More than 2,500 visitors attended the Lange Nacht der Startups (Long Night of the StartUps) in Berlin last Saturday. The event was hosted by Deutsche Telekom in cooperation with local partners and was the largest startup event of its kind in Europe. More than 100 innovative startups presented themselves and their products to consumers and professionals. The participating startups covered the areas of retail/commerce, communication, data analytics, entertainment, food/lifestyle, green/health/biotech, home, as well as security. It was the second Lange Nacht der StartUps after a successful premiere last year.
1) The Internet of Things
The Internet of Thing’s impact on modern civilization is estimated to be at least as significant as that of the Internet’s, with countless use cases spanning from smart grid technologies and telematics to payment solutions, wearable technologies and smart home control systems. In 2003, the number of internet connected devices amounted to 500 M, while it is predicted to reach 18.5 B by 2022 (Machina Research 2013). Industry experts estimate that the market potential created by the Internet of Things will reach $19 T. One of the biggest applications of the Internet of Things will be the smart home, which will introduce an enormous amount of devices into carriers’ networks and fundamentally change the everyday life of people across the globe.
At the moment, the “Internet of Things” (IoT) is being hyped as the next “big thing” – but this perception is outdated: the next big thing will be called Internet of Partnerships!
However, “outdated” does not necessarily mean “wrong”. Instead, IoT is undergoing a revolutionary development: it will become emancipated from the “things” it is based upon and provide value beyond the mere connection of physical assets. Soon, we will think of IoT as an ecosystem galaxy – with a scope that extends far beyond the current status of the “mobile ecosystem”, for example.
Partnerships will be the key value integrator in this new ecosystem. An evolutionary perspective on the IoT value chain serves to better understand the reasons for the increasing importance of partnerships.
With more than 18 billion connected devices and total revenues increasing from $200 billion to $1.2 trillion by 2022 (Machina Research, 2012), Machine-to-Machine communication, the automated exchange of information between mechanical or electronic devices without human interaction, is clearly becoming more important.
With this in mind, it is important to understand how telecoms are involved in providing the necessary connectivity for M2M-based solutions and what challenges they are dealing with.
The idea of energy grids overlaid by information and communication technology (ICT) connecting a grid’s components has been around for decades. Automated grid monitoring (e.g., by SCADA systems) was already introduced in the 1960’s and automated meter reading became possible in the 1970’s with the introduction of advanced metering infrastructure, which enabled the rollout of today’s smart meters. The smart grid development have since yielded a multitude of isolated “smart grid islands” around the globe, often times driven by specific problems that grid operators face in their control area – be it electrical energy theft in Italy or optimizing charging patterns of electric vehicle in China.
With Google’s new office in the Mission, Twitter’s headquarters in the Central Market district and Pinterest now operating out of SoMa’s warehouse quarter, it is evident that the Great Inversion is in full effect in San Francisco. The term, the Great Inversion, coined by author Alan Ehrenhalt, refers to cities and suburbs that have traded places over the last 30 to 40 years. This trend is considered the foundation for a further movement known as the Urban Shift in venture capital investment. Historically, VC financing was highest in the rural suburbs such as Silicon Valley and Boston’s Route 128. Today, global cities like NYC, Boston, Cambridge (in the United States), London, Berlin and of course, San Francisco are actually receiving the bulk of the investment.
90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. So far, it’s mostly only large enterprises who can afford to hire teams of data scientists that have confronted the overwhelming task of analyzing the large volumes of data. However, more and more small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly trying to employ Big Data solutions to boost sales, increase efficiency and improve reporting quality, which can lead to better management decisions.
The “connected car” has been a hot topic often featured in today’s press. It seems that every week a new story emerges featuring an automotive OEM, an operator’s latest initiative or a software industry player announcement. It is clear that many companies see growth and innovation opportunities in this field. But industry veterans might ask themselves if all of this activity represents yet more hype.
The automotive industry has already experienced a number of telematic cycles, however, the expected return on investment from the connected car has so far not materialized. The lack of adoption to date has meant that the industry, especially automotive OEMs, are still divided about the future potential for the connected car. In recent years, market and technological circumstances have substantially improved to receive the rise of the connected car.
We believe it is inevitable that the connected car will come to the mass market – and soon – first through a paired smartphone, then by embedded systems (on-board connectivity units or OBUs) which directly connect to the Internet. Below are some of our thoughts behind the current evolution. Continue reading
A lot has changed since the world’s first peer-to-peer crypto currency was introduced in 2010 by its mysterious founding father Satoshi Nakamoto. Once derided by many as playground of nerds, news of substantial investment and immense return rates raised the interest of the wider public. One example is the Winklevoss Twins who reportedly invested around $11M in Bitcoin in April 2013. In the following seven months the value of this investment almost tripled. In addition, renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz also believes in the future of this virtual currency. It remains, however, very unclear still if Bitcoin will prevail and reach a critical mass to become an everyday means of payment and truly act like a currency. To do so, Bitcoin has yet to overcome several obstacles.
With startups and innovation the hot trends in the corporate world at the moment, it is no wonder that numerous corporations are opening incubators to capture startup and innovation momentum. The increasing need to innovate in today’s globalized business environment is encouraging corporations across all industry sectors to innovate. One of the most talked about and discussed methods has been incorporating incubators into corporations.