Just MAKE it happen.
Sand crunches under your trainers, everything is a bit more "beach" than expected - welcome to MACHN - the startup festival for tech, business and art in Leipzig.
A place in one of the deckchairs at the Main Stage is quickly found. Fasten your seatbelts - we're ready to go.
Table of contents
Session "Moon shots: Which technologies will change our everyday life in 10 years?"
Till Moldenhauer from the Federal Agency for Leap Innovation deals with precisely those innovations that do not mean incremental progress but bring about groundbreaking effects. The innovation specialists among you will discover parallels to the third horizon in McKinsey's Three Horizon Model, even if the latter naturally focuses more on companies and not entire societies. So it's all about promoting forward-looking ideas.
In addition to a brief historical outline of revolutionary innovations from agriculture to the steam engine, vaccinations, electricity and the internet, Till moves on to the present.
Despite the fact that we live in a highly technological age, the so-called welfare index has been tending towards zero for quite a long time. Life expectancy and productivity are barely increasing, and the innovations we are producing relate more to concepts than to actual actions. Amazon, Deliveryando and modern trading apps as monopoly owners may be impressive, but they are not socially transformative.
However, Till sees the age of innovation on the horizon - with topics such as robotics and nuclear fusion. To ensure that science moves away from promoting reputations and towards promoting people, SPRIND (the Federal Agency for Leap Innovations) is committed to supporting forward-looking ideas at an early stage.
A very inspiring start!
Session "The Future of the Internet: Introduction to Web 3.0".
We continue with Holger Köther from the IOATA Foundation, a non-profit foundation working on future-oriented protocols for a networked world. The topic "Web 3.0" fits accordingly. The basic idea he presents is as simple as it is revolutionary. Digital Autonomy for Everyone. Blockchain and digital wallet are supposed to make it possible to securely preserve, use and pass on our online identity(ies) - if we want to. This offers many advantages: low-effort data and payment exchange, data sovereignty and validation.
The tokenisation of physical and corresponding virtual goods offers a new market with equally new opportunities - and new dangers. When asked about the future of copyright in art and the associated crypto problems, Holger responds with understanding. For him, virtual art needs clear regulatory processes on the origin and source of the works. Crypto offers opportunities, but also allows people to act outside a legal framework. Even if the technology is not new, many things are still in their infancy.
Session "The Future of Marketing"
Photographer and online marketing expert Benjamin Diedering then presented his guerrilla campaign to win "About You" as a customer. He called the campaigns an "audiovisual love letter" from his marketing agency. His conclusion? It's not the expensive fancy videos that work best, but user-generated content. That creates reach.
That's why advertisements that look like amateur filmmakers perform best on social media. Preferably self-recorded in poor light on the living room floor. Totally personal, totally your own boyfriend or girlfriend. He also recommends shooting social media content in 9:16 - because "people are too lazy to tip their smartphones".
After that, it's off to lunch for me. The pizza queue is long, because the much longed-for good is freshly baked in a stone oven.
Session "The Impact of Neurotech: How to make our Brain unhackable".
Dr. Simon Vogt from the Agency for Innovation in Cybersecurity will then give a presentation on the topic of neurotechnology. He will talk about three important trends. First: Human-machine interactions are steadily increasing and are becoming increasingly seamless. Second: Moore's Law (roughly speaking, a prediction from the 1960s according to which the computing power of computers doubles every 2 years) is still valid to a rough approximation. And thirdly, scientific disciplines particularly relevant to brain-computer interfaces (e.g. IT, AI, surgery) are increasingly collaborating and generating enormous momentum.
All this leads to the fact that brain-computer interfaces will arrive more and more in the consumer tech market in the next 10-15 years. Examples of this phenomenon are the new projects by Neurolink, Meta and Snap. Assistance systems are adapting, technology is becoming more and more neuroadaptive.
This is incredibly exciting in the context of human-technology interaction possibilities, but equally not without risk. Because highly specialised technology can collect user data such as preferences and motivators on a level that humans can only dream of.
What can be seen as an opportunity in micromarketing also has the potential to promote highly personalised opinion-making, for example in political areas. Ensuring that such data is used ethically will remain a central task in this area.
Speaking of ethics and technology …
Session "Economic Cybercrime: Tales from the Underground"
Back to the Main Stage and the presentation by Eileen Walther from IT security specialist Northwave. She talks about the dangers of hacking attacks and ransom attacks. Eileen divides attacks into 3 phases: In - Through - Out. So getting into the systems, for example through phishing emails, followed by browsing and exploring the network to all the actions taken to cause damage.
For a while, hacker attacks were mainly from the private sphere. In the meantime, however, the field has been massively professionalised - including an English-speaking 24/7 support hotline for victims to discuss the next steps. Up to seven different roles are involved in an attack, including initial access brokers who sell access, affiliates who purchase it and developers who then implement the actual attack. The whole thing is supported by data managers, chasers and money collectors as well as money launderers. The "professionalisation" of the attacks is, in view of the amount of ransoms extorted (usually 0.5 - 2 percent of the annual turnover), a fact that is both frightening and logical.
But what can be done to protect oneself? Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication are important steps. It also requires a well thought-out backup strategy. If you are interested in the topic, we also have an article here on protection against cybercrime.
