Opening speaker Tim Leberecht, author of bestseller “The Business Romantic”, set the tone for the event with a thought-provoking thesis: with state-of-the-art machines – such as collaborative robots like Baxter – set to outperform human workers at certain tasks, he argued that employers and employees must rediscover a “Byronesque” sense of awe and wonder in business.
Leberecht’s was the first of three inspiring keynotes to offer exciting new insights. Dirk Heitmann from IBM described the power of artificial intelligence to fundamentally revolutionize business; while Alex von Frankenberg, CEO of investment company High-Tech Gründerfonds, highlighted the rise of logistics start-ups that are using technology to make supply chains smarter.
Von Frankenberg also sat on the panel of the DHL Shark Tank, alongside Peer Bentzen of Deutsche Post DHL Group and the well-known German start-up investor Frank Thelen. In a format based on the well-known reality TV show, three logistics start-ups pitched their solutions to the group of investors, with the Celluveyor modular conveying and positioning system winning the confidence of both audience and “sharks”.