Issue 88, July 2017
bullet Entrepreneurship
bullet Innovation: Behavior-based authentication (BAuth)
bullet Interview with Prof. Dr. Dr. Holger Patzelt, TUM Entrepreneurship Research Institute at the Technical University of Munich
bullet ICAROS - Combining Fitness and Virtual Reality for Exciting and Effective Exercise Experiences
bullet The DO School
A combination of globalization and digitalization is fueling the exponential growth of new technologies at historically unprecedented levels. From machine learning and virtual reality to FinTech and the Internet of Things, the global start-up scene is abuzz with the latest in tech trends. While Silicon Valley is considered the most successful example of a digital hub, where highly skilled people meet and continuously develop new ideas and products, Germany is gaining momentum to rival the trendsetting Bay area on the West Coast.

The World Economic Forum and Business Insider just named Germany the best country to be an entrepreneur. From all over the world, digital entrepreneurs are moving to cities like Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, attracted by the availability of talent, affordability and the ever-expanding start-up ecosystem.

According to the EY "Start-up-Barometer", venture capital investments in German startups hit a record high in the first half of 2017. Berlin, in particular, is experiencing a huge rise in funding for its startup scene with an investment that jumped by one billion euros this year. Germany's capital is undeniably a startup mecca. To recognize the city's recent efforts and success, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy appointed Berlin as the host of a digital hub. The government's Digital Hub Initiative aims at fostering collaboration between established companies, startups, scientists, and investors. By sharing co-working spaces, the hubs become meeting points where new ideas emerge and digital transformation in German lead industries such as mechanical engineering, the automotive or the logistics industry is advanced.

Also, German universities and research facilities recognize the increasing importance of creating an entrepreneurial spirit. The Technical University Munich introduced its own Start-Up Incubator where students receive free coaching, working spaces and a network of experts. This month's GCRI interview partner, Prof. Dr. Dr. Holger Patzelt, from the TUM Entrepreneurship Research Institute provides insights on the role of entrepreneurship in education and showcases outstanding success stories that started at his institute.

Read our GCRI Blog interview with serial entrepreneur Konstantin Mehl here.

Cybersecurity is of utmost importance in a digital office environment. The goal of neXenio's product BAuth is user authentication without passwords. The BAuth project was started at the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) in cooperation with neXenio and the Bundesdruckerei. The aim of behavior-based authentication is to secure identities and increase ease of access for everyone. BAuth accomplishes this by combining the advantages of wearables and machine learning in order to understand and learn users' individual behavioral patterns.

BAuth comes with a watch and a mobile app that continuously analyze the wearer's behavior. The apps use data from the built-in sensors in phones like accelerometer. The distinct patterns of sensor data produced during the usage of the devices are very unique. Research suggests that even a smart phone's simple pull-out gesture (when keeping it in a pocket) is over 80% accurate in distinguishing users. This result is based on the different pull-out actions that individual users make.

The BAuth service, running on a personal device, also learns the way someone walks while wearing a phone in a pocket. If someone were to steal that device and walk away with it, BAuth would detect a change in the behavior, since the thief's gait differs from the original owner.

Not only does the BAuth system yield a decision of whether the wearer is trusted or not, it also calculates a confidence value that can be used to distinguish the authentication security on an app level. It might, for example, require a low confidence value to access your holiday photos, but a very high confidence value to identify how you execute financial transactions.

Berlin-based neXenio is a spin-off from the Hasso Plattner Institute, which develops products for the digital office environment, including collaboration and security. neXenio was established by Patrick Hennig and Philipp Berger. They are supported by Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel, Scientific Director and CEO of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering GmbH and neXenio's advisor.

Source & Image: neXenio GmbH

Prof. Dr. Dr. Holger Parzelt is one of Germany's leading experts on business ventures, strategic entrepreneurship, and startup failure. He is the chairman of the TUM Entrepreneurship Research Institute at the Technical University of Munich. The TUM Entrepreneurship Research Institute, which was launched in 2015, introduced its own startup incubator that offers TUM academics free coaching and an outstanding network of experts. Before joining the TUM School of Management, Prof. Dr. Dr. Patzelt served as an associate director at the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Jena.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Patzelt's research focuses on entrepreneurial cognition and economic, emotional, and psychological consequences of failure. He has published several articles in leading international academic journals and received several national and international awards, such as the Wesley J. Howe Award for Excellence in Research on the Topic of Corporate Entrepreneurship in 2008. 

