The European Young Innovators Forum supports young entrepreneurs, innovators and ecosystem builders across Europe and through our blog we aim to make their voices heard and connect them to our community.
This week we have the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Jutta Jakobi, the Global Director for ICT & Digital Business at Deutsche Messe AG, the organisers of CEBIT one of the largest and most important digital events in Europe.
Jutta has been working in international companies of various industries where she was dealing with marketing and business development tasks. Her motto is “ do not shine, work!”
In her role at CEBIT she brings together digital startups, established companies and investors who cross their path.
We hope you will enjoy our chat with her as much as we did.
Could you please give us an overview of the startups ecosystem in Germany: what are the key success points and what do you think is lacking?
The startup ecosystem in Germany does not differ that much from other countries: we have certain strength and advantages when it comes to industrial production, IoT topics, we have great universities running outstanding programs for spin-offs.
On the other hand, some taxes and capital regulations can seriously hinder even simple investments.
Big tip for startups: we have a center for founders in Berlin where they can get in touch with any kind of company, because they all have their governmental policy offices in Berlin. Once they want to actually work with the companies they need to travel to two-hands full of cities as few headquarters are actually in Berlin. There are certain industry hubs in Germany: Media in Hamburg/Berlin; Financing in Frankfurt; Media/Insurance in Cologne, Dusseldorf, Industrial and Automotive in Southern Germany with Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Munich. Insurance concentrates in Hannover and Cologne.
For our German-speaking audience, the German Startup Association publishes a great yearly startup monitor. Find out their latest publications here: http://deutscherstartupmonitor.de/
What role do CeBIT and scale11 play in the German and Hanover ecosystem?
CEBIT and scale11 are a great opportunity for startups that are looking for more than only money from investors. With 3.000 exhibitors from the digital industry across the world and more than 200.000 visitors from companies of all branches and sizes, CEBIT offers a unique sales and partnership platform for startups. In comparison with other startup events, CEBIT and scale11 are not about meeting other startups and having great parties, but rather about making connections to potential partners and clients! That’s the key asset of CEBIT that is highly appreciated by the startups who participated.
We have more international startups than local startups, and this is because they see the big advantage of having all big companies from Germany and Europe participating at CEBIT. Instead of travelling across Europe for 2 or 3 weeks they have them all in one place!
What are the aims and challenges for scale11 with this year’s edition?
The development of scale11, the startup platform at CEBIT, is the blueprint for the radical changes with which CEBIT will present itself for the first time as a Digital Business Festival in the summer of 2018.
We are committed to keep the high quality of services. It’s not only about offering exhibition space. This makes about 30% of the results for startups. We are spending much more time and effort in putting together a valuable and efficient program for the startup: they need to get as many opportunities as possible to talk to clients, partners, investors, media and maybe also to politicians and other startups.
Now that the whole CEBIT concept is new and modern we are no longer the exotic part of a traditional trade show, but are core of the new Digital Festival character.
Based on your experience, what digital trends should we expect in the upcoming years and is Europe ready for these changes?
I suppose a lot of the digital trends will be driven by mixed reality technology as well as software solutions based on the usage of artificial intelligence systems. Looking at our culture and traditions I suppose we have to go long ways and will face a couple of challenges with the European mindset of protecting data and privacy, being focused on self-optimization.
There is a lot of innovative thinking needed to improve cooperation between economy and authorities. Digital trends will accelerate these changes, because younger generations are coming in decision making functions on both sides: politics and economy.
Lastly, what do you think the future holds for the European startup ecosystem? Will we seen more European unicorns?
I do definitely see European unicorns: European economy and society is much more stable and sustainable than other economies. That seems to be a disadvantage in the first instance, because innovation takes longer, changes in legislations take longer. Finally this developing process that takes longer generates results that are more reliable and robust – so unicorns will come later, but will stay longer!