Issue 79, October 2016
bullet Entrepreneurship
bullet Innovation: KINEXON - Helping Coaches Measure, Analyze, and Improve Athletic Performance
bullet Interview with Prof. Dr. Günter Faltin, Co-Founder of the Foundation for Entrepreneurship
bullet Startup Week Germany
bullet The UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship and Intercultural Management
The combination of globalization and digitization is fueling the exponential growth of new technologies at historically unprecedented levels. From machine learning and virtual reality to DevOps and the Internet of Things, the global startup scene is abuzz with the latest in tech trends.
In Germany, over 340,000 startups are founded each year, according to the BMWi. Startups in Germany play an important role in the overall economy by bringing new ideas to the market and encouraging established companies to remain innovative. Entrepreneurship experts like this month's GCRI interview partner, Prof. Dr. Günter Faltin are optimistic about the rise of new startups and entrepreneurial talent in Germany.

German entrepreneurs are also expanding globally. According to the Deutscher Startup Monitor (DSM) 2016, over 80% of the DSM-Startups are planning to further internationalize their business and 11.4% are seeking to expand in North America. The German Accelerator, with locations in  Palo Alto, San Francisco, New York, and Cambridge, helps provide German startups access to the U.S. market as well as financing opportunities.

KINEXON and labfolder, two established German digital technology companies, are currently increasing their client base in the U.S. KINEXON's goal is to lead the digital transformation of sports by using cutting-edge radio technology to create small sensors that accurately capture the motion and 3D-position of athletes. Labfolder, an innovative software company, has developed a digital lab notebook, an intuitive platform linked to scientists' laboratory devices and software.

Social entrepreneurship is also on the rise in Germany. The German Smartphone App Ankommen (Arrival) was the winner of the 2016 Startup of the Year award from the LeadAcademy. The app helps orient new refugees during their initial stay in Germany. Mobile hydro rotor, a German award-winning project, provides new low-cost solutions for electricity supply in developing countries.

With the emerging digitization of sports, coaches as well as strength and conditioning specialists have demonstrated a growing propensity to integrate sensors and analytics software into their daily routines. Their goal is to optimize athletes' tactics, performance, and health conditions - and to get a competitive edge over other teams.

KINEXON, a New York and Munich-based company, is going to be a game changer in the digital transformation of sports. KINEXON builds smart wearable devices and web-based applications for precise sports performance analytics.

Using cutting-edge radio technology, KINEXON has created small sensors that accurately capture the motion and 3D position of athletes. In addition, vital parameters, such as a heart rate can be collected. A software platform transforms big data into smart insights in real time and presents the results on any mobile device. Coaches use this information to optimize training. For example, they can enhance sprint performance, analyze and improve the tactics of their team players, and reduce injuries.

Unlike traditional GPS tracking, the KINEXON sports system can be used in indoor and outdoor environments and has already been implemented in sports, such as basketball, American football, ice hockey, soccer, and rugby. Its partners and customers include a variety of clubs and national teams as well as global sports and technology companies like Red Bull and Intel.

Beyond the classical athlete monitoring use case, the technology offers enormous potential for digital enhancement of media productions. Sports media companies are increasingly seeking performance data to enrich sports content with relevant statistics.

Source & Image: KINEXON

The aim of Prof. Dr. Günter Faltin's Foundation for Entrepreneurship is to foster a positive environment for the culture of entrepreneurship worldwide. His foundation reaches out to those who have been able to recognize their entrepreneurial potential, and provides information on how to present an innovative and marketable concept. Setting up a business, funding, self-employment, and business plans are some of its other focus areas.  

In 1977 Prof. Dr. Faltin started working as a professor at the Freie Universität Berlin and in 1999 he founded the university's Labor für Entrepreneurship (Laboratory for Innovative Entrepreneurship). In 1985 he founded the Teekampagne (Tea Campaign), a successful example of how academic knowledge can be applied in entrepreneurial practice. He has worked together with experts, such as Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus. Prof. Dr. Faltin is the author of several publications, including his best-selling book, Kopf schlägt Kapital (Brain versus Capital).   

In this interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Günter Faltin discusses how Germany's startup scene has changed and how it will develop over the next five years. He also shares his most significant accomplishments from the Foundation for Entrepreneurship and provides advice to those thinking about starting their own business, which he refers to as Citizen Entrepreneurship. To read the full interview, click here.  

