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- Comments Off on Insights from the Czech-German Innovation Festival 2019

Insights from the Czech-German Innovation Festival 2019

Organized by the Czech Centre and Czech Embassy in Berlin, supported among others by CzechInvest and Bitkom, the German-Czech Innovation Festival (CGIF) presents innovations, science, new technologies and startups from Czechia and offers a Czech-German platform for innovative business and academic cooperation. The team of SpaceLabEU, a part of the hDock42 launchpad, has had the opportunity to present their project at this year's edition on 9th of April in Berlin.

CGIF banner

The day was filled with panel discussions and workshops, many of them aimed at the main topic of the festival - Space & Aerospace Business in Czech Republic. The keynote Karel Havlicek, Vice-Chair at the Council for Research of the Czech Government, in his speech pointed out the importance of data being the most valuable asset. He also announced a government plan to reduce taxes for companies investing in research & development. A hot topic in the subsequent panel discussion was Industry 4.0. Collaboration of companies with universities has never been as important as now. It is also hard to predict the future of jobs in professions that are going to get disrupted by industry 4.0. Therefore, the educational system must be transformed so that people are able to flexibly learn new professions faster and more easily during their lifetime.

The next panel discussion was about the development of aerospace and space-tech companies in Czechia. Currently, there are more than 40 active companies working in the field of space technology in Czechia. Space technologies are already omnipresent in our lives - we use so many without even realizing it (keyword navigation). Therefore, it is just logical, that this topic is gaining prominence not only in the USA and western Europe.

In the subsequent workshops, companies operating in both Germany and Czech republic, like E-on or Ackee, have shared their insights and experience in business development in both countries. All of them agreed, that outside of Berlin, proper communication in German language is usually quite crucial for success. The importance of references, having a local business entity and a well-localized website should not be underestimated, too.

The highlight of the day was the Czech Startup pitch. SpaceLabEU was present with a team of four people, with Petr Palan, Member of the Board, presenting our project in front of the international jury. We made it to the top three finalists of public vote which was a huge satisfaction for us, keeping in mind that our ion propulsion engine is still in a very early phase of development.

SpaceLabEU pitch

SpaceLabEU pitch (photo by Karolína Vacková)

At this point, we would like to thank the organizers and all participants from both countries for this perfectly organized event. Quality discussions and workshops on current topics and also a nice opportunity for networking - that is the CGIF. We are already looking forward to the future, when we will be able to showcase our project in a more advanced stage of development. But now it's time to get back to hard work - see you some next time in Berlin!

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- Comments Off on Impressions from 2019 – the innovators’ stomping ground

Impressions from 2019 – the innovators’ stomping ground

In the past week, we at MotionPass, a part of the hDock42 launchpad, had the opportunity to join one of the largest business & tech conferences in Germany - the This conference gathers key players of leading industries, politics and entrepreneurs in a unique environment of the Station Berlin event space to discuss, shape and experience the digital transformation.


Looking back at the event, the prevailing impression is the overwhelming amount of motivation and inspiration. Thanks to the great mixture of participants including 1,000 startups, c-level executives of large corporates, public institutions, scientists and even artists the chance you will talk to an inspirational person is very high. We used this opportunity and talked about our current and emerging projects to many of the participants, giving us a valuable feedback from people from various industries.

This year's main topics were AI and Big Data, Digital Transformation, Education & Innovation, Fintech, Mobility and of course, Blockchain. It was quite hard to choose from the over 350 presentations and workshops. We sum up three of them that we found most inspiring:

Jack Ramsay, Accenture: Be Digital or be dead?

One of the many interesting thoughts in this presentation was that we now live in a world, where computers know us better than our closest family. E.g. the chance that Amazon chooses the right Christmas present for me is much higher than my partner. Why is it so? Because computers still listen to us. The disruption is now happening in our homes and the next industry to be disrupted is the transport industry. Speaking of transport: By the amount of people employed, transport is now the number 1 industry in the world. But this is definitely going to change. The jobs of the future are those in social intelligence & services, creativity, and craftsmanship.

Dagmar Schuller, audEERING: Listening Between the Lines: Emotional Intelligence Based on Audio

AudEERING applies AI to analyse the human emotion and acoustic context in voice recognition. Simply said, even though the standard audio recognition programs are aimed at the recognition of words, the AI allows also to analyse what is between the lines. And its not only the emotions like irritation or happiness, but also the physical state like fatigue, approximation of age or drunkenness. Currently they can distinguish between 50 different emotions and a variety of others based just on the analysis of human voice. One of the projects they currently work on is remote monitoring of the development of Parkinson's disease.

Ansgar Schneider, PAYBACK: Direct Marketing Propelled by Big Data & Machine Learning at PAYBACK

Nine years since the launch of their mobile app, PAYBACK now has more than 7 million active mobile users in Germany, with the average usage of their app 10 times a month. Using their loyalty program some ten years ago, was quite far from a fun experience. There was a necessity the carry around the card and if one was lucky, one of the many linear regression models in the background has suggested some relevant offers at the participating partners in the area.

Since the very launch of their app, PAYBACK has worked on making the experience as much fun for the customer as possible. Nowadays, users can receive personalized offers from the shops in which they find themselves at the very moment. They can even pay with the app, using a QR-code solution that saves the merchants card payment fees.

This was just a fraction of information presented at the event. On the top of that are discussions with qualified experts from various disciplines and the opportunity to present ourselves in the Startups Meet Corporate Speed Dating event. And not to mention the great party after the first conference day! Thank you,!

