When you think of creative and successful entrepreneurs, the world looks to USA? Self-made millionaires, Silicon Valley startups and powerful brands. But last week at the Entrepreneurs-Day 2008 at the beautiful lake Tegernsee you could discover a different view. About 200 Entrepreneurs and Investors from Germany and Switzerland gathered for a two day conference to exchange knowledge and to talk about collaboration opportunities.
There was still fog over the peaceful lake when I entered the conference hotel. But suddenly I was surrounded by an motivating atmosphere and the sun broke through the fog. The room was packed with a diverse range of people from young twens up to grey haired seniors. There have been smart technicians who developed new technologies for efficient power-consumption, young internet-geeks who designed innovative web applications, as well as pensioners who are now active Business Angels and supporters of young enterprises. But I soon realized that all participants shared something in common: The Entrepreneurs Spirit. This spirit consist of three key elements:
Curiosity to do things differently and to develop the future,
Passion to motivate other people and their team
and the Love about their work and what they do everyday.
The program consisted of a variety of successful Entrepreneurs: Innovative Start-Ups presented their business, Senior Chairmen talked about their experiences, the politician and leader of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP), Guido Westerwelle, presented his view on the dynamics of globalization and finally the famous mountaineer, Reinhold Messner, gave a motivational speech.
So if these people develop the companies everybody is talking about in the next couple of years, what are they working on? And who is really ahead of time?
Jürgen Habichler, Chairman of Cleantech Invest, introduced one major innovation area, called Cleantech. Cleantech is focused on the principle of sustainability and include a wide field of technologies and services, from alternative energy, environment protection to efficient transportation technologies. Solarion develops new ultra thin photovoltaic solar cells and will enter a new market for very flexible and light solar cells while ensuring low production costs. The company ScatterWeb develops wireless sensors for energy management within buildings. And the company PURE trades carbon assets and integrates innovative financial concepts for companies. So Cleantech is definitely a branch to watch closely in the near future.
Dr. Cornelius Boersch, CEO of Mountain Partners AG and Initiator of the Entrepreneurs-Day, is an expert on new media and internet ventures. The conference featured 42 startup presentation. Each speech was limited to 7 minutes and already split the speakers into two group, the experienced elevator pitches and the technology-fanatics who focused on too many details.
One major trend in internet technology is the development of online video. HiClip is young startup who develops white-label solutions for online platforms and websites. They developed a powerful solution for distribution of videos as well as a nice video-player.
Another open market space is secure voice communication. Secusmart is a Spin-Out of Nokia and offers the first practical solution for secure voice calls. Government, CEOs and VIPs can only use huge telephones with many extra equipment to do secure telephone calls via their cell. Now Secusmart offers a cryptographic solution to make any Nokia phone into a secure device.
So the near future will bring us alternative energy solution, new media landscapes and secure mobile communication. These powerful ideas will define and create the trends of the next decades. The entrepreneurs will do their best to make these innovations happen and to establish their technology in the market. So my personal conclusion was, even if the region of lake Tegernsee looked so calm, the Entrepreneurs-Day 2008 was an event where entrepreneurs shared their spirit to create new successful businesses. So you don’t have to travel to the US to find dynamic entrepreneurs, they might be closer then you think…
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Rottach Egern, Tegernsee, April 2008
Article by Monty C. M. Metzger