Startups

5 Questions to Ask Your Organization Before Partnering with Startups

Heiman Realtors.png

The global business landscape is transforming at a speed of light. Why? - Rapid digitization. Not only did it boost the creation of many new products and services, but a new way of thinking. Big companies, aka corporates, are now stepping up and speeding up the game by finding external technologies and innovations rather than developing those in-house.

In fact, based on the results of a recent survey (study by the Unilever Foundation) of 204 corporate brand managers and 114 startups about how their companies planned to collaborate together: 80% of corporates believe that startups can have a positive impact on a large company’s approach to innovation; 89% of startups believe they’re able to deliver business solutions which can scale. Great numbers, right?

Before acting on them and starting collaboration with startups, let's review some crucial questions that each corporate and its CTO (or Head of Digital) has to answer. 


imageedit_1_6041480850.png

What questions you should ask your organization and yourself before going to bed with startups?

 

Question #1: Do you know what you want to achieve?

Sounds basic and trivial? Maybe. But often companies embrace startup-corporate collaboration for the wrong reasons, that are not aligned with company’s short-term and long-term strategies, across departments or among corporate’s leaders. Understanding what is the main target and why to partner with startup is crucial. It is also about setting preliminary goals in accordance with available resources (budget, people, time, know-how etc.) within organization.


Question #2: Did you decide what type of collaboration is suitable for your organization?

There are many ways to build collaboration with startups. Are you seeking for new technologies, innovations and solution providers to collaborate with? Is your main goal to find an investable company? Are you serious about acquiring a promising startup? Or perhaps you are looking into establishing in-house acceleration program? Or it is just about becoming a client for an interesting startup company utilizing / redistributing their products and services? Could it be something entirely different? Drawing a clear path for partnership is not only one of the main criteria for startup scouting and validation, but a fundamental internal strategy to be agreed upon in advance with staff involved in venture collaboration.


Question #3: Do you have a dedicated person or a team for venture collaboration?

Undertaking a project like finding new technologies or building sustainable relationship with startup(s) is a herculean task, that is not to be tackled alone. It would mean recruiting/assigning a dedicated person, or a team, or even an entire department to oversee venture-collaboration activities. It is of the essence to ask: Can we validate ourselves which startups/technologies are the right ones, or we do recruit an external partner with in-depth knowledge about startup ecosystem? Are we going to scout relevant technologies through digital tools, consulting firms, events or elsewhere, and what human resource do we need in accordance to the chosen path? Assigning roles and responsibilities before diving into the world of startups and growth companies is one way to minimize risks and assure successful collaboration.


Question #4: How do you feel about the future of your industry, and your company’s place in it?

Take a look at your industry, its trends, its market leaders, its growth. Nowadays, timing is a pressing matter. With more Ubers and AirBnBs challenging big traditional players, corporate giants need to act fast to the changes in the industry, predict future trends and compete with new, more agile growth companies and technologies. Approach it as a standard interview question: “How do you see your organization in 5 years?!” And continuing: Will the industry still exist? Are you confident that your current direction will strengthen your position on the market in the near future? Are you fast enough to find promising technologies, growth companies and innovators? What are other corporates doing in this focus area and are they succeeding?“ Senior management needs to understand how new technologies may impact their business field in order to recognize and develop relevant solutions.


Question #5: Are you ready to adapt startup culture?

Good startups are like good programmers. You don't choose them, they choose you. Ask yourself: what can we offer to a startup? Are we sexy enough? Can we move along with the same speed? Here are just a few major differences and pitfalls in innovation and organizational structure that you might face: (1) Startups cannot be approached top-down way, but rather at eye level. (2) Failure is a natural milestone for a young company, wherein in many corporates even the slightest sign of failure has a heavy cost for those involved, hence are often avoided and not openly acknowledged. (3) Things move at a speed of light in a startup company - few months can mean growth or death valley, new corporate deals, radical pivoting etc., wherein corporates might take months just to make a decision on venture collaboration.

