Tag: success story

Communication is everything! – The speech therapy app developers Neolexon at WERK1

We need to talk. All of us. Speaking is our connection to the world. But for many people this is “easier said than done”. How important this is for our everyday lives is particularly noticeable when, for example, a stroke causes our ability to speak to be lost and we have to struggle our way back into the world of acoustic communication. The WERK1-Startup Neolexon helps – with the most modern speech therapy app on the market.

Practice – the key to therapeutic success – Actually

The German Society for Neurology recommends 10 hours of speech therapy per week. The reality is different: In therapy, patients usually practice just one hour per week. Far too few and current offers are not tailored to everyday situations. Hanna Jakob found a solution to this problem. When she worked as a speech therapist in a clinic during her speech therapy studies, there was often not even time for this so important exercise session, because the patients first had to train the swallowing reflex. Also the already existing therapy-accompanying apps were not user-friendly and therefore not very helpful. Based on current research results, Hanna founded Neolexon in 2017 together with her speech therapist colleague Mona Späth.

Neolexon – Smart language training

The digital speech therapy system Neolexon includes an app for therapists as well as a self-training app for patients and is certified as a medical device. It is based on a unique database with around 10,000 practice terms with associated images and pronunciation video clips. From this, speech therapists can create an individual set of terms that are best suited to the patient in terms of both therapeutic aspects and everyday relevance. With this scientifically based, highly flexible system, Neolexon clearly stands out from other language training apps. In addition, many motivational elements are included to make practicing at home fun and effective. The neolino version for children with articulation disorders followed in April 2019. The two founders do not run out of ideas for other fields of application so quickly – also thanks to their close ties to the Institute for Phonetics and Speech Processing at the LMU Munich.

Make Neolexon fly

Now, however, it is a matter of bringing the existing system to the man and woman. Due to different interest groups such as therapists, patients, relatives, clinics and health insurance companies, Neolexon has to act on many different levels. The latter are the most important and at the same time the most complex project. Neolexon has already completed its first major milestone: the inclusion of neolino in the Techniker Krankenkasse program.

Come to WERK1 to stay (as long as possible)

After several funding programmes such as EXIST and FLÜGGE, the start-up team of four now stands on its own two feet. After the first phase at the university, they were able to move to WERK1 “at very short notice”, as Hanna, still visibly relieved, says. The combination of their own office plus exchange with other start-ups – either in WERK1’s everyday life or at various in-house events such as “AfterWERK” – forms the ideal growth environment for them. And if Neolexon’s space requirements grow accordingly in the near future, WERK1 will definitely provide a solution. Hanna is sure of that. She and her team definitely don’t want to leave here so quickly! In return, they are one of the few Medi-Startups who diligently contribute to the diversity in the WERK1 community.

Startup: Neolexon
Contact: info@neolexon.com
Website: www.neolexon.de

Limehome – A WERK1 Startup Revolutionizes the Hotel Industry

Anyone who is on business from time to time knows the problem: If the population of the city visited falls below 700,000, the hotel landscape quickly looks gloomy. What is available is expensive and often not convincing from a qualitative and aesthetic point of view. The WERK1 startup Limehome solves this problem.

SPARE HOME INSTEAD OF HOTEL

Limehome offers business travellers and tourists fully equipped apartments as a feel-good alternative to an impersonal hotel. Thanks to a specially developed, tasteful and high-quality design concept, every guest feels at home. Limehome Apartments are currently located at 14 locations in Germany. Above all in so-called “B-cities” such as Aachen, which with one million overnight stays has an appreciable demand that is nevertheless unprofitable for large hotel chains as a location. These markets would be predominantly served by aging family hotels á la “Goldener Hirsch”, as the two Limehome founders Lars Stäbe and Josef Vollmayr aptly call them.

HOTELBUSINESS RETHOUGHT

As former McKinsey consultants, they knew exactly where to start with the classic hotel business model in order to open up a promising niche. Everything that doesn’t have to be done directly on site is controlled centrally from the Munich office. The electronic access system, with which the guest can check in independently at any time, replaces the cost factor of service personnel. Cleaning is carried out by a local service provider. A “state-of-the-art”- IT department coordinates all internal and external interfaces. And last but not least, a sophisticated, agile pricing system ensures a workload far above the industry average. “Instead of the usual 53 percent for February, we are currently at 78 percent,” explains Josef.

Thanks to this highly efficient business model, the company is also much more flexible in real estate acquisition. Limehome does not need 150 bed units to be profitable. Instead, normal commercial units, which are often vacant in B-cities, are used to accommodate the ideal number of 10 to 20 apartments.

