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.