At the end of the day, it’s all about expectation management, ambition level, speed and adaptability. Senior management has to be ready to adapt, make fast decisions, and throw overboard conventional and tested ways of thinking, i.e. be curious and open-minded.


Let’s see whether you’re ready to collaborate with startups?

imageedit_1_6041480850.png
 

Share/Download this content via SlideShare

Look on Slush100 Startups

Catapult_poster.png

A well anticipated happening, world’s leading startup event and the only reason Helsinki is filled with tourists in November - Slush 2018 is just around the corner! Slush 100 Pitching Competition traditionally highlights the early stage founders and ideas that would later receive a great deal of attention from investors, media, partners, potential co-founders, fellow entrepreneurs, industry leaders and future team members. We took a look at Slush100 Startups announced for this year - some of the early-stage companies founded only 1-3 years ago, already show a steady revenue stream, ready product-market-fit or large sums raised.

Highlighting 12 startups of Slush 100 list:


CubiCasa | www.cubi.casa

Provider of digital floor plans designed to help in home automation. The company's cloud-based real estate technology serves the global residential and commercial real estate market with digital 3D floor plans.

Total raised: 2,10M €

Founded: 2014

HQ location: Oulu, Finland

iphones-black.png

Objectbox | objectbox.io

Provider of an object-oriented embedded database intended to offer SQLite. The company's object-oriented embedded database optimizes performance and designed to save app developers from dealing with SQL.

Total raised: 1,21M €

Founded: 2017

HQ location: Altrincham, United Kingdom

object.PNG

Vyking | www.vyking.io

Provider of an online content monetization platform. The company offers a Web-based video advertising platform that enables publishers to maximize revenue performance from both direct sales and programmatic.

Total raised: 1,00M €

Founded: 2015

HQ location: Berlin, Germany

robo.png

Skore | www.skore.io

Provider of a platform for an easy-to-use digital hub intended to organize and publish knowledge content. The company's platform services include sharing content such as links, photos, files and notes from platforms already in use, enabling users to arrange content, interact and empower collaboration through comments, mentions and notifications.

Total raised: 0,88M €

Founded: 2014

HQ location: Sunnyvale, CA

pic.PNG

Zapflow | www.zapflow.com

Provider of an online productivity platform intended to keep track of incoming deals in the alternative assets market, CVC and M&A. The company's platform supports decision making, enabling investment teams to save time and make optimal investment decisions.

Total raised: 0,65M €

Founded: 2015

HQ location: Espoo, Finland

picpic.png

Aerones | www.aerones.com

Developer of heavy-lift drones that are designed to lift up to 440 pounds of weight intended for wind turbine cleaning and de-icing drone markets. The drone is tethered and electricity and water is pumped from the ground, and this enables the drone to stay in the air as long as needed.

Total raised: 0,60M €

Founded: 2015

HQ location: San Jose, CA

drone.png

Accordium | www.accordium.com

Developer of a SaaS based transaction management tool designed to revolutionize the way documents are created, negotiated and electronically signed. The company's tool accelerates agreements and digitizes paper workflows, enabling businesses to build better relationship with their customers and closed deals faster.

Total raised: 0,50M €

Founded: 2016

HQ location: Copenhagen, Denmark

screenshots5suk9.png

Swedish Algae Factory | www.swedishalgaefactory.com

Provider of an algae-based wastewater treatment system designed to produced cost-effective bio fuel from algae. The company's algae-based alternative energy system extracts a nano-porous material from algae that makes solar cells more efficient as well as prevents harmful emissions of nitrogen and phosphorus into seas and oceans.

Total raised: 0,47M €

Founded: 2014

HQ location: Gothenburg, Sweden

diatom-spectrum.png

Insimu | www.insimu.com

Developer of mobile application intended to train medical doctors and students. The company's mobile application provides medical doctors and students the opportunity to practice their future clinical work in the safety of virtual reality on an infinite number of virtual patients.

