Last week in Stockholm, the latest Foundry Venture Client Cycle wrapped up its Open Call with the Value Proposition Days. Founders, CEOs and other executives of 20 startups gathered to present their solutions for the Foundry cases. Founding members Stora Enso and KONE were joined by Husqvarna Group and Scania to screen applicants for potential partnerships.
The spring kicked off with Foundry and the companies getting together to scope out the cases. To do this, the real business needs and opportunities are mapped out with the help of the business units concerned. Several productive workshops later, 10 case teams were formed from company and Foundry staff to begin the search for the best-in-class startups.
Screening is Only the Beginning
With the practicalities agreed on, Foundry opened the call for startups to submit their solutions. Using ecosystem knowledge and intimate understanding of the business needs, the job was to identify the best startups in the given fields. A mixture of active sourcing, referrals, and inbound marketing methods was used to reach them.
Applications were accepted over a five-week period. The whole package, 363 solutions submitted by 150 startups, was pre-screened by Foundry before taking them back to the companies for the first decision. Startups were contacted at this stage with initial questions and feedback, before confirming their invitation to come to Stockholm for face-to-face meetings at the Value Proposition Days.
Establishing Rapport Doesn’t Happen Online
The Value Proposition Days are designed to be as straight-forward as possible. Each startup has two meetings with the company interested in their solution. After the meetings are over, startups finalize their value proposition and present it at the Final Demos. It’s during the last afternoon when Combient network guests are invited to see what Foundry is all about. This arrangement brings two-fold value for the event. Not only do the case teams get all the info they need to make their final decision, but startups get introduced to other companies too.
Having startups meet as many Combient representatives as possible has proven fruitful. Out of last year’s participants, many started out discussions with just one of the companies. However, as time has gone by and their pilot projects have taken wing, further introductions have been made. To give an example, satellite intelligence company 20tree.ai began their Foundry journey with Stora Enso, and have since begun talks with three other members on how to apply their unique tech to their needs. It’s exactly this reason why the Value Proposition Days are a meeting arena. With pre-set meeting agendas and a clear goal for the outcome, people can use their time and energy to get to know each other. A step that’s good to take sooner rather than later, if you are creating new business together.
Foundry’s Next Cycle Begins this Fall
After this spring, Foundry’s direction forward is clearer than ever. The team size doubled in February, with new supporting projects being placed in the works. In the future, you can expect to find Combient Foundry present at events in China; a market where the point-of-contact is critical to establish within the country’s borders. And building on the success of last year’s presence at Slush, the world’s leading startup conference in Helsinki, 2019 efforts are set to be even greater.
Before that, we have one more Venture Client Cycle in store for 2019. In case you can’t quite wait until the Summer’s done, you can submit your startup to us already. Find our open submission form here, or check back next Fall for our new opportunities!