European Mobility Players Are Getting Serious – Compete & Collaborate At BlockchainedMobility Hackathon

Blockchained Mobility Hackathon

Over the weekend of 20-22 July, heavy rain poured on the streets of Munich. Which did not prevent 20,000 people to demonstrate against xenophobia at Königsplatz, also went more or less unnotced by the 150 participants of the BlockchainedMobility hackathon who met to create blockchain-based mobility solutions. 

Hacker teams of leading European mobility players, such as BMW, Volkswagen Group, Bosch, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Telekom, Amadeus, and others mixed with freelance developers, designers and business experts to work on IOTA and Ethereum. On Sunday afternoon, the jury saw 18 project teams presenting a broad variety of mobility solutions, from specific applications, such as a EV charging station finder, to more generic solutions like a mobility API to match offerings of mobility providers with the needs of the end user.

Georg Eisenreich, Minister of the State of Bavaria

The hackathon started on Friday with a keynote by the Minister of State for Digital, Media and Europe, Georg Eisenreich, who highlighted the importance for collaboration of the State of Bavaria with on the one hand corporations, such as the hackathon‘s sponsors, on the other hand with the technology – or more specifically – the blockchain community. Minister Eisenreich emphasised the role of the State of Bavaria in providing a sound economical framework for blockchain startups and projects. He encouraged the participants to be creative and dare to found companies in order to foster Bavaria‘s and Europe‘s competitive advantage in the area of blockchain.

Michael Reuter (Datarella), Peter Busch (Bosch), Dominik Pietsch (BMW) Alisa Maas (IOTA) Klaus Schaaf (Volkswagen Group), Herbert Mangesius (Vito Ventures)

After the keynote, the representatives of the main sponsors Dominik Pietsch (BMW), Klaus Schaaf (Volkswagen Group), Peter Busch (Bosch), and Alisa Maas (IOTA) discussed the state of mobility and the expectations of the mobility players for the hackathon with Herbert Mangesius (Vito Ventures) and Michael Reuter (Datarella). At BMW, Volkswagen Group and Bosch, blockchain has obtained an important role within the areas of technology to work on. Dominik Pietsch, Klaus Schaaf and Peter Busch all agreed upon the importance their companies put in blockchain as a foundational layer for mobility solutions. Particularly in regard to the complex regulatory requirements for large corporations in any case of collaboration, blockchain serves as a neutral technological layer that allows for a joint use of mobility data provided by different players within the ecosystem.

Deutsche Telekom. Breakout Session

During Saturday and Sunday, hackers worked highly concentrated and steadily to create their applications they had to present towards the jury. Breakout sessions by the sponsor teams and Yoga interludes gave variety in the workflows. Some teams, e.g. Bosch and Deutsche Telekom, provided not only APIs but sensor-driven hardware the hackers could integrate into their projects.

Sunday evening, the jury announced 3 winners out of 18 projects, who received IOTA’s in worth of USD 5,000 (#1), USD 2,000 (#2) and USD 1,000 (#3) as well as 50,000 XSC (#1), 30,000 XSC (#2) and 15,000 XSC (#3). Additionally, Lewis Freiberg of the IOTA Foundation announced a special prize: the opportunity to receive USD 50,000 in IOTA tokens provided by the IOTA ecosystem fund for the best open-source project.  The hackathon‘s winners were:

#1
OMS – Open Mobility API: USD 5,000  + 50,000 XSC + the opportunity to receive USD 50,000 from the IOTA ecosystem fund

OMS – Open Mobility API

#2
AgentFinder – EV Charging Station Finder USD 2,000 + 30,000 XSC

AgentFinder – EV Charging Station Finder

#3
Pac-Man On Wheels – Crowdsourced Incentive Scheme For Privately Collected Driving Data USD 1,000 + 15,000 XSC

Pac-Man On Wheels

We will publish short interviews with each project team over the next few days.

After the jury‘s decision, the hacker crowd gathered for a few more hours to get themselves the last drinks and discuss next steps: since everybody enjoyed this weekend and we received so much positive feedback from the community, we have already started thinking about how to build upon the success of the BlockchainedMobility hackathon. Hopefully we – and new sponsors and participants  – will meet again, soon!

“Traditional VCs Are Dead”: Full House at The State Of The ICO Ethereum Meetup

“I can honestly say my industry is being disrupted beyond belief right now. The funny thing is, I like it”, said Jamie Burke during yesterday’s Ethereum Munich meetup “The State of the ICO”. Jamie is betting his Outlier Venture’s fund on the idea to launch a handful, large ICOs to invest in communities and therefore in economies, rather than in startups.

