Startup Scouting: Innovation Through Collaboration
The past few months have been challenging for businesses as we all work to navigate this “New Normal.” As we shift our internal systems and work to understand companies’ changing needs, we are facing increased opportunities for growth, innovation, and collaboration. Now, more than ever, we need to work together to innovate and meet the challenge in front of us – which is why we are highlighting one of our services: Startup Scouting.
Startup Scouting is an efficient way for corporates to improve their competitiveness and find innovative solutions. This could look like finding better ways to serve customers in light of social distancing or it could mean solving problems for local citizens who are struggling during this financial downturn.
Startup Scouting helps companies quickly develop new products and services. It’s an efficient process to identify startups that can help corporates meet their innovation goals and/or provide innovation impetus to speed up the innovation process. We work with you to scout the brightest and best talent in your field and give you primary access to this talent. And, of course, we’re able to do all of this 100% remotely so as to meet current health and safety standards.
Startup Scouting has been part of what we’ve done at SmartHectar since day one. As part of our mission to increase collaboration between corporates and startups, our Innovation Hubs and our Innovation Challenges often rely on our ability to source qualified startups to work with our corporate partners.
From 2016 to 2018, we worked with Wilo, one of the largest pump manufacturers globally. Wilo has 16 production sites and more than 7,700 employees worldwide. As a successful, multinational corporate, they came to us with an issue we continue to hear from well-established companies: a lack of access to the startup ecosystem and no overview of existing ideas and opportunities.
We worked with their digital team to design a framework for how to utilize innovative ideas from startups in order to explore new opportunities beyond their core business.
First, we organized two Silicon Valley immersion tours so that Wilo could learn from startups, accelerators, and other investors. Once back in Germany, we used the learnings from the Silicon Valley immersion tours to set up the wincubator as an Innovation Hub which has been used as an external incubator for startups in Berlin.
Startup Scouting was a main part of the innovation process. It was used to identify promising ideas and investment targets for Wilo and the wincubator. The Scouting process led to Wilo’s collaboration with a selection of startups in Berlin, which ultimately led to Wilo’s launching an investment fund of €20 million and investing in two of the startups from the cohort.
Examples like this one showcase that startup scouting and collaboration processes can add value to corporates’ business models. We’ve spoken with our corporate partners and they’ve reiterated the value of our ability to facilitate their collaboration with fast-moving, innovative startups worldwide to provide efficient and effective solutions for their most pressing business development problems.
We’ve seen the quick agility of startups solve problems in half the time and with significantly less resources than traditional R&D.
If you work at a corporation struggling to find solutions for dealing with current challenges, reach out to us for a free consultation.
Want to learn more? Check out our Startup Scouting services page.