As part of Sheda’s expansion into IoT and Industry 4.0, I have a fantastic opportunity to join 7 other startups and SMEs on an Austrade Mission to Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial fair. In my first week here, I have been part of a bootcamp at the incredibleBetahaus co-working space in the heart of Berlin and a trip to Munich. Here is what I learned at the bootcamp.

Day 1 Introduction to Germany

The purpose of the bootcamp is to prepare us for opportunities to develop relationships with overseas companies in the Industry 4.0 world. The Australian mission to Hannover Messe, is led by Anamika Mishra and Johanna Harvey from Austrade and Aron Hausler from Flinders New Venture Institute. I have been talking with them for the past 3 weeks in the lead up and after 24 hours of traveling from Melbourne to Berlin, I finally got to meet them and other members of the mission.

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The other 6 participants of the mission are:

  • Masoud Abshar from Magellan Power a battery storage equipment manufacturer for homes, remote communities, industry and utilities.
  • Matthew Stead from Ping Monitor who is developing an IoT solution that monitors the health of wind turbine by analysing the sounds they make.
  • Ron van Buuren who is driving digital transformation in small and big companies withHydra Consulting.
  • Glen Fry from ESM a Premier Industry 4.0 Systems Integrator that enables manufacturers to collect and harness industrial data.
  • Jan Antonides from Elwa Energy Savers who specialise in the design, manufacture and installation of LED lighting systems and Instant Electric Hot Water Systems.
  • David Hart from Dematec Automation who are pioneering IIot and Industry 4.0 transformation to help businesses in the water, manufacturing, defence sectors to get optimum performance of their assets.

A very colourful mix of people eager to learn more about Industry 4.0.

After a bit of housekeeping, we start into the first boot camp seminar on Culture Training and Scaling to German & EU Markets. There is a section on having conversations with Germans, some of the suggestions on the best way to communicate with Germans are:

  • Be direct and focus on the important points,
  • Don’t make small talk,
  • No jokes and talking about personal things.

As a German national, I’m curious to find out how much of that is true at Hannover Messe.

Day 2 Berlin Partner, PR and Networking

On the second day we visit Berlin Partner, an organisation that connects startups and other businesses in Berlin to talk about opportunities in Manufacturing and Industry 4.0.

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In the afternoon we have a seminar on PR campaigns. We got shown some cool digital marketing tools, highlights included a tool to search for current trends which can be linked to marketing campaigns and we got a 101 on constructing websites that are easy for journalists to navigate and find the right information about your company.

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In the evening we had a networking function to mingle with people in the Berlin startup scene. I also bumped into Andrew Birt and Brad Grimshaw who are involved with the IoT meetup in Melbourne.

Day 3 Bosch IoT Campus and B2B Sales

In the morning we take the U Bahn to Bosch’s IoT Campus. It’s a fascinating place, set up for early-stage explorations into IoT product prototyping and development. The employees took part in designing the space. They have a design thinking room with reconfigurable furniture, a caravan to do user testing. They even have a Forrest in the building if you like to work in a different environment.

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Back at Betahaus, we have a seminar in best practises in B2B sales. We learn how to craft sales value propositions, that closing deals is always is company-wide activity and how to make effective cold calls.

Day 4 Beta Breakfast and Invest in Bavaria

Betahaus put on breakfast and our delegation gets the opportunity to pitch for our companies. They are about 50 people around and I presented Sheda’s approach to human centred design and product development to an international audience. It felt very good to present and everyone seemed very engaged. Afterwards, I have a fantastic chat with Vivian Duong from Betahaus on community building and the Betahaus X Program to connect businesses with talent.

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Straight after we take off to board a train to Munich to meet Invest in Bavaria. The train arrives 70 min late. We are sprinting through subway stations and streets of Munich to reach our meeting and I feel a bit like being on the Amazing Race. We finally arrive at a pub to the most amazing spread of pretzels, dips, ham, cheese and of course beer. Invest in Bavaria are telling us about the Bavarian startup and innovation ecosystem and the different technology clusters they run.

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Day 5 GE Additive and Deloitte Digital Ventures

In the morning we embark on a little excursion to GE Additive who is pioneering metal 3D printing. We are learning about its amazing capabilities to drastically reduce the number of parts required to manufacture aeroplane engines, for example. Then we actually get a chance to see their printers in action.

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Over lunch, we attend a presentation by Deloitte Digital Venture in Munich about their report on Success in Industry 4.0. It’s quite interesting to hear that for Germany companies societal impact is also quite important.

Today we will travel to Hannover Messe to see the latest and greatest in Industry 4.0. We have an action-packed program, meeting up with companies such as Volkswagen, ABB and SAP.

I will be reporting back from Hannover over the next week, Is there anything you are particularly interested in at Hannover Messe? Please get in touch and I will see if I can track down some more information on it.

Are you going to Hannover Messe too? Let’s catch up over there, Sheda is based at the Australian Landing Pad stand, Hall 13 YTE, Stand F26.

Interested in learning more about Industry 4.0, IoT and innovation? Reach out to or contact me on LinkedIn.


Eike Zeller

Head of IoT Product Development
@ Sheda

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