Discover Germany, Issue 46, January 2017

Page 1

Issue 46 | January 2017





Discover real Private Banking At SEB Private Banking, we acknowledge that everyone has a unique set of challenges. It’s why we do not offer ready-made solutions, concentrating instead on developing meaningful, long-lasting financial relationships and making the effort to really understand you and your requirements. Our international network of private banking offices will look after all aspects of your family business finances, from daily transactions to long term investments. Its services cover everything from tailored financial management, through to helping you to optimise the legal and tax structures within which your assets are held. services cover everything As one of the world’s strongest banks and with more than 150 years ofItsexperience f private banking, we have just what it takes to ensure your future prosperity. in To find out what SEB can do for your personal wealth, contact us in London: Our SEB Private Banking Team +44 (0) 20 7246 4225



Sweden • Norway • Denmark • Finland • Luxembourg • Switzerland • United Kingdom • Singapore • Estonia • Latvia • Lithuania

Discover Germany  |  Contents

Contents JANUARY 2017

28 Photo: © Jennifer Stenglein

42 Photo: © Stefan Schiefer,

COVER FEATURE 28 Clueso Our writer Cornelia Brelowski interviewed the German songwriting talent Clueso to find out more about his new album Neuanfang, his interesting past, why he chose to work with a new management and much more.

SPECIAL THEMES 14 Design Trends 2017 In this special theme, we take a closer look at the upcoming design trends of 2017 and explore what German designers have to offer. 34 Creating My Perfect Office Germany is known for great design and that, of course, includes enchanting office furniture. That is why we have dedicated a special theme to stylish and innovative office items. 54 Top Educational Institutions Switzerland Switzerland offers great education, ranging from local Swiss schools, private schools and bilingual schools to international schools with a multilingual focus. Find out more about Switzerland’s best educational institutions. 62 Successful Start-ups, Germany In recent years, Germany has been doing a great deal to facilitate start-up growth. This can be seen in the vast numbers of innovative start-ups – we present them to shed a light on their intriguing ideas. 80 Successful Start-ups, Switzerland Find out more about Switzerland’s creative minds and their pioneering ideas. We have collected some of the latest start-up ventures in this special theme.

FEATURES 42 The German Alpine Route The German Alpine Road is the country’s oldest scenic route connecting Bavaria’s most popular attractions such as Neuschwanstein Castle or Mount Zugspitze. Writer Wibke Carter went out to discover this great route in the winter time. 44

Hotel of the Month Situated at the Lower Rhine, the fourstar superior Landhotel Voshövel is a family-run hotel and boasts great cuisine or top-class wellness facilities amongst others.

46 Star Interview: Lisa Tomaschewsky We had a chat with German actress Lisa Tomaschewsky to find out more about her past, present and also her future, as well as upcoming roles and much more. 52 Attraction of the Month The exhibition space of the Viennese Secession was built in the unique architectural tradition of around 1900 and is realising a diverse international programme that aims to present contemporary forms of expression.


Dedicated to Design This month’s design section boasts stylish looks for the DACH region’s ski pistes, upcoming design trends, amazing yachts and much more.

46 Culture Whether you want to dance at a ball this month, visit an enchanting castle, have a look at some great art or look for an exceptional Swiss school, our culture section has got you covered.

50 Photo: © SUCCESSION PICASSO, Paris/ Bildrecht Wien, 2016

62 Business Our business section is filled with innovative start-ups and top legal experts, as well as tax advisers this month. Our columnist Gregor Kleinknecht further discusses the main upcoming legal topics we can look forward to in 2017. 102 Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in January. 106 Barbara Geier Column This month, our columnist Barbara Geier looks back on the big events of 2016.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  3

Discover Germany | xxxxxx | xxxxxxxx

Dear Reader,

Discover Germany Issue 46, January 2017 Published 01.2017 ISSN 2051-7718 Published by Scan Magazine Ltd. Print Liquid Graphic Ltd. Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Nane Steinhoff Copy-Editor Isa Hemphrey Graphic Designer Mercedes Moulia Feature Writer Thomas Schroers Contributors Barbara Geier Cornelia Brelowski Dorina Reichhold Elisabeth Doehne Emmie Collinge Gregor Kleinknecht

Ina Frank Jessica Holzhausen Marilena Stracke Nadine Carstens Silke Henkele Sonja Irani Wibke Carter Cover Photo Christoph Köstlin Sales & Key Account Managers Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Sophie Blecha Freya Plakolb Publisher: SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3YT United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0)870 933 0423 Fax: +44 (0)870 933 0421   Email: For further information please visit

© All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Group – a trading name of Scan Magazine Ltd. This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles.

4  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Oh, January… I know how you feel. It seems all a bit slow after the festive Christmas break. You’re probably still hungover from New Year’s Eve and are trying to force yourself to uphold your resolutions for the new year. You’re back at work, it’s rather cold and dark outside and after spending time with your friends and family for so long over the holidays, you don’t really know what to look forward to now. Well, luckily, we have got you covered! First of all, it’s never a bad idea to cuddle up in your cosy home with some tea, chocolate and some great music until spring finally arrives. Clueso, a German musician and this month’s cover star, delivered the perfect soundtrack for this. His new album Neuanfang translates as ‘new beginning’ in German and describes a complete turnaround of his sound. In our cover feature, you can find out about the inspiration behind Clueso’s newest work and much more. If you don’t feel too comfortable in your own four walls, then you should probably aim for an interior makeover. That’s why we have put together a huge design special so that you can find out about the upcoming interior design trends. Furthermore, we have a look at how to embellish office environments with innovative German furniture pieces so that a day in the office becomes that bit more comfortable. Of course, January also sees many people flock to the DACH region’s greatest skiing hotspots so why don’t you do the same. If you don’t know what to wear, don’t despair. We have picked some fashionable items for you to keep warm, while looking absolutely stylish on the ski slopes of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Further topics covered in this month’s issue are the German alpine route, an interview with actress Lisa Tomaschewsky, Viennese museums, the Mozart Week in Salzburg, successful start-up companies, Switzerland’s top educational institutions and much, much more. Sit back, relax and thanks for reading,

Nane Steinhoff, Editor

Industry is looking for solutions. And finds them at one place. HANNOVER MESSE 24 – 28 April 2017 Hannover ▪ Germany

ience – Exper action n i 0 . rie 4 Indust solutions ! 400 nover n a H live in

Get new technology first

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds At this time of the year, many people take time off to go skiing, snowboarding or to simply enjoy the skiing atmosphere of the big mountain resorts in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. To make you look fabulous on the slopes or at an apres-ski party, we found some stylish outfits. EDITOR’S PICKS  I  PRESS IMAGES

The German brand BOGNER is known for their exclusive fashion collections, as well as their extravagant skiing attire. With this gorgeous jacket, made from soft faux leather, you will be warm and look absolutely stylish. Jacket £1,425, gloves £180, ski pants £280.

6  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

A more discreet, but certainly not low quality, combination by BOGNER is this black jacket with the suitable ski pants. Ankle boots £300, jumpsuit with separate fur trim £305.

Protect your eyes on the slopes with these ski goggles for narrow faces by German brand Alpina Sports. ‘Granby S QMM’ goggles starting from £112.

To keep your head secure in a stylish way, Alpina Sports has also launched this freeride helmet in a slim, minimalist design on to the market. Helmet ‘Spice’ starting from £90.

This colourful first layer for winter sport activities by BOGNER’s ‘Fire + Ice’ collection will not only keep you warm. It is also extraordinarily pretty. £115.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  7

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Mandala

Yogi up your life! Fair fashion by yoga brand Mandala One night in India back in 2000, yoga fan Nathalie Prieger thought about how incredible it would be if there was a premium yoga collection that is both 100 per cent stylish and 100 per cent sustainable.

excited to present our collection in New York for the first time at the fashion trade fair Active Collective,” reveals Prieger.


Soon after, she put her thoughts into action and founded her brand Mandala. 16 years on and Germany’s first yoga fashion label is more sought after than ever.“Right now, yoga is such a hype,” says Prieger. “Yoga teachers are the new rock stars and yoga fans want to look good while they sweat on their mats. Plus, with the trend of activewear turning into daywear, yoga clothing has also become acceptable to wear in everyday life.”

tles.“It’s funny to imagine that our printed leggings actually consist of 12 recycled water bottles!” says Prieger.

To serve this need, Mandala produces comfortable and stylish fashion items under carefully controlled fair working conditions. In terms of materials, the brand uses organic cotton or even recycled plastic bot-

Already firmly established in markets such as Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Japan or Singapore, 2017 will see Mandala expanding even further across the world’s oceans. “We are really

8  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Mandala’s fashion can be bought online through the brand’s own website or specialised green online shops, but also in prestigious department and sportswear stores, green high-street shops, fivestar hotels and many yoga studios around the world.

Tailor in Turkey.

Tailor in China.

Nathalie Prieger.

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design… In terms of design, one of the most important aspects is the material with which one works. A material is more than just a means to an end; it is a living influence on the final product. Therefore, we have taken a closer look at one of our favourite materials, wood, and present five items that use the material in a clever, innovative and beautiful way. BY: THOMAS SCHROERS


1. Founded on a passion for wood and straight-forward design, the label Mein Eichentisch is dedicated to the development of unique oak tables. The tables, featuring clear lines and an elegant minimalism, make for a timeless addition to everyday life. Shown here is the model LIGHT, but there are different forms available. Sizes can also be individualised. 2. This wooden companion is called ‘Josef’ and he has a wonderful temperament. Created by Anton Doll, it features oak wood and a simple, clear design language. Flexible in application, ‘Josef’ will assist you in every room and in any capacity. £140. 3. Wooden toys are not only for children, but also for newlyweds. Here is a puzzle that will light up hearts and minds. Perfect as a present on a wedding day, this gift can not only be shaped into a heart but also in many other forms. Especially popular is the option to engrave the names of the receivers. £17. 4. With a material like wood, there are no limitations. Madera by Otono Design is a wall clock like no other. Featuring a simple, clear design language each clock is unique, due to the vein of the walnut or oak wood. Colours are wide ranging, but always brash, making for a perfect contrast. £ POA.


3 4

10  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

5. Ever thought about a wooden bow tie? Well, it is time to do so, because BeWooden is designing bow ties that are not only for the extravagant, but are for everyone. All ties are handmade and the designs are varied, creative and of unique appearance. Currently, BeWooden is offering around 20 different styles while constantly developing new ideas. From £42.


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Product of the Month


Care is love with vimi™ – natural pet care It’s winter. We know all too well how much extra care is needed for skin and hair in these cold and ever-changing weather conditions. Even our four-legged friends need more washing and require additional care. TEXT & PHOTOS: ANIMAUX VERTRIEBS GMBH

vimi™ – natural pet care uses the power of nature for an experience full of nourishing tender care. Perfectly balanced recipes combine traditional plant extracts sourced from controlled organic farming to support our dogs’ vitality and natural beauty. With a balanced pH value and purely natural ingredients, the products are suitable for every type of fur and can even be used for damaged skin affected by allergies or illness. The products’ excellent packaging design and production in Germany make them truly special, already prompting several international awards. vimi Lovely Foam™ is on hand to provide extra-special moments of wellbeing. Meticulously handcrafted, the vegetablebased soap combines the manifold healing properties of thyme with other plant extracts in a care formula which, during

washing, will transport your dog to seventh heaven in a rich, smooth foam. Fans of liquid shampoo will discover in vimi Silky Shine™ a mild everyday cleanser, which accommodates even the most sensitive dog’s skin. The valuable ingredients and their delicate scent create an exceptional washing experience, mildly cleansing and soothing even irritated skin. A special extra treat for your dog’s daily care routine: vimi Pure Harmony™. This aqua-free care spray nourishes a dog’s skin with essential nutrients and protects it from harmful influences. The formula also includes medicinal plants proven to keep annoying parasites away. The natural care series vimi™ – natural pet care provides dog owners with an ide-

al way to reciprocate the love our dogs give us every day. We believe strongly that our beloved companions should not be given anything we would not use ourselves, so all our products are free of silicones, sulphates, parabens, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances and colours. Taking care of our dogs is not only a necessity, it is much more: care is love.

For an overview of the full, varied product range, please visit the following website. Discover the products live at Ambiente 2017 trade fair!

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  11

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Bavaria Yachtbau GmbH

The new yacht C57.

Bavaria Yachts, a shipyard away from the sea Yachts estranged from any navigable waters sounds perplexing at first. But the answer lies in Bavaria Yachts’ history; because revolution often happens where you least expect it. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: BAVARIA YACHTS

88 square metres of living space. It will certainly set the bar high for its competitors. The yacht convinces with its technical brilliance, clever layout and design, and an ingenious amount of customising options to effortlessly fulfil individual requirements.

Bavaria Yachts, located in the small town of Giebelstadt in Würzburg, has not always manufactured yachts. With no navigable waters in sight, Winfried Herrmann’s idea to turn his company for plastic windows into a top-notch shipyard sprung from seeing a grand opportunity for true innovation.

yachts, and hence make them available to a larger clientele. Top quality paired with this modern approach turned Herrmann’s company into one of the world’s most successful shipyards. Bavaria Yachts spokesperson Marcus Schlichting adds:“Winfried Herrmann’s was often referred to as the Henry Ford of yacht building.”

However, one question remains. Why was the shipyard never moved to the seaside? Schlichting answers: “All yachts are delivered to clients by truck and Würzburg is in the heart of Europe. Therefore, the Mediterranean is almost the same distance from us as the Baltic Sea.”

In 1978, Herrmann realised his ambitious plan and started to specialise in building yachts. The primary difference to other shipyards? Herrmann’s optimised manufacturing process. Back then yachts were crafted entirely by hand, making them very costly. Herrmann began incorporating industrial processes. He was one of the first to use computer-controlled mechanisms to achieve the majority of building processes.

Today Bavaria Yachts not only manufacture luxurious yachts, featuring state-of-theart technology, but also build motorboats, catamarans and sailing ships that leave nothing to be desired.

It seems founder Herrmann thought of everything, and he teaches us a wonderful lesson: with passion and determination anything is possible – even building yachts without an ocean.

“Today customers expect a much higher standard,” Schlichting explains. “A yacht is not only supposed to be safe and speedy but should also be fitted like a modern holiday home whilst featuring a paramount quality of construction.”

The precision and speed that his industrial production afforded made it possible to significantly lower the prices of the 12  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

The brand new yacht Bavaria C57 boasts a stunning 149-square-metre sail area and

DIE NEUE BAVARIA C57 Sie lieben an einer Segelyacht ein bestechendes Design? Sie lieben die Power von 136 Quadratmetern Segelfläche? Sie genießen das komfortable Leben auf dem Wasser gern auf 88 Quadratmetern? Ihnen ist Qualität und eine hochwertige Ausstattung wichtig? Dann informieren Sie sich jetzt über die neue BAVARIA C57.

Allert marin GmbH Fon +49 3327 423 30

AP Yachting GmbH Fon +49 434349 40293

IMEX-Yachting GmbH Fon +49 4367 8004

Pro Nautik AG Fon +41 71 466 1414

Westside Sailing GmbH Fon +49 221 9820 8867

Yachtagentur Josef Meltl GmbH Fon +49 80 5196 5530

2 1 . - 2 9. 1

. 2017


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design Trends 2017

Hexagon mosaics are the shape of the moment. The surface of these glass mosaics from ‘Original Style’ have a subtle texture. Photo: ©

Aqua glass vase by ‘MiaFleur’. Photo: ©


Embellish your home New year, new look. In this special theme we find out what some of the main home decorating trends of this year will be. For further inspiration, take a look at the following pages and get inspired by some of Germany’s most innovative designers and their gorgeous products. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Feather wall hangings. Photo: ©

14  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Hexagon coasters by ‘Studio ROOF’. Photo: ©

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design Trends 2017

Top left: Three Hexagon Box Shelves from ‘rigby & mac’. Photo: © Above: Ceramic cactus vase from ‘rigby & mac’. Photo: © Right: This quirky little print from the company ‘Cottage in the Hills’ makes the perfect housewarming gift. Photo: ©

1. Terracotta tones

4. Plants on Pink

In 2017, wall and furniture colours move away from the popular white and cool tones. Instead, many predict that terracotta nuances will celebrate a comeback in 2017. We look forward to that!

The combination of greenery and shades of pink is in high demand right now and brings a summery vibe into every home. So why not try to style a cactus with a pink vase, for example?

2. Typography Typography is a popular interior trend right now. Whether big individual letters, catchy slogans or cute, quirky sayings, typography will embellish every home this year. 3. Hexagon It is impossible to get past the geometricminimalist trend. Anything hexagonal will bring class and order into every room. The shape is elegant and reserved, yet incredibly versatile. Originally a ‘70s style icon, the hexagon is a shape commonly used for a modern edge in interiors. Minimalist yet timelessly chic.

Artificial Areca Palm with pink vase. Photo: ©

MORE TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR: - Modular Furniture Systems that not only offer functionality but also playful spirit and upgrading ingenuity. - Furniture with Retro Inspiration – the ‘60s and ‘70s are back. - Marble that is integrated into bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms and more. - Coloured metals, such as brass, gold, copper and silver. Thus, it seems no wonder that ‘urban metallic’ is a rather huge trend right now. - Of course, beautiful concrete and wood finishing, as well as colour and textural combinations are still modern and will embellish every home.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  15

Luxury furniture_handcrafted design made in Bavaria

holz elf_Table

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design Trends 2017

Andrej Kupetz, chief executive officer, Rat für Formgebung / German Design Council.

Interior design trends for 2017 Contemporary interior design creates holistic home environments that reflect the latest design trends and express the inhabitants’ personalities. Materials, colours, furniture and accessories create finely tuned, clearly asserted rooms. TEXT: ANDREJ KUPETZ, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, RAT FÜR FORMGEBUNG / GERMAN DESIGN COUNCIL; TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTO: GERMAN DESIGN COUNCIL

Successful interior design creates ambiance and steers the wellbeing of those that reside in the rooms. Here, personal expression meets contemporary design trends and the outcome is a holistic staging. Whether living room or bedroom, kitchen or bathroom – the skilful choice and combination of products and elements determines the outcome: architecture and room divisions lay the framework, then large surfaces like floorings, walls, ceilings, as well as window areas or textiles, follow. Finally, light, furniture, pictures and accessories create a coherent composition down to the last detail. A room’s overall effect is also determined by contemporary design trends that often represent an interplay with social currents or that are coined by technical developments, such as with material or production. Once again this year, the submissions for the ‘Iconic Awards: Interior Innovation’, the Rat für Formgebung’s

international interior design award, paint an outstanding picture of contemporary furnishing and design trends. Strong versus soft The desire for clear statements and positions also currently expresses itself in design: loud, intensive colours and bold as well as graphical patterns are unmissable accents. These include borrowings from the ‘80s, as well as new, experimental materials and material combinations. As a countertrend, soft and reduced design that is a characteristic of the plainness and colour reduction of Scandinavian interiors is in high demand. A luxurious simplicity manifests itself in delicately harmonising pastel shades, surfaces withdraw themselves through a matte finish. Colour gradients set accents and create fine transitions between materiality and transparency. Tough materials become soft: translucent glass and unglazed ceramics create a special ease and

authentic haptics. The unagitated, harmonious overall appearance is completed with selected home accessories. All natural Natural and unadulterated materials, such as wood, leather, wool, felt, rattan or natural stone comply with the need for a style that feels ‘native’, for clarity and reduction. These haptic but appealing materials get combined with organic forms and handwork techniques, such as plaiting or weaving. The colour palette of the calm and flowing language of form is monochrome and pure, new materials and surrogates, such as vegan leather alternatives, seamlessly integrate themselves into the overall picture. Wood particularly fascinates as a natural material or as a design component. Its textures and colour shades are a diverse design element and encourage to waive further colours and patterns to let the material unfold in all its diversity. In production, traditional craftsmanship and modern production processes can easily coexist – even in the same furniture piece. Currently, high-quality wood imitations open up entirely new application areas and possibilities for use. Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  17

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design Trends 2017

Cherishing the natural beauty of oak wood Since 2013, the furniture design studio NUTSANDWOODS based in Berlin has been offering timeless tables, storage pieces, seating and accessories made of fine oak wood and steel. Due to the high quality of the material and craftsmanship, the products of the young label are built for eternity. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS  I  PHOTOS: OUR FOOD STORIES

When Philipp Roessler, founder and creative mind behind NUTSANDWOODS, wanted to buy a new dinner table with a solid oak wood top, he simply could not find a piece that met his expectations. Most tables he saw in furniture stores or in online shops had an industrial look and consisted of many small pieces of wood that were glued laminated. But what he was rather looking for were dinner tables with a few long planks. In addition, he wanted to have a table top where the 18  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

original, curved shape of the tree is visible on the edges. “To my mind, the natural wooden material appears particularly beautiful if you try to remain its original shape instead of straightly cutting off the long sides,” Roessler explains. “Oak trees usually grow for 110 to 150 years before they are felled and their wood is dried for production. Since I am fascinated by the story each tree has to tell, it is important to me to have a piece of furniture that appreciates the tree’s long past and beauty.”

