Why this

Context – in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic

Globally, the coronavirus spares no one from its adverse effects. More than ever before, humans on our planet, large organizations, businesses and governments alike, are operating in an uncertain and unstable environment. We seek to adapt, reinvent ourselves, or simply survive.

In the business world, the COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity for a proliferation of beneficial partnerships between companies and startups. For companies employing hundreds of individuals, reducing fixed expenses, such as salaries or rent, or even simply carrying out their core business remains a painful challenge. While innovation-intensive startups can flexibly and nimbly adapt their business model, spending structure, products or services, as well as their value proposition to the whims of the market.

The need for large organizations, businesses and governments to rapidly become much more efficient, to formulate new business models, to evolve their value proposition, to be flexible in their employment models, to develop their remote working capacity, while reducing the workforce has become a crucial issue. This is the time, indeed the opportunity, to map out the steps that companies can take with technological or innovative startups as an alternative to relying on their costly and inflexible internal resources.

For these organisations, there is a natural evolution towards the development of commercial partnerships with specialized third parties. This allows for maximum flexibility and cutting-edge technologies to play a fundamental role in the economic recovery. This is the time to bring large organizations, companies and governments closer to the opportunities to implement the innovations of startups and advanced technologies. It’s time to put egos aside and accelerate the economic recovery process through the benefits of the win-win partnerships that David and Goliath collaborations generate.

Stimulate the growth of our local innovation ecosystem

The purpose of this open innovation initiative is to allow large organizations, companies and different levels of government – our Challenge Sponsors – to build a portfolio of startups-partners with high innovation potential and to develop them. This creates an environment conducive to the development and growth of sustainable business collaborations.

The participation of Challenge Sponsors in the open innovation process will allow them to adopt faster and lighter processes in order to access or commercialize innovation, to set up a governance allowing rapid decision-making, to de-risk the startup/technology before integrating it into the operations of its business units, providing startups with quick access to their resources, adapting the measures of success towards a portfolio approach targeting medium-long-term returns and finally to cultivate the right entrepreneurial mindset and of open innovation.

The participation of startups in this initiative will have the effect of contributing to the growth of their economic activities, since we will have created an environment conducive to the development of new commercial opportunities quickly accessible thanks to the establishment of new local partners.