Total raised: 0,39M €

Founded: 2016

HQ location: Debrecen, Hungary

picpicpic.PNG

Teacherly | www.teacherly.io

Provider of an online collaborative lesson planning platform intended to deliver online and offline study materials to the students. The company's online collaborative lesson planning platform offers pre-built and fully customizable templates that can be shared with students as part of a classroom exercise, home learning or revision programme.

Total raised: 0,26M €

Founded: 2014

HQ location: London, United Kingdom

reduce-planning-and-workload.png

Cochlear.ai | www.cochlear.ai

Developer of Artificial Intelligence technology designed to provide a system that hears and thinks like humans. The company's technology uses audio signal processing and machine learning algorithm to capture the data providing users with devices that can listen and understand the surrounding context.

Total raised: 0,23M €

Founded: 2017

HQ location: Seoul, South Korea

Screen-Shot-2017-09-17-at-5.03.14-PM.png

EcoG | www.ecog.io

Provider of an Internet of Things platform intended for electric vehicle charging that can be integrated into local businesses. The company's Internet of Things platform offers a customized electric vehicle fast charging experience through a PaaS for value added services and shared revenue streams.

Total raised: 0,10M €

Founded: 2017

HQ location: Furth, Germany

eco.PNG

Btw, here is the list of all Slush100 Startups!

 

12traits

Accordium
Aerones
Agens Ltd
Ainak Oy
Aito.ai
Aitocode
Aligner
AlvinOne
Anacode
App Radar
Aris MD Inc

BA energy Co., Ltd.
BASIS ID
Blixt Tech AB
Boksi.com
Box system LLC

Cardiolyse Oy
CastPrint
Cavea
CellVita Science Inc.
CENOS
ClearSpace SA
Clever Cloud
CLiKD
Cochlear.ai
Contract Mill Oy
COSMIAN
CubiCasa
Cumul.io
Cuppla

DOCYET
Donna
Duuers
Dwellet

EcoG
eeedo inc
Eightydays.me
Expivi
Eyedius Technology, Inc.

Fanvestory
FinnAdvance

IndiNature
InSimu

Lifemote Networks
Limitless
Lovys

MAKNEE
MeduSoil LLC
Meeshkan
Modvion
Mojo Fertility
MOPRIM
MPower Ventures

NanoPrint
Nanvio
Nell Health
Neuroflux
Newsvoice.com
nexNeuron
Nordic Medicine and Wellness Oy

Passenger
PhotonBridge
PlanBlue GmbH
Precisely
PrivacyAnt Ltd.
ProHacktive

QuietOn

Rebartek AS
ReceiptHero
Remomedi Oy
Retube Interactive Video
Robo.CEO

Saidot.ai
Sartar Therapeutics Ltd.
SB Solutions, Inc.
SENSE2BEAT
SimAnalytics
SkenarioLabs
Skore
Softagram
Solfeg.io
Spacetek Technology AG
Stroma Vision
Swedish Algae Factory AB
Sympatient GmbH

Te?ted Oy
teacherly.io
Triangela AB
TRYATEC

Umnai

VPIX Medical
Vyking

Wibe Academy

Zeleros hyperloop

Winner of Slush100 in 2017  Photo: http://www.altumtechnologies.com/slush100-pitching-winner/

Winner of Slush100 in 2017

Photo: http://www.altumtechnologies.com/slush100-pitching-winner/

 

We did out homework. Now it’s your turn! - Let’s meet up at Slush main event or side events to discuss your business development and digital needs and find you a winner-startup, tech provider and innovative solution!

Stay tuned for more industry insights and digital sneak peeks - see you at Slush!

Yours, Catapult team.

