Sep 26, 2018 Arttu Närhi
Taking place at A Verkstad in the heart of the city, Small Talks Stockholm rolled out a two-fold program. Before things kicked off, Slush CEO Andreas Saari got on stage with the Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori to welcome the crowd. Moderating the evening was Amira El-Bidawi, Business Development Manager at Vattenfall.
First up on stage was Anniek Schouten, Co-Founder at 20tree.ai and Adam Phillips, VP of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships at Sixgill who shared the collaboration their startups had with corporations. 20tree.ai is a forestry industry startup that combines their expertise in AI, satellite imagery, and computing power to create planet intelligence. Anniek presented their collaboration with Stora Enso managing forest data. Adam was presenting Sixgill that builds universal sensor data and automation services that enable organizations to govern IoE assets. Their work with KONE Corporation has focused on managing people flow, one of the company’s core missions.
Both shared their experiences with their collaborations and had plenty to share with both corporate representatives and other founders. One of the main takeaways for both was fearlessness in embarking on new ventures. Founders were encouraged to have a specific ask for what to get out of the collaboration and corporations were invited to onboard startups with aligned interests to create and share valuable outcomes for both parties.
After the startup cases and panels, the corporate panel took over with Ted Persson from EQT Ventures, Ann-Kristin Adolfsson from Saab Ventures, and Christoffer Norman from Northzone.vc. While their stories offered a corporate point of view, it by no means served as an opposition but rather a continuation of the narrative running through the night. But what was most encouraging was that the panel came up with plenty of ideas on how to encourage startup-corporation collaborations.. Advice on how to get to this point was abundant: startup-corporate interests and incentives to collaborate had to be aligned, startups need to have customers for corporations to be able to help get to them, and the investment scene is enriched by the presence of both VCs and CVCs.
The night ended with a traditional Slush-style mix and mingle, where attendees took to the floor to meet people they might not have otherwise. Smaller scale than what to expect in December in Helsinki, but all the more important: Small Talks Stockholm has shown its grit and begun to entrench itself in the Swedish startup event calendar. Until next year, Stockholm!
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