In this interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Dr. Patzelt points out the main differences between the entrepreneurial cultures and the attitude towards startup failure in Germany and the United States. He discusses how universities can foster a culture of entrepreneurship and the main challenges academics face when they try to commercialize their research. To read the full interview, click here.

Source & Image: Technical University of Munich   


The ICAROS GmbH's first product, the ICAROS pro, is a gyroscopic mechanical device combined with a small, detachable sensor unit. The sensor picks up any motion and integrates it with a VR head-up display. The pilot uses balance, coordination, core muscle tension and reactions to steer through 3-dimensional virtual worlds. You can fly over mountains, challenge your opponents in air races, shoot down drones, dive with sea creatures, protect the reef from evil submarines, or jump out of an orbiting satellite to earth. Currently ICAROS is creating all of the games internally.

ICAROS created a Software Developer Kit (SDK) that is shared with selected customers upon request. The different game levels make it possible to adjust to the pilot's abilities. Each game strengthens the core and improves balance and coordination. Currently ICAROS is working on a new game called ICARACE. It will be a global racing series in an online-based multiplayer setup. People and teams from all over the world will be able to race against each other - and work out at the same time.
Source & Image: ICAROS GmbH
InnovationGermany's Leading Speech Therapy for Stuttering is Coming to the US on a Digital Platform
The global population of stutterers is 1.2%. That's 85 million worldwide and 3.9 million in the US. Over one in every 100 people suffer from social and professional discrimination due to stuttering. Even more concerning is that traditional speech therapy fails the majority of stutterers, with a 20% success rate, forcing many to lead their daily lives in isolation and social avoidance. Furthermore, 85% of US stutterers do not have access to or cannot afford quality speech therapy.

The solution is not more speech therapists, but rather a more effective, more affordable, and more accessible solution: SpeechAgain is Germany's leading stutter treatment, in a highly-scalable, cloud-based stand-alone digital therapy, which uses patent-pending speech recognition technology. Stutterers can now find their voices in a comfortable and convenient treatment environment of their choice, with a solution that outperforms traditional therapy by 4X at just 20% of the cost.

The history of SpeechAgain began in 1996, when Dr. Alex von Gudenberg, after 30 years of severe stuttering and countless failed therapies, discovered the Hybrid Therapy, a unique blend of several treatment methods which reduced his stutter significantly. Since then, Dr. von Gudenberg has become Germany's leading stuttering authority while operating the Kasseler Stottertherapie, where his proprietary Hybrid Method has successfully treated over 3,000 patients, including 600 online. The Hybrid Method has also been recognized by Germany's S3 guidelines as the top evidence-based treatment for stuttering globally. In 2016, the Hybrid Therapy was converted from the physical world to the digital world, and SpeechAgain is the game-changing result.

SpeechAgain will launch in the US in 2018, in proud partnership with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy's German Accelerator Tech Program in New York. SpeechAgain is a Digithep GmbH product. For additional information, visit  
Source & Image: Digithep GmbH  

BionaticThe DO School
Everyone talks about innovation: it's where we look for solutions to the economic, societal, and environmental challenges of our time. But how can organizations and individuals become empowered to create social innovation in products, services, or business models? How can innovation benefit shareholders and society at large?

When consulting with global leaders, entrepreneurs, and scientists, the DO School founders Katherin Kirschenmann and Florian Hoffmann realized that a method was needed to enable people to create innovation and to drive "Good Business" - business that is humane, profitable, as well as sustainable. This method, they thought, should forego theory, and be taught through implementation and execution skills. Skills which empower individuals to identify and understand problems; the ability to provide a clear purpose to their passion, and to formulate, test and implement a solution. In the absence of any other organization that offered such skill-based training, Katherin and Florian launched The DO School in 2013.
Through the DO School Method, the school has empowered venture founders, students, recent high school graduates, as well as intrapreneurs from all over the world to turn their ideas into action. It has guided young entrepreneurs hailing from over 80 countries through the process of launching their own social impact ventures in their local communities. Projects range from providing sustainable lighting in rural Uganda to sexual health education for Kenyan schoolgirls or economic empowerment and psychosocial education for women and children in Colombia. The DO School has facilitated the creation of concrete innovation in the areas of sustainability, employment culture, refugee integration and much more for organizations including H&M, YouTube, Daimler, and the City of New York.
Source & Image: The DO School