Top 4 Learnings from Israeli Startup Ecosystem

Catapult_poster.png

It’s been an active week in the Finnish startup and innovation scene - Stream Festival, Smart City Week, Mindtrek, KASVA - just to name a few. While being at the epicenter of all the action revolving around the topics of startups, businesses, tech and the future, Catapult had a few fruitful backstage discussions with investors and serial entrepreneurs from Israel. They flew to Tampere, Finland this week to share key insights on the startup ecosystem of Israel, and ultimately answer the question “How could a small nation, like Israel, has as per capita more startups, more VCs and more tech professionals than any other nation in the world?”

P1030852.JPG

Here is what we’ve learnt:

1. It’s about the culture. Technology will come.

A key factor of Israel’s startup innovation ecosystem is the strong collaborative work and interconnections among its people, which in return promotes exchange of ideas. The culture of sharing, whether it’s information or resources, has been one of the most fundamental principles of open innovation concept. Israeli startups elevate themselves by sharing success stories and also support fellow entrepreneurs by sharing failures and lessons learned. Learning from failures is an essential part of gaining experience, hence sharing it may as well help others.

Sharing? It also comes down to how companies position themselves in the eyes of the public and VCs. - Being humble is good, but being ballsy is even better when it comes to promoting your talent, showcasing your startup tech, leveraging the power of social media to let the world know about your ventures. It’s all about connecting to people and ideas, building strong networks, actively sharing your startup milestones. The network of people grows from army to school to neighborhoods, and many social circles overlap expanding to larger interconnected networks, wherein community connections easily become industry connections and vice versa. A strong sense of community also creates “pay it forward” culture.

The habit of discussing things - seems so basic at first sight - yet lacking in many cultures (especially in the North Europe). In Israel, it is quite normal to discuss new business ideas or projects over dinner with friends and family, which may transform into the first prototype next morning - things move forward. Fast. The culture also happens at a higher level - there are organizations in place that foster innovation in various industries. Like, for example, Israel Innovation Authority. Anya Eldan, the general manager of the startup division at Israel Innovation Authority, explained: “We’re a very small and multidisciplinary country. There is one degree of separation. You can reach anybody very quickly.”

2. Stay close to startups - Open Innovation.

Israeli startups have received €1.7 billion across more than 230 deals so far this year. And the funds come not only from VC firms, but also corporates. Israel Innovation Authority, already mentioned earlier, recently launched a program called Technological Labs Innovation, which encourages corporations to support startups in their respective fields. More and more corporates in Israel adopt the open innovation concept. And even though these corporates might invest in and eventually acquire startups, their main objective is integrate into Israel’s innovation ecosystem and get insights on the latest developments in tech field. It also allows corporates to discover startups and co-develop technologies that they can later offer to their customers. Head of communications for Microsoft’s accelerator program, Maya Grossman, describes, “Innovation is not easy. If you want to stay close to innovation, you need to stay close to startups.”

3. Kids are the future.

Israeli culture of openness, innovation, hard-work, transparency and determination is laid down already in childhood. At Stream Festival, Neve Gull, an Innovative Pedagogy Entrepreneur at EduVationIL pointed out a few things that the teachers integrate in 4th graders’ program to build the next generation of entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators. Even though, she stated that there is not much Finland can learn from Israeli educational system, there are a few things that do indeed foster the more collaborative and innovative mindset. Neve Gull describes, “We are detecting kids’ talents in 4th grade - whether they have skills in math or programming. We enhance and push the best students forward teaching them analytical skills and computer skills, so that later in life it will be easier for them to start programming. It starts early. We also build school assignments around the project work, which teaches young kids uncertainties, deadlines, goals, remote work, leadership, collaborative tools. It also stimulates their ability to see various solutions to a singular problem - knowing there is always more than one way.”

