10. Apr, 2019

2019 Startup Week: Startups meet Corporates

Yesterday I had my 1st session at the 2019 Startup Week https://www.startupwoche-dus.de/en/. I will not be able to join the 2nd session planned for Friday, as I am busy at work on the last day before two weeks Easter holiday.

The session Startups meet Corporates was hosted by Foxbase  https://www.foxbase.de/en/ in a really nice co-working location in the Duesseldorf Harbour area  https://www.duesseldorf.de/international/tourism/discover/media-harbour.html 

Participants had been distributed to three groups - representatives of startups, corporates and matchmakers (brokers/mediators between the two other groups). After a panel discussion to get the workshop up to speed, we did work out three questions in a World Cafe setup  http://www.theworldcafe.com/key-concepts-resources/world-cafe-method/ 

  1. How can both sides (startups and corporates) find each other, or don't find each other?
  2. Issues to get properly connected, barriers, etc.?
  3. When is a corporation successful, what are necessary KPIs to measure?

The results will be summarized by Foxbase and send out to the participants later. I will share, when available.

Some notes and key statements from the panel discussion:

  • The "slow, established, waterfall process driven, conservative, etc." Corporates are looking for cooperations with "fast, agile, disruptive, competent, etc." Startups
  • Startups use e.g. conferences to get in contact or mention buzzwords to get interest (industry 4.0, big data, etc.) via speeches and whitepapers
  • Corporates use general scouting teams, looking for specific solutions in the market to solve their problem
  • The relationship with Startups is often seen as marketing, it is en vogue for senior management and the board of Corporates
  • Some ToDos or prerequisites for a good relationship between Startups and Corporates
    • Have luck and use the same language
    • Trust, liability and reliability, transparency
    • A single point of contact for Startups on the Corporates side
    • Startups need to be prepared to provide detailed info packages
    • Have a concrete project to work on and agree success criteria
    • Properly balance risk versus innovation versus trust

Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail, but when I look at the subsequent developments I feel the credit is due to others rather than to myself. Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish - Inventor March 3, 1847 - August 2, 1922