More than 300 startups go head-to-head for the 2018 CODE_n CONTEST Awards

05/16/2018  |  CODE_n18 Startup CONTEST, new.New Festival, Startups

It’s official! The application phase for the sixth CODE_n CONTEST – Intelligence X.0 – AI 4 industry and humans – closed last Sunday, May 13 and we’re thrilled to announce that it attracted over 300 startup applications from every corner of the globe. Continuing to push the boundaries and stay at the forefront of innovation, this year we set our sights on groundbreaking business models and disruptive technologies in the following categories: Machine Intelligence, Beyond Reality, and Cryptographic Trust. Our jury is now tasked with the tough but exciting job of picking the top 50 most progressive and future-oriented game-changers, the startups most likely to leverage the opportunities presented by digital transformation across all industries.

The idea of having to present your startup concept to a jury and industry investors may be daunting, but the benefits are surely worth it. The top 50 CODE_n CONTEST finalists will have the chance to showcase all their hard work at the new.New Festival, which will be held from October 8 to 10, 2018 in Stuttgart, Germany. Not only will they receive free exhibition space for three full days, they’ll also get to take to the stage and pitch their innovative business concepts and products to a global audience and distinguished panel of judges. This could be a crucial first step in getting off the ground by being discovered and forging important contacts.

The panel of VIP judges at the new.New Festival will honor up to four outstanding startups and present awards and prize money totaling €30,000 in the following categories:

  • Best Business Model
  • Best Tech Innovation
  • Industry Disruptor
  • Overall Winner

“Our festival puts international startups in the spotlight and is a gateway for these young companies to spark rapid growth and expansion. Moreover, it doesn’t shy away from looking at concepts that may still be several years down the road. I’m excited at the prospect of delving deep into the proposed business models, meeting the digital disruptors of tomorrow and connecting these amazing founders with established corporations!” says Moritz Gräter, Managing Director of CODE_n.

A significant number of German startups applied to take part in this year’s CODE_n CONTEST, followed by startups from the US and Spain. Other firms at the event hail from Austria, the UK, the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Ireland, Singapore, China, France, and other countries.

A variety of pioneering applications and revolutionary solutions will be showcased at the new.New Festival, many drawing on the most promising technologies of the future, such as blockchain, machine learning, natural-language processing, and augmented/virtual reality. “We really cannot emphasize enough how impressed we are at the innovative flair of the startups that applied to this year’s CONTEST! Many of them are tackling real societal and industrial challenges, or offering tech-based solutions designed to solve complex problems. They span a diversity of sectors, from health care to agriculture, the protection of sensitive data in enterprises, and the discovery and analysis of fake news. I’m really looking forward to the new.New Festival and seeing the 50 most disruptive entrepreneurial thinkers pitch their ideas on stage,” says Lisa Flieg, Startup Relations and CONTEST Manager.

We’ve already noticed some interesting trends or tendencies among the applicants in the pool:

  • There’s an upward trend in startups focusing on artificial intelligence (AI). It appears that the future will be about an expanse of revolutionary AI inventions, from voice assistants to machine learning and deep learning platforms that will reinvent the customer experience. This will affect every industry and almost every enterprise problem is ripe for an AI-centric solution or improvements. Even content can be AI-driven using analytics and algorithms.
  • Blockchain is evolving from a digital currency solution into an entire platform for digital transformation. Startups are using this technology to tackle complex processes in corporate governance and these will be able to support a whole host of breakthrough applications in the transportation and automotive sectors.
  • As emerging technology and new business models start to transform entire sectors within the economy, the lines are blurring between what were previously considered distinct industriesThese new technologies accelerate innovation processes across industries and have the potential to drive speed within the companies.
  • While some of the startups that applied for the CONTEST are still getting out of the starting blocks, others have already reached the Series B stage. This reflects the diversity of startups that now approach the CODE_n CONTEST to present their digital business solutions.

Another source of delight for us this year is seeing some of our CODE_n Alumni reinventing themselves and applying once more for the CODE_n CONTEST. A number of them have started new companies with redeveloped business models and this underscores the value and trust they place in the CODE_n community.

The jury comprises a variety of members of the CODE_n team and a selection of CODE_n Partners. It is currently reviewing all applications in order to pull out the best business models. So stay tuned for our top 50 announcement at the beginning of June as well as the usual updates on new.New Festival highlights!