The traditional procurement process for young companies is often tedious and complicated. HACK4INDUSTRY, a new event that runs at HANNOVER MESSE, pairs established companies with startups and simplifies bidding practices for both. prototype.club, a Munich-based contracting platform for small businesses, organizes HACK4INDUSTRY in partnership with HANNOVER MESSE.
The prototype.club process creates a win-win for industrial companies and startups. Because it complies with public procurement law, it enables startups to pre-qualify as a new service provider based on their performance – which means they can also secure contracts. In turn, industrial companies can access flexible, forward-looking solutions that they can use right away.
For example, in 2021 grid operators Netze BW and TransnetBW issued a challenge to visualize the DA/RE grid security initiative’s complex process. Software developer CoVerified answered the call, ultimately winning the contract for implementation and presented the project at HANNOVER MESSE 2022.
All exhibiting companies at HANNOVER MESSE 2023 can submit challenges for HACK4INDUSTRY. For example, it is difficult for today’s robots to know where they are when offline. Although a general software solution already exists, it still needs to an offline-tracking feature. So Siemens Energy issues a challenge for HACK4INDUSTRY: Create a prototype for a user indoor AR navigation app that runs on Android and IOS mobile phones and provides robots with reusable maps of facilities.
“The energy transition has complex challenges to solve to enable affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for all. Innovative solutions are needed, but no one company has all the answers; instead, it’s about collaborative partnerships,” explained Kendra Rauschenberger, General Partner, Siemens Energy Ventures. “At Siemens Energy, we’re using the power of startups to help, so the HM.prototype.club with Hack4Industry is a natural extension. It offers us access to various startups through a transparent process on an industry stage. Our challenge is based on autonomous operations to increase the availability of energy infrastructure, conserve resources, and improve safety. Specifically, the goal is to improve maintenance robotics already piloted at some locations.”
From challenge to the MVP
HACK4INDUSTRY features six steps. First, an industry partner defines their challenge. Second, prototype.club prequalifies startups for the challenge. Third, prototype.club briefs participants on the challenge. Fourth, participants have two weeks to develop functional prototypes – this phase culminates with live coding in Hall 14 at HANNOVER MESSE. Fifth, participants pitch their prototypes or business plans to a jury. Sixth, the jury selects the winning teams at the HACK4INDUSTRY Night in Hall 17, each of which then maps out a 100-day plan for producing a MVP (minimal viable product).
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