100 % Future: Exciting Session with Start-ups and Start-ins

“Development stories from the Digital Hub Logistics” were part of the session “Science and Practice Transfer”, one of four parallel events on the second day of the “Logistics Future Congress – 37th Dortmund Talks” on the agenda – and they were really tough: two start-ins, both currently residenting in the hub, and two start-ups reported honestly and constructively about their experiences with innovation processes in their and other companies. The moderators were Hub Manager Dr. Matthias Parlings and Innovation Coach Phil Hermanski, who already referred to the many advantages of innovation ecosystems such as Digital Hub Logistics in their introduction.

These could be confirmed by the four speakers in their subsequent 15-minute pitches:

Kerstin Herdtle, Manager Digital Innovation & Technology at  META-Regalbau GmbH & Co. KG, explained her company’s strategy of generating new added value for the customers of the traditional warehouse technology specialist through cooperation projects with start-ups. Through the membership of META AND YOU in the Digital Hub Logistics, the company has gained completely new access to the topic of innovation beyond its day-to-day business – and has already implemented pilot projects with start-ups: “The people in our company are used to classic ways of working and first have to reorient themselves. But they can be very quickly enthusiastic about projects if they see the profit for themselves. The nice thing is that we just do it.”

Martin Lange, Managing Director Sales & Marketing at Beulco GmbH & Co. KG, and Sebastian Klimpel, Product Manager of the Beulco brand iQ water solutions, praised the freedom offered by Membership in the Hub: In the beginning, it was “strange” to have 100 percent time for digitisation projects about 50 kilometres away from the company’s headquarter, the two start-ins representatives reported with a wink. However, the spatial separation was quickly perceived as a liberating impulse, because “we can finally concentrate on topics that are directed towards the future”.

MotionMiners founder Dr.-Ing. Sascha Feldhorst referred to the special importance of an innovation coach, such as the Hub is providing: “As a researcher, you very often get tangeled up in technical details. It is therefore important that someone from outside with a business Connection always comes across the topic of business models”. The fast-growing start-up is also a hub member and has benefited in recent years in particulary from the support of the hub’s strong network. By the way, in 2017 the start-up was the first winner of the Digital Logistics Award.

Last year, Otto Klemke from the Hamburg-based start-up NautilusLog was able to celebrate the first place in the competition with his “digital logbook for shipping”. What followed in the last twelve months was presented by the founder on the basis of impressive figures: he covered 51,000 kilometres in one year. He held up to 27 meetings a day in three time zones. He collected 850 business cards and distributed the same number. He will now be able to launch his final solution in 2020. What did the Digital Hub Logistics award bring him? “A lot of trust from potential customers and a great network in which we are now participating, not least in a research project with the Fraunhofer IML. The connection to the hub remains intact!”

In the concluding panel discussion, all speakers were ready to answer the audience’s questions – whether about strategic goals or benefits from the award. “I can calm you down”, smiled MotionMiners founder Feldhorst: “We are still investing every euro we earn in the growth of our company…”.