Startups at CeBIT

The world’s largest IT fair CeBIT in Hanover has a forum for startups, and the response is huge.

Germany. CeBIT announces the opening of a new kind of bank. Slightly unusual for the world’s largest IT fair. But a new kind of financial institution is actually going to present itself at the end of March in Hanover: Bitwala. The Fintech startup has successfully created a digital alternative to the classic bank account. Transactions made using crypto currencies circumvent the traditional banking system and enable transfers at home and abroad in real time, and thanks to blockchain technology they are completely safe. For example, when making a transfer from Germany to the USA, bitcoins are purchased in Germany for a figure in euros, sent to the USA and resold there for the corresponding dollar amount.

On the market in March

Startup entrepreneur Jörg von Mickwitz first had the idea as a student in 2011, when he heard about the digital currency Bitcoin. But, until very recently there were no regulatory measures for financial transactions using crypto currencies. First of all he had to work out the legal framework with the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). A very long-winded process. But it could well be worth it, because the new technology is superior to making transfers via the classic bank account. It is fast, safe and simple. ‘We’re kicking off in March,’ says Jörg von Mickwitz.

Barcamps and Fuckup Nights

The startup from Berlin is not the only one to be presenting itself at CeBIT. The young innovators have long since recognized that they can meet up with proven experts in Hanover, and even find investors if they are lucky. This is how the platform Scale11, a fair within the fair, has meanwhile become the most important startup forum in Europe. In addition to this there are the Barcamps which are very popular in the internet scene and offer open, participatory workshop-events for the community on topics suggested by the participants. And then there are the Fuckup Nights, where startup creators chat about failures - as a part of success.