The Hamburg-based start-ups Tomorrow, Localyze and Daily Dress proved deserving winners of a special competition in Hafen City’s Finhaven organized by the private initiative Hamburg Startups in January. Their respective prize was a trip to the upcoming South by Southwest festival underway in Austin, Texas from March 8-17, 2019. A total of seven start-ups had pitched for coveted tickets to the festival, which is internationally renowned as a launching pad for start-ups. Austin was the scene of Twitter’s celebrated breakthrough just a few years ago. Now, the start-ups will be joining a strong Hamburg delegation heading to the world’s largest digital and creative trade fair in the hope of emulating this success story. Hamburg News takes a closer look at the winning start-ups.
Localyze – B2B solution for an efficient onboarding process
The Localyze start-up is not entirely unknown in Hamburg’s start-up scene. From April 2018, the company took part in a six-month support programme run by Next Media Accelerator. Meanwhile, the Localyze team has grown to five members and three more staff will join from spring. The founders, Hanna Asmussen, an industrial engineer, Lisa Dahlke, a HR expert and Franziska Löw, a software developer, have specialised in a software solution that is designed to make recruiting processes for workers from all over the globe as efficient as possible. The target groups are companies and customers inlcuding Hamburg’s About You or the Berlin job exchange talent.io. Localyze helps with the onboarding process. New employees from abroad have access to an individual online profile and receive tips and tricks about obtaining visas, setting up a bank account or finding an apartment. Once the pesky, but unavoidable groundwork has been laid, the start-up helps newcomers gain a foothold in Germany and provides information about leisure activities etc.
Asked about representing Hamburg as a business and founder location at SXSW, Asmussen smiled and said: “Good! We usually tend to look after the people who come to Hamburg from abroad and are eager to carry Hamburg out into the world now.” She and her co-founder, Dahlke, will head to Austin together. The start-up is already eyeing its next steps namely continued growth and helping many more expats en route to Germany.
Tomorrow – eco-smartphone bank with social impact
The founders Jakob Berndt, Inas Nureldin and Michael Schweikart seek to develop the “bank of tomorrow” or a smartphone bank with sustainable investment products and set up the Tomorrow fintech in autumn 2017. Barely a year later, the trio launched their first ecological financial product – a mobile current account designed to make the world a little better and provided the software. The company co-operates with the Berlin-based Solaris Bank for the banking licence and employs around 15 people at present. But what makes the account sustainable? Tomorrow uses customers’ deposits, for instance, to invest in solar energy or microcredit organizations. And like any credit card payment, a certain amount goes to the bank for the Tomorrow card. The start-up uses these fees to support climate protection projects, such as a rainforest project in Brazil. Customers can track their social impact in the app and see how many trees have been planted with their purchases.
Berndt, who is a cultural scientist, Nureldin, a business computer scientist and Schweikart, a financial expert, will represent Tomorrow at SXSW. The trio are excited about the festival and want to input as much as possible. “Tomorrow has a decidedly international orientation, so we are looking forward to meeting future partners and supporters from all over the world at South by,” Berndt told Hamburg News. And the goals for after the Austin trip have already been outlined: “Tomorrow’s mobile current account will become much smarter in the coming months. In perspective, this will create a comprehensive financial platform.”
Daily Dress – virtual wardrobe and market research tool
Women spend an average of 17 minutes a day choosing an outfit unlike men who spend 13 minutes a day on this task, according to a study by Britain’s department chain store Marks & Spencer. The virtual wardrobe began as a hobby until Jennifer Schäfer, Dr. Laura Karim and Marius Murtz joined forces in 2016 and set up the e-commerce start-up Daily Dress. In 2017, the trio launched their app as a virtual wardrobe with a shopping function and targeting women. Users mark clothes such as a white T-shirt or blue jeans. The app suggests a combination to match the occasion. The user also receives suggestions for other outfits based on artificial intelligence (AI). To this end, the e-commerce start-up co-operates with About You among others. In 2018, the Hamburg-based software-as-a-service company Picalike, which belongs to the Otto Group Digital Solutions, acquired Daily Dress. Schäfer has remained Managing Director, while her co-founders are tackling new challenges.
A new business model called market research for micro-trends has resulted from the merger. At present, Schäfer is developing Picalike, a new tool for the retail and e-commerce sector, which helps fashion retailers identify and compare trends and rivals in real time. Users can now photograph the contents of their wardrobe using automatic photo recognition. Schäfer is also heading to the Lone Star state and is looking forward “to the great speakers, inspiring participants and above all networking”.