Combining contrary materials such as wood and iron was another aspect, Roessler had in mind for his dining table. “This mixture between contrary materials has always fascinated me, especially in architecture,” Roessler explains. Therefore, he wanted to own a piece of furniture in a similar style. As he did not find an affordable dinner table to which all these criteria applied, he decided to design and build a table by himself.“I went to a warehouse that offered the most beautiful tree trunks. They were sawed in planks of various sizes and still had a bark.” As luck would have it, he did not know that he first had to dry the two oak planks before preparing them. Therefore, he had to leave the wood in the middle of his living

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design Trends 2017

room for a year. “In the following summer, I could finally saw and plane the planks in the garden of my girlfriend’s father, while he welded the counter framework according to my drafts,”Roessler explains. And so, his first dinner table was born. High demand Apparently, the young designer hit a nerve. The result not only pleased him, but his friends were delighted as well and immediately wanted to have the same table for themselves. “I built the first five tables by myself, but then I found a professional place for serial production and established the label NUTSANDWOODS,” Roessler says. Now, a few years later, he not only designs different kinds of tables, but also shelves, benches, lamps, and accessories such as mirrors or cake stands. Customers, who order at NUTSANDWOODS, come from all across Europe. They are often very design-driven and strongly rooted in the urban culture. But also design-oriented hotels, cafes, stores and internet startups love the pieces of furniture. Nalden, a

popular Dutch designer and co-founder of WeTransfer, is also one of Roessler’s customers. “We even received requests from New York, Los Angeles and Sydney. As it turned out, the oak steel table and coach I designed became quite popular on Pinterest and therefore there is a high demand in these cities.” Roessler states. “Customers share our love for raw wood with a preferably natural appearance.” Due to the high quality of the materials and craftsmanship, NUTSANDWOODS furniture is particularly long lasting. “What I like as well is that patina gradually forms on the surface of the furniture.” In order to highlight the magnificent structure of the oak wood, Roessler and his team oil the planks with natural, high-quality linseed oil. Adding further products to the portfolio Those interested in NUTSANDWOODS furniture can buy these products in the online shop of the label or stop by at the

showroom that Roessler recently opened in the centre of Berlin (Ackerstraße 19). “I have so many ideas and cannot wait to implement further products this year,” the designer says.“For the first time, I will also dare to attempt to design a chair – that is something I am already looking forward to.” Additionally, Roessler and his team plan to furnish a NUTSANDWOODS apartment in the centre of Berlin. “There are many potential buyers who would come from far away to Berlin, just to see our products,” Roessler explains. “We would like to comply with their wishes by offering a dream apartment, furnished with our products, where they feel comfortable and where they can also stay overnight.” Meanwhile, Roessler’s first self-made dinner table is still his favourite piece of furniture of his home. “I hope that one day even my great-grandchildren will play under this table.”

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  19

April 2016 – Feuerring TULIP by Feuerring® is one of this year’s outstanding products: The Red Dot jury was enthused, and awarded Feuerring TULIP a Red Dot: Best of the Best. Statement by the Jury: «The design of the TULIP Feuerring takes up the symbolism of archaic fireplaces in a fascinating manner. It impresses with a compact and purist design idiom matched with a high degree of user-friendlyness. The TULIP Feuerring is functional, durable and lends itself ideally for use as a grill. It conveys a sense of homely cosiness and possesses a high aesthetic quality that underlines the appeal of its beautiful surfaces.»


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design Trends 2017 ‘Zettel’z’ design.

Ingo Maurer lighting in Munich’s subway station ‘Westfriedhof’.

The ‘Porca Miseria!’.

The ‘Ringelpiez’.

Illuminating spaces with unique, iconic and artistic designer lights German lamp designer Ingo Maurer creates luminaires that have often found their place in design history and have changed the way lighting is designed. Some of his iconic lamps, like ‘Porca Miseria!’ – a chandelier made of smashed porcelain – are today part of the MoMA collection. All lamps are handmade in Maurer’s Munich workshop.

design, an adjustable, floating ring of light. The name is the German word for a rather spontaneous dance in a circle – mostly among children or young people. Maurer also used iconic objects like Campari bottles to turn them into lamps.


Ingo Maurer has been in this business for 50 years now and has always been a great innovator when it comes to design, functionality and technological progress. Maurer originally trained as typographer and designer in Switzerland and Germany and always had a fascination for lamps and especially lightbulbs. During the 1960s he designed a lighting fixture that became known as a lightbulb within a lightbulb and was so successful that Ingo Maurer established his own company in Munich. The design concept has in the meantime inspired other designs, like ‘Lucellino’, a lightbulb with wings where cables and fixtures are so delicate it seems only small strings are holding the light back from flying away. Ingo Maurer and his company often used new technologies before anyone else did.

During the 1980s, for example, they used the low-voltage halogen system YaYaHo and later on LED and OLED. Lucellino, for example, is available as LED version. The team around Ingo Maurer designs and produces all lamps in the Munich manufactory – not for a mass market but with the aspiration to create unusual, needsoriented and philanthropic technology. Two other lamps illustrate not only how unique Ingo Maurer’s designs are, but also how different each design is from one another. ‘Zettel’z’ has already become a classic. The lamp is made of metal, glass and Japan paper: 31 printed and 49 blank sheets. That allows free-hand customisation by simply taking a pen and scribbling on the blank paper sheets – poems, sketches or personal messages. ‘Ringelpiez’ on the other hand is a very modest

Ingo Maurer often works project based and develops custom-made lighting objects for private homes or hotel lobbies. On a grander scale are light and colour concepts for subway stations – the wellknown station ‘Münchner Freiheit’ for example, just around the corner of Maurer’s Munich showroom.

The ‘Lucellino’.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  21

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design Trends 2017

Side table ‘step‘, Design Julian Sterz.

L&C stendal

Desk ‘startup‘, Design Oliver Ringel and chair ‘weimar‘, Design L.&C. Arnold and brothers H. & B. Rasch.

Standing desk ‘stendby‘, Design Oliver Ringel.

Side table ‘disko‘, Design Julian Sterz.

Bauhaus on the upswing “Not the form in itself can be the goal, instead the form needs to adapt to existing circumstances as a ‘servant’ because only from quality of life, true form intensity can accrue,” Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: JULIAN STERZ, JÖRN SUNDERBRINK

The Stuttgart Werkbund Exhibition from 1927, which is essential for Bauhaus and was hosted by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, will celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2017. The former basic idea to combine art and craft to create a clear, yet functional language of form is a guiding principle for L&C stendal’s product development to this day. “We try to bring the Bauhaus’ basic ideas in line with today’s lived aesthetics and the corresponding demands on living and working. For this, we constantly seek cooperation with innovative designers like Oliver Ringel with whom we developed a beautiful, new product last year - our ‘startup’ desk. Our time is on the upswing, change is omnipresent and the ‘old’ can only endure when it finds use at present, while contributing to a new quality of life. This is exactly our demand on our products,” explains a member of L&C stendal’s executive board. 22  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

With a corporate culture that has existed for 145 years, L&C stendal belongs to the few remaining German furniture manufactories that have stayed close to their roots and their formative influences and still exclusively produce in Germany. The company did not let political or economic changes interfere with its chosen path and learned that allowing changes also means enabling sustainable improvement and, thus, success. L&C stendal’s new models are all different, yet they show the company’s clear hallmarks: clean lines, functional design and high-quality craftsmanship. With the side table series ‘step’ and ‘disko’, L&C adapts to the demand for practical, high-quality furniture that can be quickly grabbed, as well as minimised, great for increasingly small rooms. Flexibility and agility in form – here, design is thought through to the smallest detail.

Carefully chromed tubular steel is still paramount in office rooms. The love for material and the aspiration to combine aesthetics with functionality is apparent in Oliver Ringel’s ‘stendby’ standing desk. Contemporary working wants to be lived and this multifunctional standing workstation enables it, while unobtrusively offering everything what one might search for at any given moment. It seems no wonder that L&C stendal has been awarded the 2016 German Design Award in the ‘Special’ category for the armchair ‘bully’. Small, comfortable, easy to handle, with removable padding and flexible colour design – an armchair that meets high demands. Not more, not less.

Armchair ‘bully‘, 2016 German Design Award category ‘Special‘, Design Julian Sterz.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design Trends 2017

Making one’s home brighter and more flexible Founded in 2011, the Berlin design label toshi focuses on home accessories and innovative luminaires. Designed and made in Berlin is the motto toshi’s work is based on. Working with a network of medium-sized companies and workshops mainly based in Berlin, toshi reduces the complexity of its production and can also easily respond to clients’ special wishes. The product range includes luminaires, magazine racks, key hooks and sponge wipes. Particular mention should be made of the lamp series ‘skipper’. The lamps of this series are specially designed to bring light into those dark corners of a room, where there is usually no space for lamps. One can be put on a shelf, one can be hidden beneath one’s books, one can be clipped on a mirror, and one can simply be hung on a wall. Moreover, the ‘skipper’ lamps can easily be moved to another place. The magazine rack ‘bendix’ ensures a high degree of recognition with

its flight belt. The belt can be adjusted to suit the amount of publications in the rack. Everything is kept securely upright, however, one can easily insert and remove individual items as needed. There is still more to come in 2017, as owner Tobias Schirmer reveals: “We will launch the lamp series ‘taiseki’. This floor lamp has been nominated for the German Design Award 2016. The special


characteristic of this lamp series is the multiply bent metal tapes, to which the textile cable is fixed at a cleat - like placing a rope around a boat cleat.” Every lamp from this series consists of two components: the mount and the shade. Every mount can be flexibly combined with every shade.

Floor lamp ‘taiseki’.

Magazine rack ‘bendix’.

Lamp ‘skipper’.

High-class outdoor furniture combining traditional craftsmanship with modern design The German manufacturer Fischer Möbel builds aesthetic furniture for outdoor areas; comfortable chairs, tables and lounge sofas – with outstanding design but solidly and endurably built. Fischer furniture integrates perfectly into garden landscapes.

nation of anthracite, powder-coated steel and a textile band that is suitable for outdoors. The table sets its own design standards with an elegant and filigree form but is solidly built.

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: FISCHER MÖBEL The collection includes everything that makes outdoor life special: from comfortable lounges to functional outdoor dining sets. Fischer Möbel, based near Stuttgart, was founded in 1984 with the intention to combine traditional craftsmanship, best materials and high design standards. For furniture that is sustainable due to durability, Fischer Möbel has gained various design awards. Take for example the Wing collection that truly sets new impulses for outdoor furnishing. Slightly bent armrests remind of wing shapes and are not only comfortable but a design optimum. Subtle colours create

a timeless elegance, using powder-coated steel and a mesh of weatherproof straps. Teso on the other hand focuses on offering the greatest comfort for having guests, with a table that provides space for everyone so they can just stretch their legs while dining. The Teso table sets new standards when it comes to construction and stability and is available in three colours. The complementary chairs continue the slim design. Suite, a rather new line, completes the existing collection of outdoor furniture. Design and materials are delicately matched making it perfect for various interiors and exteriors. The unique armchair is a combi-

Teso table and Wing armchairs.

Suite lounge with Suite armchair and Atlantic side table.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  23

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design Trends 2017

Furniture series Amitara.

Belmaro with Nubert Soundbar.

Belmaro in walnut.

Belmaro in white.

Where form follows function Ever wondered where to find that perfect sideboard that can stow away all the cables of your various electronics, features high-quality workmanship and looks pretty at the same time? The Roterring furniture factory does just that by creating functional and fashionable furniture solutions for hi-fi systems, TV units and media furniture made in Germany. TEXT: SONJA IRANI  I  PHOTOS: ROTTERING MÖBELMANUFAKTUR GMBH

“The specialisation in functional media furniture was an obvious choice for us,” says Roterring’s sales and marketing manager Thomas Kemper in our interview. “In the past few decades, we gathered a lot of experience and know-how within traditional furniture craftsmanship as well as within loudspeaker development and consumer electronics. During this time, we were repeatedly confronted with the question of where to store your electronics assembly and noticed that there was a significant gap in the market. Many of the socalled ‘traditional’ furniture manufactures simply didn’t have the right solutions.”

can accommodate all electronic devices and accessories while still looking fabulous in the living room. “What makes our approach different from other furniture factories is that we don’t start by designing the furniture and then have a look at what can be stored where,” explains Kemper. “The first thing we do is to think about everything that our customers have to store here: amplifiers, Blu-Ray player, Sat-Receiver, PlayStation, Xbox etc. Of course, we also think through the other important aspects such as ventilation, connection facilities, wiring, the appropriate furniture height and so on.”

Thus, Kemper and his colleagues decided to develop bespoke media furniture that

More and more customers these days also request customised media furniture – a

24  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

growing trend according to Kemper. “In this respect, it’s quite an advantage that we are not a large cooperation and offer ‘Made in Germany’ as it makes us so much more flexible.” For the moment, Roterring’s bespoke furniture is exclusively available via the company’s website, but Kemper reveals that future partnerships with offline distributers are currently in the testing phase. “At the beginning of 2017 we will also extend of our introduction furniture series Scaena,” he adds.“This also features a new closed TV unit, which especially budget-conscious customers can look forward to.”

Thomas Kemper, sales and marketing manager at Roterring.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design Trends 2017

Upcycle your home Would it not be lovely to have a piece of furniture that you can be sure no one else owns and for which no tree had to be chopped down? The ‘Dutch Berliner’ Mike Raaijmakers does just that by creating 100 per cent unique furniture pieces exclusively from recycled materials. Upcycling, which describes the process of using discarded materials and converting them into a high-quality, shiny new product, is one of the hottest trends in interior design right now. Yet Mike Raaijmakers only discovered its potential by chance. “I got the idea to launch a web shop for recycled furniture when I visited my cousin Pim in Holland,” remembers the original Dutch founder of Berlin-based interior design la-

bel JOHANENLIES. “He had this beautiful ‘new’ cupboard, which he had made himself from a range of recycled wood materials.” Raaijmakers, who worked as a wine merchant at the time, started to experiment with building new furniture from recycled materials himself. In 2015, this developed into a full-time business and JOHANENLIES was born. Today, the Dutch-Berlin blended look is func-


Bench ‘THEO’.


tional and minimalistic. Furthermore, Raaijmakers’ sustainable furniture pieces are hand-crafted, which is why every piece is 100 per cent unique. Raaijmakers’ products are available through the label’s own web shop as well as selected online platforms such as Etsy, selekkt, DaWanda und MONOQI. “For spring 2017 we are planning to introduce our very first own showroom in Berlin,” reveals the start-up founder. “Plus, we’re working on an English version of our website, which we are hoping to launch soon.” Bed ‘BONNIEUX’.

More than a hot water bottle Innovative, family-owned Hugo Frosch GmbH first embraced the idea in 1999 that a hot water bottle does not need to be a one-dimensional product. Since then, the company has released various collections of design and eco-friendly bottles. At the forthcoming international trade fair Ambiente it will display its latest designs, which will be released in Autumn 2017. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: HUGO FROSCH GMBH

The idea on which Hugo Frosch initially acted was to design a product for daily use, which was not just an item, but a design object. Paired with his desires as a family man, to supply safety, sustainability and the best possible product features, he started to develop one-of-a-kind bottles with a singular sense of style. Made in Germany, Hugo Frosch offers various product lines including the regular premium bottles and the exquisite Eco hot water bottle. Thanks to continuous research and improvements, the Eco product line is manufactured as sustainably as possible. More than 90 per cent of its materials originate from sustainable resources, such

as sugar cane. Newly available is also the Eco classic comfort bottle in shiny gold. One line with increasing popularity is ‘LEBENSART’, a bio cotton pillow that includes the Eco hot water bottle. It is a remarkable design item bound to create a wonderful living atmosphere. At Ambiente in Frankfurt, Hugo Frosch will display various new designs for ‘LEBENSART’. Additionally, look no further than the owl, pug dog, duck or lamb-shaped bottles to find your next best friend for the living room. For more information and more designs, visit the following website. Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  25

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design Trends 2017

Lounge group ‘Novum‘ with fire table.

Firestone furniture in concrete look.

Furniture set ‘Square’ for ten people.

‘Curve’ set in concrete look.

Even better than holidays Holidays are great. They are relaxing and give you the chance to take a deep breath and step back from the daily grind. Furniture by Matodi helps you to get this special holiday feeling in your own home.

ter, is to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a gorgeous spring morning in your favourite Matodi-chair - hassle with extensive cleaning activities excluded.


The idea behind founding Matodi at the beginning of 2016 was the claim to provide customers with furniture distinctive to the international market. “All of our self-manufactured furniture is furnished from very particular materials unique to the market. Our models are designed by our own in-house designers who share our vision of uniqueness, and by keeping the upper hand in the production of our products ourselves we make sure that only furniture that meets our high-quality standards go out to our customers,” says Dietmar Zwiers, managing director at Matodi. State-of-the-art furniture made by Matodi is unique. It is made of rather unusual materials like concrete, fiberstone or fiber ce26  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

ment, which are incredibly smooth to the touch and guarantee longevity. Besides, Matodi’s products have an appearance that breathes timeless elegance as well as personal individualism. Furniture made by Matodi is easily maintained. “You don’t need to look for a place to store our furniture once the sunny season has ended. Contrarily to other furniture, which can be very delicate, our products and the exclusive materials they are made of are made to face the challenges of daily life. Our materials are weather and frost proof and really easy to clean,” underlines Zwiers. So all you need to do once the sun shines after those long and dreadful days of win-

Not happy to assemble your furniture yourself? No problem. “The year 2017 will be an important year in Matodi’s young history,” Zwiers is happy to announce. “Our clients’ demands as well as the design and quality of our furniture are always foremost in our thoughts. So, as of 2017, we will have a special service in place that will assemble our furniture right in our German customers’ home if they wish so. No frills and we also take the package back,” promises Zwiers. Furniture made by Matodi is unique. Its appearance is matchless, and its quality uncontested. Go online and make sure to order your Matodi piece of furniture today.

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Clueso


Rocking his way back to the future Clueso’s new album Neuanfang presents his music distilled to the core. Songwriting post-Berlin Wall talent Clueso has performed a complete turnaround within the past year: “Neuanfang for me is a special album. Because I am questioning what I do without losing myself.” TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

We catch Clueso on the phone as he waits at Hamburg’s Savoy hotel for his driver. The German word for driver, ‘Fahrer’, sounds just like ‘Pfarrer’ (Father, or parson) on the bad cell connection and for a moment we muse on this absurd vision. “Not yet!” says Clueso. Indeed, the opposite is happening for him right now, namely a new beginning and a rebirth of his creative work which began 15 years ago with his first album, simply titled Text & Ton (Text and Sound). The long loop that has brought him to this year’s Neuanfang (New Beginning), is marked by his journey from post-Berlin Wall times in East Germany’s Erfurt to Cologne and back. In a way, it is creatively more attached to his early years than any of the albums in between. Neuanfang stems from a complete makeover of Clueso’s creative life, which includes forming a new band and disengaging from his long-time cherished former manager. He says: “It was inevitable. I was ripe for something new and I wanted to have a grown-up attitude towards actually electing and employing my own manager.” Sticking to your own true path without suddenly serving an industry or a market or indeed a need of your own fan base, these existential topics have a strong im28  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

pact on the lyrics and music of Neuanfang. There is the song about Gordo the ape, sent into space feeling free and weightless but ends up wishing to simply come back to Earth. This feeling mirrors Clueso’s own emotional state during the past years when he often felt “an urgent need to lie down and sleep, right there on stage in front of 50,000 people”. When asked about how the new album came to pass so quickly, he says: “In a way it was as if there was no break at all! People were telling me that I couldn’t just quit and do my own stuff without endangering the label. And after I had understood that, I gladly went to the Berlin studio to create some acoustic songs, something that had been on my mind for a long time. But soon into the process of creating Neuanfang, it became pretty clear that this album wouldn’t be an acoustic one. ‘Way too crashy’, as my friends rightly put it.” With his newly appointed manager, Berlinbased Can Azizoglu, Clueso started working – and kept working, and working. “To me it feels like being dropped at the kindergarten and then never wanting to stop playing when you’re being picked up again in the evening,” he says. However, the glimpses of burnout during the last

Photo: © Christoph Köstlin

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Clueso

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  29

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Clueso

years have resulted in a sense for the importance of recreation. When asked what makes a perfect day, Clueso states: “The perfect day for me is often the productive day following on a chilled out one. When I am fully in my power and can work from a well-rested mode, that’s what makes a good day for me.” Clueso does not shy away from expressing his meditations on social policies and the specifics of the downsides of capitalist society in his songs (“everybody wants to either be alive or at the seaside”). This fact inevitably poses a quick question about the result of the US election. His comment is plain and simple, in true Clueso fashion: “We need to concentrate on the children now. There is absolutely no sense in sitting down those voters on a couch trying to talk sense into them. Even with friends that would take me days on end!” Does Clueso look forward to the upcoming tour, with 20 days of continuous rehearsing already under his belt and more to come until tour start in December? “Oh yes,” he says, “no worries, I am really enjoying the process with the new band members. No use to compare them with the old band of course, it is an absolute new terrain which we are mapping out together.” With two new guitarists, a new girl on base, a keyboarder and his former drummer Tim Neuhaus, the new

Photo: © Jennifer Stenglein

30  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

band makes up six including Clueso and he likes to “hear when they start thriving and freeing themselves up and that’s what I intend to work with”. The original work on the album was done in the studio together with his producer Tobias Kuhn who immediately felt the pull of the rough and honest sounding voice of the new songs, as they were “screamed into the studio”. Like many fellow artists, Clueso never feels alone while he is composing.“Sometimes,” he says, “it’s almost as if someone is looking over your shoulder when you write a song. And when you look at it later, maybe at a time when you feel a little down or exhausted, you think to yourself: ‘Wow, that’s a rather good song, I am glad I was there when it got made!’” In his early years, Clueso used to rap and work with DJs. But today, even though he still raps in the privacy of his own home, he thinks of his songwriter-style music to be more lasting. “There are enough excellent rappers out there, so if I get to do some skits on stage or on my albums in between songs – that serves me fine and is enough.” He also writes poetry, a creative medium close to writing lyrics that has found its way into his photo book Clueso, Von und über (Clueso, From and About), a collection of works by his various photographer friends who have accompanied

him on tour through the years. Friends in general are a big component in Clueso’s life and he likes to include them in his creative sphere as well. He tours with a crew that is largely made up of friends and says that, in the best-case scenario, peers of his own age are“healthy competition”or“positively contagious”. Clueso has taken major steps in his career through taking part in the Bundesvision song contest, a TV format hosted by Stefan Raab of the Pro7 channel and 1LiveKrone, an ongoing voting competition initiated through the Cologne-based 1LIVE radio station. What does he think of media-enhanced music careers and of music appearing on TV in particular? “Well,” he says,“for a start I don’t have a TV, it drives me crazy. I haven’t had a TV for the past 15 years and that’s why I am pretty immune to getting too excited about it. Also, they often have the worst of sound equipment, but I think it is still way more important to hear me than have me speak about my music. So, in a way, TV and radio are of major importance. People need to hear my music to truly understand who I am.” The best source of understanding what Clueso is all about is of course to hear him live: The Neuanfang Club Tour starts on 11 December in Bochum.

