Moritz Gräter: “Innovation is lived internationally.”
Everyone is doing start-ups these days. How is CODE_n different from the rest?
The difference is that CODE_n does not aim at start-ups but at innovation. It is important to have a start-up ecosystem embedded into an innovation ecosystem. The innovation ecosystem consists e.g. of high-quality start-ups, research institutions, investors, universities, and international companies, which in turn can act as investors and co-creators. That’s the big difference – we promote and nurture innovation; and start-ups are an important piece of it.
How international is the DNA of CODE_n??
Even though CODE_n is now an independent company, we were founded by GFT, a company that thinks internationally. That’s why CODE_n was born to always keep an international perspective. In the end, it doesn’t matter where the ground-breaking industrial application comes from – Black Forest or Bolivia – we just have to find it. Our recent start-up competition received applications from 42 countries, and the 50 finalists come from 15 countries. Furthermore, we don’t only have local partners, but also large international partners which think globally. Even at CODE_n SPACES in Stuttgart the level of internationality is increasing more and more. Innovation is lived on a global scale.
How attractive is Stuttgart for founders from abroad?
Stuttgart is highly attractive for international founders. For example, there is the de:hub initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economics, of which CODE_n is also a founding partner of de:hub Stuttgart. Here we have discussed with the other founding partners to work out what the stance of Stuttgart is; e.g. the established companies with whom you can work together easily. Nevertheless, there is still more to do, as it is not internationally known that Stuttgart is a great place to start. Stuttgart is only the first step – we have to think a bit bigger. Greater Baden-Württemberg must see itself as a joint innovation pool. In addition to all the international innovators, our Festival will show that innovation ecosystems from all over Baden-Württemberg are working together.
What can potential founders expect from the Festival?
In particular, potential founders can expect to meet with entrepreneurial role models. If you are a potential founder at this event and you meet founders who have already taken this step, have already had positive experiences and have learned from the bad ones, then it is incredibly important and helpful in the initial stage of starting your own business. There are around 130 start-ups at the festival to talk to and share ideas with. One can also go to the Partner Lab1886, the incubator of Daimler, and bring along their plan and work on their own format at the festival. Here you can also learn how to develop business models from your format. Therefore, this festival has both – entrepreneurial role models and substantive inspirations – to achieve the goal: to create your own reliable and feasible network, helping you to develop your start-up.
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