transport come together, the framework for a successful digital start-up project is in place – as in the case of Smartlane. Together with a little jump-start from WERK1, it becomes a common success story.

Since mid 2015, the founding team has been developing a solution for automated, digital delivery management. The underlying technology is based on the combined knowledge of more than 20 years of research at the interface between IT and transport at the Technical University of Munich. Smartlane uses Big Data technologies to integrate highly dynamic internal and external data. Routes can thus be optimized in real time – with regard to the resource utilization of the fleet, fuel costs, traffic volume and much more – and drivers can be controlled in a targeted manner. The team’s goal is to establish the standard for modern delivery and service logistics with the most intelligent and user-friendly software. The result is simple and impresses the customers at the same time: Reliably high service quality, sales increase, cost reduction and relieving the employees.

Smartlane’s vision: The complete automation of the logistics industry.
Florian Schimandl, co-founder and managing director of Smartlane:

With its SaaS solution, Smartlane combines maximum automation, outstanding intelligence and state-of-the-art usability in a single product. With our cloud-based software, we offer medium-sized companies in the field of supply logistics the easiest entry into digitalisation. It is possible for our customers to understand the trend of on-demand logistics not as an insurmountable challenge, but as a major and above all sustainable opportunity and to use it profitably.

WELL DEVELOPED AT WERK1

With moving into WERK1 in January 2016, Smartlane also had access to financing coaching – carried out by BayStartUP. Successfully: At the end of 2016, the startup was able to present a successful first financing round by a family office. After the transformation of the UG into a GmbH, the team also expanded – the first employees in the areas of marketing/PR and design/branding were hired and a larger office space at WERK1 was taken up. In addition to the team, the software has also grown and in the middle of 2017 the first version of Smartlane was launched. Even that with success. In the meantime, Smartlane is represented throughout Germany, partner of DER KURIER (the express division of GLS) and also involved in the Deutsche Bahn for the optimization of freight wheel tours. In order to further expand sales and development – and thus grow – a second round of financing is now in the pipeline, which will again be accompanied by BayStartUP.

SMARTLANE AND THE WERK1

At WERK1, Smartlane is a great example of how we want to support ambitious founders in realizing their vision: Attractive and affordable offices of any size and the ability to offer more room for growing businesses in the short term, access to our community and effective coaching to overcome difficulties in the early stages of start-up. But let’s ask the founders of Smartlane themselves:

Why do you have your offices at WERK1 and would you recommend this step to other startups in the digital sector?

Florian Schimandl – CEO Smartland

Florian from Smartlane: Definitely. We can consistently recommend WERK1 and the associated infrastructure. Be it the regularly taking place tasty Werksfrühstück, the offer of workshops and events, the atmosphere in general,… the WERK1 offers in our opinion a great platform for startups to exchange information. Even though the topics of the individual startups in WERK1 are broadly diversified, we still have to realize that the problems are mostly the same and an exchange between them is therefore very valuable. In addition to the exchange of ideas, WERK1 also offers the opportunity to grow – a very important aspect for startups. Therefore we can only agree with the statement “the WERK1 is probably the most startup-friendly place in Munich”.

Startup: Smartlane
Website: https://www.smartlane.de/
Contact: https://www.smartlane.de/kontakt/

FROM WERK1 INTO THE SUPERMARKET: MYCHIPSBOX TELLS ITS SUCCESS STORY

Many startups start with a personal problem of the founders. For this reason, Erol and Ebru Kaynak from myChipsBox have also started their mission to change the world of crisps in a sustainable way: Disappointed by the offer in their local supermarket, the couple took the initiative and developed their own range of high-quality crisps – only the best organic ingredients and a lot of creativity in the recipes. Unwanted ingredients such as glutamate or yeast extract can’t be found in these crisps. Just pure taste of the meticulously selected ingredients. Depending on the variety, you will find not only the classic crips but also vegetable or fruit chips in the box, which provides a special kick of taste.

The box itself is also part of the new generation of crips: every good product requires modern marketing and a sales idea. Instead of the usual bag, the crisps are protected from outside pressure in the practical box and during a cinema evening with friends, they are practically noiseless nibbling fun. The result is a modern “Bio-Chips-Duette”, matching the current spirit, stunningly crispy, exciting and delicious.

But it was a long way: 88 failures had to be coped with for 12 tasty variations. But failure is also part of success. The two founders know this from many years of experience. Both are proven experts on their fields and together a perfect team: Ebru, as food technician and ecotrophologist, ensures that the highest quality standards are maintained, while Erol, as a business graduate and former investment banker, controls sales and finances.

“DIE HÖHLE DER LÖWEN”
(SHARK TANK)

During a TV presence in the program “Die Höhle der Löwen” (German version of the US-Show Shark Tank), the young startup company was able to present itself and its crisps to an audience of millions and thus quickly raise its brand awareness nationwide. They managed to inspire three of the five lions for their product: The decision was made for the retail expert Ralf Dümmel, who provided financial and professional support after the show.

MYCHIPSBOX AT WERK1

In the premises of the old “Werksviertel” in the middle of Munich, the team works directly next to the old potato track and continues the tradition in its own way.

And at WERK1, the young company is still on the road to success. Together with the two founders, 10 people create unique moments of joy every day. Together they bring the founders’ vision of creating more variety on the crisp shelf to live. And this mission is not yet complete. From the creation of further varieties to the production of own ingredients, the startup still has great goals.

Startup: myChipsBox
Website: https://mychipsbox.de/
Contact: https://mychipsbox.de/kontakt/