Photo: © Christoph Köstlin

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Clueso

Photo: © Jennifer Stenglein

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  31

Discover Germany  |  Interview  |  Swissbank

Finance meets technology The banking industry is facing some of its toughest challenges, from new regulations to global market and macro shifts. As financial technology (FinTech) becomes more prominent, banks need some start-up savvy. Ahead of the first quarter 2017 launch of their global FinTech engine, Hans Günter Dahn speaks with Discover Germany about Swissbank, the engine’s possibilities and their future home in Berlin. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

After international careers and a massive amount of experience through working at Microsoft, let’s go back to the beginning. Take us through initial ideas that inspired you for Swissbank. Dahn: Our founder Johannes Morandi developed the algorithm when Kahneman and Smith won the Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences. The engine was initially targeted on banks to support private customers on reliable investment decisions. Swissbank later had a powerful new scenario with the rise of the mobile devic32  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

es and started to focus on the consumer market. Today, the top one per cent own half the country’s bonds, stocks and mutual funds. The bottom 50 per cent own only 0.5 per cent of these investments. We wanted to become a potent enabler for social equality based on the change that will happen with technology. Why is the mobile industry important for global wealth? Dahn: Mobile has had a profound impact on national economies worldwide, particularly

in the areas of job creation and economic growth. Increasingly ubiquitous and higher speed mobile networks contribute to many aspects of economic, political and social life in both developed and developing regions. It’s also the predominant infrastructure in emerging markets and available to a larger proportion of the population than many other basic services, such as electricity, sanitation and financial. As a result, Swissbank is addressing the engine to consumers, enterprises and governments likewise. How can your FinTech engine add value for the customer? Dahn: Like Google, Amazon or Facebook, Swissbank can be used easily and by everyone. Customers can buy financial data or find financial products, that we also reward with a dynamic cashback. What is easy for customers, means a lot of work for Swissbank. With the engine, we analyse

Discover Germany  |  Interview  |  Swissbank

and manage more than 1,500 companies with all relevant economic indicators in real time to publish accurate data. With the revenue, we also trade at our own expense and give the majority of profit back to the customer. This is probably the best way to empower your bank account and reduce fees or manage trading risk.

many is good for Swissbank, as it offers us more stability for a European launch. Our experiences over the years have shown us the way people look towards Germany, as a strong and stable country. In our business, we want to offer our customers the highest stability possible, so Berlin and Germany is the perfect place for us.

You recently moved part of your business to Berlin. What have been driving forces and thoughts?

What kind of influence do you expect the city of Berlin will have on your company? What are your expectations for the future?

Dahn: There are various reasons to be in this city. Berlin, at the moment, has a unique spirit. It blends diverse cultural backgrounds and a variety of languages. It has this special energy, is fresh and happy to try new things, which matches the values of our company. With our move to Berlin Swissbank wants to establish a safe footing in Europe. Ger-

Dahn: Our ambition is to establish sustainable workplaces in Berlin and by running daily operations, development and support from Berlin. Over the next three years, we expect the business to grow at a fast pace. Berlin has a great potential for creativity and Swissbank really needs creative people who like to go on a journey with us. So, from our company’s develop-

ment point of view, Berlin and the people who live here or want to live here and join us will have a great influence. But also, from our employees’ point of view, Berlin is great. Financially, Berlin is economically advantageous. This translates to the private sphere. That’s why employees in Berlin will have much better possibilities for personal developments, as well as the professional benefits, which we can offer them together with Berlin Partner.

Main image: Oberbaum Bridge. Photo: © Berlin Partner, Wuestenhagen Left: Berlin’s government district. Photo: © Berlin Partner, Scholvien Bottom left: Hans Günter Dahn and Johannes Morandi. Photo: © Swissbank Ltd Below: East Side Gallery. Photo: © Berlin Partner, Fritsch Foto Bottom right: Berlin City West. Photo: © Berlin Partner, Wuestenhagen

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  33

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Creating My Perfect Office

Photo: ©, Tim Dorr

S P E C I A L T H E M E : C R E AT I N G M Y P E R F E C T O F F I C E

The office outfitters Germany is known for great design and that, of course, includes enchanting office furniture. Whether you are looking for a new, ergonomic chair for your company or other stylish items that will brighten up the office, be sure to take a look at the following pages. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: ©, Myxi

34  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Photo: ©, Joe Harrison

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Creating My Perfect Office

The ‘SALVEO’ in red in front of Lübeck’s Holstentor.

The ‘ANTEO ALU‘ series.

The ‘ANTEO ALU‘ series.

Not just a chair Most of us spend many hours sitting at our desks or in meetings, but often little thought goes into choosing the right chair. Family-run business Köhl has been developing and manufacturing top ergonomic seating furniture for over 40 years and are the leading experts to turn to.

ic perfection. With the high backrest, the chairs sport a distinctive silhouette that is emphasised by their sophisticated aluminium frame design.


The multitude of design options are a great advantage of the Anteo Alu. After all, everyone has individual needs so it is essential that the chair is adjustable to one’s personal seating preferences. Its ergonomic functionality can be increased even further using Köhl’s air seat, which optimises sitting and activates the low-laying back muscles.

A chair should be as comfortable as it is healthy. Given how damaging a bad chair is to our spine, it is only natural that we start paying attention to what we actually sit on. German company Köhl has long figured out the importance of high-quality chairs that are ergonomic and ecologically innovative.

their corporate philosophy which places the highest value in their chairs’ function, design and ergonomics, but also promotes sustainability throughout. Using biodegradable and environmentally friendly materials as well as reducing the carbon footprint by working with regional production partners is just a small part of this philosophy.

Köhl’s various product lines include chairs for offices and conference rooms, lounge, swivel and multi-purpose chairs, and more. All chairs have been developed with the customer’s health requirements in mind and feature pure, timeless designs that add value to every professional environment.

It should come as no surprise that creations by Köhl are not only awarded various quality seals and eco labels but also win awards. This year the elegant Anteo Alu line won the prestigious Red Dot award for product design, an international prize for outstanding design quality.

As a leading European supplier, the key to Köhl’s success may lie in strictly following

The Anteo Alu swivel and conference chair range merges aesthetics with ergonom-

Köhl manages to successfully combine functionality, health benefits, design and sustainability on all levels and can be proud to have achieved so much without compromising their core values. Their customers not only sit comfortably and support their health in the long term; they also support a company that takes social responsibility, which truly is the icing on the cake. Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  35

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Creating My Perfect Office

WFP Innovation Accelerator.

Creative design for creative people:

Office spaces that unite flexibility and functionality Fantasy, passion and professionalism are the driving factors when the interior architect office INpuls, situated in Munich, starts to work on a new project. With a great sense for aesthetics, the architects and designers around founder Réka Visnyei create unique spaces that inspire those working or living in them. The main focus lies on office and corporate interiors, but the office also works in residential buildings and retail. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: INPULS

Only recently, INpuls was responsible for developing the interior concept for the office of McCANN Worldgroup advertising agency in Düsseldorf. It is the second project for this company after INpuls had also been responsible for refurbishing the public spaces in McCANN’s Berlin office. In Düsseldorf, McCANN Worldgroup moved into new premises; the city centre’s 2,500 square metres of office space in the ‘Broadway Haus’ were redeveloped to create a new open-space office with a com36  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

pletely new layout. Room and dialogue are the two keywords used to describe the design ideas. The themed rooms are designed with purpose in mind and usable across departments: dialogue and working together so becomes the central topic. Flexible workflows require adjustable offices Especially in creative industries, workflows are flexible and projects are often realised in changing team constellations. To give

employees the best work environment possible the workspace must reflect this flexibility and creativity. In this case the employees can use the whole office space that provides room for discussions and presentations, spaces to retreat to when there is need to think or work alone. Additionally, everyone has an allocated workspace where he or she can feel at home. The Düsseldorf McCANN Worldgroup office is a practise project interior designer Réka Visnyei is very proud of, but not the only one where the interior architects combined functionality with high design standards. INpuls was also responsible for the interior of the new Senacor office in Vienna. Senacor Technologies is a Europe-wide operating IT service provider. The mini-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Creating My Perfect Office

malist design here mirrors the company’s straightforwardness and uses the colours determined by the company. But, like in the project mentioned above, it was also important to create flexible workspaces and community areas, to re-design the more classic structures that had so far characterised the office space. It is an interior that encourages and supports employees in their everyday work and can be adjusted so it offers exactly what they need: space to work together and lounges to retreat to when needed. With a large project room and a spacious kitchenette additionally INpuls created communal spaces that can be used when working in groups or with external partners, but also for example for recruiting. A bit different is a third project INpuls has worked on this year. In 2016, the World Food Programme (WFP) initiated the WFP Innovation Accelerator that should help and support the WFP to reduce hunger in the world to zero by 2030. For this, the WFP needed new rooms and office space

and 500 square metres were developed near the river Isar in Munich. Projects like the WFP Innovation Accelerator need a great deal of inspiration to come up with new solutions and ideas. Working in the right rooms with a good environment helps to find exactly that, so the concept here was to develop open and communicative spaces, an inspiring platform for all the different projects the WFP Innovation Accelerator works on. What INpuls created is a flexible conference room, three project rooms and an openplan office for the core team. Even the boring and somehow bothersome hallway was revamped and brought into the foreground. Openings in the walls now connect the hallway with single offices and at the same time allow natural light to fall in. A bright yellow stripe along the wall also functions as message board and links offices, seminar room and open spaces. On the same floor the interior architects created a social meeting area – the heart and soul of the office – with a flexible assem-

McCANN in Düsseldorf.

The new Senacor office in Vienna.

bly room. The rooms are light flooded and combine sleek architecture with modern wooden furniture blocks. Colourful cushions in the flexible lounge modules or a blackboard sliding door set subtle accents. Professional speed dating for interior architects INpuls not only focuses on creating great new spaces, but since 2016 also organises the INpuls KICK OFF Recruitment event for interior architects, a completely new concept initiated by interior architect Réka Visnyei. In a ‘speed dating’ style, 30 young new talents and aspiring interior architects meet 25 potential new employers. During the‘speed dating’and the later get-together, participants can get to know each other better and perhaps lay the foundation for a new successful business cooperation and career. Because the first event Réka Visnyei organised in 2016 was such a huge success, she now intends to continue this approach in 2017.

McCANN in Düsseldorf.

The new Senacor office in Vienna.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  37

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Creating My Perfect Office

Fascia Training on the ROLLover system.

Relaxed daily office life

Preventing pain with a ROLLover Founded in 1965, the Mey CHAIR SYSTEMS GmbH has always been shaped by contemporary demands. That is why, in recent years, a focus was placed on the development of ergonomic and healthy chairs for workplaces or the private sphere. This focus has now led to a completely new product line, Mey ROLLover, which is making fascia training more accessible for both professional and personal use. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: MEY CHAIR SYSTEMS GMBH

“Everything happens for a reason, doesn’t it?”says CEO Dieter Mey, when explaining the origins of his company’s latest innovation. A few years ago, Mey, a long-time runner, had struggled with unexplainable pain in his calves. Through a coincidental meeting, he was recommended fascia training and since using a respective roll has not had any new pain. At the time, he brought the roll to his father and founder of the company, Joachim Mey, who is now in his eighties, but still part of the product developments. Mey Sr, who started his company as a welding business together with his wife Helga, used the roll and was positively surprised about the effects regarding mobility and health. 38  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

“Fascia training is something that should be far more popular. In our daily routine, we do so many harmful things to our bodies. With a ROLLover you, as a business owner or private person, can prevent your employees’ or your own pain in a simple, effective way,” explains Mey. The ROLLover is a system that takes the regular training further. Rather than doing it on the floor, the developers have created a wall system with interchangeable rolls (switchROLL), angle and height adjustment and several training possibilities. Research and development, which was done with the help and professional input by the German Interest group of back therapy teachers, took about one and a half

years. Currently, Mey CHAIR SYSTEMS and its international branches are starting the world-wide launch of the ROLLover. Throughout the year, the company will be present at different trade fairs, starting with the international exhibition for sport business in Munich. Continuously looking ahead, Mey CHAIR SYSTEMS is already preparing further innovations. “At the moment, we are, next to our latest ergonomic chairs, working on an electronic solution for our system, where the roll itself is moving and the user is just leaning against it. This should be great for our older users. It’s basically the ROLLover 2.0.” Mey CHAIR SYSTEMS GmbH Merlach Nr. 16 96145 Sesslach-Merlach Germany Tel. +49 (0)9567 / 9226-0 Fax +49 (0)9567 / 9226-36

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Creating My Perfect Office

The office renaissance A rebirth. And why it matters. People are rejecting the uninspiring sea of sameness that has come to be known as ‘the office’. Instead, they want informal, authentic and inspiring spaces where they feel an emotional connection. They want the freedom to choose where and how they work. TEXT & PHOTOS: STEELCASE

This cultural movement is redefining the corporate workplace—from a singular focus on efficiency, towards a pluralistic approach that enriches the emotional, cognitive and physical wellbeing of people. Organisations are listening. They are creating thoughtfully curated workplaces that have become destinations where people want to work. Places where you can work

in a café with your feet up or sit at a desk and focus. Where you are able to work alone or together with access to everything you need to actually get work done. Purposeful work deserves meaningful places that bring together design, materiality and performance—because how a space performs is just as critical as how it looks and feels.

Learn more at the following website:

For over 100 years, Steelcase Inc. has helped create great experiences for the world’s leading organisations, across industries. We demonstrate this through our family of brands – including Steelcase®, Coalesse®, Designtex®,  PolyVision® and Turnstone®. Together, they offer a comprehensive portfolio of architecture, furniture and technology products and services designed to unlock human promise and support social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  39

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Creating My Perfect Office

Photo: © HCD, LiveCallcenter CCW 2016

Sit inside sound 2017 marks the ten-year anniversary of the first public presentation of the Sonic Chair. It was a life-changing event for all people involved and perhaps even for sound itself, as the innovative design furniture garnered much attention worldwide. With its smart design and powerful technology, it has since become a clever addition to work environments, workplaces and libraries around the world. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: SONIC CHAIR

To understand the incredible international response to the Sonic Chair, one must find out what the chair represents. “Describing the experience of sitting in our chair is almost impossible,” says sales director Jan Stühn.“Have you ever sat inside headphones? This is what it feels like. It’s like sitting amidst the orchestra, next to the conductor. It’s also cosy, a place to retreat.” Then there is the body-borne sound.“Due to the body and membrane of the Sonic Chair you can actually feel the gravity of the notes. It’s a guarantee for goosebumps,” adds designer Holger Fritzlar. 40  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

But there is more to the experience. “Currently one of our main focuses has become larger work environments. Especially in open space offices, our Sonic Chair is an island of relaxation or a work place in itself,” says Stühn. This is due to the impeccable sound isolation of the chair. In fact, while the chair turns into an acoustic island for the person sitting in it, its sound is not audible for others in the same room, making it the perfect solution for busy work spaces. Initially commissioned by a bank in the South of Germany the project was to rein-

vent the bank’s youth area, where children were to play interactively without disturbing other customers. “In 2006, we first thought about a beach chair design with built-in speakers, but soon went on to experiment with a circular body,” explains Fritzlar. Based on these experiments, a first prototype was constructed with a bodyborne sound membrane, a 2.1 system and two-coloured padding. After continuous developments regarding the audio technology, the Sonic Chair is now at version 3.1, with the opportunity to choose between a built-in iMac, tablet or desk. Everything is handmade in Cologne and the company is constantly engaging with technology companies to stay on top of trends like virtual reality and of course, the latest audio innovations.

2_0_DiscoverGermany_37_April_2016_COVER-SPINE_Q9_Layout 4 23/03/2016 19:08 Page 1



2_0_DiscoverGermany_42_September_2016_COVER-SPINE_Q9_Layout 4 19/08/2016 12:43 Page 1


APRIL 2016



Issue 37 | April 2016


2_0_DiscoverGermany_45_December_2016_COVER-SPINE_Q9_Layout 4 18/11/2016 11:44 Page 1

Issue 45 | December 2016







for 12






Issue 42 | September 2016


















SUBSCRIBE TO DISCOVER GERMANY Sign up to a year’s subscription and you will receive each new issue of Discover Germany through your letterbox. The price for 12 issues is £40.00 (Outside UK £75.00) Name: Address: Postcode Country Phone Email Occupation Nationality Age (optional)

Tick here if you do not wish to receive newsletters from Scan Group. Return with payment by cheque to: Scan Group, 15B Bell Yard Mews, Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TY, United Kingdom or pay online at


Discover Germany  |  Travel Feature  |  German Alpine Route

Montgolfiade, See Wallberg. Photo: © Stefan Schiefer,

The German Alpine Road – 450 kilometres of Bavaria at its best Winding from Lindau on Lake Constance to Schönau on Lake Königssee, the German Alpine Road is beautiful at any time of the year. But visitors will be enchanted in winter time when snow-covered mountain peaks, children ice skating on frozen lakes and white fairy tale castles cast their spell.

farming villages, no fewer than 25 ancient castles, abbeys and palaces, and more than 20 mountain lakes – all against the backdrop of the majestic Alps. Off-road, gastronomic delights in rustic cottages, local customs and traditions, and the famous German Gemütlichkeit await the curious traveller.

Neuschwanstein Castle, near Füssen, is without a doubt the most popular stop along the German Alpine Road. The crowds can be intense at the foot of King Ludwig’s dream palace, but it is worth a stop if only for the fantastic scenery and unusual architecture. The town is also regarded as the cradle of German violin and lute making. The Füssen Heritage Museum displays one of the largest collections of historical lutes in Europe.

The road begins in Lindau on Lake Constance where low altitude and a mild climate offer an urban contrast to the snow-covered landscapes that are to come later. The idyllic town, set on a 70-hectarelarge island, has a quaint medieval centre

When snow settles over Lake Soier, just north of Oberammergau, the peak season for moor baths begins. The peat of the mountain pine alpine moor forms the basis of numerous mud treatments for which the two moor mud spas of Bad


The German Alpine Road is the country’s oldest scenic route connecting Bavaria’s most popular attractions such as Neuschwanstein Castle, Herrenchiemsee Palace, Mount Zugspitze and the Berchtesgaden Salt Mine. It was first mentioned in 1879 - in the publication of a historical travel log from 1858 by the Bavarian King Maximilian II whose journey along the route, and attractions seen, were practically the same as today. Driving along the German Alpine Route is a quintessentially Bavarian experience. The journey takes drivers past traditional 42  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

and arguably the lake’s prettiest harbour entrance with a large, regal lion statue and Bavaria’s only lighthouse.

Discover Germany  |  Travel Feature  |  German Alpine Route

Kohlgrub and Bad Bayersoien are well known. Continuing in high altitude, the route reaches Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain at 2,962 metres. The town is a mecca for winter sports: seven months of snow, 60 kilometres of ski pistes, pristine slopes and Germany’s only glacial ski area. But this picturesque town is also a first-class health resort throughout the year. Drivers stressed for time can reach the Zugspitze summit by taking a cog railway which chugs its way through the mountains for 12 kilometres, negotiating a staggering 25 per cent gradient in places. The halfway point of the German Alpine Route is Bad Tölz, also known in Germany for a popular TV crime series (Der Bulle von Tölz). The historic old town lies on the banks of the Isar River and with a sprawling old market, glorious murals, and ba-

roque architecture, it is not to be missed. Elevated to the status of mud spa in 2005, the tradition of health treatments and wellness in Bad Tölz goes back to 1899. The area around Lake Tegernsee is another winter sports hot spot. Downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, tobogganing (on Germany’s longest coasting slide with 6.5 kilometres), snowshoeing, ice skating and romantic sleigh rides are free time favourites here. From 27 January to 5 February dozens of colourful hot air balloons take flight, from the classic air balloon to more daring shapes as well as zeppelins, at the Montgolfiade 2017. Located between Rottau and Grassau, the Salz & Moor Museum captures the tradition of the old salt mines and the German Salt Road, which transported thousands of pounds of salt across Europe during the Middle Ages. Commonly called the ‘first pipeline in the world’, this road brought Snowshoe walk in the Alps, at dusk. Photo: © DZT

brine from the salt mines in the Berchtesgaden area to Rosenheim. The final point of the German Alpine Road is Lake Königssee. Known to be Germany’s cleanest lake, and one of the most beautiful ones in Europe, it is also famous for its remoteness. Since 1909, Lake Königssee has only been reachable by electric boat, foot and rowboat. Most visitors take a return trip on one of the ferries that will take them to St. Bartholomä, a small town on the western shore while gazing at the snow-capped peaks that tower above.

The German Alpine Road is a more challenging drive in winter and appropriate motoring equipment is a legal requirement.

Snowboarder near Bad Toelz. Photo: © DZT

Traditional Bavarian farmhouse in Inzell. Photo: © DZT

Ice skating at night, Mohren Square Garmisch Partenkirchen. Photo: © Peter Lehner

Lake Soier. Photo: © Eberhard Starosczik

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  43

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Hotel of the Month, Germany

New SPA building.


About time for wellbeing The countryside Landhotel Voshövel on the Lower Rhine offers a four-star service and a unique wellness area. It was recently awarded the Wellness Aphrodite 2016 Award in the Spa Design category and is set within beautiful surroundings near the Dutch-German border. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: LARS RANEK

Golf, hiking and cycling – the beautiful sites of the Lower Rhine area are worth exploring at any time of the year. The Voshövel hotel family puts an emphasis on the benefit of recreation and taking time for yourself as the key to living a more content and connected life. Their brochure states: - Take your time to think, that’s the source for serenity - Take your time to laugh, that’s the music of the soul 44  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

- Take your time to live, that’s true wealth - Take your time to be friendly, that’s the door to bliss. The country hotel is a family business and offers 80 tastefully designed rooms and suites and a new ’Livingroom SPA’ area where guests can indulge in all-round treatments and refuel their energy for everyday life. The kitchen team at Voshövel makes sure that the culinary side of the stay remains deliciously creative and the hotel service looks after the guests with

professional conscientiousness and care. Content and happy guests are the overall objective at Landhotel Voshövel. A recently opened spacious annex houses the new SPA area, which was planned with the help of an Austrian team of wellness professionals. It includes a sauna landscape, resting rooms, the Livingroom Spa and two pools. Designed by Thurner Generalplanung, the combined forces of about 60 local firms were involved in construction. The award-winning Livingroom SPA consists of several individually styled cosy rooms, two pools and a sauna landscape. The Aphrodite award jury decided against three prestigious Austrian hotels in favour of the Voshövel family business, because the eight-million-euro investment resulted in an attractive innovative SPA

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Hotel of the Month, Germany

area and garden with which “the country hotel on the Lower Rhine has made a gigantic step to the top of the leisure and wellness hotel industry”. The family business, comprising of Werner and Carmen Klump and their daughter and son Katharina and Christopher as junior managers, guarantees an exclusive cosy atmosphere and the hotel uses regional products throughout. Special wellness offers include couple treatments, bride and groom beauty and relaxing beer baths, a special treat for both nervous system and skin. The kitchen uses traditional Lower Rhine recipes composed with regional produce. Following the hotel motto of “the art to surprise”, an experimental bonne bouche touch adds to the culinary experience. The 80 rooms and suites offer all modern amenities, WLAN access and TV, as well as a minibar and coffee machine if desired. Apart from creating the perfect environ-

ment for retreat and recreation, the hotel management also organises parties and festivities, planned and designed to individual taste. From company anniversaries to weddings to Christmas and New Year’s party, anything at any scale is possible. The Klump family is proud and delighted to see their visions taking shape. Apart from the additions to the extended Livingroom SPA area and garden with its indoor and outdoor pools and a whirlpool, the hotel now also has two bridal and two chalet suites, one of which was completely styled after the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s film. When asked about what makes the Voshövel hotel unique, junior hotelier Christopher Klump mentions the history of the house itself which is marked by progress and innovation. Ever since the late ’80s, continuous efforts have paved the path from the original family pub business “serving pancakes” to a four-star superior hotel with 80 rooms and an out-

TV lounge.