Jamie’s fireside chat (no, there was no fire but it was hot as hell) with Datarella’s founders Michael Reuter and Joerg Blumtritt was a fascinating tour de force towards a potential next level of venture investing in general, and a new breed of investors focusing on communitarian, anti-fragile investments rather than amassing a portfolio of companies of which 90% will fail.

Before, lawyers Dr. Nina-Luisa Siedler of DWF and Dr. Markus Kaulartz of CMS inspired the audience with their highly informative and at the same time very sympathetic presentation on the legal aspects of ICOs. Both being long-time experts in the field of blockchain, managed to entertain everybody although their messages were far from being easy-going. Especially their slide “Consequences in case of incompliance” filled the room with enthusiasm. Their complete slidedeck “Legal Aspects of ICOs” can be downloaded here.

Again, the Ethereum meetup was a great success: everybody learned a lot, and from what we overheard on the floor, some of the individual conversations until late at night resulted in new ideas for …. future ICOs.

What you can expect from Datarella in 2016

Datarella Logo

We always take a little time in the very first days of a year to define Datarella’s main goals for this year. This time it was a pleasant task since 2015 went very well for Datarella: we achieved most of our goals and we could start without any legacy issues.

So, what to expect from Datarella in 2016? Beside our growing consulting business with fascinating projects and clients, we will focus on our product Data Trust and our project Data Coach.  Due to our tight schedule in 2015, we haven’t published much about Data Trust and Data Coach, yet.  I’d like to give a brief overview on both in this post.

Data Trust
Generally speaking, Data Trust is a secure data market model for Big Data projects. Sharing data between businesses makes much sense: Both, data processing and analytics scale with the data, and development, quality assurance, as well as support become very efficient. The problem: Many businesses are hesitant to share their data with partners for security reasons, to maintain their competitive advantage, and also obligatory compliance aspects regarding data protection.

Data Trust solves this deadlock: With it we provide a secure sharing solution for corporations. Datarella organizes each client’s original data in separate data buckets.

Data Trust enables businesses to put their data to work together with the data of their business partners with guaranteed data security and control. Without giving away their data, they can now profit from analytics, results, and predictions that are based on the joint data within their network of partners. Thus, Data Trust is a market model – it provides each participant of a market with unparalleled insights into the market.

Datarella Prediction Engine

The Datarella Prediction Engine runs on top of the separated data buckets. The Datarella Prediction Engine has been designed for gathering precise statements regarding future business success in the areas of media & advertising, eCommerce, finance, mobility and health.  Together with the Datarella Prediction Engine, Data Triust provides an absolutely trustful environment for clients to manage and analyze their company’s data.

Of course, the Datarella Data Trust can be audited.

Data Coach
Whereas Data Trust already is a product and is already creating value for our clients, Data Coach is still in an experimental phase. The user interface of Data Coach is an app that provides the user with body activity and environmental data.  The user shares this data with a closed professional graph and receives actionable insights into her health condition, behavior, training, etc. as feedback. Based in this feedback the user can react by changing her behavior.

The core of Data Coach is a blockchain environment that provides three essential elements of a professional network:

  1. Data Security
  2. Data Provenance
  3. Peer-to-Peer Architecture

Cryptographic hash functions and completely historicized data chains make data sharing absolutely secure. The user completely owns her data. And she always knows her data’s whereabouts and defines whi can use it, how and when.

An essential part of our Data Coach project is our partner Ethereum, that provides a decentralized blockchain platform we build Data Coach on.

We are running very early tests of Data Coach in the area of sports and entertainment. We are active,y looking for partners to establish a pilot project in the health sector. So, if you think Data Coach could add value to your business and customers or patients, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Datarella – Lessons Learned: Hire Slow – Fire Fast

A lot of entrepreneurs hire fast and fire slow. In particular when new coders are required to develop a software. A bias towards speed and quick growth drives many leaders to be quick to hire new personnel and strategic cooperation partners. Hiring fast is absolutely fine as long as everything works out well. The problem is, many people do not react quick enough when they figure out problems and significant quality issues with the people they cooperate with.

Datarella decided to hire a German-based software development team for the programming of the prototype app including a backend system. The team had good references and offered us their service at an attractive price. The introductory meeting was very promising. It was clear to hire them quickly.

Over the course of time, we figured out that the development team lost one of their key persons, who supported us on our project. As a result, they stopped hitting the pre-defined milestones and started to deliver poor quality. Firstly, we asked them to take care of the problems they obviously had within their team. Secondly, we put them under pressure to deliver in time. However, our development partner was not able to improve his performance. As a consequence, we decided to quit our agreement and to hire a new development team. Probably we should have done so much earlier…

If you figure out any problems with your staff or partners, react quickly and if worst comes to worst you need to fire fast.