Shortly before the end of the year, there was cause for great joy: Bitnamic prevailed against more than 90 compe­ti­tors and won the 3rd place in the Scale-up cate­gory of the Durch­STARTer Award 2020. With the help of the award, inno­va­tive ideas are to be high­lighted and promoted.

In context of the award ceremony, the Durch­starter team conducted an inter­view with our two Bitnamic foun­ders Rolf Behrens and Alexei Koles­nikow on the topics of start-ups in the indus­trial sector, long-term success and of course — Bitnamic.

Inter­viewer: Hello you two, tell us — who are you and what is Bitnamic?

Koles­nikow: Sure, with plea­sure. I’m Alexei Koles­nikow, one of the two foun­ders of Bitnamic. We founded the company about 5 ½ years ago. Before that, I studied computer science here in Osna­brück at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. During this time, I got to know Rolf and worked with him on many rese­arch projects — inclu­ding the topic we’ll address in a moment — and yes, now we’re sitting here.

Behrens: My name is Rolf Behrens, I am co-founder of Bitnamic and a computer scien­tist with a bachelor’s and master’s degree. The topic of remote main­ten­ance has been with me for almost ten years. With our soft­ware of the same name, we have deve­loped a nice solu­tion for the field of digi­tiza­tion in industry. I

nter­viewer: What makes the indus­trial sector parti­cu­larly attrac­tive for young entre­pre­neurs and how can they benefit from it?

Koles­nikow: I think the decisive factor for young entre­pre­neurs is that the indus­trial sector is curr­ently under­going this trans­for­ma­tion towards Industry 4.0. That means it needs new ideas, and that’s where young startups like us that provide these ideas come in handy.

I’m also convinced — and this has been confirmed to me several times in meetings with compa­nies — that many custo­mers don’t neces­s­a­rily invite big compa­nies because they are often far too rigid. Custo­mers some­times have the feeling that some­thing is being forced upon them. When talking to a start-up, on the other hand, they are usually more willing to reveal their own ideas, because they fear no compe­ti­tion from the newco­mers. Of course, there are NDAs, but nevert­heless, at such meetings, people talk to each other a bit more openly and ask, “How would you do this or that?” In this way, the industry gets exper­tise that it might other­wise have to buy at a high price from someone else.

Inter­viewer: Your company is now stan­ding on its own two feet. How do you manage not only to be successful in the short term, but also to estab­lish yourself on the market in the long term?

Behrens: Success is a bit of an inter­play between oppor­tu­ni­ties and chance. I have to somehow get the chance to prove myself, of course, but I also need the oppor­tu­nity to have my soft­ware, my tech­no­logy, my product. You might have one or two shots and then I have to see how I reinvent myself again — that’s the important thing, to keep thin­king, to keep inno­vating. At least that’s true for us, we have to constantly talk to our custo­mers “What are your requests?”, “How can we make our soft­ware better?”, “Do you have some more feed­back and input for us?”.

In the next step, we think about how we can make it better, more user-friendly, more acces­sible, maybe even a bit more tech­no­lo­gi­cally appe­aling or appro­priate again. These are points that we always have to have in the fore­ground, in focus. What we did in 2016 no longer fits today. That means we now have to look at how the market has changed, how we react to certain things, and that actually applies across all indus­tries.

If I want to be successful, I can’t stand still, I have to keep moving forward. I have to invest in certain areas, stay with my custo­mers first and fore­most, and of course allow for change. That is one of the most important points: You have to admit to yourself that what you have created will even­tually be obso­lete. In this context, personal change is very important in order to get through all of this in the first place.  

Bitnamic’s central product is bitnamic CONNECT, the app for mobile colla­bo­ra­tion in indus­trial commu­ni­ca­tion. It acce­le­rates service processes and connects experts world­wide. In this way, main­ten­ance and trou­ble­shoo­ting of machines can be carried out more effi­ci­ently, cost-effec­tively and without contact — a decisive advan­tage, espe­ci­ally in times of the coro­na­virus pandemic. If you are inte­rested in a non-committal demo, please contact us.