In fall 2020, we launched the second venture client cycle in China with KONE. We brought forth two opportunities for China-based startups to co-create novel solutions.
Building on last Spring’s success, Foundry is returning with the second-ever Venture Client Cycle in China. This time, local teams from KONE are seeking startup partners with tech solutions for two unique business opportunities. Since we last updated you on our progress, Stora Enso and Tetra Pak had signed to work with three companies that had provided solutions for their food packaging and supply chain opportunities. When the first results from these partnerships become available, we will share them with you.
As the era of travel restrictions and social distancing took hold in the middle of our Spring cycle, we were forced to move our operations in China entirely online. Despite the adversity, we not only completed the cycle but successfully formed new startup-corporate partnerships, which we will tell you more about very soon. We can proudly say innovation does not stop with Covid-19, and we’re going to prove that once again.
People Flow in China
Just last month, at the KONE Q3 results announcement, CEO Henrik Ehrnrooth said China is the market where everyone is focusing right now. And why wouldn’t they? China is the largest elevator market in the world. Historically, this market has been crowded but fragmented. In 2016, Reuters reported there were over 400 original equipment manufacturers, along with thousands of service companies. This is in a country that in 2018 had an urban population of 800 million people. Out of these, over 20% are past the age of 60.
For the industry, making their products enjoyable and safe is a top priority. A strong position in the market that can be strengthened by tapping into tech innovations. By working to co-develop their tech solutions further, startups get fast-tracked into scaling in the market. In China alone, that potential is massive. KONE is seeking startups working to make their product offering even more user centric. The two opportunities cover two different angles: safety and user experience. You can find more information about both in the links below.
Improving Passenger Safety with KONE
KONE helps more than 1 billion people move in and between buildings daily, in the smoothest and safest way. We invite the best-in-class Chinese startups to co-create new solutions to ensure an even safer journey for our passengers in the China market. We are talking about safety in a broad scope, including elevator and escalator passenger safety detection sensors, predictive maintenance tools for our equipment and solutions for preventing transmission of diseases inside buildings. We look forward to hearing about your solution in these areas.
Enabling Smart Building Environments with KONE
Buildings are becoming more intelligent faster than ever. KONE is constantly looking to add new solutions to our customers buildings by connecting 3rd party solutions into our elevator API’s. Our partners connect their smart building solutions to our API to improve the urban flow of more than 1 billion people every day globally. We are looking for Chinese startups with solutions for infotainment systems in buildings, WeChat mini programs for residential engagement or new smart building interfaces based on voice or gesture control.
The Combient Foundry Venture Client Cycle in Shanghai is operated in partnership with Plug and Play China.