Source & Image: Foundation for Entrepreneurship


For new entrepreneurs, entering into self-employment is often synonymous with independence. The freedom of being your own boss and of turning your business ideas into reality is attractive to many people. Startups in Germany play an important role in the overall economy by bringing new ideas to the market and encouraging established companies to remain innovative.

One of Germany's most popular activities for entrepreneurs is Gründerwoche Deutschland (Startup Week Germany), an initiative by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. This initiative was introduced after the Global Entrepreneurship Week Germany, which was launched in 2008 and turned out to be a great success.                                          

With the support of nearly 1,400 partners from all over Germany - schools, universities, networks, business development agencies, and chambers of commerce - Gründerwoche Deutschland has successfully raised awareness of entrepreneurship within German society. Every year, the partners host more than a thousand non-commercial events: school challenges, entrepreneurship fairs, startup days, consulting, and much more. All of these activities inspire, encourage, and support the next generation of entrepreneurs in Germany.

The RKW Competence Center supports the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and organizes the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Germany. The RKW's mission is to enhance the productivity and innovative ability of the German economy and ensure that Germany remains a thriving location for business. The RKW also focuses on the development and support of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Source & Image: RKW Competence Center
Innovation Mobile Hydro Rotor - The First Open Source Mobile Hydro Power Plant
In off-grid areas of developing countries, diesel generators are currently the main affordable decentralized solution for energy supply and cover approximately 95% of the market. Yet the diesel generators can be disadvantageous due to their high CO2 emissions, low efficiency, high fuel consumption, and high operating costs. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 1.3 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity. Roughly 600 million of these individuals live within 2 km of a river. This close proximity to rivers is an ideal precondition for the utilization of mobile hydro rotor's plug-and-play water turbine, which has a good cost-performance ratio.

Mobile hydro rotor is an open source, low-cost hydropower solution for electricity supply in regions without grid connection. "Rotor" was developed by a Munich-based team to offer low-cost renewable energy. It was founded by the installation artist, Markus Heinsdorff. Andreas Zeiselmair, an environmental engineer, then built a team of engineers and students who, with the support of universities, developed a final deployable prototype. One of the team's pilot projects was to produce and test a rotor in Bangladesh.

The "Rotor" was soon developed into a more substantial product and became the starting point of a social entrepreneurship initiative called mobile hydro. In 2013 mobile hydro was founded after winning the Siemens Foundation's "Empowering People Award." After three years of improvement and technical development, the team recently decided to go open source. It is now possible for people to consume 300 watts per mobile hydro plant. In order to learn more about the project, click here.
Source & Image: mobile hydro rotor

BionaticThe UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship and Intercultural Management
Sustainable entrepreneurship, the empowerment of female entrepreneurs, crowdfunding, and the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems are just a few of the current research projects of the UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship and Intercultural Management.

A joint project by the UNESCO Chair with Female Entrepreneurs in Chemistry (ExiChem) highlighted the significant potential of increasing female startups in Germany and served as a guideline for policymakers. Prof. Dr. Christine Volkmann, UNESCO Chairholder and director of the Institut für Gründungs- und Innovationsforschung (IGIF), won a gender equality prize in 2010. She has lectured on a variety of topics in the area of entrepreneurship, including "Female Founders and Success."

In close cooperation with the Jackstädt Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research, a variety of international research projects connect the UNESCO Chair to academic and corporate partners in North America. Currently, together with EY, the UNESCO Chair is carrying out a global comparative study on R&D with a focus on North America, Germany, and other countries. The UNESCO Chair is working with Professor David Audretsch from Indiana University Bloomington on an Entrepreneurship Education book, which will be published in spring 2017 by Springer.

The UNESCO Chair, which is located at the Schumpeter School of Business and Economics at the University of Wuppertal in Germany, is committed to enhancing entrepreneurship education. Through teaching, research and knowledge transfer, the UNESCO Chair equips future entrepreneurs with a particular focus on business ethics, values, and sustainability. 
Source: The UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship and Intercultural Management

Image: Sustainable Insights 2016 under the motto "Transformation - City in Change" at ELBA Hallen, Wuppertal showed structural change from the industrial era into a sustainable future in an authentic location (the UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship and Intercultural Management)