Cozy atmosphere.

standing SPA area. From farm to general store with banqueting hall in the ’50s, the family business started out small and has steadily grown tall. Hotel rooms were added one after the other during the ‘90s and the first SPA section was initiated in 2006. By now it has developed into a beautiful country hotel with several restaurants and even an ‘alpine hut’ by the lakeside. For the Klump family, it never stops. For 2017, new additions are already underway. A Turkish hammam bath, a Microsalt inhalation room as well as new steam bath and more treatment rooms are planned for spring. An additional restaurant may be added by next winter. From weddings to conventions, from alone time to couple treats, from active recreation to SPA pleasures; at Landhotel Voshövel you can celebrate the most precious of all goods: time for yourself.

Exterior view.

Exclusive design.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  45

46  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Star Interview

Lisa Tomaschewsky Germany’s rising acting star Born in 1988, Lisa Tomaschewsky has already worked both as a model and an actress and has found success on a national and international level in both fields. Most recently, the German television series Deutschland 83, featuring Tomaschewsky in one of the leading roles, won the International Emmy Award. In Discover Germany she speaks about her various projects.

In which way does your work at the recent campaign for Loewe differ from your work in movies?


Initially your career began in fashion. Where did your interest in the world of fashion come from? L. Tomaschewsky: The interest in fashion grew over time. I was young and wanted to try different things, discover how fashion changes you and how people react to it. Through many international jobs I got to know different fashion styles and cultures. Especially as a teenager you often follow current trends; today I think differently and try to translate my own thoughts within fashion. How did you make the decision to act? What is especially fascinating about the acting profession? L. Tomaschewsky: My curiosity for discovering new things was always big and an important part of my life. Time and again it’s this curiosity that motivates me to venture on new roles, even if I may not have the initial courage to do so. Before my first movie shoot, I took acting classes to develop a feeling for the significance of character work, both emotionally and physically. I made the decision for acting with the movie The Girl with Nine Wigs,

the world became more bearable for her. Her very open and outgoing personality helped me to approach the challenge of playing the role.

one of my major roles. It was completely clear to me that, when I shaved my head, I could try and find a footing in this profession and in that moment; I was able to completely lose my previous existence as a model. Moments happen in front of the camera that you can’t describe with words but they make me incredibly happy, no matter if you feel sadness or pure joy in these moments. That’s the beauty of acting, a journey with yourself through other characters, environments and experiences.

Deutschland 83 just won the International Emmy award as best ‘Drama Series’. How would you describe the project and your character? L. Tomaschewsky: I’m incredibly happy that our team, after many accolades, has now also won the International Emmy for Best Series. When I first heard of the project, I was surprised how immediately the characters were treated and the difficult time was described. For this reason in particular, I was attracted to the role of Yvonne Edel, because she managed to find a lightness in very harsh times with which

L. Tomaschewsky: Usually it’s a difference, whether you are in front of a photo or film camera. In this case however, Jonas Nay and I were telling a story like we would in a movie. Also, the script for the spot was very well written, so I felt to be on a movie set. Furthermore, I was thinking about each photo, telling the emotional connection to Jonas or the distance. Like this, we were able to play with it and try various things with regard to the topic. At 28 you’ve already accomplished a lot. What can you tell us about forthcoming projects? L. Tomaschewsky: Currently I’m working on a movie with Matthias Schweighoefer and Til Schweiger. It’s always great to feel how much fun you can have as a team on set and how comforting the atmosphere is, when you work with a great team. Sadly, I can’t tell you much more about the new film. (Laughs). At the moment, I’m also on camera for various fashion productions. I love to slip into new roles, whether in pictures or films and in that way, I can always try something new.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  47

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Chinese New Year’s Ball & Mozarteum

A piece of Taiwan in Vienna Welcome the year of the rooster with dance, Asian entertainment and a great deal of warm-heartedness when the Taiwanese community in Vienna opens its doors to their dazzling Chinese New Year’s ball 2017 on 4 February. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: CHINESE NEW YEARS BALL

Over the decades, it has become a wonderful tradition for the Taiwanese community in Vienna to host the Chinese New Year’s ball and welcome everyone with open hearts. The event is organised and sponsored by EETS, a family-run travel agency. Ying Wu of EETS has been part of the special ball since his early childhood and fondly remembers: “I was brought to this festival every year to celebrate our new year, which follows the lunar calendar. The ball was a way to honour our culture in Vienna and to wish everyone good luck for the coming year. I would love to use this opportunity to share this memory and experience of our culture with everyone.”

The ball promotes a fantastic cultural exchange. Aside from classical dancing with live music there is also a show component, including a dragon dance amongst other highlights. The tombola, which is part of the ticket, is always much anticipated by the guests as the grand prizes are two flights to Bangkok and Taipei. “We keep the ticket prices for students particularly low to encourage the younger generation to join us for this special occasion and we have an extra club room with pop music,”Wu adds. The ball promises to be a lavish celebration – not to be missed.

Mozart Week 2017 Celebrating the wunderkind’s heritage in Salzburg


World-famous classical music composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was celebrated by his contemporaries as a ‘Wunderkind’ (wonder child) because of his extraordinary talent. Up until this day, his unique heritage is loved and has been preserved all over the world. The closest you can get to Mozart’s masterpieces, however, is most definitely his Austrian hometown of Salzburg. Here, a non-profit organisation called the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg focuses on the life and œuvre of the great composer. As such, it offers concerts, supports academic research and maintains two of Salzburg’s most important historic houses – Mozart’s birthplace and Mozart’s Residence. Furthermore, the Foundation hosts the Mozart Week – a classical music festival that takes place every year around Mozart’s birthday on 27 January. In 2017, the Mozart Week will be held from 26 January to 5 February. The diverse musical range on display will include Mozart, but also Joseph Haydn, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Jo48  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

hannes Maria Staud, Arvo Pärt, Elliott Carter, Henri Dutilleux or Beat Furrer. Moreover, world-famous orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Les Musiciens du Louvre, the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe will grace the audience in Salzburg. Finally, the singers and soloists lineup of Elisabeth Kulmann, Mojca Erdmann, Giovanni Antonini, Maria João Pires, Fazil Say, Robert Levin, Renaud Capuçon, Jörg Widmann and Leif Ove Andsnes will make a winter visit to Salzburg a must-do for any fan of classical music.

Large hall of Mozarteum Foundation. Photo: © ISM Christian Schneider

Rolando Villazón will sing at the Mozart Week. Photo: © Felix Broede, Deutsche Grammophon

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Hochosterwitz Castle

Hochosterwitz castle


What fairy tales are made of Majestically situated on a limestone rock 150 metres above a scenic valley, the outstanding Austrian Hochosterwitz castle looks like something straight from a picture book. A versatile range of events makes this the ideal destination for young and old alike. First mentioned in 860, Hochosterwitz castle is the secret landmark of Carinthia. With its 14 stunning gates and five drawbridges, the medieval fortress and stronghold is not only an architectural beauty, but the gates also ensured it was impregnable back in the day. It is remarkable that this ingenious defensive architecture is the reason the castle has never been conquered over so many centuries. For those who do not fancy walking up the winding path through the historic gates, there is a lift to make sure everyone can enjoy the castle. “At the top, visitors enter a picturesque courtyard,” spokesperson Andrea Mandl says. “A collection of weapons and armour from the 16th cen-

tury awaits. The collection is complemented by historical documents and paintings, which remind of times long past.” More armour and art can be viewed at the castle’s museum. There is also a small chapel with magnificent frescos and a typical Carinthian altar dated 1673. Mouth-watering and typically Carinthian cuisine awaits visitors at the atmospheric castle restaurant, which can also be booked for private events. Mandl adds:“Every year we host different cultural events from concerts and the Knights’ festival to our petting zoo and magic shows; there is something for everyone.”

Hochosterwitz castle.

Industry is looking for solutions. And finds them at one place. HANNOVER MESSE 24 – 28 April 2017 ▪ Hannover ▪ Germany

Get new technology first

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Experience of the Month, Austria

MuseumsQuartier Wien. Photo: © Hertha Hurnaus


Take a piece of glamorous Vienna home

Vienna’s museums – always worth a visit If you have already been to Vienna you may have visited the famous Schloss Schönbrunn or the Stephansdom. You may have enjoyed a glass of delicious Austrian wine in one of the countless Heurigen, the original Austrian rustic version of a pub; or you may even have savoured a piece of luscious Sacher-Torte in the traditional Café Demel. Yet Vienna has so much more to offer. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE

The MuseumsQuartier Wien is proof of that. “As one of the largest art and culture complexes worldwide, the MuseumsQuartier accommodates a variety of almost 60 cultural attractions under its roof, among them the museums introduced below,” explains Dr. Christian Strasser, director of the MuseumsQuartier. Contemporary architecture and buildings from the 18th and 19th century form a perfect synthesis of the old and new; thereby creating a welcoming mixture of cultural space, rest areas, quaint cafés and spacious courts. 50  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

This perfect blend of art and leisure forms an unequalled urban space adored not only by the Viennese. The Austrian cultural hotspot opened in 2001 and since then has mesmerised thousands of visitors – an appeal that is to be continued in 2017. “During our ‘Summer in MQ’ there are a lot of cultural events in our courtyards, all free of charge,” offers Strasser. Numerous live concerts, the literature festival ‘O-Töne’ as well as the digital film festival ‘frame(o)ut’ are guaranteed to

add to MuseumsQuartier’s particular atmosphere. mumok The mumok (short for Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien) is the largest museum for contemporary art in central Europe. “Our exhibits are a true engagement with art,” states Karola Kraus, director at mumok.“Visitors to mumok will encounter an exquisite blend of international and Austrian avant-garde art, and you may find works by Picasso, Andy Warhol or Franz West on display,”Kraus adds. Numerous special exhibitions give mumok’s visitors even more opportunities to engage with contemporary art and to thus become acquainted with a symbiosis of tradition and experiment, of past and present – an engagement that is continued in mumok’s very own cinema.

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Experience of the Month, Austria

While mumok’s exhibitions always hold a particular appeal, the year 2017 has a very special event in store. “In summer, we are very proud to host the exhibition Woman on our premises,” says Kraus. This exhibition puts feminist avant-garde art from the 1970s on display and is sure to produce a couple of inspiring engagements between the visitors and art. Leopold Museum “The Leopold Museum houses an important collection of 19th and 20th century Austrian art and is,” as director Hans-Peter Wipplinger points out, “especially known for its substantial and world’s largest collection of works by the Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele. Our collection comprises more than 40 of Schiele’s paintings and around 180 works on paper, among them his famous self-portraits and the masterpieces Entschwebung (Levitation) and Eremiten (The Hermits),” Wipplinger adds. By presenting the works of Schiele as well as his contemporaries and successors – among them Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Richard Gerstl, Koloman Moser – the Leopold Museum gives comprehensive insight in the phenomenon of the so-called ‘Wiener Moderne’. Furthermore, the Leop-

old Museum impresses with exciting special exhibitions that shed light on the 19th and 20th century art from a current point of view. In 2017, for example, works by the German painter Carl Spitzweg (1808–1885) will be put in dialogue with interventions of the contemporary Austrian artist Erwin Wurm, whereas retrospectives are dedicated to Greek-Austrian sculptor Joannis Avramidis (1922–2016) as well as Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler (1853–1918), one of the predecessors of expressionism.

“Kunsthalle Wien is a synonym for involvement and exchange,” emphasises Schafhausen, “and the exhibition How to Live Together, one of our highlights in 2017, will add a new level to this discourse.” This exhibition in the MuseumsQuartier focuses on artistic positions that deal with historic, current, and future changes of ‘togetherness’. One of Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz’s highlights is a solo show by Camille Henrot, winner of the Silver Lion Award at the 55th Venice Biennale.

Kunsthalle Wien

These museums are without a doubt among some of the highlights of a visit to Vienna. Their highly attractive collections and singular projects are certain to captivate even the most sceptical of visitors.

“Kunsthalle Wien is both a location for established and contemporary art and a negotiation site for current societal issues as well as future developments,” explains Nicolaus Schafhausen, director at Kunsthalle Wien. “The visitors are invited to become an active participant in art and to thus embark on an exciting journey that explores the possibilities of discourse of contemporary art and life,” Schafhausen adds. Housed in two locations – in the MuseumsQuartier and at the Karlsplatz – the works exhibited on both premises are undergoing an act of constant change, which makes Kunsthalle an incredibly lively and challenging space. Pablo Picasso, Femme assise à l’écharpe verte, 1960. © SUCCESSION PICASSO, Paris/ Bildrecht Wien, 2016

Liam Gillick, I See That Iceland is Improving, 2016.

Couple in front of Klimt. Photo: © Leopold Museum

Summer in MuseumsQuartier. Photo: © Hertha Hurnaus

Egon Schiele, Selbstbildnis mit Lampionfrüchten, 1912. Photo: © Leopold Museum

Gustav Klimt, Tod und Leben, 1910/15. Photo: © Leopold Museum

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  51

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Attraction of the Month, Austria

AT T R A C T I O N O F T H E M O N T H , A U S T R I A

Contemporary art in an iconic environment The façade of the Viennese Secession is graced by the following programmatic words: To every time its art. To art its freedom. Following this theme, the exhibition space that was built in the unique architectural tradition around 1900 is realising a diverse international programme aiming to present contemporary forms of expression.

There is also Avery Singer and her exhibition Sailor. With this show, Singer is presenting a collection of new large images. In her works, Singer has been showing a tendency for the abstract and thus creating new image spaces.


There is a wonderful, constant dialogue between the Secession as a space and the art that is shown. Although more than a century old, the architecture is still young in functionality and timeless elegance. Naturally the contrasts that can be created by displaying contemporary works are stimulating and thoughtful. But the building itself is also a source of inspiration, both for visitors and especially for artists. Apart from the main room, there is a further space on the upper floor and three more rooms in the downstairs gallery. In that way, the building demands the exhibiting artist’s individual interpretation, making each show a different experience. An early masterpiece exhibition was the Beethoven exhibit of 1902. Lasting from April to June, the show was created by 21 artists led by Josef Hoffmann. At the 52  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

heart of the exhibition was the Beethoven statue by Max Klinger and Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze, which has been on permanent display at the Secession since 1988. In its entirety, the Beethoven show was a perfect creation for the Secessions understanding of art, as the individual crafts – architecture, painting, sculpting and music – were brought together in an exceptional vision. Currently, the Secession is occupied by two exhibitions. On the one hand, there is Francis Alÿs and Le temps du sommeil, an ongoing series of 111 paintings. Alÿs began this body of works in 1996 and is reworking or repairing some of the pieces at times, adding new context and new strokes. This nurtures their general feel, which could be described as capturing moments in time.

Both exhibitions last until the 22 January 2017. Left: Secession Vienna Façade. Photo: © Jori Aust Top right: Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze. Photo: © Oliver Ottenschlaeger Below right: Francis Alÿs Le temps du sommeil. Photo: © Francis Alÿs, Galerie Peter Kilchmann

2017 EXHIBITIONS 2 February – 26 March: Svenja Deininger, Gabriel Sierra, Angelika Loderer 6 April – 18 June: Jean-Luc Moulène, Rosa Barba, Anoka Faruqee June – August: Alex Da Corte, Ericka Beckman September – November: Nicole Eisenman, Toni Schmale, Chadwick Rantanen November – January 2018: R. H. Quaytman, Olga Chernysheva

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Top Beauty Expert, Austria

Top left: Dr. Balogh performing treatment. Below left: Dr. Balogh’s surgery. Main image: Univ.-Doz. Dr. Brigitta Balogh.

T O P B E A U T Y E X P E R T, A U S T R I A

Univ.-Doz. Dr. Brigitta Balogh

A beautiful start to the new year Dr. Brigitta Balogh, a renowned Vienna-based plastic surgeon, is an experienced and recognised specialist for plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. With regard to breast augmentations, her plastic surgery procedures will give your breasts a fuller, shapelier appearance with results that are soft, natural and beautiful.

ers after substantial weight loss or babies have lost the volume in their breasts. Breast augmentation surgery involves using breast implants to increase the size of your breasts or restore breast volume that has been lost after weight loss or pregnancy.

Patients find comfort in the trust they develop while working with the renowned and highly touted cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Balogh. The experienced surgeon will work diligently to ensure that any visible scarring from the procedure is minimal and as light as possible. Her practice offers a level of care and patient satisfaction that can only be achieved through one-onone, patient-to-doctor dialogue.

Emphasis on information and dialogue

Other beauty treatments and lifting

“I place great emphasis on providing information and educating my patients on their choices and specialised treatments. This is done with information sheets, educational resources and personalised sketches. The patient also sees pictures of other anonymous patients who underwent the same procedure. This thorough and individualised process makes sure that the patient is

In addition to plastic and surgical procedures, Dr. Balogh’s signature beauty treatments include skin and wrinkle therapy with peelings, medical needling, lifting, hyaluronic fillers (for wrinkles and lips), Botox for wrinkles and migraine, PRP (vampire lifting) and Aptos-lifting.


When considering breast augmentation surgery, it is important to consult with a surgeon who has the training, skill and experience necessary to provide you with a beautiful and natural result. Dr. Balogh has an impeccable reputation, and has performed numerous breast augmentation surgeries in her Vienna practice. In every breast augmentation procedure that Dr. Balogh performs, her goal is to provide the most proportional, natural-looking results possible while considering the patient’s desired outcome and concerns. There are many reasons women consider having breast augmentation surgery. Some women are tired of never having clothes that fit appropriately, while oth-

educated and informed about the procedure, the healing process and proper care of scars to make the best choices,”explains Dr. Balogh. Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  53

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Educational Institutions Switzerland

University of Zurich. Photo: ©, Tambako The Jaguar

S P E C I A L T H E M E : T O P E D U C AT I O N A L I N S T I T U T I O N S S W I T Z E R L A N D

Celebrating diversity and internationality Switzerland offers great education, ranging from local Swiss schools, private schools and bilingual schools to international schools with a multilingual focus. In 2012, the country ranked nine out of 65 countries in the OECD/PISA survey of educational standards amongst 15-year-olds. On the following pages, we present some of Switzerland’s best institutions. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: ©, USF SLE

54  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Educational Institutions Switzerland

Secondary School.

Dance for Kindness at ISZN.

ISZN graduation – Secondary Class.

Happy children + successful teenagers = happy parents Ever since its foundation in 1999, this formula of success has been the driving force behind the International School – Zurich North, or ISZN in short. Here, school director Daniel Sarbach explains why ISZN has become one of Switzerland’s most popular international schools. TEXT: SONJA IRANI  I  PHOTOS: ISZN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL ZURICH NORTH

“Our students’ individual needs are always the most important,” says the head of the school, which is located in the rapidly expanding town of Wallisellen – just two stops by train from the centre of Zurich.“Most of our students join us because their parents come to Switzerland for work. This could be at any time of the year, which is why we are extremely flexible when it comes to registrations and deadlines. Basically, there are no deadlines. If children and parents are interested, they can request a private viewing at any time throughout the year. We are always happy to show them around.” Another aspect that makes ISZN stand out from an ordinary school in Switzer-

land is that it follows the British school system. As such, ISZN not only holds official certification from the local Swiss authorities, but also from Cambridge University and offers the British leaving certificates IGCSE, AS Levels and A Levels. The students, who come from more than 30 different cultural backgrounds, can start as early as age three and usually finish by age 18.

particularly interested in languages can even continue to practise their Dutch, Mandarin Chinese or Slovakian as part of their extracurricular activities in the afternoon. These also include creative arts, sports such as the school’s most popular team sports cricket, or homework support in the so-called ‘homework club’. Finally, the filled afternoons also come in handy for parents who are working full time as their children are cared for at the school from 8am to 6pm every Monday to Friday. ISZN Smart with students.

The international approach of ISZN is equally reflected in the fact that all subjects are taught in English. Furthermore, German is offered on three different levels: beginners, intermediate and advanced. French can be chosen, but the students are free to do so. Plus, students Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  55

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Educational Institutions Switzerland

Peak campus, Lower and Middle Building.

Secondary art room.

Primary atrium.

Sports hall.

