Intelligence X.0

The 6th global CODE_n startup competition was looking for groundbreaking business models and use cases based on pioneering technologies. This year’s CONTEST, “Intelligence X.0 – AI 4 industry and humans”, spotlights the 50 most progressive startups and industry disruptors worldwide at the new.New Festival 2018 in the fields of Machine Intelligence, Cryptographic Trust and Beyond Reality.


Over 300 international startups showed an interest in the application phase of the CODE_n CONTEST 2018. Our jury had the exciting job of picking the Top 50 most progressive game-changers, the startups most likely to leverage the opportunities presented by digital transformation – across all industries. From Blockchain over AR to Machine Learning: the finalists from 15 different countries offer a wide variety of cutting-edge technologies and disruptive fields of application.

Top 50 Finalists


Drum rolls for… Airfox! The USA-based company left 300 competitors from 42 countries behind and secured the grand prize of €15,000! Airfox is on a mission to provide more than two billion unbanked people in emerging markets with mobile access to financial services. Their proposal? Creating new banking solutions for undeserved low-income consumers using blockchain technology. They have developed a new mobile financial ecosystem and ultimately, a revolutionary microloan program, giving millions of people unprecedented access to affordable financial services.

A big round of applause to all of our winners:

Best Business Model: Airfox from the USA
Best Tech Innovation:  Six Degrees Space from Israel
Best Industry Disruptor:  thingsTHINKING from Germany
Overall Award Winner:  Airfox from the USA


CONTEST topics

Machine Intelligence

In Machine Intelligence we focus not only on robotics, but also look at technologies and their application in business in the area of artificial intelligence – understanding the mimicking of cognitive functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as learning and problem solving: Machine Learning & Deep Learning, Neural Networks, Natural-Language Processing.

Machine Intelligence Finalists

Beyond Reality

Beyond Reality is related to technologies on how we perceive reality and/or the creation of computer generated reality with focus on the application within novel business models in retail and industry: Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality, Computer Vision and Digital Twins.

Beyond Reality Finalists

Cryptographic Trust

Rounding out the field of digital trends, Cryptographic Trust is all about technologies based on a method of storing and transmitting data to prevent theft or alteration and facilitating user authentication which carries an enormous disruptive potential for various industries: Blockchain, Smart Contracts, Edge Computing, Cybersecurity.

Cryptographic Trust Finalists
Attending new.New definitely was time well spent. We learned new things, networked, performed, introduced our company to others, and headed home with many new contacts and a pretty neat certificate. Rock on new.New Festival, you are one of a kind!Iris Feuchter, Holo-Light GmbH

Jury 2018

Klaas Bollhoefer
Founder & Managing Director, Birds on Mars

Klaas Bollhoefer is founder/CEO of Birds on Mars, which develops strategies, structures, teams, and applications at the interface between AI and human intelligence. He was Chief Data Scientist & Evangelist at The unbelievable Machine Company for six years and did pioneering work on data science and engineering in Germany and elsewhere. Always sandwiched between business, IT, AI, and design, he calls himself a bridge-builder, a forward and lateral thinker. He is a certified Scrum Master, design thinker, mediator, and coach, and will never tame his curiosity.

Ulrich Dietz
Initiator, CODE_n

A born entrepreneur, Ulrich Dietz set up his first company at the age of 19. In 1987 he founded the company GFT, which he actively managed for over 30 years. In 2017 he took over the position of Chairman of the Administrative Board at GFT to focus on the global strategy of the company. As the founder of CODE_n, Ulrich Dietz brings in his vision and network to foster digital innovation. Furthermore, he is an active member of several committees that lend support to startups and promote Germany as a prime location for IT innovation. In 2011, he was named German Entrepreneur of the Year.

Portrait of Moritz Gräter

Moritz Gräter
Managing Director, CODE_n

As the CEO of CODE_n, Moritz Gräter fosters innovation by bringing together digital pioneers, thought leaders, and frontrunners with the aim of promoting new and sustainable business cases in the long term. This involves providing a vehicle for dialog between startups and established companies by drawing on a variety of tools, acting as a catalyst of innovation in this powerful area of the economy. CODE_n is short for Code of the New, the DNA of innovation. The goal: to drive new thinking and courageous ideas hand in hand with digital advancement.

Susanne Hahn
Head of Lab1886

Since March 2016 Susanne Hahn is the Head of Lab1886 – Daimlers’ internal innovation lab including an own incubator. It is where new business ideas, including outside the core business, are identified, incubated and brought to market maturity.
Ms. Hahn was born on May 14th 1976 in Esslingen (Neckar) and joined the Daimler AG in 2001 as part of the Trainee program. After multiple assignments and managerial functions in engineering, production and supply chain management related areas, being executive assistant to a member of the board and leading Daimlers corporate organization division. She is now responsible for the Lab1886 with offices in Stuttgart, Berlin, Atlanta and Beijing.

Prof. Philipp Hennig
Professor for Methods of Machine Learning, University of Tübingen

Philipp Hennig is Professor for the Methods of Machine Learning at the University of Tübingen. He has developed a number of machine learning algorithms, some of which are in use at well-known AI companies. He is interested in the notion of uncertainty in algorithms, and is a co-founder of the area of probabilistic numerical computation.

Carsten Knop
Editor-in-Chief for Digital Products, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Carsten Knop is the editor-in-chief for all digital products of the German daily “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” ( Until the end of 2017 he served as senior business editor for the same paper, based in the Frankfurt headquarters and in charge of the companies section. He contributes editorials and feature stories. He was born in Dortmund, and educated at the University of Münster, Germany. He was a business correspondent for FAZ in New York and San Francisco. Carsten Knop was already involved in CODE_n as a juror from the very first year of its inception.

Tanja Kufner
Partner, dynamics (MHP)

Tanja Kufner is Partner at dynamics, the investor and startup accelerator spun off from the Porsche subsidiary MHP in 2018. With more than 20 years of experience in the startup and venture capital space, and having invested in over 100 companies to date, she was named one of the 50 most influential women in the startup and venture capital sector by EU-Startups in 2017. Before founding dynamics, she was Managing Director of Startupbootcamp Berlin with a focus on Smart Transportation & Energy, where she guided companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Airbus, here, EnBW, and DB on their innovation journey. Tanja Kufner holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.

Marika Lulay
CEO, GFT Technologies SE

Since June 2017, Marika Lulay is the CEO of GFT Technologies. In her former role as COO she assumed responsibility for the GFT core business and the key operational areas for 15 years. Before her career at GFT, she held a variety of management positions at Cambridge Technology Partners and Software AG. After her graduation, Marika Lulay was Co-founding a software developing company for the building industry.

Christian Roth
Managing Partner, LEA Partners GmbH

Christian is a tech entrepreneur and investor from Karlsruhe, Germany. In 2016 Christian joined LEA Partners, a multi-stage private equity firm supporting founders and management teams in various development stages to achieve growth and market leadership. Prior to LEA, Christian founded BEONTRA, an Enterprise SaaS company focusing on supporting airport operators in optimizing their operations efficiency and retail activities and exited the company to Lockheed Martin in 2014.

Top 50 Finalists 2018

Beyond Reality

Cryptographic Trust

Machine Intelligence

Meet the gamechangers

This year’s Top 50 will join our 252 CONTEST Alumni and be part of the CODE_n community. Take the chance to meet them yourself at the new.New Festival 2018 – either at the exhibition area, live on stage or through dedicated meetup sessions – where they showcase their innovative business concepts and technologies at the new.New Festival.

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Gamechangers wanted!

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