Corporate-Startup partnering workshops on high demand

13.02.2019 13:30
collaboration

Last year, the EPFL Innovation Park launched a series of workshops to provide corporates and startups a platform to share insights and foster collaboration to fuel growth. The success of the first edition has sparked interest from companies in Switzerland and abroad. The second edition kicks-off on 14th March. Registration is now open.

Large corporate companies are often best at exploiting their resources by making incremental changes to foster continuous improvements and boost performance to make leading players in their given industry. Startups, on the other hand, find ease in exploring new markets and reacting the fast-changing customer needs, thanks to their ability to be flexible and agile. Due to the speed of innovation and the shorter technology lifecycles, both large companies and startups seek collaboration to accelerate growth, speed-up time to market and scaling up.

Striving to create a platform and bring together corporates and startups on one table, the EPFL Innovation Park launched the first corporate-startup partnering workshop last year. The new initiative seeks to build a stage for experience exchange between corporate executives and start-up founders. Several large companies such as Groupe Mutuel, Swisscom, Oracle, Cisco, P&G, Logitech, Samsung, Sita, Airbus, alongside several startups contributed to the success of the first workshop.

Neil Collins, Marketing Director Upstream Innovation at Coty said: "working with start-ups is no longer a choice, it is a necessity if you want to be competitive in your market place. I learned a lot about how the start-up work, how different they are from corporates, and at the same time, I was able to meet and exchange with people in a similar position as me in a corporate about how they work with start-ups in their company. The course is very well designed to achieve people’s objectives."

“After the first edition, there was an increasing demand from both corporates and startups. Moreover, more and more corporate R&D centers from Switzerland and foreign countries are approaching us to get connected to start-ups”, said Lan Zuo Gillet, Program leader of the workshops. “Although the workshops have limited duration, they provided the opportunity to initiate contacts. Several companies, both among corporates and with startups had follow-up meetings”, adds Gillet.

On March 14th, 21st, 28th and April 4th, a new edition of the Workshops will take place at FER in Geneva. Like the previous edition, the event features several company executives who will share their best practices and lessons learned from their own experiences. Corporates will discuss and work on case studies with startups’ CEOs and CTOs to achieve better understanding and to build robust business and personal networks. A peer-to-peer session will bring together a corporate and a start-up to help each other to address their respective challenges. The detailed schedule is available on the workshop page.

The organizing committee invites startups and corporates to register to attend the workshop. Participants that cannot participate in the four following workshops may invite a colleague from their team to attend.

Corporate - Startup Workshop 2018

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