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- Comments Off on 2018 Global Pitch by DealMatrix – Evaluations done! (Journal #9)

2018 Global Pitch by DealMatrix – Evaluations done! (Journal #9)

Let’s start with some facts; You’ve probably never heard of Global Pitch and you’ve probably never heard of DealMatrix. In the world of thousands of startup competitions and festivals, hundreds of scouting and innovation platforms and hard to guess a number of startups and investors chasing them, it is impossible to know them all.

Let us say only this, DealMatrix is one of those SaaS cloud-based “innovation scouting and scoring” platforms which allow you to receive, store and score pitches and innovation proposals in a collaborative manner. It was borne in Europe, precisely in Austria and that makes them more unique and closer to our hearts. They also have some nice features like flexible scoring and collaboration but that's for them to tell you 🙂

So, why we support their efforts with hours and hours of our time? It is because we have respect for the courage. What team at DealMatrix decided to do to create their adoption breakthrough (they were not the first SaaS for innovation scouting) and to push the brand forward was cool and courageous! They decided to partner with different startup festivals (like 4YFN [] - where we’ve met them) but also, they decided to create their own Global Pitch competition for startups. They are cloud platform, not chained to any location and so we believe that “global” approach was a great bet which will pay off. It was certainly a lot of work but....

The first ever Global Pitch competition with over 100 startups from all over the world was in 2017. Our very own Petr Palan was part of the inaugural global jury.

Now, in 2018, we’re celebrating the second run and Petr has just finished evaluating over 40 startup pitches and business models in two categories of our interest - Our Body and Our Cities. If you know us you may remember we have invested in projects related to transportation and cities (read about them here) and he's a lot into preventive fitness, wellness, and well-being as a replacement for reactive pharmaceuticals.

If you are interested to find out who the winners of 2018 are - just tune in to Global Pitch webpage ( after December 13th and you should be able to see the winners in each category there. Hopefully with hyperlinks to their website and social media presence 😉

And if you like the concept, spread the word or participate and send your pitch for the next year!

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- Comments Off on How was Autumn Tech Startup Fair in Berlin? (Journal No. 5)

How was Autumn Tech Startup Fair in Berlin? (Journal No. 5)

Berlin is always good idea

Truth to be told, Berlin has been amazing to visit for the past ten years - if for fun or for Startup Fair. It’s the reason why we’ve chosen it as one of our three base camps (London - Berlin - Prague). It’s also no surprise that we were not disappointed with our last week’s visit.

hDock42 stand at Tech Startup Fair 2016 in Berlin at WeWork Sony Center locationIt was our last reunion this year and we brought our whole team and some guests to Berlin (except a colleague who just had a newborn the day before). We spent a day in a planning session for 2017. We used hospitality of new WeWork offices at Hackerscher Markt - simply cool and efficient. The evening we spent at Tech Startup Fair at Sony Center meeting people, making new friends and collecting CVs and the next day, Friday, some of us joined a group at Corrective to gain some insight into investigative journalism (you may think it’s not relevant but wait for it…)

Tech Meetups don't disappoint

We send our great thanks to the team at Tech Meetups. They did a great job of organizing and prepping everyone for the event - us, as exhibitors, as well as visitors - the young talented folks looking for new opportunities.

We all agreed that the talent we met in Berlin was amazing and connections still keep rolling in - THANK YOU ALL! What surprised us most positively was the diversity of talent in terms of nationalities and backgrounds. Berlin - ten points there.

On the other hand we’ve met less technical talent than we expected. Unfortunately, it happens to be usual observation anywhere we go. Our friends from the headhunting business tend to say it’s because strong tech talent does not go anywhere to look for opportunities, opportunities hunt them down without any effort on their part. Probably true and we see another great opportunity in this for Europe and we shall do something about it next year. Berlin - five points there.hDock42 Team in Berlin at Tech Startup Fair 2016 - rollups

But enough talking. We hope to have a small team based in Berlin very soon, working on cool projects. So for now enjoy some visuals...

Enjoy the Storify prepared by Tech Meetups team you'll find a few pretty good pictures there.

Or you can check out a few of our own pictures on our Instagram feed.

See you soon!

hD42 Team


- Comments Off on Let’s Go – Tech Startup Fair Berlin Is Calling (Journal No. 4)

Let’s Go – Tech Startup Fair Berlin Is Calling (Journal No. 4)

We Are Going Berlin

All of us have visited our share of startup, tech and innovation focused events and there’re always some I myself am looking forward to; be it Pioneers in Vienna, EmTech in Boston, Future Fest in London, or Mind the Product (London or SF) because they are constantly getting better and better.

There are still many I’ve heard about being great and I have them on my To-Visit list. Next week I am going to tick one of those off with my colleagues in Berlin.

It has been several times I’ve heard that produce great events with energy across different geographic locations. Always wanted to go but it usually turned out that I was at different continent when things happened.

Anyway we finally made it and our planning allowed almost the whole team of hDock42 to gather next week in Berlin during Thursday and Friday and one of the things we will do is to visit Tech Startup Fair Berlin (Autumn 2016) at WeWork location at Sonny Center. Gorgeous location if you happen to know it there and if not, why don’t you come and say Hi!

It's an evening event, so you don't need free your schedule for a day or two. We will be there enjoying the energy, looking for inspiration, partners and supporters. We’ll also have a little stand as we are looking for new team members for ourselves and for one of our projects called OpenToll — car payments for this century.

If you want to know more about positions we have open, please visit our JOIN US pages.

See you in Berlin,