GFT expands in Stuttgart, extending CODE_n innovation campus
CODE_n SPACES campus celebrates anniversary after successful first year
GFT Technologies SE is expanding its 5,000 sq m offices in Fasanenhof, Stuttgart. The IT services provider also currently uses the offices as its corporate center, with room now expanding for the firm’s CODE_n SPACES innovation campus, a popular hotspot for the digital pioneer community. Expansion will involve merging two neighboring buildings into GFT offices, adding a combined total floor area of 10,000 sq m. The CODE_n SPACES innovation campus was launched a year ago, providing a welcome blueprint for digital startups, innovation teams at international enterprises, and managers with previous experience in entrepreneurship. The GFT expansion plans are a fitting overlap with its one-year anniversary. Fourteen new offices will be set up in the neighboring building in January 2017. The successful concept will be extended to include a relaxing lounge, a fully equipped communal area, and modern workshop rooms. “There is still strong demand for enterprising and adaptable work environments – not just for startups but also for innovation teams working for established companies,” states Ulrich Dietz, CEO of GFT and CODE_n initiator.
“As business processes shift increasingly toward digital technology, companies find they have no choice but to radically rethink how they approach business models. This is usually easier to achieve in an inspiring and enterprising environment, far from company headquarters with its rigid structures. From a long-term perspective, business founders also need the right kind of infrastructure to make dynamic growth possible in the first place,” states Dietz. The facilities provided in the offices at CODE_n SPACES provide a springboard for creative and challenging activities, perhaps the inspiration it takes to bring about something new. They also offer extensive networking opportunities and access to valuable know-how. Startups from any sector of industry can apply online at any time – the only thing that has to be ready and convincing is the business model, which should ideally be based on the very latest technology. “The new facilities are especially appealing to startups as a way of working shoulder to shoulder with bigger teams, helping to fast-track growth as the business model is scaled up,” states Dietz.
“This is an ideal vehicle for our business”
One such founder of a startup is Dr. Michael Raschke. His brainchild, blickshift, is currently a resident at CODE_n SPACES and Raschke is quick to point out the unique atmosphere: “It’s the mixture of corporate teams, experienced managers, and startups that makes it so unique here. It’s a huge benefit to have such a direct line to decision-makers and mentors – and just being able to quickly set up a spontaneous brainstorming session with other founders is really helpful if you get the feeling you’re not getting anywhere. For us, this is incredibly valuable, in fact it’s priceless.”
Once applicants get the go-ahead, they can set up their work area however they please. If it’s the right atmosphere they’re looking for, something laid back, there’s always somewhere in the building such as the SW34 Restaurant at 34 Schelmenwasen Street. “We were among the first residents in the building and having offices just a stone’s throw from the airport has done wonders for our image. The offices at CODE_n are the ideal complement to our main office in Ulm, which is where our senior managers and IT experts work,” states Dr. Helmut Mahler, former CIO of a major automotive company and founder of the cyber-security firm Code White.
Another great feature of CODE_n SPACES is that all teams automatically become part of the wider international CODE_n ecosystem. “It really doesn’t matter whether you’re an intern working for a startup or a manager at a big company – it’s precisely the fact that you can just exchange notes and throw together ideas from any angle that works so well,” states Dr. Claus Nesensohn, co-founder of a startup called Refine Projects. The residents of CODE_n SPACES also have direct access to the online CODE_n CONNECT community and are eligible to take part in CODE_n EVENTS. Patrick Luik, who originally started working on his CODE2ORDER enterprise in his grandmother’s basement (complete with dark-and-dingy, wooden wall cladding) before uprooting with his team to move into SPACES, states: “The networking sessions are world-class events with high-ranking industry experts and politicians, so they’re an ideal vehicle for showcasing our business.”
The premises are also popular with large, established companies. “Our office at CODE_n allowed our innovation team to take advantage of an amazing network of contacts. It was really important to liberate the team from the traditional company structures – so it’s free to think differently,” states Goran Popcanovski, manager of the FutureLab project at Südwestbank.
Picture source: CODE_n
Source GFT Technologies SE