Beyond Convention and the 'Building data challenge'

Usually people expect to look at promising start-ups from relevant innovation ecosystems like Silicon Valley, Berlin or London. Why not look around the corner? New business models can also rethought and cutting-edge technologies can also being developed in the Ruhr area – so happened these days at 'Beyond Conventions', taking place at the thyssenkrupp Quarter in Essen. 'Beyond Convention' has been hosted by several start-up initiatives from the Ruhrgebiet Camp Essen, Initiativkreis Ruhr, ruhr:HUB, as well as big companies: thyssenkrupp AG, Open Grid Europe, Schacht One, Funke Medien NRW and innogy SE.

The variety of challenges makes the event even more outstanding

'Beyond Convention' was a great opportunity for industry partners to get access to a broad range of start-ups. The organisers as well as the crowd was deeply impressed about the variety of challenges that made the event even more outstanding. Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO of thyssenkrupp AG, gave an inspiring opening speech on the first day. He pointed out that big corporates know that a disruption by themselves might be difficult but the best innovation nowadays come from start-ups. Therefore corporates are open to learn, using a new flexible and agile mindset that allows fast trying and cheap failing.

How to hug a start-up without crushing it

The event was moderated by Andrew Goldstein, serial founder and partner at Deloitte Digital Ventures. In his inspiring speech, he focused on the relationship between corporates and start-ups – trying to discuss the challenge "how to hug a startup without crushing it".

After the impulse, the challenges started: 35 global start-ups presented in 46 pitches their ideas which varied from services around chatbots, ambient media, smart office equipment, virtual truck loading, drone analytics and image recognition and many more.

The Building Data Challenge

For the innogy Innovation Hub, the digital twin of a building is the next big game-changer. This is why our challenge was called 'The Building Data Challenge' where we asked for new business models that use comprehensive digital building data. In addition there have been two further challenges from innogy SE: using Artificial Intelligence for sensor systems and fault detection on technical building equipment. We are very happy that there were eleven inspiring pitches at the innogy booth, all have been well preselected and of high quality.

And the winners are…

For the two challenges around buildings, we teamed up with our innogy colleagues from the retail business and came to the result that Aedifion is the winner of two challenges: the building data challenge and the fault detection on technical building equipment. Aedifion is about deep building monitoring and analytics. The great team around Johannes Fütterer (CEO) and Felix Dorner (CFO), convinced with their mature technical solution as well as their open and scalable approach which fits perfectly to our strategy and portfolio. You want to read more about Aedifion? Please click here.

Logarithmo has been chosen as the best startup for the challenge "using AI for sensor systems".

Big companies and start-ups have to cooperate closely in order to push the digital transformation and find sweet spots to be successful!


Felix Dorner, CFO aedifion

Beyond Conventions fb

aedifion founders Felix Dorner (left), Johannes Fütterer (center) and the Smart & Connected Team of the Innovation Hub.