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Guest Writer
April 28, 2016

The Jungle of Things: Innovations and Investments in IoT

We live in an exciting time where our nature of dealing with physical objects is being woven into the internet, and vice versa. Together they’re creating a new collaborative harmony: the Internet of Things. IoT is all about connecting objects to the internet, but it does more! The data collected by sensors are distributed to smart hard- and software systems, allowing both companies and people to make smarter decisions, reduce waste, and save time. EY is currently running their 2016 Start-up-challenge in betahaus, focused on IoT (read about it here). Reason moreover to ask ourselves; what's happening in various branches and industries, and what kind of innovations are companies investing in?

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is about connecting ‘things’ to ‘the internet’, but rather than for you personally, Industry 4.0 does so behind the scenes; in factories and manufacturing processes. The industry of tomorrow is not governed by fancy automated gadgets, but by intelligent software systems that streamline processes to near perfection. With product titles such as ‘Predictive Maintenance and Service’, ‘Connected Logistics’, and ‘Connected Manufacturing’, SAP explains the defining innovations of Industry 4.0 in a nutshell. “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” has no place here. The motto is “have it fix itself before it even knows it can break, and make sure the right expert knows about it yesterday”.

The Internet of Food

It might not be as obvious and visible, but industrial ‘IoT’ innovations will be part of our everyday life. Supermarkets such as Lidl and Alnatura are also reaching for the cloud. Can you imagine a grocery store where there’s a constant real-time evaluation of stocks, and your favourite items are always available? Reducing food waste seems to be at the top of the agenda, since it benefits store managers and the environment alike. Food that’s near its expiry date can be moved to restaurants or charity for immediate use, and customers can be alerted via an app whenever groceries are marked for reduction in their local supermarket.Smart Homes

You're on your way from work, it's freezing outside, and all you want to do is snuggle up with a book. Before you get home, you take out your mobile phone and start the heating. Once inside, there's no need to fumble for a light switch - you house senses your movement and lights up the room. Sounds futuristic? It's available right now, even for your standard rented apartment. In years to come, you might be able to use your phone to preheat the oven or turn on the stove, so you can enjoy your dinner the minute you get home. Electricity companies such as RWE are already gathering extensive experience with smart homes. In order to allow various systems, sensors, devices, and ‘things’ to talk to each other, they've created a communication protocol called “Lemonbeat Smart Device Language”. It can be used for any sort of setup, from complex autonomous systems, right down to a simple light switch. Independent of the transmission form, it’s praised as the standardised IoT communication language fit for the future.


What if your car could drive itself out of the garage and to the front door, preheat itself in winter and turn on its air conditioning in summer? This is the direction things are going. Car companies are focused on self-driving cars, but also on connecting your car to your smart house and mobile devices. BMW envisions a virtual personal assistant who knows your morning routines and agenda, listens to your phone calls to schedule meetings in your calendar, and displays route and traffic information on your windscreen. Volkswagen is going into the same direction with ‘Budd-e’, a car they collaborate on with LG and the german startup Bird Home. You’ll be able to see which groceries are in your refrigerator, hear the doorbell ring, and if it’s a parcel delivery you can remotely unlock a special box for the postman - all from your car’s dashboard.



Concerning global transport logistics, the interest in IoT is huge as well. Vehicle competitors like MAN and Daimler are focussing on safety and fuel consumption; Daimler currently has 365,000 of its commercial vehicles connected via telematics, and a myriad of sensors are gathering environmental data about them in real time, worldwide. Up until 2020, Daimler will be using those data and investing around half a billion euros in the complete interconnectedness of trucks with their environment and the transport operators.

The Future of IoT?

At the moment IoT still needs the human factor, at least to some extent: the tap on the app to start the heating, the correct installation of IoT software in factories, the expert to act on a malfunction alarm. Having that said; smart things are becoming smarter. As we continue to develop IoT, for it to analyse our behaviour and adapt to it, 'smart things' might at some point be able to do things without our interference. It's almost inevitable that at some point 'things' and systems will talk to each other directly, and take decisions based on their communications without our input, and without our 'go'.

Interested in getting involved with IoT? EY is currently running their Start-up-challenge at betahaus Berlin. You can read about the participating startups here. Want to meet up with the EY Start-up-Challenge team? They have their headquarters in a private office on the second floor, right wing in the back. Knock & see if they’re in!

Still no membership at betahaus? Click here! 

Article written by Robin

Probably the biggest benefit of coworking is community and events. Now we know it may not be the first thing you’re looking for as you seek out your next office space, but bear with us.

