This year, statworx participated in the START Summit x Hack for the first time. START took place at the OLMA Messen in St. Gallen and was organized by students of the University of St. Gallen – my alma mater. This double event consisted of the START Summit, Europe’s leading student conference on entrepreneurship and technology, and the START Hack, Europe’s most entrepreneurial hackathon. More than 3.500 founders, investors, students, and visitors from all over the world joined the event. Since statworx was the main prize sponsor of the START Hack, our CEO, Sebastian Heinz, was part of the jury that selected the hackathon’s winning team. In addition, part of our Swiss and AI Ventures team was present at our booth at the START Summit fair. After two very exciting, impressive, and insightful days, I would like to share my seven key takeaways with you.
7 Key Takeaways From Start Summit X Hack 2022
AI is everywhere
Not only were almost all of the hackathon solutions data-driven, but there were also many startups and companies at the fair with AI products and services, such as the AI dentist from zaamigo, which analyzes your teeth and tells you when it’s time to go to the dentist. Additionally, AI was a key topic in many talks, discussions, and workshops. This showed me once again that AI is everywhere and the key technology of our future.
The future is sustainable and human-centered
I was delighted to see that the ideas, technologies, and solutions presented at this event focused on creating a better world, both for the environment and for us humans. That was also a key criterion in the START Hack jury’s decision for the winning team, which developed a new method for integrating human characteristics into digital conversations to reduce harmful content in online discussions.
The metaverse is coming
The creation of metamuseums to sell digital art, discussions about the relevance of reviews in the metaverse, and ideas about how psychological counseling could be more effective via an anonymous avatar – the possibilities and visions of the metaverse were omnipresent. The metaverse, our second world, a virtual reality, might be coming sooner than we think.
Technological solutions include more than data crunching
The pitching competition of the START Hack finalists showed that developing sustainable and effective technical solutions includes much more than crunching numbers and coding:
- Identifying the problem at its core.
- Understanding the respective stakeholders.
- Researching existing solutions.
- Creating a functioning business model and presenting everything in an understandable manner to your audience.
Not only did the students participating in the START Hack come up with innovative, creative, and future-oriented solutions. The START Summit x Hack was organized solely by students from the University of St. Gallen. They manage an international hybrid event that attracts over 3000 people from all around the world every year. Hats off!
Creating an inviting booth is challenging
Having a booth at a trade show like START Summit is one thing, but attracting people with it is quite another: On the one hand, we found that our “we create the next” slogan, while thought-provoking, was more likely to confuse people on its own than encourage them to talk to us at the booth. Fortunately, our marketing team provided us with a more information-rich roll-up. On the other hand, a monitor with moving content and colorful images is a real crowd-puller – thanks to the AI Ventures team for that.
My statworx colleagues are the best
Finally, this event showed me what wonderful, bright, and caring people we have at statworx. During and before the event, they helped me with the organization in every possible way. Even spontaneous changes were handled in an uncomplicated and supportive manner. Our team spirit and positive charisma seemed to be noticed by others as well: The hackers were thrilled by our CEO’s charismatic 3-minute speech, and visitors to our booth complimented us several times on what likable and open-minded people we have in our company.
So, I would like to thank all the organizers from START Global for making this fantastic event happen and my colleagues for all their support, positive energy, and fun spirits! I am already looking forward to the START Summit x Hack 2023!