We’ve designed three areas of interest for the 2013 program: Connectivity, Mobility and Big Data. To define and discuss these themes, we interviewed mentors from our SBC2go partners Mercedes-Benz and Bosch.
What does connectivity mean to you?
Dr Klaus Dieterich, Bosch: There are several important changes affecting society and therefore our core businesses. One of them is the unprecedented increase in connectivity, not only between people but also between machines, as well as between machines and human beings. A totally connected world changes not only the way people are using devices, it changes business processes dramatically, and it will allow for new innovative service models.
Dr Stefan Ferber, Bosch Software Innovations: We are entering a hyper-connected world. With the Internet of Things we build the biggest system of systems human mankind has ever built. I am inspired shaping this future for a human purpose. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next generation of the internet. It is a global system of interconnected computer networks, sensors, actuators, and devices that use the internet protocol to potentially connect every physical object. By merging this physical world with software from the virtual world, organizations, companies, and consumers will benefit from new services that emerge from web-based business models. In the final analysis, however, IoT stands for the start of a series of technological and above all economic changes that will revolutionize not only the marketplace as we know it but also the lives of each and every one of us.
What is mobility in 2013?
Micha Kirchoff, Bosch: Traditionally, mobility was associated with one particular mode of transport, like the car in your driveway. However, we are now seeing a shift in consumer behavior. The concept of car sharing has been around for about 65 years, but in recent years we have seen many new business models, like ride sharing and peer-to-peer car sharing. People no longer buy a car, but instead increasingly buy “mobility.” The level of connectivity achieved through mobile devices allows for a more convenient multi-modal mobility, making it more appealing to the consumer.
Why should we be excited about big data?
Claus Schmidt, Robert Bosch Venture Capital: Data and the processing of data is at the core of many of Bosch’s products. Through advances in technology, such as increasing connectivity and processing power, we will be able to obtain more data. Our challenge will be to turn this data into meaningful information, which can be used to inform and improve decision-making, or develop completely new products and services.
Aritra Ghosh, Daimler: With so many sensors, assistance systems and increased connectivity, our vehicles are generating loads of very high quality data. I believe that startups which offer value added services have a huge business potential in the near future. And this idea also goes in exploring the other directions like getting meaningful information into the vehicles from the sources out in the world.
What do you see as a major challenge in the fields of connectivity, mobility, or big data?
Gitte Bedford, Robert Bosch Venture Capital: We are seeing a major trend towards energy efficiency and avoidance of fossil fuels without significantly increasing cost. This will lead to major changes in transportation (e.g. electric vehicles and hybrids), building technology (e.g. integration of renewable energies within buildings and the public grid) and industrial automation (e.g. waste heat recovery). There is currently no single solution in any of these areas. Instead, we are forced to follow several paths in parallel.
What kind of startup would you like to see come out of the program in Berlin?
Dr. Frank Spennemann, Daimler: Connectivity to vehicles and between vehicles is technically on its way to becoming a reality and is well covered by our engineers. I am convinced that there are many ideas on how we can profitably leverage these technical capabilities to generate value for passengers, car owners and other people in ways we had never thought of. I would like to see startups with these ideas at Startupbootcamp.
Dr Stefan Ferber, Bosch: Teams that bring Connected Mobility: Services that cross-cut today’s automotive, train, public transport, bike, and pedestrian markets. I call these “Trampelpfade”: Mobility for my personal needs, optimizing transport & travel for communities.
Interested to learn more about the SBC2go partnership? Watch our SBC2go partnership video.