My CeBIT experience and the opportunity to represent GFT UK at the CODE_n event

Our CEO Urich Dietz initiated CODE_n in 2011 to garner new answers to pressing questions related to IT and the increasing digital world in which we all live. This year, we dedicated this event to a very hot topic: supporting the transition to alternative energy sources. We are witnessing a tremendous movement of new start-ups in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart grids and electro-mobility. The contest was highly competitive from the beginning: of the 250 companies from 35 countries that entered, just 50 finalists were invited to exhibit at the CODE_n hall at CeBIT. During the event in 2012, alas, we had no UK entrants so the UK team were this year determined to see representation from our home country! And yes we managed two UK finalists The Green Age and Carbon Control, plus a UK born CEO Adam Woolway from Plugsurfing.

Highlights: Unique hall, leapmotion technique and solar flowers

Hall 16 was covered with huge banners
Hall 16 was covered with huge banners

Our space within Hall 16 covered over 4,000 sqm of space which had been transformed into an artistic creation by French designer Vincent Tavenne. I was to learn during that week from my own travels around the site and from our guests and visitors that we were unique from every perspective.

The GFT area was great, we had our colleagues Carlos and Terese demonstrating their UX expertise and the great new Leapmotion tech to many! More than oncewhen we introduced potential customers and partners to them we would return over an hour later and still find them engrossed in UX chat. Thanks to our colleagues in Germany were also able to demo our NFC TAN mobile banking security capability as well as our partners Telefonica mobile payments.

What got the most attention? Our Digalix table displaying the great application developed by the team for our Digital Powerhouse! The app designed with Gaudi inspiration was used by both the table and our iPAD’s and iPhone’s to show GFT’s content for the event. At a touch of a button we could email attendees the information they had been shown in an instant.

Meike and Sebastian - Recruiting with solar flowers and good spirits
Meike and Sebastian – Recruiting with solar flowers and good spirits

Our HR partners Meike and Sebastien enticed people to their area with solar powered flowers together with QR Codes which potential GFT employees could scan and collate information about GFT and emagine.

My week on CeBIT: Angela Merkel, Sexy Little Numbers, CODE_n Award Show

Tuesday was “Young IT-Day” with the CODE_n stage providing a platform for some of our finalists to present their organisations and solutions together with industry experts providing insight and panel discussions where our finalists and attendees could learn and network. I learnt from the magnificent CODE_n team that during the morning 3 Live TV connections were interviewing Mr Dietz on stage. During the day the lady who has worked hard to keep the EU together Angela Merkel met with Mr Dietz on stage. In the evening the team had chance to network with each other and meet the finalists at what was a fantastic party, which was packed out by 10pm.

Wednesday morning and after a quick espresso it was “Access all Areas” thanks to my Social Media colleagues Janina and Michael. They took me up to the CODE_n Tower where I was uniquely placed to have a bird’s eye view of our site. Inspired again I headed back to the GFT stand and stepped out a few times as I wanted to hear more about the crowd funding platform seedmatch and also to hear an fantastic insightful presentation by Dimitri Maex from Ogilvy (International marketing organisation) who wrote the book “Sexy Little Numbers” (check out their data dashboard at Prof Reinhard Prugl shared some interesting statistics with the crowd. For example Initiatives with a video collect 114% more investment with a video, at least one founder should be visible in the video and the message should be delivered quickly! Also profiles with four or more social media accounts raise twice as much capital.

Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of being invite to the UK Trade and Industry Event and was accompanied by one of our finalists. I confess the UK event was death by PowerPoint compared to the sessions one the CODE_n stage.. Nevertheless it was a great networking opportunity and we (Miguel, Felix) felt very proud discussing CODE_n with the attendees who all positively commented on the idea and environment.

Thursday saw the arrival of Karl (DM and the UK’s APT business manager) and Peter (Our SAP HANA man). Once we had shown them where you could acquire your espressos and Panini’s (essential survival foods during the exhibition) we headed to the CODE_n stage as we were interested to hear about another in-memory database. The CTO from Software AG presented and discussed “Data is the new crude oil” and he is correct! This is a huge opportunity for GFT as we are “VERY good with data” . With the rise of “New data” sources growing every day (think the Internet of things). With cloud, mobile, social and big data advances all happening at once and at lightning speed, Data Analytics will revolutionise decision making for those businesses that leverage this. No longer will businesses need to use gut instinct with subjective perspectives and experiences to make critical decisions.

Thanks to my colleagues support and as it was my last day, I had chance to visit some of the areas of personal interest to me so besides visiting the BI and seeing the SAP stand I headed over to the innovation hall and had chance to finally see a 3D printer in action! Plus a selection of robots and other innovations.

Than it was time to head to the CODE_n award winners ceremony and party. It was packed out again! A fantastic evening with colleagues. So who won…

CODE_n Awards go to GREENCLOUDS and from Berlin won first prize in the category for best start-up company and the company GREENCLOUDS from the Netherlands took first place in the “Emerging Company” category. Both received prize money amounting to €15,000. A special award went to the Berlin-based company carzapp and Codeatelier based in Burgstetten near Stuttgart, Germany. Both winners get access to mentoring services as well as the chance to showcase their business idea at the world’s largest auto show, the IAA in Frankfurt. They will share a stand with award sponsor Continental.

I felt very proud to be part of GFT and CODE_n!


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