Imagine using your lunch breaks to chat with someone in your industry. Meeting freelance developers at after-work beers. Networking with investors at BETAPITCH. Pitching at our weekly betabreakfast and getting support and feedback on your new ideas.

betahaus has spent the last 10 years cultivating a community of people who we genuinely like working with. And when you join, your team will become a part of it, too.

" People matter! Community was always what we were all about. ‘’

In June we launched #PeopleInbeta - our monthly blog post series in which our Content Manager - Vihra interviewed teams and freelancers from the betahaus community to present the variety of creatives we have in ‘haus, to understand their missions and get some useful advice for our audience. We talked on topics such as sustainability (with PlanA) , decentralized digital identity (with JOLOCOM), curated music experiences (with Bespoke Sounds), freelance photography (with Sara Herrlander), full-stack development (with Obst Digital), design (with LAUDO) and much more.

Interview with LAUDO at betahaus | Neukölln
Interview with Obst.Digital at betahaus | Neukölln

"The Summer is the best time to host Backyard sessions and BBQ’s’’

In the summer, we launched a couple of new events in Neukölln like Freelancers, Unite!, The Backyard Sessions and My friend’s BBQ. 

Freelancers, Unite! developed as our productive coworking session with freelancers from in and outside the ‘haus. Once a month, we picked an important freelance topic (such as taxes, time-management, etc) and invited experts to give us insights on the topic. We saw so many new faces and had the chance to come back closer to where we started from - the freelance, grassroots culture. 

Freelancers, Unite! at betahaus | Neukölln

Another event, which started in July (and turned out to be our favourite events) were The Backyard Sessions. Organised by our queen of Neukölln - Robbin – the Backyard Sessions are our creative evenings with live music jams, movie screenings and cocktails. 

The Backyard Sessions at basement.berlin
Movie Screening at basement.berlin

This last event was hilarious because for quite some time, nobody knew exactly who organised it or invited them. The friend was throwing a BBQ for the community in the garden and this led to all our members joining and staying after for a beer or two with us.

‘’My favourite moment this year was the second friends bbq which was actually cancelled because of the rain forecast. But despite the bad weather, people show up and it turned into a super nice intimate evening with Elizaveta and Paul giving a garden concert.’’ - Robbin (Community Manager, betahaus)

''In July, it was great how the casual after-work BBQ turned into an impromptu acoustic blues jam session with Elizavetta Barsegova and Paul, who have the voice of an angel. Actually, all of the My Friend's BBQ's and Backyard Sessions were AWESOME.’’
- Paige (Head of Marketing, betahaus) 

The Garden at betahaus | Neukölln
My Friend's BBQ at betahaus | Neukölln

"As a coworking space, you have to give stage to important topics.’’

This year we released a new event format in Kreuzberg called ‘’The betaSalon’’. It's an open panel discussion which aims to give stage to important topics and give free speech on them. The fist one we did on the EU elections, last month we talked about changemakers, but our favourite one for this season stays ‘’Mother + Founder’’ where we partnered with FemGems podcast and recorded a live podcast episode for them having Madeleine Gummer von Mohl (betahaus co-founder), Kristine Zeller (co-creater of ooshi period underwear) and Luisa Hoffman on the stage.

betaSalon at betahaus | Kreuzberg

"We should fight for a more human-centered tech development’’

Every September, our co-founders take part in the Techfestival. in Copenhagen, spending a few days disconnecting from the daily life and focusing on creating a better, more human-centered tech future. This year the think tank which included our co-founders Madeleine and Max came up with the TechPledge. The Tech Pledge was made to emphasize the need for a new direction in tech. Similar to the Hippocratic oath for doctors, the Tech Pledge is a promise to make tech a force for good and ensure responsible and sustainable tech leadership. It’s a commitment to driving a new direction in technology.

Techfestival. 2019 in Copenhagen

"Startups are transforming European football as we know it.’’

One of the most exciting projects for betahausX this year (which is also continuing in 2020) is their new startup challenge called The Werder Lab - a global startup competition that aims to reimagine the way clubs like Werder work with athletes, fans and partners.

"You should leave time for the things you love most’’ 

This year couldn’t end without us having our favourite events - the end-of-the-year holiday party and the BETAPITCH Global Finals. On the 6th of December we saw the 9 finalists of the regional BETAPITCH competitions pitching in front of our jury. Congrats to Troy from Hamburg for winning the big prize.

We finished the year at our Holiday Party celebrating anything and everything at betahaus | Neukölln together with our members, friends of friends and our favourite artists from Passiflora LIVE, Tapete and Kotoe.

Love at The betahaus Holiday Party 2019

Thank you for being with us in 2019. It's been a crazy big year for us and it wouldn't been possible without your support, trust and the hard work of our amazing team. Have an amazing holiday time and we'll see you again in 2020.

With love,


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