WERK1 – REAL COMPANIES ARE CREATED HERE

The founders already had the idea for Limehome during their time at McKinsey. After a first test run at the beginning of 2018 and a successful seed round in the autumn, they got off to a full start. To date they have been able to arrange over 2,000 overnight stays – and with more than 20 employees they are already reaching the limits of their WERK1 office space. But it will be used as long as possible! Even before the official foundation, Lars and Josef applied for an office space in WERK1. Although already in the concrete implementation phase, Lars, Josef and their team like and appreciate the strong community in WERK1 very much. Completely different from the coworking space in the city centre, where they were first located for a short time, here in WERK1 there is exactly the atmosphere that such an ambitious startup needs. After all, the number of locations and employees is set to double in 2019. In this sense, the WERK1 neighbourhood perfectly reflects the permanent condition at Limehome: many, many construction sites … and an exciting future!

CAREER AT LIMEHOME?

Do you want to help shape this future? Take a look in there Limehome-Career Portal!  

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Startup: Limehome
Website: https://www.limehome.de/
Contact:info@limehome.de

ArtMasters at WERK1 – From management consultant to the host of creative events

In WERK1 they are the “colourful bird” among the start-ups, in real life Alexander Eloe and Oliver Breiter and their team bring colour into the everyday life of many people who want to change the way they work, organize team events and the like: With so-called “paint parties”. The ArtMasters are probably the only startup in WERK1 that knows painting and creative techniques very well. And that although the founders themselves have no artistic background at all. What is the motivation for founding a start-up and what is ArtMasters’ recipe for success? We asked co-founder Alex these and other questions over a cup of coffee in the WERK1 Café.

Creative experiences for everyone

The idea is quickly explained: The ArtMasters Oliver and Alex, with the help of their team of talented and trained artists, throw varied creative parties in unusual locations. Their mission is on the one hand to create creative experiences and on the other hand to bring different characters together in a relaxed atmosphere. Under professional guidance, the participants can draw a motif of their choice or create their own version. There are no limits to the artistic freedom within the ArtMasters event – previous knowledge is also not necessary.

From management consultant to founder of ArtMasters

But how do you even come up with the idea of setting up your own start-up from a management consultancy and then still have a creative background? The two former management consultants picked up the first impulse during a joint business trip to the USA. “The Americans are already a bit… crazy,” laughs Alex, who wasn’t so sure at the beginning whether this kind of leisure activity would be popular in Germany at all. However, what was created “on a whim” and as a “possible alternative to management consulting” was put into practice within a crisp three months. The two entrepreneurs are now working full-time with a permanent team at their startup: around 70 artists and around 10 team members, who support the managing directors in all aspects of event planning, technology, marketing and co.

Quality & satisfaction are the keys to success

In the selection of the artists, the ArtMasters take it very seriously. Because talent alone is not enough. Alex and Oliver attach great importance to exciting personalities with suitable social skills – they have to be patient, with a talent for entertainment and at the same time helpful teachers. So the ArtMasters crew takes the time to check out new applicants beyond their abilities with brush and canvas. So they come up with a colorful potpourri of professional painters with their own gallery, eager art students and talented hobby artists – who provide a lot of variety at events.

What the ArtMasters can do, others still can’t do for a long time: In addition to the classic post-production motifs, the demanding founders are constantly expanding their range with original offers. Recently, craft-savvy participants have also been able to book “photo transfer” events, for example: Here the own favourite photo is transferred in manual work to objects such as a wood block. In addition the participants can let off steam with coal and pastel colors on different canvas sizes. Exactly by this alternation and the selection of qualitatively high-quality utensils, like large canvas, good colors etc., the ArtMasters want to differentiate themselves clearly from the competition on the market.

ArtMasters feel at home in WERK1

Marketing is enormously important for long-term growth: And it is not only in this respect that start-ups need to bundle knowledge from the various areas. And that is exactly what the ArtMasters at WERK1 like as a location, Alex tells us. “We like to use WERK1’s Academy offerings – that’s a big advantage.” The ArtMasters also greatly appreciate the flexible coworker network. The opportunity to exchange ideas if one area lacks understanding. “This is very practical, for example, if you need support with programming.” They would just have to have more space – because the creative startup is all set for growth.

Full speed into the future

The confident founders have precise ideas about the future: They want to make their product and brand known beyond the borders of Germany. They have already taken the first step: after Hungary, Austria and Switzerland should now also be infected with ArtMaster art fever.

But the Munich location also brings with it problems for them as a start-up: “It’s already difficult to find suitable people in Munich. The big corporations absorb a lot.” And then there’s the topic of finance. To date, ArtMasters has been financed by a private investor and its own resources. Whether this will change in the near future with the help of another investor will be seen. But what is certain: The team wants to continue its expansion course at full speed.

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Startup: ArtMasters
Website: https://www.artmasters.co/
Contact: info@artmasters.co

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!

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

gasido at WORK1 – 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.

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