Helping students grow into open-minded and responsible world citizens The German Swiss International School (GSIS) in Hong Kong fosters a holistic, community-oriented approach to learning and understanding, resulting in high academic performance. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: GERMAN SWISS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, HONG KONG

When asked what makes her school standout, principal Annette Brandt-Dammann states: “We can, with regards to our school, talk about academic excellence, holistic educational standards and cultural diversity. However, focusing on the individual development of the competencies and talents of each of our students, through every staff member, on the basis of a strong school community, is what makes us unique.” GSIS is one of the leading international schools in Hong Kong with a high reputation for academic excellence and 56  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

outstanding achievements. Around 150 teachers and 250 staff members in total work with around 1,300 pupils yearly, from kindergarten to secondary level to the Business College, which offers wholesale & foreign trade and transport & logistics management training programmes. This comprehensive setup is a unique concept throughout Asia. The school is part of the network of German Schools Abroad and supported by the German government. As one school operating in two parallel branches, GSIS offers a German-based ed-

ucation with English as a second language and vice versa, respectively resulting in the German International Abitur and IGCSE and the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP). The two branches are known as the English Stream and the German Stream. Cultural diversity is a given at GSIS, as pupils hail from over 30 different countries. The school was founded in 1969 by German and Swiss families looking for a bilingual education for their children, within international surroundings. For its first year, the German Swiss International School Hong Kong counted 73 pupils divided into eight bilingual classes. Stemming from these humble beginnings, GSIS has since grown into one of Hong Kong’s leading international schools, lo-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Educational Institutions Switzerland

cated on two campuses. The Peak campus comprises three buildings, the Upper Building, the Middle Building and the Lower Building. The entire campus underwent extensive renovation during recent years, with all buildings having reopened as of November 2016. The development process took eight years in total and has resulted in numerous additional facilities, including new art studios, the relocation and enlargement of the primary and senior libraries, new science rooms, a new gymnasium and a theatre, cafeteria and music classrooms, IT facilities, as well as the relocation and conversion of the swimming pool on the rooftop for yearround use. Ulrich Buchholtz, son of the founder and first headmistress Ingrid Buchholtz and GSIS alumnus, was elected school board chairman in 2003 and continues to hold the position today. The board mainly consists of parents committed to maintaining and promoting GSIS. All parents are encouraged to engage in school committees to further support the school’s mission. One of the committees, for example, is in sole charge of the school shop, where stationary supplies can be purchased as well

as physical education kits. Apart from the PE outfits, at GSIS there is no formal uniform required, as the school matches its principles on German school policies.

with impairment of vision, hearing and mobility and give them equal educational opportunities remains a vital part of GSIS’s policy.

Students at GSIS derive from Germanspeaking families who have been based in Hong Kong for generations, as well as German and English-speaking families who are sent overseas by their employer. Last but not least, many students stem from local families who simply want their children to have an excellent preparation for future overseas studies. What unites those sending their children to GSIS is the desire for a holistically oriented, highly qualitative education that puts individual support and advancement of the students’ talents and skills front and centre.

A look at the school’s events calendar shows a list of lively community events, ranging from concerts to bazaars to awareness-raising sports competitions. On their Facebook site, one can enjoy recent updates on field excursions, events, sports games and competitions, as well as the latest episode of the ‘Word on Campus’ interviews, a new video initiative featuring GSIS students in vox pop interviews on topics including current trends, global issues and school happenings.

GSIS is an international school that feels a responsibility for its immediate environment in the city of Hong Kong. Thanks to its supporters’ generosity, scholarships can be provided for young, talented and motivated people in Hong Kong who do not have sufficient resources.

As principal Annette Brandt-Dammann says: “As part of the fascinating metropolis of Hong Kong, we see our task in educating our students in a way that makes them open-minded, responsible 21st century citizens, showing commitment and solidarity. We see the cultural diversity and the social surroundings of our school as a chance and a challenge alike.”

In 2017, the topic of inclusion will be part of the school’s agenda. To support children

Primary library.

Swimming pool.

Science labs.

Secondary music room.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  57

Come fly with us

Left: The Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality. Top right: Having worked in various roles in the Hyatt Chain in Australia, Turkey and Dubai, Cemil gave up his established international career to study Hospitality Management at SSTH.

– The Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality The hospitality industry is one of the fastest-growing industry sectors world-wide. As a booming industry, diverse career opportunities continue to flourish on a global scale and the industry continues to attract new talent who are passionate and well educated. TEXT & PHOTOS: SWISS SCHOOL OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY

The Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality (SSTH), part of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) Group and Swiss Hotel Association, is a College of Applied Sciences that offers a fascinating international atmosphere. Students not only benefit from top hands-on experience, but also from a high level of academic education. In addition, they experience the world of hospitality in their industry internships as 58  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

well as with real-life projects and events. Students are truly prepared for a managerial career in the real world of hospitality management. So what does this real and dynamic world of hospitality look like? Anybody who has seen the film The Grand Budapest Hotel will appreciate the humour and great acting. The film depicts the ‘old

world’ of hospitality management, where grandeur, glamour and opulence were prevalent. This was an era where hotel managers had life-long careers in the same hotel, jobs were mainly focused in hotels, career advancement was slow and job responsibilities limited. Nowadays, the industry still reflects glamour and opulence but, unlike the bygone era, the atmosphere is dynamic, fresh and cutting edge. You can understand why young people want to be a part of it. With a vast array of career opportunities around the globe in prestigious hotel chains, event companies, restaurants, bars, clubs, airlines and cruise ships, private banking and

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Educational Institutions Switzerland

other corporate industries, there is real scope for advancement. Consumer demands for excellence and technological innovation require graduates to be highly skilled, proactive, technically and financially savvy, culturally aware, linguistically inclined and more importantly have great communication and interpersonal skills. After all, it is a ‘people business’. Do these highly trained young graduates actually exist? Behind the scenes at the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality, some of the students share their passion for the innovative industry and give an insight into their education. During sixth form, Rebecca from Luxembourg remembers the difficulty she had in choosing what she would do after her A Levels. Her school was very academic and she was not sure whether an academic degree was what she wanted. Her focus became less about what degree she would study and more towards what career she could pursue. Her family were already established in the industry, both in Luxemburg and China, so she had first-hand information about the vast array of career opportunities. “Even though I am quite academic and got four A Levels, I felt I needed to study

something that was both academic and creative. I specifically chose SSTH because its degree programmes are accredited by the Swiss federal government and are both academic and practical. I also have the option to study two degrees, one of which is a BSc in international hospitality management. Because I speak six languages, I really think the hospitality industry is a perfect career choice.” Swiss-born Gustav has always dreamed of having an international career in the industry. He first heard about SSTH whilst visiting the Dorchester Hotel in London. Faced with a choice of studying the Swiss Professional Degree in either German or English, he chose English in order to enhance his chances of an international career. Before joining SSTH, Gustav worked for the prestigious Mosimann Ltd, an established family-run business headed up by a Swiss man, Anton Mosimann OBE. “What is so inspirational about Mosimann,” states Gustav, “is that he started his apprenticeship at a local hotel at age 15 and by 28 he was appointed Maître Chef des Cuisines at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Now his empire consists of restaurants and clubs.” Gustav’s motives for studying at the SSTH are to gain not only top-end work expe-

rience but managerial competence too. Having worked in various roles in the Hyatt Chain in Australia, Turkey and Dubai, Cemil gave up his established international career to study Hospitality Management at SSTH. “I didn’t want a nine-to-five career. I love the fact that the industry is innovative and that there are so many varied career opportunities in both management and other areas within the industry. The employees I have met so far are international with a broad perspective on life and they also really enjoy their work.” SSTH has over 5,000 alumni all over the world, working in variety of managerial positions in the industry.

For more information on SSTH, the degree programmes or to visit, contact: Hauptstrasse 12, 7062 Passugg, Switzerland Tel. +41 81 255 11 11 You can follow SSTH on: Instagram: @ssthch and @wearessth

Swiss born, Gustav has always dreamed of having an international career in the industry.

During Sixth Form, Rebecca, from Luxembourg remembers the difficulty she had in choosing what she would do after her A Levels.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  59

Ready for the island The transition into new work environments has already begun. Productivity enhancing, motivating and health conscious office concepts have become defining requirements for a new work culture. To sit undisturbed, relax efficiently and sustainably continue to educate oneself – these are three demands posed to an ideal work environment for employees in modern offices. The sonic chair – the acoustic island in open space offices – makes a lasting first impression, immediately generating curiosity through its catchy design. “Sitting inside high end ear phones” – that’s how one could describe the product. Maximum digital sound quality is focused precisely on the listener’s position, enabling the use in a large office space without disturbing other employees. With flexibly applied features like the iMac-Touch, iPad, Microsoft surfacePro or a laptop table, the sonic chair offers diverse multimedia and audio-visual applications. Moreover, the red-dot Award winning design makes for a real eye-catcher in a modern office.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

Photo: © Guido van Nispen

S P E C I A L T H E M E : S U C C E S S F U L S TA R T- U P S G E R M A N Y

Starting up in Germany Laptops, pizza, long flexible hours, a group of young people, maybe in a garage: when it comes to the start-up scene there are many clichés. Some of them are accurate, others not so much. But one aspect that unites all new businesses is the importance of the initial idea as it must inspire and motivate the hard process of forming a company. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

Berlin. Photo: © Alexander Cahlenstein

62  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Photo: © Loozrboy

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

Munich. Photo: © Polybert49

In recent years, Germany has been doing much to facilitate start-up growth. Politicians and economic advisors are trying to improve economic sites and to make cities or federal states more attractive. Overall this plan can be called a success, as statistics characterise Germany’s start-up scene as healthy and growing. When it comes to location, most young founders are attracted to the country’s capital of Berlin, where 30 per cent of businesses are formed. But although Berlin has always been on the forefront of the startup scene, other regions have not been lazy. Munich, Hamburg and Stuttgart are all among the top five cities and the Ruhr area in North-Rhine-Westphalia is part of this group too. While the businesses, in which the startups operate in, are very diverse, a focus is seen in their general direction. Following general societal trends, most start-ups have some technological or internet component. In that regard, the number one area is ‘software as a service’, followed by e-commerce, IT and software development.

On average, a German business founder, developing his first company, is about 30 years old. 87 per cent of all founders are male but, in recent years, the female percentage has been moving up. Still, at only 13 per cent, there is more room for desirable future growth. Take a look at the following pages and get to know some of Germany’s most exciting start-ups.

Photo: © Markus Spiske

Photo: © Librarygroover

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  63

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

Sebastian Signer, founder of SUITLABS.

Suit up with SUITLABS Finding the right suit for the right man can be a difficult challenge. Sometimes there is not enough consultation, other times there is such a wide selection that one feels lost. Knowing this frustration, Sebastian Signer founded the company SUITLABS: a start-up from Munich that makes the journey to your next suit simple and at eye level.

serve how the suit looks on them and better invest a little extra money in the perfect fitting. Apart from that, “the most important tip is clearly subjective: you have to wear it and feel comfortable”.


After two years, Sebastian, as a business owner, feels good in his own skin. He is seeing a healthy growth regarding SUITLABS and is continuously developing his brand further. “No thought is farfetched. Everything is possible.”

Simplicity is the key. “In our store, no one is lost. We offer classic business suits in two styles and classic colours, with additional SUITLABS shirts and ties. Men can assemble their entire business outfit and advice is given by me personally.” Sebastian’s journey as an entrepreneur began as a complete newcomer. Before SUITLABS he worked in business consulting, but was eager to create his own company and bear the responsibility.“It all started the classic way in a small backyard office in Munich with a pen and pencil. I literally had to start from scratch and work it out as I went along.” One of the first steps was to go to Turkey, where he had studied a few years back, 64  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

and look for business partners. He was successful in this search and since 2014 he has established a fruitful working relationship with his partners in Istanbul. “When I get an idea, I try to capture it in writing and with a blueprint. My tailor’s designers then translate my ideas and develop a prototype. This may sound a little too easy, but modern communication really fosters the collaboration.” When asked about his advice for the perfect suit, Sebastian clarifies that there is no such thing as perfect but only “the perfect suit, for a specific time and a specific person”. In his view the most important aspect is the fit. Rather than just going for an expensive one, people should closely ob-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

Concept design of a modern garden.

Entrance area with step plates.

Hand-drawn idea plan.

When experts plan gardens The Dresden-based start-up company GARDOMAT offers something rather innovative: professional, uncomplicated, inexpensive, creative and individual garden planning over the internet. Since 2011, a team of experienced landscaping engineers has offered this online service to those who seek to bring their individual garden ideas to life. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: GARDOMAT

Founders Claudia and Peter-Paul Petzold had the idea in 2008 while studying landscape architecture in Dresden. Both noticed that an uncomplicated planning possibility of private gardens did not exist. “Many still believe that today’s landscape architects plan gardens in a too expensive and unapproachable way,” notes Claudia Petzold. Thus, the idea was to create a combination of classical landscape architecture and practice-oriented landscaping: the GARDOMAT – the ‘garden automat’ – came to life. Today, a creative and experienced team of eight landscape designers develops high-quality, individual and holistic garden concepts for private customers that either want to implement the plans themselves or want to outsource some tasks to other landscaping companies. “We address customers’ individual wishes and the gardens’ respective conditions,” says Peter-Paul Petzold. So, how does it work? First, customers can choose between different planning

packages with fair fixed rates. Whether one solely wants an idea for their new garden (‘gardoIDEE’), an idea with a suitable concept (‘gardoIDEE+KONZEPT’) or a garden design that is planned to the smallest detail (‘gardoKOMPLETT’), GARDOMAT offers it all. Besides these packages, GARDOMAT also offers some additional packages that can be booked separately or together with the main packages mentioned above: ‘gardoBEETPLANUNG’, ‘gardoBELEUCHTUNG’, ‘gardoBEWÄSSERUNG’ and ‘gardoBEMASSUNG’ are for clients that do not need a complete redesign of their gardens but rather aim for an innovative watering system, a lighting concept or a detailed flowerbed design plan. When customers found their suitable package, they upload photos and ground plans of their gardens into the planning portal and let the GARDOMAT experts know of individual wishes and ideas. After that, a phone call with the customer’s

personal garden planner helps with analysing the information provided and then GARDOMAT, while standing in close contact with the client, creates individual planning documents. Claudia Petzold smiles: “GARDOMAT stands out from other planning offices due to the uncomplicated execution over the internet.” So far, the professional garden planners have planned over 600 enchanting gardens in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. With the personal and inexpensive online garden planning solution, the dream of a modern, Japanese, Mediterranean or romantic garden will be realised in the best way possible.

Patio design.

Natural pool design.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  65

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

muun – simply comfortable Contrary to nutrition, sports or cosmetics, sleep does not get the appreciation it deserves in society. The creative minds at muun are aiming to change that. TEXT: INA FRANK  I  PHOTOS: MUUN

A mattress, a pillow, a duvet – muun offers design products that can be adapted to individual needs. Whether you are a side, back or belly sleeper, muun’s awardwinning mattress can be adjusted by simply turning around the core or its topper, made of the finest foams that take pressure off the body. The three-layer pillow offers two different firmness levels and is adjustable in height to respond to the different needs of every sleep type. The duvet is made of 100 per cent natural fibres and consists of two separate parts that can be joined to create one, thicker duvet. Whatever product one chooses – it is all about feeling at ease and comfortable. When asked about the idea for the foundation of muun, Jessica-Joyce Sidon, head 66  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

of public relations, explains: “In recent years, industrial companies did not manage to make sleep become a relevant part of our lifestyle. Many people now buy their mattresses in passing and afterwards they are unhappy with the result. That is what muun wants to change.” To find the appropriate materials for its products, muun has taken quite an effort. The staff travelled more than 50,000 kilometres through Europe to find the secret of ultimate comfort. They succeeded and discovered the magic formula: foams of the latest generation, combined with soft textiles. “We were always oriented towards the highest standards,” Sidon tells. “This has an impact on the comfort. Besides, we give a ten-year guarantee on our mattresses.”

muun also attaches importance to social commitment. For every seventh mattress they sell, they give a donation to allow children in need to have their own mattress.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

Experiencing coffee a different way:

Cold and full of unique aromas


Many coffee lovers might make their own cold brew coffee, but DRIPSTER offers a better alternative. It allows water to flow slowly, drop by drop, through the ground coffee, flushing out the different aromas. After two to three hours it results in cold coffee that tingles the taste buds. Hans Berner and Philipp Sahrmann have both studied law and both love cold drip coffee, but could only find rather expensive machines to make it. So they started a joint business venture, got in contact with a manufacturer and soon brought DRIPSTER to market. “Cold drip coffee intensifies all possible flavours,” says Hans Berner. The cocoa taste of Brazilian coffee beans, for example, or that of fruits and flowers in coffee from Ethiopia. Cold brew coffee is often made mixing ground coffee and water, after a few hours pouring it through a filter. “The DRIPSTER

method is slightly different and better,” says Philipp Sahrmann and compares both methods to a dirty sponge: “When thrown into a bowl of water, of course a lot of residue is washed out, but much more is left in. But when you rinse it under a tap all substances hidden in the sponge come out directly.” So, when using the cold drip method the same principle applies: letting water trickle through the ground coffee means more of the different aromas contained in the beans will later end in the glass.

Designing your own living space German online shop Pickawood distributes custom-made wood furniture of highend quality at an affordable price TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD  I  PHOTOS: PICKAWOOD GMBH

Creating your own wood furniture. Hamburg-based company Pickawood GmbH realises this dream by offering custom-made tables, cupboards, sideboards, shelves and wardrobes. Customers can choose size, shape and colours and thereby personalise their furniture pieces. The products are then crafted using high-quality wood and delivered to the customer’s door. Pickawood takes pride in their excellent customer service. Clients are offered multiple ways of staying in touch with Pickawood, including WhatsApp and a live chat with a product advisor. “These various choices of communication show that we are always available when help is needed throughout the planning process, or when our customers have any questions concerning our range of products,” states

Anouk Lauenstein, marketing manager at Pickawood. The idea is to provide a service just like the personal contact customers have in a classical joiner’s shop. Naturally, their service also includes realising unusual ideas and requests. “Once we worked on a four-metre-long shelf with a locomotive on top of it, hidden behind a folding door. In addition, a compartment for a hamster was requested.” Pickawood has a lot of plans for 2017. Their product portfolio will be extended further with even more design options for customers. There will be more exciting news coming up which Lauenstein likes to keep quiet about for the time being, but promises that customers can really look forward to the new year.

Oak shelves with TV slot.

Stair shelves made out of MDF and oak wood.

Table ‘Paris‘ made out of ash wood. Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  67

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

The ultimate drinking bottle Taking in one’s daily need of liquid seems almost impossible – especially while travelling. The reasons for this are manifold: drinking bottles do not keep a drink’s wished temperature and thermos flasks look increasingly unaesthetic while being heavy and awkward. The FLSK is the first drinking bottle that combines the highest insulating performance with stylish design. This makes it the ultimate drinking bottle. TEXT: FLSK PRODUCTS GMBH; TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: FLSK PRODUCTS GMBH

The founders of the innovative start-up from Munich have asked themselves why people have to make a compromise when buying a drinking bottle. Why are common drinking and thermos bottles often heavy, unhandy and leaking? Why do they not keep the drink’s temperature? And why can the few functional specimens not look great and get produced in a sustainable way? The FLSK does not compromise: it combines highest functionality with timeless design and real sustainability. Uncompromising functionality up to the last drop With the FLSK it is possible to keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot up to 18 68  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

hours. The high insulating performance and its ultralight design make it the perfect accessory for all travellers. Carefree travelling while enjoying one’s favourite drink in the perfect temperature – anytime and everywhere. The FLSK is your perfect travelling companion. The FLSK’s puristic design revolutionises the dusty image of a classic thermos bottle. Fashion-conscious men and women appreciate the stylish, new accessory for everyday use. The FLSK drinking bottle fits in every handbag and can be worn with every outfit due to its simple and elegant design. With the FLSK, personal usefulness perfectly matches the appearance.

The FLSK also shows responsibility towards humans and nature. As a toxin-free alternative to disposable plastic bottles, the FLSK actively campaigns against wasting valuable resources. Additionally, the Munich-based start-up supports different charitable organisations that promote relevant problem areas all over the globe in order to do their own bit to foster a liveable and sustainable environment.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

Knowing your customers: Data is the key to personal shopping experiences Online retailers have one major advantage compared to brick and mortar stores: they have data about their customers that supports data-driven planning and decision making. But this is about to change. MiNODES has developed an intelligent analytics tool that provides detailed insights into in-store consumer behaviour, enabled through the Wi-Fi signals of shoppers’ smartphones. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: MiNODES

Online retailers have built their success on advanced consumer data. E-commerce giant Amazon for example determines consumers’ preferences by utilising smart algorithms that analyse what they have previously bought or recently looked at. Personalised offers such as the ‘recommended for you’ sections make shopping far more personal and incentivise customers to explore and purchase. So how can high-street retailers achieve impactful shopping experiences? “Modern brick and mortar retailers need to understand their customers in order to remain relevant,” says Tim Wegner, founder and managing director at MiNODES. MiNODES’ technology provides retailers with much-needed insights and allows them to understand exactly when and how consumers move through their stores. Key

questions can be answered, such as: are customers loyal to a specific store location or do they visit multiple stores of the same retailer? How often do consumers return to the store and how long do they dwell inside? Consumer behaviour insights also allow for the evaluation of marketing activities and events. If, for example, a store’s window display is changed, it is critical for the retailer to understand if the new design draws in more potential customers.

is the understanding of how shoppers engage with the physical retail store. This technology paves the way for another breakthrough innovation: “We now also enable retailers to target consumers via online and mobile channels, based on their offline shopping behaviour,” explains Wegner. After a shopper has been to the local store, the retailer is able to reach him or her with tailored advertisements across popular apps and websites – just like online retailers do.