4. What happens without the money?

It wouldn't be a complete discussion on the startup ecosystem if we didn’t cover the essence of VCs funds in Israel and how investors look at startups before flowing their cash into them. In all fairness, nothing happens without the money. But one of the Israeli investors on stage of Stream Festival posted a question, “What happens without the money? Can the startup have the capacity to lead the team, understand the market and the depth of technology? Are the founders - people with experience and exposure? If yes to all questions, my money is in it”. Finding a smarter solution by spending as little time and money as possible may as well be the main trait of the Israeli innovator. Once a VC sees the potential and capacity within a startup to achieve great results without yet any considerable investments, deliver outstanding tech, generate the first cash flow and have a strong team - money starts pouring in. Here is a snapshot of the private market landscape in Israel.  

Naturally we also covered the topics of knowledge transfer, unicorn exists and commercialization of university research - we leave these topics for the next series of insights about Startup Nation.

Meanwhile, a thought: change doesn’t happen overnight. And culture may as well be the hardest things to affect. But even though we cannot so swiftly adapt the best practices from Israeli mindset and cultural dogmas, we can surely start by integrating the open innovations concept. Which means working with startups, fostering innovations, and supporting emerging technologies.

Stay tuned for more industry insights and digital sneak peeks!

Yours, Catapult team.


5 Disruptive FinTech Startups

Catapult_poster (4).png

Fintech industry is booming - innovators and entrepreneurs across the globe are taking over. VCs are making the biggest bets in the financial sector, and the exponential growth of VCs spending doubled in 2018 comparing to all of 2016 and 2017 put together. Fintech is a multi-billion dollar industry with nearly 1,500 venture capitalist-backed deals - and the year is not over yet.

Completed VC deals for fintech startups

Apart from Stripe and SoFi, the vastly growing services that pop in the media and on the market a lot, there are dozens of newly born fintech unicorns that conquer B2C and B2B markets. We’ve picked 5 fintech growth companies that have become unicorns by challenging banks and other institutions with new disruptive technologies.


1. Revolut

www.revolut.com

London, England

This banking app provides mobile foreign exchange services designed to help in global money transfer. Expanded to the sectors of cryptocurrency trading, property investment and insurance, Revolut has quickly raised a whopping $250 million led by DST Global at a valuation of $1.7 billion in April. At the moment, a unicorn has a growing number of over 2 million customers with a count of £15 billion-worth of transactions.  

2. OakNorth

www.oaknorth.com

London, England

Another London-based fintech startup worth mentioning is OakNorth, which provides lending solutions for SME. The idea of giving loans that are backed by cash flow or a mix of other assets instead of property appealed to to several backers Singapore's EDBI and NIBC Bank, bringing OakNorth to the funding rounds of total $576 million.

3. N26

www.n26.com

Berlin, Germany

N26 is considered to be one of Europe's pioneers in digital banking, providing mobile banking services intended to redesign banking for the people, making it simple, fast and contemporary. Germany's unicorn raised $160 million in a round led by Allianz X and Tencent. It is expected that the company will process around $16 billion in transaction volume in 2018.


4. Coinbase

https://www.coinbase.com/

San Francisco, California

Continuing the cryptocurrency trends, US-based unicorn, Coinbase, is a digital currency wallet and platform where merchants and consumers can transact with new digital currencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin. The company has raised $217 million in funding, which allowed it to gain a unicorn status with a $1.6 billion valuation.

5. Atom Bank

www.atombank.co.uk

Durham, England

A mobile-only bank intended to offer internet banking services, Atom Bank, focuses on business lending and mortgage products. The company’s valuation is £450 million with netted £149 million in a round led by BBVA (again) and Toscafund. Atom Bank has already taken around £1.3 billion in deposits, as well as lent out more than £1.2 billion to businesses and homeowners.


Now, the real question arises - what is the next step for big banks and financial institutions to up the game, when competing for the same market space alongside innovators and disruptors becomes harder and harder? Catapult has an answer to that question - with its result-oriented and data-based services that help big corporations find the best tech solutions across Europe.

Stay tuned for more industry insights and digital sneak peeks!

Yours, Catapult team.