26.09.2023

The Foundry Approach: Our Unique Paradigm for Startup-Corporate Collaboration

Combient Foundry's unique venture client model offers a structured, transparent, and strategic approach to collaboration. Here's how we're redefining the rules of engagement between startups and industry leaders.

Our member corporations are out in full force, seeking new partners to develop their strategic business needs, with generative AI or otherwise. In engaging with this process, we often get questions from prospective startups about how and why we do the process. This post will hopefully clear up any questions for you.

Clearing Up Misconceptions: We're Not Investors

Firstly, it's essential to clarify a common misconception: Combient Foundry is not in the business of investing in startups. Our primary goal is to source the best emerging tech solutions that align with our member corporations’ strategic needs. We're interested in becoming your client, not your investor.

Our approach is far from ad-hoc. We employ a structured process to engage with the best-in-class growth companies. This ensures that we're not just casting a wide net but are strategically fishing where we're most likely to find solutions that meet our business-critical needs.

The Venture Client Model: the Foundation of Our Approach

The Foundry Approach is rooted in the venture client model. Developed in the early 2010s by Gregor Gimmy and Mathias Meyer at BMW, this model focuses on corporations purchasing products or technologies from startups. Combient Foundry takes this a step further by serving as a Venture Client Alliance, sharing knowledge and opportunities among several global industry leaders.

Since our membership consists of several corporations with different priorities, connected by the dedication to work with growth companies fairly and responsibly, transparency is our core value. And we in the Foundry team act as the facilitator for the process, making sure startups have a friend in the corporate world.

A Solution-First Approach

We're not an extension of corporate purchasing; we're innovators. We focus on identifying the question that needs answering rather than fitting existing solutions into our agenda. This approach ensures that we're developing something genuinely new in collaboration with partners who bring unique value to the table.

We don't charge startups any fees for participating in our programs. Our activities are funded by our member corporations, who are interested in developing new solutions by becoming your client.

Intellectual Property and Global Reach

We respect your intellectual property. Our interest lies in the joint development process, not in acquiring your core IPR. Agreements around this are discussed carefully during the process. And while our corporations have a global footprint, we're open to initial development anywhere in the world. That means you do not have to travel for meetings or move your facilities close to us. 

Some field tests might occur in specific locations, depending on the nature of the solution. Moreover, we are interested in solutions for global markets, which means a successful solution will benefit from the global presence of our companies when it matters the most.

Value for You from Different Features of Our Approach

Working with us offers more than just a paying client. Our networked approach means a successful engagement with one member can open doors with others. Even if there's no initial interest, we retain your information for future opportunities, streamlining the process for both parties.

Our ultimate goal is to provide a fast track for testing and implementing your solution by connecting you directly with key stakeholders. We’ve also ingrained value into this process: whether or not a deal is struck, you'll receive valuable feedback to fine-tune your value proposition.

Finally, the Industrial Generative AI Summit at the end of the year offers opportunities to network with multiple potential clients. It’s part of our value proposition: cross-pollination can lead to surprising outcomes. 

Convinced? All you need now is the right opportunity to match your company’s offering. Read through all the available opportunities here, and check out the generative AI opportunities here.

This post was written with help from ChatGPT.