Bert Boerman , CEO – 2Gears S.A, winner of FinTech Awards KPMG in June , discusses the keys to a successful collaboration between a startup and an established business. Par Sebastien Lambotte pour l’édition du magazine ITnation de Juillet 2016
In what way and how can startups be promoters of innovation for important economic players?
Real innovation requires you to step out of the day-to-day process, and to look at the business challenges with a helicopter view. Big company politics often lead to barriers of innovation, as people attempt to justify earlier decisions. A change of direction is often unpopular, as I have experienced myself during 15 years of banking.
The most important 2 factors that startups can bring are speed and fresh ideas. Startups have the agility to try out different solutions fast. But they need innovation advocates inside the corporation with the courage and vision to push this forward. This is a key role for the CIO.
What would be the ideal attitude of a CIO regarding a startup like yours?
We often see that CIO’s try to identify one solution for everything through elaborate RFI processes. This is killing innovation; most startups cannot survive the lengthy vetting process. The strength of startups is also to do one thing extremely well, so it is unlikely to find one company that addresses all the business challenges. Most end users also don’t really know what they want until they see it.
CIO’s should allow for mini projects to be run in the organization. This allows end-users to try out innovations fast. Once feedback is received, the CIO can focus on the viable projects, and terminate the others.
What are the key factors for a good relationship between a startup and a large enterprise ?
While most startups will provide their solutions for free during a trial period, I think the better approach for companies is to offer short contracts that give the startup at least a little income. The investment for the corporate will be tiny, but I promise you that the startup will then knock your socks off.