Together with the Technologiefabrik Karlsruhe and Daimler STARTUP AUTOBAHN powered by Plug & Play, the Neohelden, organised the premiere of the Zukunftstüftler (“future tinkerer“) Conference in Karlsruhe on 18.09.2019. More than 800 participants attended this event and jointly tackled topics on future in Karlsruhe. The Zukunftstüftler Conference and fair was about bringing together all parties and facets of the "Open Innovation" ecosystem in different formats. The +800 participants came from startups, SMEs & other companies as well as science & universities, whereas each group represented ca. ⅓ of the participants.
The basis for knowledge and experience exchange were keynotes, topics, questions and exhibitors with innovative approaches. More than 30 corporates and 20 start-ups took the opportunity at the Zukunftstüftler conference to present their companies and exhibits to the participants at the “Corporate Expo” and “Startup Safari” in order to enter into interesting discussions. In addition to the match-making, 15 startups pitched and discussed their business models and solutions in various formats throughout the day. During the Science Slam 3 scientists presented their research work in a different format and answered amongst others following question: How can shady solar plants also produce energy? In a total of 6 workshops, the inventors were able to immerse themselves in different topic worlds and discuss with experts at eye level. Reverse pitches were an elementary format of the Zukunftstüftler: Here, the corporates pitched in front of the startups and announced an "innovation challenge" to which startups could apply with their solutions. In this way, both parties met at eye level and were able to start cooperation talks immediately.
The main topics of this year´s event were:
- Future mobility that aims to answer questions like: How must mobility change in the future? Do we understand it as a service or as a product? Which technologies do we need?
- Smart Enterprise that deals with future work environments and tools.
- Sustainability that wants to analyse what sustainability does mean in the context of rapid growth and how technology can support it.
For Danube Energy+ this event was an opportunity to present the upcoming call and trainings that will be offered to young innovators in 2020 as well as to collect feedback on the approach of the Danube Energy+ Training and Ecosystem pack. One of the topics discussed with young innovators was the necessity to open the call and trainings also for young innovators that are not located in the respective region, but in general in the Danube region.