The technology behind this is quite simple, but clever. Small MiNODES-sensors are installed inside the store, which recognise and locate the Wi-Fi signals of surrounding smartphones. “The data that we collect is anonymous,” says Tim Wegner. “We do not have any information about the person’s identity, we only understand the aggregated behavioural shopping patterns of the consumers.” The information that matters Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  69

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

FLEETIZE helps to optimise fleets. Photo: Yakup Zeyrek 2015

FLEETIZE is ready for use right after plugging the module into the diagnostic socket of the vehicle. Photo: FLEETIZE

Applying the FLEETIZE system in the START Summit limousine service. Photo: START Summit 2016

The electronic driver’s log automatically registers up to 85 per cent of all information. Photo: FLEETIZE

Heading in the direction of the future Established in 2014, the start-up FLEETIZE developed an easy-to-use, yet innovative, tool that helps companies to link their fleets and to improve their routes by tracking location and sensor data. After starting within the businessto-business market, FLEETIZE now also addresses freelancers by additionally offering an electronic driver’s log. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS

“Do you have a solution to use fleets of vehicles more efficiently?” Many customers used to approach Gueven Oektem with this question in 2013. Therefore, the information technology consultant pursued some market research, but he only came across complicated and expensive offers. As he was not satisfied with any of these existing solutions, he decided to develop a simpler system and convinced one of his customers, a stucco plasterer firm, to invest in his idea. Never doubting 70  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

his idea and aiming to further pursue his plan, he was even willing to sell his motorcycle to raise the required funds. Within only a few months and an additional investment of his customer, success proved him right as he had managed to establish the first end devices, servers, as well as the necessary software development to realise his project. 30 days later, Oektem already provided the stucco plasterer firm with the first test prototype. Some months later, in October 2014, he, together with a

friend, established a company under the name of FLEETIZE based in Schwaikheim, Baden-Württemberg. Since then, the name FLEETIZE has been dropped in the media every now and then and when talking about Germany’s successful start-ups, which has already hired five employees. Numerous firms have profited from the FLEETIZE module since it was introduced to the market: “We digitalise the companies’ fleets by linking different types of vehicles with one and the same hardware within seconds, and gather their state and location in one common platform,” Oektem explains. Installing the device is very easy, he adds. “You do not necessarily have to go to the garage or conduct complicated wiring; the only thing you have to do is simply plug

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

the FLEETIZE module that contains a GPS receiver and a SIM card into the diagnostic socket of the vehicle.”This way, companies have the chance to apply this modern vehicle location system to both small and big fleets without making high investments. Less costs, no misuse “Employers profit from this system, as they have very accurate access to information concerning their vehicles by tracking each of them via a smartphone, a notebook or a tablet computer,” Oektem states. After installing the according app, employers have an overview of all vehicles, their mileage, their fuel consumption, and their break time. Therefore, vehicles fleets can work more efficiently: “Misuse can be prevented and costs can be reduced by tapping hidden potential.” As the FLEETIZE solution is far more cost efficient than existing vehicle location systems, even financially less strong companies can afford the devices. Another ad-

Left: After installing the FLEETIZE app, employers quickly and easily get an overview of all their vehicles. Right: …with one click you receive all relevant information. Photos: FLEETIZE

vantage is that users do not have to be tech experts to handle the FLEETIZE system. As a result, employers do not have to struggle with complicated devices and have more time to concentrate on their daily business. A modern way of keeping track of your routes The start-up not only addresses companies who want to link their fleets of vehicles, it also offers products to freelancers. FLEETIZE designed an electronic driver’s log that gathers all information relevant to the tax office and helps freelancers to reduce the error rate to a minimum when recording their past routes.“This way, customers will be able to save an average of 2,500 euros in tax every year,” Oektem says. Users only have to plug the small FLEETIZE-Tracker into their car and all relevant information such as mileage, travel time, and destinations is constantly transferred to high-secured servers. The German-based servers then allow the customers to access their data 24/7 through

A part of today’s FLEETIZE-team at the IFA 2016. Photo: BVDS e.V.

various devices, such as smartphones, laptop computers or tablet PCs. No more handwritten driver’s logs, no more paper. If required, customers can add further functionality to their electronic driver’s log, such as an anti-theft protection and a locating service. Since FLEETIZE attaches great importance to data security, customers’ data is stored encrypted on the German servers of the young company – only for a period of time customers agree with. In 2017, Oektem and his team want to further focus on selling their innovative products by making FLEETIZE more visible to the public. “We are going to increase our supply chains, raise our advertising budget and recruit new employees,” Oektem explains. “Hopefully, many discussions with potential companies in the automotive industry will enable new opportunities for cooperation.”

Installing the device for the GPS-tracking is very easy. Photo: Kurmyshov und Iakov Kalinin, © Fotolia

A waste management company uses the FLEETIZE system to plan orders and to keep track of its vehicles. Photo: Yakup Zeyrek 2015

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  71

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

Photo: © vege - Fotolia

Better knowledge for better medication and treatments Knowledge has become more and more important for pharmaceutical companies. But to evaluate everything and put it into context thus enabling appropriate decisions, the right computer tools are needed. BioVariance, based in Munich, has specialised in this field. The company’s unique approach brings together medical and biological expertise with data analysis and the development of associated software and IT structures. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

While the main problem a few years ago was that researcher often did not have any data they could base their research on, today it is mostly the other way round. “We often have a huge amount of data that has to be analysed,” says Josef Scheiber an expert for bioinformatics and founder of BioVariance. Josef Scheiber established the company three years ago after working for two of the largest pharmaceutical companies for six years. Today the company employs more than 20 people – at its 72  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

headquarters and works directly with a client in Basel. Putting data into context BioVariance brings together the data and knowledge scientists, medical researchers and physicians have gathered over the years. For new studies and advancing technology and medical procedures, researcher often have to rely on knowledge gathered by colleagues in various studies and research projects. Finding the results

and information relevant for a new study or data analysis is not always easy and experts like those at BioVariance can help to make the search far easier and faster, simply because they have a good overview about what has already been done in various medical fields. What BioVariance does is contextualise for example genetic data and that of certain active substances to deliver a testable hypothesis. Every patient is unique, so knowing which substance acts in what way under which circumstances – especially considering distinctive biochemical processes – is a key factor for successful treatments. One can imagine the human body as a combination of various factors including components like proteins or their unique DNA, but also their medical history or lifestyle. All these factors influence how people re-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

act to drugs. That makes finding the right medication so difficult. So doing what BioVariance does, combining biological knowledge with research data and software development, is a huge step forward for everyone intending to develop a new drug. It makes the reaction of the human body to new substances more predictable. Making data accessible and easy to read What makes BioVariance approach unique is the combination of data analysis and IT service. This means that the company not only analyses the data and puts it into context as explained above, but that the team also establishes necessary IT structures for clients to make this data easily available for everyone working with it.“Data should be easy to interpret and to analyse,” says Scheiber about an important factor of his work. BioVariance’s initial focus was on pharmaceutical research. Here it is especially important to not only know ingredient combination but to put them into a bio-

chemical and biological context. To make this a bit more precise: BioVariance not only takes the data about a new product its ingredients and first test results and analyses them, but also compares them to other studies. “We try not only to understand the analysis but to predict what happens when a certain substance comes into contact with human biology,”says BioVariance founder Josef Scheiber. Products and apps that make data accessible and usable But the company’s approach is not only important for research but for treating patients as well. Currently, BioVariance works on developing a software that makes knowledge easily available for physicians so that, during a treatment, all relevant options can be considered. To give an example, one approach is to enable precision medicine in psychiatry in which genetic diagnostic is used to find the right dosage for example for antidepressants using the patient’s individual genome and reference research data. This

helps right from the very beginning to avoid under or overdosing, simply because knowing the patient’s individual biology helps to predict the reaction to the drug used for the treatment. Creating, for example, an app that allows such cross-references will hugely enhance treatments, especially in this sensitive field. Mental health issues are on the rise in modern societies and often put great financial strain on the health care system. Finding the right treatment more easily and taking the individual patient into account has a double benefit: faster and better treatment for patients with far less side-effects and less costs for health insurers in the long term. Even pharmaceutical companies might profit considering their marketing approach when their products are no longer associated with nasty side-effects patients have experienced because their body and the medication were not compatible.

Josef Scheiber, expert for bioinformatics and founder of BioVariance. Photo: BioVariance

The BioVariance team. Photo: © BioVariance

Photo: © vege - Fotolia

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  73

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

Crowdfunding means investing in people. Photo: ©

Investing in a better future Companisto enables small investors in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to invest in start-ups and growth companies that are not yet listed on the stock exchange. Thereby, not only potentially high returns that are above average are attractive. Through equity-based crowdfunding, the investor also obtains emotional returns. TEXT: COMPANISTO GMBH; TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

Four years ago, the two lawyers David Rhotert and Tamo Zwinge brought Companisto to life. They have experienced the financial squeeze of young companies and medium-sized enterprises that want to grow at first hand during founding their first start-up. “A solution for the capital gap was needed,” says Rhotert. “Entrepreneurship needed support. Only with the needed financial start-up assistance an idea can be converted into entrepreneurial reality. And not every founder has a wealthy family.” During equity-based crowdfunding, small investors invest together During equity-based crowdfunding, private investors invest in start-ups and growth companies. Thereby, the so-called crowd collects the investment on the platform and makes it available to the compa74  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

ny. They get an individual share of the profits and the start-up’s increase in value for this profit-participating subordinated loan. “Like this, we can not only help entrepreneurs to found their own company, but also involve investors in the capital market of companies that aren’t oriented towards the stock market. Up until 2011, they were completely excluded from this,” adds Zwinge. So far, 34 million euros were invested in start-ups and growth companies over Companisto. Around three million euros were already given to the investors during the four years of existence. Furthermore, investors do not need to accept any transaction or administration costs. All relevant information about the company and its profile are saved on the platform with which it applies for the cap-

ital. Like this, the investor can have a close look on financial figures, the founders and directors, as well as on the product or the service and the situation on the market. In the financial sector, this transparency is particularly innovative as it gives back a certain degree of autonomy to private investors. Equity-based crowdfunding on Companisto offers two investment models As a market leader in the DACH region, Companisto offers two different models for equity-based crowdfunding: investing in start-ups and investing in growth companies through venture loans. In the first case, investors receive start-up shares for their employed capital. These shares are calculated from the capital valuation and the invested capital. As it is all about venture capital in crowdfunding – just like it is when investing in the stock market – the return can achieve a value of up to 140 per cent. On the other hand, when opting for the venture loan, investors get paid interest to their bank accounts every six months.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

Growth companies are businesses that seek to further expand and that need capital for this means. Thereby, the annual interest rate for a loan accounts for between seven and eight per cent; in times of the European zero-interest policy, this does not seem like bad value. Equity-based crowdfunding teaches about dealing with risk capital The risk of total loss exists during each investment over the crowd. Investor legend Robert Arnott already noticed: “In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.” This is also the case during equity-based crowdfunding. Besides being

able to exchange ideas with other investors and to cautiously approach this investment type with investments as low as five euros, the platform significantly points out the risk involved. Furthermore, investors can learn more about investment and can further educate themselves with the help of the Companisto Academy. Equity-based crowdfunding’s main focus is also on financial returns. However, another effect of the investment is the emotional return. During the campaign on the equity-based crowdfunding platform, the investors can actively interact with the founding team and the directors and can

also participate in the start-up’s history in the long run through this contact. Furthermore, they foster the production of a sought-after product and create jobs with their investment. “To be an investor, you must be a believer in a better tomorrow,” pointed Benjamin Graham out accurately. “Through equitybased crowdfunding, we accompany regional companies on their way to the top and participate in it. Like this, we carry the entire economy forward,” concludes Rhotert.

From left: Founder and managing director Tamo Zwinge. Photo: © Max Jurisch David Rhotert wants to support entrepreneurialism. Photo: © Max Jurisch David Rhotert (left) and Tamo Zwinge (right) founded Companisto in 2012. Today, the platform is market leader in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Photo: © Max Jurisch The investor academy clearly describes financial topics and basics. Investors use it for an entry into financial investments. Photo: © Cristin Liekfeldt A start-up profile on the website looks like this. Here, the startup ‘Beachinspektor’ applies to the investors and on top, the pitch video can be seen. Photo: © Cristin Liekfeldt In the Kreuzberg-based loft office, the FinTech works on the modern investment. Photo: © Babette Fischer

Here, all sit at the same table: investors, start-ups and Companisto as intermediary platform. Photo: © Babette Fischer

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  75

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

The advantages of buying glasses online When one thinks about buying glasses, an appointment at the optician seems inevitable. The German company Mister Spex, based in Berlin, offers an alternative option: purchasing glasses online, from the comfort of one’s home. Nicola Kahle, optician and Mister Spex expert, talks about the biggest advantages.

Nicola Kahle, optician and Mister Spex expert, knows the advantages of buying glasses online.


“The wide selection of immediately available products and the price transparency are advantages at the online optician: Mister Spex offers more than 4,000 eyewear models from over 70 brands. Our portfolio ranges from popular bestsellers and inexpensive models to exclusive designer glasses. Furthermore, the prices are clearly shown so that each customer knows exactly what price to expect,” Kahle explains. What should customers watch out for when buying glasses online? Kahle says: “Independent information about the quality of online opticians can especially be found through customer ratings on large platforms like Trusted Shops. Here, Mister Spex gets praised for its high quality, the quick delivery or the holistic con-

sultation through its customer service. Clients should further pay attention to possible shipping costs so that they don’t have to pay for returning products. Additionally, Mister Spex offers a 30-day right of return – even for glasses and sunglasses with individual prescriptions.” How does it work exactly? “Thanks to product filters and face shape selection, everyone can find their suitable model at Mister Spex. For one’s first trial fitting, we offer two possibilities: the photo or the virtual fitting. As soon as one’s favourite glasses are chosen, up to four models get sent to one’s home where customers can check if they properly fit,”Kahle concludes.

Mister Spex sends four, non-binding models to each customer for trial fitting.

Mister Spex’s clients benefit from comprehensive consultation and quick delivery.

Support your body when it is most vulnerable curetin® is a new nutrient supplement that helps the body to efficiently heal wounds faster. It is recommended for patients after operations, with acute tissue damage, or for those suffering from chronic wounds.

Giving our bodies extra support when they most need it is certainly a good idea, and curetin® offers a medically approved solution.

TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: CURETICS The company Curetics is a spin-off of the faculty for nutritional medicine at the Technical University of Munich. curetin® was developed in the university environment and has been made available to the market in 2016. It contains carefully selected micro and macronutrients to ensure a comprehensive nutrient supply that helps the body to repair its tissue after operations. Curetic’s director Simon Krämer explains: “Our bodies need specific nutrients to promote the complex biochemical processes necessary to heal wounds. curetin® contains exactly those nutrients that support and speed up the healing process. This has been backed by over 50 randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled 76  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

clinical trials designed to investigate the positive effects of the nutrients contained in curetin®.” curetin® is frequently used after orthopaedic and plastic aesthetic surgery but is generally helpful after any operation. It can also be taken before the operations to prepare the body for the upcoming healing process. “We work with doctors and have received consistently positive feedback. Surgeons reported reduced healing time and a decreased rate of wound healing complications. Patients claimed that they felt healthy much earlier than expected and can go back to their normal lives sooner,” Krämer says.

curetin® at the surgery.

curetin® four weeks box.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

A world of chocolate: Stephanie’s Schokowelt Chocolate is not only a sweet temptation; it also makes for a wonderful give-away, present or thank you gift. Stephanie Troppmann has turned her passion into her work and designs customised chocolates for businesses. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

As a true chocolate and praline lover, Stephanie Troppmann always paid great attention to the quality and origin of chocolate, a skill that came in handy when she decided to open her own chocolate business in 2014. “The idea to sell exquisite Belgian chocolate was a very spontaneous one. I discovered the Belgian manufacturer through my own passion for chocolate and suddenly I had the vision to set up my own company,” Troppmann remembers with a smile. The mother of two embarked on a remarkable journey without any business experience and little support. Today, Troppmann is the proud owner of a thriving company. Stephanie’s Schokowelt offers luxury chocolates and pralines mainly for business purposes. Troppmann says:

“I offer personalised chocolates even for small quantities, which is quite special. Everything can be personalised with logos, pictures or texts. From tiny chocolate bars to elegant wooden cases filled with Belgian pralines, there is the right treat for everyone.” The outstanding selection and quality paired with Troppmann’s warm personality secured prestigious clients such as Audi and Ferrari, and Troppmann has become a regular guest at their sports car and golfing events. Troppmann envisions her business to expand and with her determination there is no doubt she will soon lead an empire of chocolate.

Stephanie Troppmann. Photo: Martina Schrenk

‘Thank you’ chocolates. Photo: Stephanie’s Schokowelt

What you See


is What is Next.


See you at CeBIT! 20 – 24 March 2017 Hannover ▪ Germany




AI Security

Global Event for Digital Business

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Germany

The endless ride Around 60 years ago, the first surfers put metal and clay under a wooden board to be able to keep surfing on land, even without waves. In 2016, Mellow was brought to life – the first mountable electric drive for any skateboard. Thereby, it smoothly catapults the asphalt surfing of yore into the world of e-mobility.

durability show the young company’s sense of corporate responsability; not to mention how much they value a lasting smile on the face of future Mellow owners.


Mellow’s co-founders have assembled a full roster of young professionals to make the Drive and the company a reality. Unified by friendship or shared motivations - or both - these young professionals believe the strength of the start-up’s vision will create much greater value than the simple pursuit of profits.

The search for the endless ride was also the initial spark of the Mellow idea for founders Johannes and Kilian. However, with their quality product ‘made in Germany’, the Hamburg-based start-up is admittedly the stubborn village holding out against the empire of electric boards mostly manufactured in Asia. Mellow Boards has put six years into the development of its electric drive, which brings up to 40 kilometres per hour to the streets – with all imaginable safety features. Four driving modes enable everyone, from beginners to boardsport enthusiasts, to enjoy riding pleasure of the highest level. With its instantly exchangeable battery, which is also certified for air 78  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

travel and an overall warranty of two years, Mellow Drive sets new standards. There are many solutions for the so-called last mile but only very few of these are so much fun that one would prefer to not get off at all. With Mellow, the way to work transforms into an endless wave that lets you casually surf past the rush hour traffic. This feeling of riding pleasure and freedom, alongside the demand for high quality, was the benchmark for the Mellow development. The topic of sustainability also plays a crucial role at Mellow Boards. Apart from the fact that the drive is, of course, emission-free, a strictly regional supply chain and product

Discover Germany  |  Sponsored Content  |  eyeo GmbH

Till Faida, CEO eyeo GmbH.

Blocking bad ads to encourage better ads Cologne is home to one of Germany’s most successful start-ups. While few have heard of the company named eyeo, millions of people worldwide use their most popular product, Adblock Plus. The browser extension that blocks annoying online ads has over 100 million active users, about the same number as LinkedIn. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: EYEO GMBH

Adblock Plus started as a hobby project by Wladimir Palant in 2006 to give users an easy way to block ads. Less than a year later, Adblock Plus was the most downloaded Firefox add-on; a position it has retained ever since. By 2011, the enormous number of users required a more professional set-up. Together with Till Faida, Palant founded eyeo as parent company for Adblock Plus. eyeo aims to put users and website owners in control of a fair, profitable web through partial ad blocking. According to Till Faida, CEO of eyeo, the reason users block ads is because the current state of online advertising is broken. Decreasing ad prices

led to more and more annoying ads, like pop-ups or auto-play video ads, which led to frustrated users On the other hand, the production of quality content is not free and publishers need to generate revenue for keeping up their work. Complete ad blocking presented a new challenge. The founders felt a responsibility to find a way out of this dilemma. They started by asking their users how they felt about partial ad blocking – letting through ads that were less intrusive. Users were overwhelmingly on board, so they began collecting feedback to learn what makes an ad acceptable to ad-blocking users. The

idea was simple: publishers can submit their ads and if they meet the criteria they will be whitelisted; if not they have to be adjusted. While ads that do not meet criteria cannot be whitelisted, those that do can be shown to the increasing user base. For most sites, 90 per cent in fact, whitelisting is completely free of charge; the very largest players pay, which makes the initiative sustainable. Adblock Plus is now the pioneering ad blocker, as users can decide for themselves if they want to support their favourite websites by viewing the acceptable ads or block them all if they dislike advertising in general. The result is partial ad blocking, which keeps users in control of a web that is still profitable for publishers and advertisers. Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  79

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

Photo: ©, Rick Payette

S P E C I A L T H E M E : S W I T Z E R L A N D ’ S S U C C E S S F U L S TA R T- U P S

Switzerland’s creative minds In this special theme, we take a closer look at Switzerland’s creative minds and their innovative ideas. Find out about the inspiration behind the latest start-up ventures and much more on the following pages. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: ©, Steven Zwerink

80  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

Top left: CEO Michael Bauer. Below left: CSO Rajwinder Lehal. Right: Management team from left: CMO Dirk Weber, CSO Rajwinder Lehal, COO Maximilien Murone, founder and chairman Freddy Radtke, CEO Michael Bauer.

Cellestia Biotech AG A ‘top-notch’ Swiss biotech start-up finding new ways to fight cancer Cellestia is developing a new drug against a specific form of cancer, for which no therapy is available. They discovered a molecule with a novel mode of action, that is able to control the so-called ‘Notch Signaling Pathway’, which is a means for cells to communicate with each other and, if this communication is out of control, can lead to development of cancer. It is also a mechanism for cancer turning resistant to treatment. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: CELLESTIA BIOTECH

How does it work? There are signal sending and receiving cells: this communication could be described like satellites sending and receiving the signals, which then are translated into a movie by a receiver. In the case of cancer, this is a rather bad movie. Cellestia has found a way to block this cancer promoting communication where all information converges, like in the receiver playing the movie. In the cell, this happens in the nucleus, translating the signals into cancer.“You can imagine the approach like selectively blocking a channel on your re-

ceiver, but you still can watch the news, only the bad movie channel is blocked,” said Michael Bauer, CEO. Importantly, Cellestia is also working on a diagnostic to only select patients that have cancer due to Notch. “It is critical that we develop a personalised therapy, because only the treatment of patients with disease driven by the Notch pathway makes sense,” explained Dirk Weber, CMO. Rajwinder Lehal, CSO, added: “We have amazing data showing that our compound kills leukemic cells in patient blood from children who died,

after all other therapies failed. But the drug only works if this Notch pathway is activated, confirming the unique selective mode of action.” Michael Bauer, CEO, concluded by stating that “Cellestia has completed the preclinical development and is excited to start treating the first cancer patients next year. For this, significant funding is required and I am presenting Cellestia as investment opportunity at the San Francisco Biotech Showcase conference. We want to make this new therapy available to patients as soon as possible, and we are proud that some of the leading clinical oncologists in Europe are already supporting us and we hope to have the resources soon to expand the development programme beyond Europe. This could really make a positive change to many patients´ lives!” Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  81

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

Innovations in X-ray scanner technology enhance airport and civil aviation security Everyone who has been an airplane passenger knows the security procedures at airports, the checks of passengers and luggage. Because the safety on board is always only as good as the security checks, Tudor Scan Tech, a company with facilities in Switzerland and Romania, has developed an X-ray scanner that allows full security scanning of the airplane itself that is still the subject of a systemic vulnerability today.

cept in aviation security,” explains Mircea Tudor whose company Tudor Scan Tech has developed this innovative, patented technology. “Since the aviation security is aiming to improve the passenger’s experience, we have as goal to keep them alive,” says Tudor.


