What German AI Startups Are Doing In 2020

We want to know: Where do German startups stand in artificial intelligence?

What about startups in Germany? And especially those whose business deals with important innovation topics?

73 percent of German startups are affected by the effects of Corona or their existence is threatened. In order to strengthen the innovative ability of the German economy in the long term after the corona crisis, potential must be better exploited. Especially in central fields of technology such as artificial intelligence (AI). After all, alongside large companies such as IBM with Watson or Google, it is above all startups that are developing business ideas based on AI.

We wanted to know more about the relevance of AI for German startups. In which fields and industries are the most players active? What do they use AI for? 

That’s why we are conducting an AI study together with the Federal Association of German Startups (Bundesverband deutsche Startups). Under the title ” Applied AI – Where are German startups?” it examines the ecosystem of the startups and is intended to provide an overview of the landscape of AI startups in Germany. In which areas and in which industries are they active? And how does Germany compare internationally? 

Three aspects are in the foreground:

1. An overview of current fields of application: Where and how is AI used by German startups? 

2. A systematic comparison between AI startups in Germany and Israel, one of the hotspots for innovation and AI worldwide This comparison serves to make the potentials and challenges of the German ecosystem more visible.

3. Effects for digital ethics: Starting from the fields of application, social debates on the aspects of responsibility, explainability, self-determination, equal opportunities, security and protection – are taken up and classified. 

Here, too, the juxtaposition of Germany and Israel, with their very different understandings of data handling, opens up new perspectives.  

First results show the high relevance of AI for startups in Germany. For a good 40 percent of German startups, AI has a clear influence on their business models. This makes startups a central player in the application of AI solutions. For these startups, a strong focus is on “Software-as-a-Service”. For example, around four out of ten AI startups are active in this area, compared to just under 23 percent in the German startup ecosystem as a whole.

It is also apparent that fields such as robotics, natural language processing or customer service are relatively strongly represented in Germany. Other areas such as agriculture, education, entertainment, HR and security are less occupied compared to Israel. 

These are initial findings that whet the appetite for more. I am curious to see what else the study will make tangible. 

Stay tuned. We will present the results later this year.

I look forward to it!

Axel Mennking, director of hubraum