KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, collaborated with a Finnish IoT startup, Kaltiot, in the area of smart material tracking at construction sites.
In total three startups were selected among +200 applicants to co-create novel solutions with Stora Enso and KONE at the first Combient Foundry’s Venture Client Cycle. In this blog entry, KONE and Kaltio Technologies share their views on why they participated with Foundry and the related outcomes. You can read a previous entry about Stora Enso and 20tree.ai here.
Despite the history and the sheer size of the construction industry, it sometimes lags behind other industries in terms of productivity and quality management. KONE aims to develop new products and processes that will contribute to improvements in construction productivity, safety and working environments across the globe. The areas to radically improve to maximize customer value include digitization, material mapping, construction site logistics, renewable packaging, and improved people and material flow. The range of possible technologies enabling this development is remarkable, including Internet of Things (IoT), analytics and data visualization, new materials, robotics, mixed reality and machine learning. Ajayan Kadirgamar, Head of Lean & Smart Construction at KONE, summarizes why Smart Construction became KONE’s theme for Combient Foundry’s Venture Client Cycle:
“Elevators enabled the construction industry to build tall. We want to use innovation to build smart and, as always, continue to improve safety.”
To cut a long story short, KONE identifies the need to source for solutions that make radical changes possible outside of its own boundaries. Visa Friström, Head of Partnership Development at KONE, specifies:
“Startups and entrepreneurs have shown us how passion and agility can bring new innovation to our industry much faster. This motivates us to look for innovative startups from around the world to work with our brightest minds in the co-creation of new solutions as we learn from each other.”
KONE successfully built two pilot projects in just eight weeks with Combient Foundry. First, we introduce Kaltio Technologies (Kaltiot), a Finnish IoT-based smart tracking startup. Kaltiot piloted their solution at the biggest construction site in Finland in close cooperation with KONE experts and business leaders.
Ville Heikkilä, VP of Sales and Marketing at Kaltiot, was closely involved with the Venture Client Cycle right from the beginning. He became enthusiastic about Foundry due to its clear focus on co-creating scalable projects with global companies in a structured and lean manner. Also, the model seemed to be a great fit for Kaltiot’s growth targets. As for KONE, they were fascinated by Kaltiot’s experienced team, strong track-record and promising solution that aligned well with KONE’s strategic aim to serve its customer and personnel better.
Already during the Venture Client Cycle, Kaltiot had a chance to demonstrate its solution to other Combient member firms such as Stora Enso, the leading pulp and paper company. Ville agrees that a collaboration model like Combient Foundry’s offers a unique way for global growth and warmly recommends applying for other startups too. As next steps, KONE and Kaltiot will continue developing their solution co-created during the Venture Client Cycle.
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