Security is a key factor in aviation and that not only concerns passengers checking in for a flight, but also the airplane itself. When passengers check in, scanning luggage and people makes sure there are no bombs or other hidden threats people might carry on board. “For 40 years, the aviation security industry has been on a mission to thwart terrorist bombers and drug smugglers by scanning baggage, passengers, and cargo. Yet, the industry has missed on crucial vulnerability: the 82  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

airplane itself,” says Mircea Tudor whose company is about to change that. Tudor Scan AERIA does the same with planes what security checks do with passenger’s luggage: AERIA is the world’s first airplane X-ray scanner.“It enables fast and reliable clearing of airplanes under bomb threat and airplanes arriving from highrisk i.e. low-security countries and cities, eliminating systematic vulnerabilities in civil aviation and generating a new con-

A global company with production base in Switzerland Tudor Scan Tech is a global company with distributors in 60 countries and delivers “a unique and truly global product”, as company founder Mircea Tudor says. While the Tudor Scan RD headquarters are located in Switzerland and Romania, the main manufacturing facility is in St-Imier, Switzerland. Tudor Scan Tech is an awardwinning high-tech security company. “We are developing state-of-the-art scanning technologies and other breakthrough de-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

signs to provide leading security products and services that ensure people’s security worldwide,” says CEO Mircea Tudor. The company focuses on aviation and land transportation technologies and its innovative products include non-invasive whole plane scanners and mobile vehicle and container scanners that provide a safer view for the transports industry. 15 years of research and development It took Tudor and his colleagues 15 years of research and development to bring the company’s newest product – the aircraft scanner – to maturity and develop a reliable technology that is ready to market. It was a multidisciplinary effort, combing nuclear physics, X-ray technology, industrial electronics, automation, IT and software development, hydraulics, pneumatics and others fields of expertise to create the unique functional platform of the AERIA scanner.

Mircea Tudor, founder and CEO.

“We are proud of the results and the data we are obtaining from our field tests,” says Mircea Tudor about his work effort. “The scan can now even register the filament inside a bulb and it can automatically detect organic materials as well as explosives, narcotics or cash money.” The scan can also reveal mechanical and structural anomalies in the airplane to avoid any tragedies once the plane is in the air. AERIA can scan the entire volume of an aircraft very fast, while the current time-consuming and vulnerable procedures have no access to many parts of the airplane. It left as much as 20 per cent of the aircraft’s volume uninspected. For an A380 plane, leaving 20 per cent uninspected means a volume as large as a house. “AERIA is a unique, innovative and long-awaited solution for a marked that has in estimate lost about two trillion dollars in the last ten years due to security threats.”

On the market in 2017 Tudor Scan AERIA is the only one of its kind in the world and is a very mature technology protected by an international patent. At the moment, the scanner is in the final stage of a two-year trial period for certification procedures with many stakeholders involved. “Starting 2017, we will deliver our first units,” says Mircea Tudor. “So every time passengers see the AERIA on an airport they could be at ease. It gives ‘a safer view’.” Tudor is sure that airlines and airports around the world as well as the seven billion passengers yearly will benefit from this new technology. “Fast and reliable aircraft scanning will revolutionise civil aviation security.” The company has already won over 50 international innovation awards for their developments in the field of scanning technology.

New factory in St. Imier, Switzerland.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  83

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

Nano-structured optic fiber light system.

The next generation of light: L.E.S.S. is more when it comes to professional lighting A Swiss start-up based on a groundbreaking new technology for high-performance light sources is gaining ground on the Asian and European market.

tering 2017, L.E.S.S. have become a profitable enterprise in record time.


As many start-up ideas derive from personal dissatisfaction with certain products or systems, the technical idea behind L.E.S.S. sprang from detecting deficiencies concerning the nature of LED light when it comes to light distribution that Yan Tissot experienced during the years spent in the industry – eventually resulting in the development of the completely new, flexible and focused technology of ‘Nano Fiber Lighting Systems’. Based on an active nanostructured fiber of the thickness of a human hair, the technology generates high-quality light that exhibits both ultra-uniformity and brightness characteristics, surpassing today’s quality standards. In addition, the thinness of the fiber offers a high integration potential and unlimited design potential.

The Nano Fiber Lighting technology is the next thing after LED lighting, with the intensity of more than 100 LEDs distributed in a flexible, hair-thin, extremely bright and focused light. “Basically,” co-founder Yann Tissot says,“we’ve created some kind of super bright and thin Star Wars fiber.” Over the past few years, the technology has quickly raised much interest in the watch, medical and automotive industries of Switzerland, Japan and Europe. The start-up has huge potential and has earned the ‘Best Swiss Start-up’ award for two consecutive years now among hundreds of promising and established startups. 84  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Based in the French-speaking part of Switzerland in the city of Lausanne, L.E.S.S. was co-founded by Dr. Yann Tissot and Dr. Simon Rivier who are both holding a PhD in Optics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Max Born Institute of Berlin respectively. Yann Tissot gained additional knowledge of systems management and entrepreneurship at Oxford University and the Babson College in Boston while working in high-tech companies for four years. After a research and founding phase of three years, the start-up went online in 2012, quickly gaining a solid customer base and subsequently raising 3MCHF in a first financing round in 2015 to speed up its industrialisation phase. En-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

In short, L.E.S.S. Nano Fiber Lighting Systems provide high precision lighting, without heat generation at the lighting location and power consumption reduced to a minimum. Available online products are, for example, microscopic bright and dark field lighting (for focused and relief exposing results respectively), the ‘market hit’ of the workbench lamp Spiral IL-5400 (a high precision inspection lamp) and miniature ring lights for cameras (enabling the inspection of tiny components much more precisely than LED lighting). Microscopy lighting.

A quick qualitative comparison to LED shows that L.E.S.S. enables a much higher image contrast as well as reliable edge detection and high precision of dimension measurements; three characteristics that are insufficiently covered if at all by LED lighting sources. All L.E.S.S. products are ergonomically friendly, adhere to high safety standards and are free of hazardous materials.

or biology tissues without any heat dissipation nor ESD (electrostatic discharge) constraints. For microscopes, the high lighting uniformity and ultra-thinness of L.E.S.S. products enable safe, comfortable and easy observation sessions. Lab technicians enjoy the benefits of positioning the lighting very close to the sample without heat dissipation – a comfortable light throughout long observations spans.

Much desired by the high precision watch and microscopy market, L.E.S.S. are currently also working together with the automotive industry, the keyword here being external lighting. More on this exciting cooperation and pioneering collaborations will be unveiled over the course of the year, says Yann Tissot. Display back lighting remains high on the list as well.

Lately, the company is enjoying close connections to the German market. Their German business developer Wolfgang Bruehl, who has extensive experience in lighting systems by Leica, Schott and Photonic Optics, states: “Unrivaled Swiss Quality and the uniqueness of this lighting opens a big variety of new applications, improving and speeding up microscopy and machine vision inspection processes.”

The finetuned L.E.S.S. lighting is also adaptable for harsh environments. Their products can be used to position light safely in explosive, gas, liquid or any sensitive environments. Thanks to its key assets, L.E.S.S. products can be used for the refrigeration and climatical industry, food industry, chemical and petrochemical industry. The medical market also uses the L.E.S.S. products, for example to position light right next to sensitive implants, living cells,

Groundbreaking technology and an efficient company management will enable L.E.S.S. to increase its team of 12 this year by more than twice in number. No wonder that a pool of 100 independent experts has awarded L.E.S.S. SA as the best Swiss start-up for the second consecutive year, showing that LESS is more, both on a technical and an economic level. Enjoy the new generation of light.

Dr. Yann Tissot (left) and Dr. Simon Rivier (right), founders.

Machine vision lighting.

Spiral IL-5400 workbench lighting.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  85

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

Beekeeper provides different ways of internal communication in one app.

Keeping employees informed “We believe in the potential of every single employee.” This is the main idea behind the internal communications tool, Beekeeper, which supports information flow and sustainable communication in teams or large, scattered groups. It is the company’s mission to connect all employees and foster continuous engagement. After four years, Beekeeper is already used in over 100 countries around the world.

and tested a pilot named ‘Beekeeper’ in three hotels. The rest, as Grossmann says, is history. Employees adopted the new tool rapidly and it soon became the central communication channel for 45,000 people.


Nowadays, Beekeeper has become the primary communications and engagement tool for companies like Holcim, Europa Park, Marché and Hyatt, while Beekeeper itself has grown to 40 employees with offices in Zurich and San Francisco.

Like any start-up, Beekeeper did not originally start with a vision of becoming a global platform. Rather the founders, Cristian Grossmann and Flavio Pfaffhauser, had started it as a solution to a local problem. As a spin-off from their studies in computer science and engineering at ETH Zurich, the two aimed to increase engagement and communication between students with their social community, ‘Spocal’. Grossmann explains, “We launched our student app in 2012 and it 86  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

immediately became one of the most popular apps in Zurich.” A local hotel that has been advertising in the app has seen its power and took interest in the platform. The hotel management has been searching for an effective way to reach every single employee, even those who lacked computer workstations and were traditionally more disconnected, such as housekeeping or service employees. They found their solution in ‘Spocal’,

Holcim Central Europe When trying to understand Beekeeper’s influence and potential, it is easiest to look at some case studies. One of the company’s prominent customers is Holcim Central Europe, one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates.“The compa-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

ny is working on a global scale and employs many people who work without computers and thus lack business email addresses. Before Holcim Central Europe introduced our system, many employees didn’t feel well informed and often had the impression of being left out. We collaborated with Holcim’s IT and HR departments to implement Beekeeper as Holcim’s internal communications tool in April 2015,”says Grossmann. Immediately, Beekeeper garnered recognition and a great deal of positive feedback from the employees. The simple user interfaces, the mobile alignment and the rising engagement among employees are all regarded as advantages, which Holcim does not want to miss anymore.

every person. It is Beekeeper’s vision to connect these individuals – connect the unconnected. In practice, this happens effortlessly. For the implementation, one only needs a smartphone or computer, not even an email address. Even for employees who do not use a smartphone, Beekeeper is displaying communication streams on screens around their workplace.

For the future, Beekeeper sees the potential for further expansion in all their core markets. “We plan to expand our leading position in these markets. Simultaneously, we will broaden our network of partners and grow the number of our own employees. Beekeeper should establish itself as the central communications platform in our target markets.”

CEO Cristian Grossmann and CTO Flavio Pfaffhauser.

Bringing Globus together Another success story is Globus, the renowned Swiss department store chain, which employs around 3,000 people. “A 2014 survey about internal communication stated that, because of inefficient, outdated communication channels, employees were hard to reach and poorly informed”, explains Grossmann. In fact, only ten per cent of employees were directly accessible. For Globus, this result was devastating and sparked huge interest in a new communications tool. After exploring different avenues, the management chose Beekeeper to help them reform internal engagement and information sharing. “The mobile tool is highly valued, as it is time-saving and can be used on the go.” After implementing Beekeeper, the aforementioned ten per cent figure has risen to 85 per cent, a tangible, measurable difference, which has increased employee motivation and overall companionship. Connect the unconnected Currently, Beekeeper’s client portfolio includes medium and large-scale businesses that often operate on an international level. While many clients come from the hospitality and retail verticals, production and transportation markets are also important. Clearly, the larger, more spread out corporations have some of the most striking results with Beekeeper, as they employ huge numbers of people who naturally struggle the most with communicating to each and Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  87

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

A new age of rock ’n’ roll made in Switzerland Since the age of 16, Silvan Küng and Pirmin Giger have been close friends with a shared passion for music and guitars. But when they realised that the guitarmaking construction industry had been at a standstill for more than 60 years, they decided it was time to revolutionise not only the guitar market at home in Switzerland, but the music industry worldwide. Thus, their successful start-up company Relish Guitars war born.

to countless new ‘stars’ on various social media platforms,” continues Küng. “These usually have an incredible following and impressingly large fan communities. Because they have so much influence, they should not be underestimated.”


A change leads to a chance

“When we launched our business in 2012, the guitar market had been dominated by two guitar-making giants for over 60 years: Fender and Gibson,” says co-founder Silvan Küng in our interview. “The heroes of our childhood and teenage years have all played their music on guitars from either one of these two brands.” Although these brands still have a large influence 88  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

on the industry today, there is a noticeable trend towards creatively thinking guitar-making brands that offer fresh innovations, limited or special collections as well as high-quality workmanship. At the same time, the music industry as a whole is undergoing huge changes. “Young people today do not only know and admire the guitar legends of the past, but look up

The market conditions for guitars have changed considerably, too. “These days, there are too many guitars which are offered at a very low price, thus generating a higher pressure on margins. At the same time, more and more people buy guitars online, which means that many offline shops are no longer able to compete.” However, this change represented a chance to Relish Guitars. “We believe that

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

the traditional guitar shops have to specialise in a so-called niche in order to offer sought-after alternatives to low-priced online guitars,” explains Küng. The birth of Jane Inspired by the idea to change the industry with a brand new guitar design, Silvan Küng and Pirmin Giger founded their start-up Relish Guitars. Giger then designed their very first guitar model ‘Jane’, which became an instant bestseller thanks to its truly unique features. “Jane offers a patented sandwich composition, which differs quite noticeably from ordinary e-guitars,” explains Küng. “The body consists of three layers: the middle layer is made of a milled aluminium frame which allows the guitar strings to swing longer and more intensely than any other construction, and the top and bottom layers are made by pressed wood veneers, which provides a great warm sound.” The huge amount of “sustain” thus consistently inspires artists to try out and find

new sounds. The musician can also customise his guitar. “In the past, every adjustment, for example regarding different sounds, had to be implemented at the music store or directly with the manufacturer,” says Küng. “In the future, we are planning to create even more innovative designs in order to open up new possibilities for the musician to connect with his instrument.” Jane gets a little sister Meanwhile, the so-called ‘Relish Brothers’ have further refined their patented design of Jane: ‘Mary’ is her little sister. “Mary is a little bit more daring than Jane, features two different central positions (either aluminium or wood) and is offered at a lower market price,” explains guitar enthusiast Küng. “She therefore appeals to a broad target group.” Furthermore, the savvy business brothers offer a special acoustics add-on that can be incorporated into every guitar within their range. “Such a guitar is perfect for any singer / songwriter as the musician

can constantly switch between the acoustic and electric sound experience without the need to change the guitar,” assures Küng. “Live on stage, this helps the artist to present his songs in a more diverse way.” From Switzerland to the world All guitar models, which are produced locally in the Relish Brother’s own shop in Lucerne, Switzerland, can be ordered directly via the Relish Guitars website or several distributors worldwide including the US, UK, Japan and Germany.“Our distributor network gets bigger every year so that we become more and more international as a brand,” rejoices the guitar startup co-founder. “We’re already looking forward to bringing our guitars to a range of international trade fairs in 2017, including L.A., Shanghai, Frankfurt, Paris, Cremona and Vancouver. There, potential customers can try and learn more about our products on the spot.”

‘Mary’ in marine.

‘Jane’ in walnut.

The Relish Brothers: Silvan Küng (left) and Pirmin Giger (right).

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  89

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

True Wealth is an online operated asset management system.

Investment, future-style: How a Swiss start-up makes transparent investments an asset True Wealth offers a fully transparent and streamlined asset management, tailormade to meet individual, present-day needs. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: DANIEL AUF DER MAUER

The start-up presents an online automated investment solution that is uncompromisingly cost-efficient so that clients enjoy bigger returns. True Wealth operate without any costly investment instruments and keep their own costs at a minimum through fully digitalised solutions. Their investment portfolios consist exclusively of low speculative exchange-traded funds (ETF), resulting in a bigger plus for their investors in the end. Based in Zurich, True Wealth was founded in 2013 as an independent asset manager and a member of the Swiss Association of 90  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Asset Managers (SAAM). It all started when founders Felix Niederer and Oliver Herren were looking for an efficient way of making long-term and profitable investments. After some research, they found themselves disappointed by their banks’ offers and without further ado decided to take matters into their own hands. Their vision was to combine asset management experience with the scientific methods of modern portfolio theory and merge it into an online wealth management platform that is easy to use and offers investors full transparency. ‘Digitec’ and ‘Galaxus’ founder Oliver Herren is an internet pioneer of the first hour, while

Felix Niederer brought in his long-time expertise as a portfolio manager. The True Wealth platform went online end of 2014 and has since earned the trust of more than a thousand customers. True Wealth investment clients range from private individuals interested in passive investment to doctors, IT-professionals, consultants and even bankers who are convinced by the cost-efficient and flexible strategies that are crucial for successful investments in the long run. “Especially the bankers prefer investing in cost-efficient ETF,” states Oliver Herren. “Even if they often offer their own clients more costly products.”A fact that speaks for itself. The streamlined platform is available to Swiss domiciled clients and attracts both

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

professional and non-professional investors. However, Felix Niederer states:“Users need to accept the most basic rules of risk/ return ratio. As an investor, you deal with a risk premium. In the short and medium term, one has to brave negative returns once in a while as part of the game. As a rule of thumb, long-term investments are generating higher returns. The longer the investment span, the better the expected risk/return ratio. That is the one thing we cannot take off our customers’ shoulders. However, we will take care of the rest.”The “rest” consists of a full-service, automated portfolio management at very low cost. Together with the client, True Wealth tailor an investment strategy to personal needs and recommend a portfolio that perfectly matches personal return targets and risk tolerance. Each portfolio can be adjusted according to personal preferences at any time. With True Wealth, there is more transparency and less conflict of interest. Traditional asset managers and client advisers work on a for-profit base for their house; investment and in-house products are often tailored for the benefit of the bank or company rather than the client. Retrocession fees, also called inducements, prevent

many asset managers from making their investment decisions independently and in the client’s interest. For this reason, True Wealth do not accept retrocession fees and they do not offer their own products. Thus, their clients benefit directly from broker-independent asset management, based on low speculative ETF funds. True Wealth portfolios can be virtually tested upfront and, once the decision is made, signing up for a real account takes half an hour of clients’ time at the most. Management fees are kept to a minimum and include all transaction fees and, in case of a change of mind, withdrawal is made equally swift and easy as joining. For True Wealth, big plans will be realised in 2017. The BLKB Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank will be the first pilot bank to sign up for a partnership with True Wealth. The collaboration will allow BLKB to offer its clients a new service component with an emphasis on a high degree of automation and self-service. The solution will be integrated into the e-banking of BLKB towards the middle of the year and will be usable for all BLKB clients, starting with a minimum investment of CHF 5,000 (about 4,600 euros).

However, this is only the start for True Wealth in the field of bank partnerships. Daniel Gilomen recently joined the team to further develop this strategic pillar for True Wealth. He used to advise banks on new distribution channels and offering strategies and states: “We see high interest from banks to offer automated wealth management services. This can be as a self-service offering or in combination with a client advisor. Most importantly, the investment solution allows for a certain level of portfolio customisation and reduces the service costs for the bank.” With Swiss client confidentiality a given, a 128-bit encryption security is safer than bank secrecy and full control over your assets with access at any given time, the True Wealth concept is likely to change the traditional perspective on asset management in the near future. As the market grows more and more vulnerable, the True Wealth concept of full individual control and their independent and low speculative business philosophy will further attract professionals and private individuals alike.

Felix Niederer worked for a major reinsurance company before co-founding True Wealth.

Oliver Herren also launched and

Founders Felix Niederer and Oliver Herren in the trendy Zürich-Binz district.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  91

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

Left: CEO Timo Steitz. Right: Size Advisor solution for online shops.

Never send back your online shopping again Shoe shopping online used to be rather tricky as the right size was hard to determine due to different brands, countries and models using individual measurements. The solution has finally arrived thanks to the Swiss start-up ShoeSize.Me and its unique size advisor. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: SHOESIZE.ME

Timo Steitz has made it his mission to change the perception of sizing in the world of footwear. To put an end to the global shoe size chaos, he founded ShoeSize.Me and designed a unique size advisor, which uses a comprehensive footwear database of sizes, measurements and real customer data to determine what size of a specific shoe model fits. The solution is revolutionary for shoe businesses as Steitz explains: “The wrong size is costing a business a lot of money. ShoeSize.Me provides retailers, brands, and suppliers with a new perspective on footwear and sizing. Backed by the world’s largest footwear database, our solutions empower our customers to extract the true value from their data, giving them an ex92  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

tra edge in the dynamic business environment of the footwear market.” The size advisor provides consumers with an improved experience online and increases confidence to buy, which not only results in more sales but also improves customer satisfaction. In simpler words, the software matches the right shoes in the right sizes to people all over the world. For online businesses ShoeSize.Me is beneficial in various ways. It creates additional revenues, increases conversion rates and significantly reduces the number of returns. It also helps to manage stock more proactively as it allows for more informed purchase planning decisions.

With over 2,000 international brands and half a million models, ShoeSize.Me’s database is continuously growing and so is their client base, which includes prestigious clients such as GlobeTrotter, Hudson Shoes, Altra Running, Deerberg, Görtz, Vögele Shoes and La Redoute. German retailer of high-quality women’s footwear Deerberg says: “Since deploying ShoeSize.Me’s Size Advisor, we have seen a positive impact on our conversion rates and have even seen an influx of new customers. We have received positive feedback from our customers; both in terms of the overall user experience and in the added sense of confidence the service delivers - resulting in their follow through to complete their purchases.” Being home to the most powerful footwear database ShoeSize.Me is steadily changing the perception of sizing. It is certainly an innovation that will soon become the norm.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

New approaches in fighting multi-resistant hospital germs The threat of multi-resistant germs and bacteria has been widely covered in the media. Companies like BioVersys in Basel are researching new methods to treat infections – in this case not by developing a new antibiotic but a method to restore the effectiveness of existing medications. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: CHRISTIAN KEMMER

Bacteria have survived over centuries because they have the unique ability to adapt to new circumstances through spontaneous mutation or by DNA transfer. Some have attained multi-drug resistance, rendering current successful antibiotics ineffective. This proves to be a huge healthcare burden. In 2011 Marc Gitzinger founded BioVersys together with two colleagues as a spin-off of ETH Zurich to tackle the problem of bacterial resistance. The topic had already been the focus of their PhD theses. BioVersys is working on TRIC technology, short for Transcriptional Regulator Inhibitory Compounds. In short, the concept is to identify and develop molecules

that switch off bacterial resistance mechanisms that render antibiotics ineffective. The research focuses on tuberculosis and on those multi-resistant bacteria that cause infections in hospitals, especially in intensive care units. In the tuberculosis project, co-funded by the Wellcome Trust, BioVersys collaborates with GlaxoSmithKline in a preclinical phase to develop a small molecule drug that boosts the established tuberculosis drug ethionamide (ETH), making it effective again against drug-resistant strains. The first tests in tuberculosis patients are planned for the second half of 2018.

