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The AI startup scene

Business founders in Germany have discovered artificial intelligence. Find out what is happening in the startup scene here.

Martin Orth, 16.08.2021
Reiner Kurzhals of Westphalia Datalab
Reiner Kurzhals of Westphalia Datalab © Westphalia Datalab

The Founder

Reiner Kurzhals founded not one, but two successful AI businesses within a few years. The statistics professor from Münster sold 4tree, a data analysis startup, to the McKinsey business consultancy, while PwC Germany recently invested in his current project, Westphalia DataLab (WDL). 4tree analyses purchasing behaviour for the over-the-counter retail trade. WDL correlates corporate data like sales totals or stock levels with data like weather reports or traffic information to generate decision-making criteria for goods procurement or shipment routes.

Rasmus Rothe and Adrian Locher of Merantix
Rasmus Rothe and Adrian Locher of Merantix © Merantix

The Campus

With their firm Merantix, Adrian Locher and Rasmus Rothe have just opened the world’s first so-called venture studio for artificial intelligence in Berlin. The Swiss founder and internationally recognised AI expert want to open the path from AI research to business applications on the new campus. They have been developing startups in the area of artificial intelligence since 2016. Six have already been established, more are being planned. Their main focus is on the healthcare, big data, business intelligence und biotech sectors.

The Platform

Lernende Systeme , Germany’s Platform for Artificial Intelligence, was initiated in 2017 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the National Academy of Science and Engineering acatech to pool expertise in the AI sector and support knowledge transfer between research and business. It is supporting Germany’s move to becoming an internationally leading technology provider. A new feature is the AI map that shows where AI solutions are being used, institutes where research is being carried out and which universities are training new AI talent.


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