The New New Festival 2016: A Full Round Up
Gathering of the New
Last week, from September 20-22 at the ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, the CODE_n new.New Festival attracted tech pioneers from around the globe. Over 3800 attendees from more than 50 countries were there, all of them called to “be part of the new,” as one of the festival’s taglines proudly sated.
For those three days in Karlsruhe, the atmosphere was one of innovation and excitement, where the future was on display for industry experts, potential investors, students, and other attendees of the new.New Festival.
Here’s a round up of what went down.
Schedules and Numbers
There was a tremendous amount of activity over 72 hours at CODE_n. For starters, there were 120 sessions and 200 speakers over three stages, including keynotes by Baden-Württemberg Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann, FOCUS chief correspondent Dr. Holger Schmidt, and TRUMPF Vice President Dr. Peter Leibinger, among others.
There were participatory events as well, including a Wired Workshop, a Design Sprint Workshop, a Smart City Challenge, and even a Hackathon. In this last hands-on event, participating teams were presented with a challenge to create a worthwhile product, the catch being that they had only 24 hours in which to do so. There was lots of creative problem solving — and lots of caffeine — during those two full sweeps of the clock, and the winning team got €300 and bragging rights.
Xarion wins the CODE_n Award
One of the biggest parts of the new.New Festival was the CODE_n Award. A total of 385 startups from 40 countries were vying for the Award’s €30,000 grand prize, and they all had a solution that fell into one of the Festival’s four main categories: Applied FinTech, Connected Mobility, HealthTech, and Photonics 4.0.
The Award was won by Xarion from Austria, as it demonstrated that it is a company that promises significant digital disruption in the field of HealthTech, with its new ultrasound imaging technology that uses optical laser sensors. Xarion beat out the other nine finalists for the CODE_n Award: Biowatch, Bodle, Geospin, HealMet, ioxp, Kantox, NovioSense, otego, and UrbanAlps.
There were four cluster winners as well:
- Kantox won in the Applied FinTech category,
- evopark won in Connected Mobility,
- SpinDiag won in HealthTech,
- and Roboception won in Photonics 4.0.
All four of these companies received prizes from the sponsor of their individual cluster; while there were no cash awards for the cluster winners, there were several high level networking opportunities and occasions to see how successful companies go from startups to highly successful industry forces.
Art, Music, and More
It wasn’t all business at the new.New Festival. Art, music, and more contributed to an all around good time for attendees. There was an on-site show of innovative and avant-garde art, with guided tours available. Down the road from the conference, there was the amazing outdoor light show Schlosslichtspiele, which featured moving images projected on the 3000 square metre facade of Karlsruhe Castle. And, to keep things convivial and light, there was a Festival pub crawl through Karlsruhe.
Music was a huge part of the festival, with performances each night by top artists. Attendees got to rock out to German band RAZZ, German electropop group Claire, and New Zealand singer Noah Slee.
For participants who wanted to dance, there were sets by DJ Lake Child and DJ Ben Esser. Truly, it was a Festival where attendees innovated hard by day and partied hard by night.
“Innovate. Disrupt. Participate.”
This is the slogan that was on the backdrop of the CODE_n mainstage at this year’s new.New Festival. It’s clear that the attendees did all of these things, but still, the work in the tech sector is never done. While there are no announced plans for another gathering next year, the success of this year’s event makes it seem likely that there will be another CODE_n new.New Festival next fall.
Did you attend the 2016 CODE_n new.New Festival? What are your thoughts on the happenings in Karlsruhe. We’d love to hear all about it in the comments.