The BioVersys team: Dr. Christian Kemmer (Lab Head), Tina Moriconi (Assistant), Dr. Michel Pieren (Group Leader), Dr. Peter Sennhenn (VP Medicinal Chemistry), Birgit Schellhorn (Senior research associate), Dr. Marc Gitzinger (Founder & CEO), Vincent Trebosc (PhD Student) and Dr. Sergio Lociuro (CSO) (from left to right).

Eating well made easy The trend is continuously moving towards a conscious eating habit. We as consumers want to know what we eat, how it may affect our bodies and how it impacts on our environment. The nifty little app Codecheck lends a helping hand to make that quest as easy as child’s play. Codecheck rating system.


With the free app Codecheck, consumers can quickly get comprehensive information on food or cosmetic products before buying them. All they have to do is scan the barcode with their phones. Consumers can instantly see if a product for example contains too much sugar, if it is vegan, gluten- or lactose free. This makes life a lot easier for those suffering from food intolerances or those who want to avoid ingredients that are harmful to the environment, such as palm oil or micro plastics in moisturisers. The popular app’s ever-growing database includes more than 36 million products and has already been downloaded almost four million times.

Roman Bleichenbacher, Codecheck’s founder, adds: “Our users often tell us that they have completely changed the way they shop, thanks to our app. We are frequently mentioned in the media regarding consumer education and we are very proud to help users make healthier and eco-friendly purchase decisions. That way we do our little part in making the world a better place.” No matter what your personal motivation for shopping consciously is Codecheck provides in-depth product information at the tip of your finger.

Codecheck scan process.

Roman Bleichenbacher and Boris Manhart.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  93

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Successful Start-ups, Switzerland

All aboard for the fastest boat adventure in the Alps Switzerland’s Interlaken region is well known as a popular outdoor and adventure sports mecca and attracts millions of visitors every year. Although, until two years ago, one thing was missing: a 2-in-1 boat sightseeing tour and adventure ride known as JETBOAT Interlaken.

The season for JETBOAT Interlaken runs from mid-April to the end of October. A tour can be booked via your travel operator, the company’s website, at the reception of your local hotel or by phone.

TEXT: SONJA IRANI  I  PHOTOS: STEFAN SCHLUMPF “Our jetboat tour is an activity for all ages,” says Simon Hirter, one of two long-time friends who founded Switzerland’s first jetboat company in the picturesque town of Bönigen back in 2014. “Our goal was to show our guests the breath-taking beauty of Lake Brienz and the Jungfrau region, combine this with a fun ride and share some interesting facts about the region’s rich history through our captain’s commentary.” Of course, safety is important, too. “Our captains are all certified boat drivers who have to take part in our internal training courses as well as ongoing trainings.” Although, Hirter admits that starting out was not easy: “In the beginning, we faced enormous opposition from both political and social adversaries in the region. However, we quickly established ourselves by 94  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

proving that we are a professional, honest and innovative company.” This is also reflected in the fact that, after two years, the traditional rail and transit organisation BLS jointed JETBOAT Interlaken as a minority shareholder. “This has really given our business a push,” says Hirter. “After all, BLS has been operating a successful cruising business on the lakes for over 175 years.” 2016 saw a major increase in company and group bookings from Swiss customers, but also adventure-seeking sightseers from countries such as India and the Gulf States. Now that the brand is well established, 2017 will be a year of “fine tuning”. Particularly the newly launched ‘JETBOAT Cruise’, a combination of a traditional boat tour and the speedy jetboats, is sure to give the company a boost.

Basel’s Felix Platter hospital. Visualisation: ZVG


The digitalisation of construction

BIM becomes a reality with Allplan The Munich-based company Allplan is a leading supplier of open BIM (building information modelling) solutions for architects, civil engineers, construction companies and facility managers. At the BAU 2017 trade fair (16 to 21 January, Munich), the company shows how BIM works in practice. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Allplan, a subsidiary of the Nemetschek Group, offers innovative tools for the planning, realisation and operation of demanding architectural and engineering projects. Their solutions are used by over 40,000 operators in 20 languages and, as a member of the Open BIM initiative, Allplan supports the IFC standard and contributes to fostering the holistic planning, building and managing of buildings. Markus Tretheway, vice president product management at Allplan, explains: “Digitalisation can be felt in the building sector and there is no way around BIM as it offers enormous chances. If everyone realises these chances, the entire sector will 96  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

profit and it will be able to implement the immense expectations of building owners, users and financing parties alike.” Enabling fully integrated, interdisciplinary cooperation Visitors to the BAU 2017 can look forward to Allplan’s holistic portfolio of BIM solutions for all phases of a building’s lifecycle. Allplan’s offerings include the CAD solution for architects and engineers, as well as solutions for building cost and general building management or the open cloud solution bim+. In hall C3, booth 320 at BAU 2017, Allplan shows how it helps project participants to use BIM and to create added

value: with the help of Allplan Architecture, Allplan Engineering and bim+, the model-based cooperation of all participants becomes as reliable as never before. “BIM brings together people, processes and tools. At the BAU 2017, we show how this works with our solutions,”says Tretheway. Successfully executing building projects with bim+ The open cloud solution bim+ enables the central management of model data and files from different systems. Thus, the cooperation and coordination across office, field and software boundaries becomes easier than ever. Through bim+, all parties that are involved in a building project can access the current planning status at any time, from anywhere. Furthermore, the new touch interface makes bim+’s full efficiency available on all smartphones and tablets. Therefore, planning data can easily be accessed directly on a building site which creates

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Top Innovative Company, Germany

transparency and ensures planning quality or adherence to time schedules. Targeted application of BIM with Allplan 2017 The multidisciplinary cooperation with Allplan 2017 is also an important topic at BAU 2017: “The newest version of our CAD solution Allplan is another big step towards a fully digitalised working method which creates even more flexibility and precision for architects and engineers,” explains Tretheway. An example is the new Task Board that is integrated in Allplan 2017 and with which tasks in a project team can clearly be assigned, while implementation can easily be tracked. Furthermore, precise 3D modelling of bodies, free forms and building components becomes possible. Due to the fact that Allplan 2017 supports the export of BIM models in the new IFC4 format, the smooth interplay with other planning and building software is further improved and loss of information is significantly reduced. Tretheway says: “From the very start, it has always been Allplan’s goal to optimise cooper-

ation between all participating parties of a building project. With Allplan 2017, we thereby achieve an entirely new level.”

with the building owner, are already controlled”, noted architect Stefan Traxler.

BIM in action

“I’m certain that traditional processes will be disrupted in a BIM world. But we shouldn’t be afraid of this,” Tretheway smiles. “We have a really exciting future ahead of us. With Allplan 2017 we have taken another important step towards a fully digitalised working method. Allplan 2017 gives the building sector the next important tool for this end and together with bim+, the technology of tomorrow already gives our customers advantages in daily operations today.”

It seems no wonder that many renowned companies put their trust in Allplan. An example is the Frankfurt Hoechst clinic where the overall goal was to successfully implement a passive house standard, while avoiding planning mistakes and documenting the entire process for the building’s operating phase. Here, BIM software enabled a transparent integration of all disciplines and fostered collaboration of all participating parties. The significance of BIM also became apparent when the management of Basel’s Felix Platter-Hospital held a competition for the clinic’s new construction. All participants were told to plan their designs with BIM and the results satisfied planners as well as contracting authorities. What became apparent was that, even though BIM changes the entire planning process,“BIM offers the chance to concentrate on the design because other points, such as consultation

The future of BIM Left: With the Task Board, tasks can be clearly assigned, smoothly managed and clearly tracked. Source: Allplan Bottom left and right: Frankfurt Höchst Clinic. Visualisation: wörner traxler richter, Dirk Hennings

SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGES: - Errors can be recognised at an early stage. - The entire planning and building process becomes more efficient because it can be partly automated. - Allplan 2017 enables location-independent cooperation, which equals more comfort and planning security. - Allplan 2017 abolishes modelling and modification limits, which equals more flexibility and greater possibilities. - The automatisation of recurring tasks significantly saves time and increases efficiency.

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  97

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Top Legal Expert, Austria

Michael Poduschka, managing director and partner.

T O P L E G A L E X P E R T, A U S T R I A

Everyman’s leading lawyer

– the Poduschka legal office supports investors’ rights Everyman can – with a little help from an Austrian top legal firm. Among the usual range of legal fields, investors’ rights are at the top of the agenda for the Poduschka team. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: PODUSCHKA

Three locations in Linz, Vienna and Schwertberg make the Poduschka law firm locally available for investors throughout Austria. Managing director and partner Michael Poduschka has repeatedly been ranked as one of the top Austrian investor advocates. He was nominated Trainer of the Year in 2011 and has published a book on the everyday basics of contractual law. Most relevant in his work is the support of clients involved in the recent mass action lawsuits against the German VW group emissions scandal, also called ‘Dieselgate’. The office provides a one-off free consulting service for any injured party and encourages individual parallel actions in 98  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

addition to the European-wide collective redress. Michael Poduschka and his wife Claudia Poduschka co-founded the firm in Linz in 1996 and later expanded all over East Austria. The Poduschka team supports private and corporate clients who have lost money through investments due to deficient financial advice through banks, auditors and counselors. Misleading marketing brochures or a faulty capital market prospectus can also lead to immense problems for investors. Here, the Poduschka team steps in. Over the last years, Michael Poduschka has represented over 8,000 clients regarding investment products matters alone and is

deemed one of Austria’s leading experts in the field. The annual ranking has put him amongst the top ten in 2016 for the fifth time. His top-ranking position further substantiates his expertise which he shares as a frequent contributor at the Austrian lawyers’ academy. He is also a member of the European Lawyers’Association and is leader of the Austrian delegation. The field of investment fraud in relation to corporate bonds, shares and the ‘grey’ market in general will remain top of the list for the Poduschka law firm in 2017. New fields of significance are cartel damage claims (keyword: truck cartel) as well as the increasing trend to opt out of life insurance policies. Be it investors rights, personal claims or insurance issues, Poduschka lawyers help their clients getting out of the deal, with a handsome plus.

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Solicitor Column


I thought that it may be a good idea to start the New Year with a look ahead at what 2017 will have in store for us. 2016 was certainly nothing short of eventful and, just as the year was winding down, the Brexiteers and Remainers were winding each other up (at the very moment I am writing this) in the Supreme Court to decide who calls the shots on Article 50. I am not sure I understand the case. Am I the only one missing something here? If Brexit was all about giving sovereignty back to Parliament in Westminster, and a statement against unelected officials ruling over our heads, then why are 11 of the brightest and best judges now being asked to determine whether Parliament or an unelected prime minister should trigger the country leaving the EU? The British press, never shy of getting its teeth into a new victim and stirring up a bit of trouble by mixing fact with opinion, are laying into these judges as the supposed new enemy of the people. They do so at their own and our peril: an independent judiciary is a hallmark of democratic society, just as a free press is, which carries both rights and responsibilities. I for one hope that these same judges will protect us against the worst excesses of the Snooper’s Charter, which also came into effect towards the end of 2016. Anyway, this column wasn’t going to be about 2016 but about 2017. As you read this, we will probably have had an answer to the question, Brexit will be triggered,

and the next Queen’s Speech will include a “Great Repeal Bill” to repeal the European Communities Act 1972. Far from repealing the European law that presently extends to the UK, the Bill will actually incorporate that European law wholesale into British law. The disappointing thing about Brexit really is that the government’s narrative continues not to stack up as far as I can tell. So, to report some good news, the government’s tax-free childcare scheme is expected to be launched in early 2017. Under the scheme, working families will be able to claim 20 per cent of qualifying childcare costs for children up to the age of 12. Every little helps. Another piece of good news for consumers is that, on 15 June 2017, roaming surcharges will be abolished, which means that mobile device users will pay the same prices when travelling in the EU as they do at home. By contrast life will get more expensive for employers who are liable for NICs (National Insurance Contributions) as the apprenticeship levy is scheduled to come into effect. The levy will be 0.5 per cent of each employer’s NICs pay bill for a tax year less an annual allowance of £15,000 (ignoring certain thresholds and exemptions). Also, the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Information) Regulations 2016 are expected to come into force at some point during 2017, requiring employers to start reporting on gender pay gap. Let’s hope that this measure will help finally to narrow the gender pay gap.

On a brighter note for businesses, the Unified Patent Court is likely to come into operation and the European Patent with unitary effect is likely to become available, which is good news for innovation. Still on IP (Intellectual Property), proposed reforms to EU trade mark law required by the 2015 Trade Marks Directive are expected to become directly applicable in member states. If all of this sounds altogether too low-key and technical, not to say unexciting, trust Brexit to keep us all on the edge of our seats for some time to come. Happy New Year!

Gregor Kleinknecht LM MCIArb is a German Rechtsanwalt and English solicitor, and a partner at Hunters Solicitors, a leading law firm in Central London. Hunters Solicitors, 9 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3QN, E-mail:

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  99

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Tax Adviser of the Year 2017

Mag. Alexander Rabl (left), Mag. Dr. Josef Rabl. Photo: Halina Lasota

TA X A D V I S E R O F T H E Y E A R 2 0 1 7

Tax professionals from Vienna When seeking advice in terms of fiscal or business questions, the experts from the tax consultant office Intercompute rabl & partner will provide assistance. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS

To most of us, tax matters are more an unpleasant duty than an exciting task and many must force themselves to battle their way through it. When preparing tax returns or if companies seek fiscal assistance, it is well worth considering hiring a smart tax advisor for help. The tax consultant office Intercompute rabl & partner based in Vienna is certainly a good partner for this purpose. With more than 40 years of experience, the office provides expert advice on all fiscal and business questions, investments, and accounting. In addition, the Viennese tax advisers also offer service in 100  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

terms of acquisitions and company sales, or when clients have questions concerning industrial law and social security law. “We see ourselves as all-rounders, but our focus lies on advice concerning international tax matters,”says Dr. Josef Rabl, who has been the head of the tax consultant office since 1988.“We put great emphasis on advising our clients individually and continuously.” Individual people, for example expatriates, but also international affiliated companies are among the clients Dr. Rabl and his colleagues work with.

Since 2015, Intercompute rabl & partner has been cooperating with the accounting firm MOORE STEPHENS City Treuhand GmbH. Dr. Rabl adds: “We are already looking forward to moving into our new joint office in the sixth floor at the Ringstraßen Galleries, which is within striking distance of the Vienna State Opera.”

The office building at the Ringstraßen Galleries. Photo: Mag. Dr. Josef Rabl

1 BALL , 1 0 0 , 0 00 O P PO RT U N I T I E S


From marketing to journalism, from construction to insurance, from tourism to real estate – Panono lets you create high-quality 360° and VR content for your business. A fully integrated 360° photo solution for professionals, Panono offers 108 MP panorama shots, automated stitching and cloud-based services for image delivery and storage. Find out more at





Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Horned Sledge Race. Photo: ©, Ethreon

The From Cinnamon to Star exhibition is held in Basel. Photo: © Museum der Kulturen Basel

102  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Green Week. Photo: © Messe Berlin

Culture Calendar Save the date as there are plenty of great events scheduled for the weeks to come. From music festivals and exciting exhibitions to fantastic sport events and social highlights, Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in January.

curacy by the drivers. Around the race, people can get to know the different sledges and enjoy the Black Forest gastronomy.


Championship, which originally started in 1970 after a bet the night before, takes place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. With up to 100 kilometres per hour, pilots fly down the hillsides while trying to manage bold manoeuvres and avoid accidents.

Garden Views, Thurgau (until 8 January) Since November, the nature museum Thurgau is exploring garden views through a series of images that are the result of a photography challenge. Chosen by a jury of experts, the photos are taken by garden and nature lovers who were asked to point their cameras at their favourite beautiful motives.

Horse-drawn sleigh race, St. Märgen (7 January) An event for young and old, the race in St. Märgen excites with its top-notch sports and with the wonderful charm of the Black Forest. One or two-horse carriages are going through a challenging parkour, which requires perfect ac-

From Cinnamon to Star, Basel (until 8 January) A special exhibition that lasts for a very limited time. The From Cinnamon to Star exhibition is dedicated to all the Christmassy scents like anise, cinnamon and ginger. At the cultural museum in Basel, visitors can find out more

Four Hills Tournament (29 December – 6 January) Moving from Oberstdorf to GarmischPartenkirchen, Innsbruck and Bischofshofen, the four Hills Tournament will bring together the world’s greatest ski jumpers. Nature plays a leading role in this one, as the athletes deal with wind, snow and the temperatures during their struggle to win the prestige tournament. Horned Sledge Race, GarmischPartenkirchen (6 January) Every year on the Three Kings’ Day, the traditional Horned Sledge Race for the Bavarian

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  103

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar about the history and meanings of these spices. Pure Hogwash at the Semperoper, Dresden (20 January) The Semperoper in Dresden is a visitor’s magnet and one of Germany’s most impressive theatres. In January, a new premiere in its small house is the opera Pure Hogwash by Mischa Spoliansky. It is a period piece set in the 1930s and a farce that is bound to entertain while mirroring social issues of present societies. Wineforum Mosel, Trier (20 – 22 January) A unique setting and a unique culinary experience. For the 25th time, the Wineforum Mosel takes place in the roman thermal baths in Trier. 170 different wines from 115 wineries can be tasted. Over the course of three days, visitors will be able to dive deep in the art of making the perfect wine and get to know various wineries in the process. International Green Week Berlin (20 -29 January) A one-of-a-kind international exhibition for the food, agricultural and horticultural industries, the international Green Week Berlin (IGW) is also the point of origin for the Global Forum for

Pure Hogwash at the Semperoper. Photo: ©, Michael Kaercher

104  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

Food and Agriculture. Exhibitors include producers from all over world and important topics are renewable resources, organic agriculture and many more. boot Düsseldorf (21 – 29 January) At the end of January, one of Germany’s bestknown trade fairs returns for its new edition. Established in 1969, the international boat show in Düsseldorf is one of the world’s premier boat shows. Last year more than 1,800 exhibitors from 65 countries displayed their products for almost 250,000 visitors. International Movie Weekend Würzburg (26 – 29 January) For the 43rd time, the international movie weekend invites cinephiles and movie lovers to watch a diverse programme at the Central Cinema just outside Würzburg. Showing movies from well-known directors, both of German and international origin, the movie weekend is an interesting little festival taking place just ahead of February’s Berlinale.

classic composer. It is a unique stage to get to know his works, as the programme includes orchestra, chamber, and solo concerts. A special event is the theatrical staging of Mozart’s Requiem. Liechtenstein. The princely collections, Bern (until 19 March) One of the world’s most outstanding private collections is opened to the public in an exhibition at the art museum in Bern. The Princes of Liechtenstein have cultivated their collection over many centuries and accumulated an exceptional and illustrious treasure. Included are masterpieces of European art spanning five centuries. boot. Photo: © Messe Duesseldorf

Mozart Week, Salzburg (26 January – 5 February) Organised by the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the yearly recurring Mozart week is rejuvenating the

Mozart Week. Photo: ©, Trishhhh

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

The International Movie Weekend is held in Wuerzburg. Photo: ©, Polybert49

Wine Forum. Photo: ©, heipei

Issue 46  |  January 2017  |  105

Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

Keep calm and carry on… TEXT & PHOTO: BARBARA GEIER

Here we are then, done with 2016. And what a year it’s been. Did I expect at the start of it that the UK would vote to leave the EU? No, I didn’t. Although by the time the referendum was on our doorsteps in June, I had an inkling that it might be going in that direction. So, wasn’t too surprised and at the same type still shocked when I woke up to the news on 24 June. In any case, keep calm and carry on and all that (after all, I’ve learnt something in all my years living here). At this stage, I wonder if the big exit is ever going to happen and I simply refuse to panic and worry if I might be ‘thrown out’ in god knows how many years’ time. And I also refuse to answer one specific question anymore that German friends, acquaintances and clients confronted me with again and again since the vote: “So, what are you going to do now?” Well, see above, keep calm and carry on… Which, admittedly, was harder than usual this year considering the many major upheavals on all fronts. And Trump’s triumph at the end as the icing on the cake didn’t much help either. Neither did my discovery that his family is from the same part of Germany as I am, with his grandfather having been born in a small town on the German Wine Route called Kallstadt, a mere 16 miles away from my hometown. Not my fault, obviously, but one almost feels obliged to apologise. So, at the end of this very special 2016, I was therefore strangely moved by a news story I saw a couple of weeks back about Heinrich Steinmeyer, a former German 106  |  Issue 46  |  January 2017

soldier who left £384,000 in his will to the Perthshire village where he was held as a prisoner of war after being captured in France at the age of 19. He was held in a PoW camp in the small village of Comrie where he was treated with more kindness that he ever expected: “Herewith, I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Scotland for the kindness and generosity that I have experienced in Scotland during my imprisonment of war and hereafter”, as it’s expressed in his will that also states that he wishes the proceeds of the sale of his house and his other assets to be used for the benefit of Comrie’s elderly people. Steinmeyer, who had stayed on to work on a farm before returning to Germany and remained friends with Comrie residents until he died, was also quoted as saying that the kindness and fairness of the people in the village, which he described as “beautiful”, moved him a lot as the young soldier he was “and I thought, damn it, why did I have to fight in this bloody war?” And that’s the question, isn’t it? That we, unfortunately, have to keep asking ourselves to this day. Why do we always fight those bloody wars, be they real or on the internet or in all the many situations between countries and nations and individuals where everything seems to become ever more confrontational instead of kind and fair. I guess the story caught my eye because it showed that, one, kindness is always possible and, two, that it is appreciated and actually makes people change how they see others and how they think about

them. The way the population of Comrie treated a young German PoW made such as lasting impression on him that he never forgot it, until the end of his very long life. I think that’s a strong statement: enemies can become friends (apologies for the cliché), and we can always find something in common with the people on the other side of the fence. So, here’s to a happy 2017 and a New Year that’s hopefully a bit more kind to us than the one that has just ended.

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.

Your Shortcut to Germany Bergen


Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg bo org g


G enburg Goth

Aarh A rhu us us

Billund Manchester

London City







S na c ks

Me al s

Dr inks

Pap ers



What you See is What is Next. IoT

See you at CeBIT! 20 – 24 March 2017 Hannover ▪ Germany


Startups VR Drones AI Security

Global Event for Digital Business