We make our way to the Start-Up Festival 2023

MACHN 2023 Symbolbild

It's Thursday morning in Leipzig. Dress on, straw hat on, don't forget the sunscreen. It's supposed to be warm and I'm ready for MACHN 2023: the "Festival for Tech, Business & Art", which is taking place for the second time in Leipzig and for the first time at the Baumwollspinnerei.

The Central German start-up scene is in the starting blocks. 4 stages, 2 days, over 2000 guests are announced. On Wednesday the satellite events already took place, but at that time our wunschlöserInnen were still running for success and honour at the company run .

The doors open at 8am and at 9am we start with the Opening Keynote. I will take you to some of the talks I attended.

10 a.m.: Scaling content marketing with ChatGPT: practical hacks for more productivity in everyday life

Florian Breitans' format was actually scheduled as a workshop, but attracts so many people that it turns into more of a lecture. He talks about the different versions of GPT and how to use them.

What did I learn?
  • ChatGPT can currently understand and process about 7000 words without getting lost in context. Anything longer will result in a loss of quality in the data processing.
  • When creating texts, ChatGPT uses an algorithm that reliably guesses the next word based on learned speech patterns. Or in short: the software does not think. It compares what the next following word should be based on countless data points. This process is called "completion", and means that artificial intelligence is not really intelligent - it is just very good at making predictions. So when creating texts, be aware that not all "facts" have to be right all the time.
  • When entering texts and querying the output, there are a few things you should keep in mind to get the best results:
  • ChatGPT can handle large amounts of data - but only if you tell the software to follow a set of data instead of a command. Example: "Text: […]"
  • The programme will give much more appropriate answers if you specify the role from which it is to act. Example: "You are a board member in a Fortune 500 company."
  • Also, the results will be clearer if you explain to ChatGPT what your goal is. Example: "You want to get an overview of traditional marketing. In particular, you want to understand the subtopics of print marketing and telemarketing."
  • If you define your output target format, you will get more usable results. Example: "Create an overview that summarises the topic in 300 words. Then create a list of 10 sub-headings suggesting further questions."
  • Templates offer an alternative to long, handwritten input prompts. Florian and flandi.ai also offer these.
Fotografie aus einem Vortrag während des MACHN 2023

11 a.m.: Scale or die? Risks of rapid growth

Christian Fenner from nucao talks about the mission to challenge the chocolate industry - and why that hasn't always worked out the way he wanted it to over the last 6 years. The talk is personal and reflective. He talks about rebranding and the fact that they don't yet know if it was a very good or very bad move. Even otherwise, he shares more stories of failure than successes. In my opinion, much more impressive than many other self-representations today.

What did I learn?
  • After beef, cocoa has the second largest impact on the climate, mainly through monocultures. Far ahead of palm oil. So there is a lot of room for change in the industry.
  • If you want to make a difference, ask yourself where your time and focus is going. Money is important too, but you make the most difference with the heart and soul you put in 40+ hours a week.
  • Product-market fit is an important issue. Only if the target group is enthusiastic enough about using the product can a brand sustain its business model.
  • Your vision can be as good as it is - if you can't scale it, you're not helping anyone. If you are building a niche brand, don't focus on the 3% of people who already understand your mission, focus on the 97% who don't.
  • Focus on your main goal. Don't get distracted by issues like early expansion.
Fotografie einer Bühne während des MACHN 2023

11:30 a.m.: Texting like a Pro: Don't beat around the bush!

Next, Tim Jaschke offers tips on marketing texts on social media in the Speaker's Corner.

What did I learn?
  • Eliminate unnecessary filler words.
  • No nested sentences, even though, and I understand this, it can be tempting to write that way.
  • Uses active language. The disadvantages of passive language are underestimated.
  • Avoid subjunctives. Putting them in doesn't make you seem more polite, just more insecure.
  • Eliminate "very" from your vocabulary and instead use words that paint a clear picture. This makes your copy not just very good, but excellent.
  • Avoid oversized technical terms. Anything over four syllables reduces problem understanding. is hard to read.
Fotografie einer Bühne während des MACHN 2023

12:30 p.m.: Artificial Intelligence: A Look into the Black Box of Technology and its Limits

Simon Hofmann and Nikola Milosevic from the Max Planck Institute take us into the world of AI. This time in the field of medicine and industry. How can artificial intelligence help determine brain age? Why do people want to know? What are the dangers? The two talk about the black box AI and about passive and active artificial intelligence in such a pleasant and understandable way that even listeners unfamiliar with tech can follow along well.

