Alice Nell
October 29, 2015

Deutsche Bahn Mindbox call for startups

Good news for startups looking to join an accelerator program! Deutsche Bahn is opening a beautiful new innovation space at Jannowitzbrücke called Mindbox. They're on the lookout for startups that can add value to any part of the Deutsche Bahn infrastructure - from energy to railroads, from networks to stations. If you're interested, send in your application by November 15th! Curious what startups Deutsche Bahn took on board in their last accelerator program - the one that took place in betahaus | Berlin and was produced by betahausX? Have a look.

ALUMIA

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Berlin based startup SWOCKET has developed a product for Deutsche Bahn called Alumia. Alumia makes lighting in train stations smart. Alumia is able to detect when the last train leaves and when the first arrives, making sure that lights in the train station are turned off when there's a time slot without any trains arriving or leaving. Alumia will help Deutsche Bahn save energy. It will also ensure that broken lamps can be easily detected, so repairs can be coordinated smoothly.   

SENVISYS

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Senvisys is a sensor manufacturer that built a sensor detecting objects on tracks based on vibrations. This means that if there's something on the tracks - like a cow - thanks to their sensor, the train will be able to stop in time. At the moment, Senvisys is focused on efficiently securing level crossings. The startup's technology reduces the necessity of cabling and makes installation and maintenance of securing level crossings more economical and user-friendly than it is today. Senvisys is working with Deutsche Bahn and hopefully soon, their users will be anyone who travels with Deutsche Bahn! 

INABE

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INABE is an innovative navigation and detection system that creates multi-dimensional profiles of indoor locations, such as train stations. It also makes motion profiles of their app's users, so clients like DB can see how travellers move within train stations. GPS technology often fails in buildings, so INABE bases their navigation on iBeacon technology. the INABE app will hopefully be available in German train stations, to help travellers easily find the right platform, or even their seat on the train. betahaus | Berlin has become one of their first testing grounds. Apart from their collaboration with Deutsche Bahn, INABE is in negotiations with the zoo in Leipzig, offering it to visitors.

KONUX

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KONUX is a startup breaking ground in the sensor industry with its patented optoelectronic measuring sensor. Their contactless technology ensures that materials and machines' movement can be measured with higher precision and efficiency. In the Deutsche Bahn accelerator with betahausX, KONUX worked to develop their product in line with the needs of the German railways - to make travelling safer and prevent future delays.

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Lubomila: That’s true! What we have made sure that happens there and Nathan has been amazing with this, is that we consistently speak positively about the issues, not because we’re in a positive situation, but because the only way you can empower people is by giving them a set of tools with which they can act and encouraging them that they have the capacity to be part of the change. If we continue speaking about apocalyptic statistics, that in 12 years, we're going to die or that you have to blame this stakeholder or that stakeholder, we're never going to get anywhere close to solving the issues. Solving the issues is about collaboration.

Nathan: My main challenge as a head of content was how to get a maximum number of people on board and make them as efficient as possible. Since we are a data-driven company, a lot of my time is spent translating this information into something that is understandable and actionable I’m constantly looking at everything that everyone does outside of Plan A and finding a way to represent our content in a positive and engaging way.

Plan A betahaus Lubomila Yordanova Climate Change
Details from Plan A's Team Desk and Space - Photo by Lea GK

OKAY BUT HOW IS BESPOKE SOUND DIFFERENT THAN PLAYING MY "DISCOVER WEEKLY’’ OR ANY OTHER AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED PLAYLIST ?

Lubomila: The carbon footprint of a company is always involving what's happening in the actual office but it also involves the external partners and choices. We always advise companies to start in-house, looking at what's happening in their office and within their team. As second comes the communication aspect including how you present yourself as a brand and what you communicate to your customers or online followers. Then the final step is actually implementing changes on a product level, looking deep at the supply chain, and checking if all small parts of your product are sustainable - for ex. the packaging, products made with palm oil, etc.

Lubomila: Our focus has been shifted towards actually educating businesses on what is sustainability and helping them connect to actions that can make them immediately more sustainable, and reduce their carbon emission level. This is also where our new tool comes in handy. We have built a platform which calculates, monitors and offsets CO2 emissions, that are created by a certain company and connects them to environments and projects that you can now see on our platform.

Photo by Lea GK

If a company wants to get on their sustainability journey, they come to us and the first thing we do is an initial analysis. We ask them around 20 questions, which gives us an overview of how sustainable or unsustainable they are, we understand what's their emission level on a monthly basis and then we propose to them projects that they can use to offset their emissions. The point of this, and why we shifted is because actually, close to 70% of emissions on this planet are created by businesses. And unfortunately, very few businesses actually have any sustainability strategy. They don't know how to become better and they don't know what they need to do. So, this is where we're helping to kind of giving them an action plan as well as a place where they can immediately support a positive impact.

Vihra (betahaus): We as a company have also worked together with Plan A to create an actionable plan for our spaces and make them more sustainable. They also keep us accountable and support us on our journey. So why don’t you? 
Photo by Lea GK


Nathan: I was really happy to see that there were lots of marches in different places in the city I was really hopeful and happy to see that there were kids, parents, teachers, party crews, everyone was on the streets and it was nice to see so many people concerned and involved with this. This being said, I come from France. Protest there includes much more loud voices, cries and chants and it was what I'm kind of used to. So to me it was very, very orderly but I left very hopeful, actually. 

Nathan: At the same time it’s important to remember that Berlin is a bubble for sustainability

Lubomila: That’s true. There are a lot of projects happening at the moment which sometimes can be deceiving. Because it lets people think that this is what the whole planet thinks and feels. It generates a bit of a fake hope about our moving on the climate change topic. I would say that when Plan A started, it was really difficult to find anyone to speak about climate change. Now. It's kind of THE topic but we still have a long way to go.

Plan A at the Climate Strike in Berlin on 20th September - Photo by Lubomila

Yes! This was really fun. The objective with the betahaus "betabeer sounds" playlist was to showcase the community side of betahaus. There are so many cool, interesting people in the betahaus community and we thought a playlist could be a perfect way to not only help bring the community together but also show the diverse funkiness of the communities of Berlin and Neukölln, which is why Hazy Pockets, a longtime local Berlin DJ known for his eclectic mixes, was perfect for this project.

This playlist moves from bluesy 60s rock into surf and tropicalia, picking up momentum into Motown and onwards through some laid back disco tunes. Perfect for the betabeer events betahaus hosts monthly!


YOU’RE CURRENTLY ENJOYING THE SUN FAR FROM BERLIN. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES in berlin that YOU MISS THE MOST?

Lubomila: This Sunday I just discovered this new restaurant that opened in Mitte called FREA. It’s zero waste and is a result of a crowdfunding campaign. It's a really beautiful place with very good food and nice values.

Nathan: My new favourite place is called Karma Kultur. It’s a little space, arranged with wooden planks and decoration. And I just stumbled upon it while walking around, exploring my new neighborhood. And it’s really nice. The owners try to live fully sustainable or be as fully sustainable as possible.

Lubomila Yordanova, Nathan Plan A and Vihra betahaus Lea GK
Lubomila, Nathan and Vihra in betahaus | Kreuzberg - Photo by Lea GK

If you haven’t already, make sure to follow Plan A’s Instagram account to get your daily dose of fun facts, stories and event updates around climate change.

You can see me around betahaus. Online, you can always check out my website and listen to our public playlists on Spotify. We’re also currently working on a collaboration with betahaus, so a special Playlist curated by is will very soon sound around the spaces in Kreuzberg and Neukölln. 

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