An eye-opening experience – the new.New Festival 2018 recap

10/31/2018  |  Digital Transformation, new.New Festival, News | Trends

Combining innovation, creativity and a high entrepreneurial spirit, the new.New Festival 2018 turned out to be a blending experience and a real-time platform for collaboration bridging the knowledge of different worlds – startups, industry leaders, global companies, speakers, academia, young talents and artists to discuss the impact technology has on businesses and society.

Diversity took center stage throughout the three-day event featuring an impressive array of talks, participatory interactive sessions and workshops, competitions, learning and entertaining experiences. Being a focal point for startups, the new.New Festival gathered the Top 50 CODE_n CONTEST Finalists – international handpicked young companies coming from 15 different countries to pitch their digital business solutions in front of an eager audience. This year, “Intelligence X.0” was the overarching theme, with a spotlight on artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual reality. It wasn’t an easy task for the VIP jury to choose the winners out of the top 10 entrants presenting their cutting-edge technologies on stage on the second day of the festival.

The crowned digital pioneers were:

  • Best Business Model and overall award winner Airfox – a US-based startup having a noble goal to bring financial inclusion to unbanked people in emerging markets with mobile access to financial services. Focusing on a mission-driven product, the company harnesses the decentralized power of blockchain technology via an application that converts a cryptocurrency to a regular currency.
  • Best Tech Innovation Six Degrees Space from Israel – the company created a breakthrough device – for the VR market and a variety of other sectors – offering an ultra-fast 6 degrees of freedom (6DOF) optical tracking system.
  • Best Industry Disruptor thingsTHINKING from Germanythe AI startup focuses on capturing the meaning of data. Their semantic processes interpret data to deliver real knowledge in multiple sectors, ranging from automotive to the Big Four accounting firms.

Adding to the rich startup ecosystem, eight StartupBW accelerators showcased a variety of innovation initiatives offered by the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Moreover, young entrepreneurs from Baden-Wuerttemberg participated in the “Startup BW Elevators Pitch – Regional Cup Stuttgart” competition.

“It is our wish to motivate young talents to establish their own companies. I am inspired by entrepreneurs who are working in this field. The chances are huge and there is risk, but that’s what makes it worth it. Don’t be afraid to be bold!”, said special guest, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister of Economic Affairs, Labor and Housing at the opening.

Hosted by the city of Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the new.New Festival 2018 also demonstrated the great potential of this high-tech European region by bringing together global players such as Daimler, Kärcher, Trumpf and many other successful established companies and “hidden champions” with a long-term tradition of innovation, deeply rooted in the region.

The new.New Festival 2018 pushed forward an ambitious agenda that not only highlighted the flagship technologies of our time, but was also meant to create a learning experience for all the participants. Fireside chats with an international line-up of speakers who engaged in conversations with the audience long after their keynotes on stage, prototyping sessions and workshops carefully selected and organized by the festival partners on forward-looking topics, such as the future of mobility, or the impact of digitalization across all industries were only a few of the highlights that stand proof for the high-level of interaction throughout the event.

The new.New Festival was all about networking and collaboration without borders, barriers or… walls. The Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle event center was turned into a stunning digital innovation platform featuring a unique, unconventional design meant to intensify the whole networking experience.

We live in a world that is not solely generated, driven, and controlled by things, words, and images, but above all by data.

Visitors also had the opportunity to discover plenty of mind-opening displays, highlighting how the future of business is changing. For example, the initiative aimed to broaden visitors’ outlook with the aid of works of art and science. The Karlsruhe-based ZKM | Center for Art and Media showcased pieces from its current exhibition “Open Codes” examining the nature of a world increasingly dictated by data.

It was not all about technology at the new.New Festival. Activities for the mind and soul were planned throughout the event. For audience members to relax and open up their mind, meditation sessions for stress management through mindfulness took place every morning and afternoon in 30-minute sessions. Live musical acts performing at the Festival Piazza filled the hall with sound and good vibes.

Startup ecosystems as well as established companies discussed about the crucial role that a company culture has in driving business success and employee motivation. In that sense, we also learned from Alexander Hobbach, Daimler’s Senior Manager Digital Change and Mindful Leadership that for companies to be at the forefront of innovation, they need to introduce mindfulness initiatives which can train employees to be more effective, improve focus, creativity and collaboration.

In our digital age, there is a need to create a work environment that fosters employee well-being and high performance.

The three full days at the new.New Festival 2018 carried us to the furthest possible edge of digital innovation. The event gave everyone the opportunity of meeting trailblazing startups, thought-leaders, politicians, academia, and global industry players at eye-level to put into question and discuss the latest technologies that are fuelling significant advances in a wide range of sectors. It was a blast!

Check out our Flickr album and relive some of the best moments at the new.New Festival 2018.