What did I learn?
  • Data processing and recognition offer immense potential. But besides the benefits such as early cancer detection or tumour diagnosis, there are also problems. These include, for example, systematic errors or predictions that are (mis)interpreted based on expectations. Without this awareness, AI is only an entertaining toy, but not a competent diagnostic tool.
  • Currently, AI can recognise when inconsistencies occur. But it cannot interpret them. For that we (still) need human input.
  • AIs learn inefficiently. Currently, artificial intelligences need about a million attempts to achieve usable learning results.
Fotografie der Tech-Stage während des MACHN 2023

1:30 p.m.: Rockets and organs from the 3D printer: What innovation does additive manufacturing offer?

Dietmar Glatz from Makerspace Leipzig talks about the advances that 3D printing technology brings. He presents various areas of application and shares his expert opinion on forecasts from the field.

What did I learn?
  • Nature can be an excellent basis for efficient material use. Designing along natural weight and force bearing lines saves material and weight without loss of function.
  • The food that is 3D printed most often is chocolate.
  • Skin can be fantastically 3D printed. Other organs are not so easy to replicate yet.
Fotografie der Tech-Stage während des MACHN 2023

4:00 p.m.: AI as a partner in content production

Florian Arndt gives his talk on AI tools on the Main Stage. In a playfully staged presentation, he will introduce 15 tools that can be used in content production.

What did I learn?
  • Images:
  • Midjourney, Blue Willow, Stable Diffusion (generate images from natural language descriptions)
  • Upscayl (can enlarge and enhance low-resolution images)
  • Runway (offers over 30 AI tools to help in video and image production)

  • Audio:
  • Adobe Podcast (allows high-quality audio content to be recorded, transcribed, edited and shared)
  • elevenlabs.io (browser-based text-to-speech software that can create lifelike speech by synthesising emotions and intoning the voice)
  • AIVA (composes music in a variety of styles, including modern cinema, rock, jazz and ambient)

  • Text:
  • Language Tool (checks text for grammar, style and spelling errors)
  • DeepL (translation system from Germany, can translate into 31 languages with high quality)

  • Video:
  • mycharacter.ai (character creation system: users can create realistic, lifelike AI characters by describing how they want their character to look and behave)
  • Merlin AI Browser Extension (Chrome extension that brings ChatGPT directly into the browser)
  • gamma.app (presentation tool that creates slides on its own)
  • Synthesia (web platform that converts text into videos, more than 120 languages and more than 140 avatars available)
  • Adobe Firefly (creates images and designs, can be embedded directly into workflows and is designed to create commercially safe, professional quality content)
  • Wonder Studio (allows artists to create films with CGI characters with just a few mouse clicks)
Fotografie der Bühne während des MACHN 2023

5:00 p.m.: Against the Algorithm: Engaging with Content on Instagram

In an exciting talk, Javan Wenz shares how Funk is facing Instagram and the algorithms of social networks. He explains that the most important ingredient is sustained interaction. Furthermore, the target group should be clearly focused, both with the content itself and with the formats that are shared.

What did I learn?
  • I can only become important in a network if I offer something to that network.
  • People follow different like impulses when they like content. It is important to find out which things people react to with a Like and to design the content to be published accordingly (e.g. "I agree with that.").
  • There are also Like blockers, which are thoughts that prevent people from leaving a "Like". Examples are: "Been there, done that", "I'm ashamed of that" or "That's advertising".
Fotografie der Baumwollspinnerei während des MACHN 2023

Are you thinking about joining us next year? Don't think about it for long. Just MAKE it happen.

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