Session "Re-Commerce: Sustainability in Online Retail".
This will be followed by a moderated discussion with momox founder Christian Wegner. His recommendation for continued motivation? Set goals that you can't keep, so that there is always something left to do. That's why his current goal is to create a trading landscape in which more second-hand things are sold than new ones. Christian also mentions a few tips for building successful shops, for example testing early, building 80-20 prototypes and a focus on a timely go-live.
In a very personal way, he talks about building and selling his companies. He says a big problem with many companies is that sometimes founders can't let go. They then let their companies grow steadily and would lose the connection to the essentials. Christian recommends selling and restarting if you are attached to the start-up mindset and the conception phase.
Session: "The Dark Side of New Work"
As a professor for digital innovation in the service industry, Claudia Lehmann has a lot of exciting things to say about New Work in the talk afterwards. She defines New Work as work with the aim of strengthening the company and the employees instead of weakening them. The problem? Many would think that digital work automatically corresponds to new work.
Claudia openly addresses problem factors that are increasingly coming into focus with digital work, e.g. higher levels of stress and anxiety, a mixing of private life and work, and fewer breaks and rest periods. The topic of loneliness is also particularly interesting, as it is a constant companion for many people in the home office. We are glad that we have our huddle (shared virtual lunch break) as one of many measures to counteract the downsides of New Work.
If you are interested in an alternative view on the topic of "New Work", then we recommend this podcast episode! Here Christoph Magnussen and Michael Trautmann talk to Frithjof Bergmann, the 1930-born founder of the New Work movement. A short teaser: the way New Work is proclaimed today has only a partial connection with the initial idea. Very worth listening to!
Session: "May the audience be with you! - On the power of target group centring".
The "Speakers Corner" continues with Julia Kremer and Lena Bichler from the "Innovation and Digital Agency" of MDR and ZDF digital, who will demonstrate vividly and with the help of the audience how surveys are conducted in the User Lab. For this purpose, we as the audience will build a theoretical spaceship. Unfortunately, some audience members are not allowed to fly along, because they are not technophiles enough, not old enough or not particularly comfortable at high altitudes. These are criteria for limiting the target group - but no problem, they are allowed to have a say in what goes into the spaceship. It's not the pilots who do that, but the people who work on the ground. It's an interesting analogy for product development, where you're often not even part of the user group.
Julia and Lena report that good products require a lot of research and large amounts of time and resources if everything is to be properly adapted to the users. There is no such thing as testing too early - but definitely testing too late. Namely, always when nothing more can or should be changed in the product.
Session "Barcamp: Appreciative Nonviolent Communication"
After a long day full of exciting presentations, it's time for the last slot of the day. Klaas Behrens-Scholvin from "Agile Leipzig Barcampers" talks about conflict moderation in an agile context. He will introduce the concept of non-violent communication according to Marshall B. Rosenberg, which, among other things, addresses the processing of conflicts. Afterwards, we practise talking to each other and finally exchange ideas in the group.
One of the participants adds a valuable thought: People either act out of love or fear. Whenever a feeling of threat arises in conflict situations, we should ask ourselves why. What are we afraid of losing? This directs our attention to the essentials with astonishing simplicity.
The evening programme
From 6pm onwards, the evening continues with live music and a great edition of FuckUp Night Leipzig - featuring the CEO of Clevershuttle, among others. The whole festival offers many great opportunities for networking and meeting friends and business partners. A packed day draws to a close. It was worth it! See you next year!
More from our blog
Bye bye #localgutscheining - A review of our voucher portal project as part of the #JenaVsVirus hackathon.
Learn more about #localgutscheining here: how our project brought Jena together in the Corona Lockdown and supported local businesses.
The difference between online marketplaces, shops, portals, platforms and stores
Find out here what exactly the difference is between online marketplaces, shops, portals, platforms and shops.
We make our way to the Start-Up Festival 2023
Our Business Development Team was on the road again last week - at the MACHN Start-Up Festival for Tech, Business and Art in Leipzig. Here are some insights!
What is an online marketplace and when does it make sense?
Find out what online marketplaces are and when it makes sense to have your own. We will help you set up your own marketplace and provide you with the right software!
Team Interview Sebastian (Project Management)
Today in the team interview:
Sebastian - Project Juggler, Keeper of the Overview and Agile Master
How do you keep the development costs of your software project under control?
Learn how to control the development costs of your software project. Get tips on project setup, prioritization, scoping and more.
What billing models are there for software projects?
Would you like to know which billing models exist for software? We show you which models exist and give you tips on how to choose.
What does custom software actually cost?
Are you wondering what custom software costs? We show you which factors influence the price and give you helpful tips for cost reduction.
Your LinkedIn presence - a little more elegant
You want to adjust your Linked-In profile URL? We explain how.
Team Interview Erik (Support)
Today in the team interview:
Erik - Supporter, Junior Sys-Admin and Hobby Photographer
ChatGPT - A glimpse into the future of software development?
Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more a part of everyday life. But how do text generation programmes like ChatGPT affect the lives of developers?
Founder interview with Christian
Today in the interview:
Christian - Digitalisation and Innovation Companion and Business Development Fan