The Student Becomes the Master : Corporates are Starting to Understand the Importance of Start-up Events - The Bakery %

The Student Becomes the Master : Corporates are Starting to Understand the Importance of Start-up Events

The Bakery

Slush has become one of the most well regarded tech events, not just in Europe, but globally. Why? They do things better. They don’t just gather the top actors in the tech scene, they give us [the attendees] meaningful topics and speakers that spark real conversations about the future of technology and innovation.

This month we facilitated the pitch competition at Slush Singapore with Philips. That’s right, they’ve gone global. Since 2016 Slush has a growing number of tech-head followers throughout Asia, with their debut as part of SWITCH (Singapore Week of Innovation & TeCHnology). The Singapore government actually sponsored a big part of the first edition, giving them space in the stunning Resorts World Convention Centre, 2017’s edition brought us to the marina bay sands building, know for it’s infinity pool selfies. This year brought us back to the amazing ‘messy, chaotic, and full-on’ Slush that we all know and love, we found ourselves at Zepp@BIGBOX Singapore, a concert hall that was hidden behind a home furnishing shopping area — completely on point.

Our mission for this event was to facilitate a pitch competition for Philips Healthcare. Philips was looking for solutions in 2 problem areas within the healthcare industry — analysis and prevention of non-contagious diseases and improving outcomes in hospitals. We put our best on the job and they found over 100 impressive candidates from around the world who were interested in applying. After putting these start-ups through a coaching programme designed by yours truly, we fine-tuned their pitches, shortlisted 22, chose 6 finalists and ultimately 1 winner : SmartFuture.

Working with both Slush and Philips was insightful and rewarding. Slush really understands the evolving relationship between corporates and start-ups and gives them opportunities to explore their budding future together. We asked Slush if they’ve seen an uptick in corporate interest for tech events and involvement.

“A definite yes. Our multi-year partners have grown to understand Slush and its opportunities and currently we do an increasing amount of start-up sourcing and other more engaging activities with them. We have also noticed that many corporates are surprisingly prepared and organised in their start-up + corporate activities, where as a couple of years ago our role was more to educate them [corporates] on the possibilities”

Rasmus Ekholm, Head of European Operations at Slush.

Philips, a company that has regular involvement in tech events, understands the myriad opportunities that working with start-ups can bring, it’s not just ticking off an innovation box for them. Despite having 74k employees worldwide, Philips understands that one company cannot possibly have all of the answers to all of the challenges they face, this is where start-ups come in. Partnering with start-ups and entrepreneurs is a no-brainer for corporates like Philips, who want to innovate at lightning speed; they’re quick, agile, have validated market opportunities, and most importantly they are, by-nature, risk takers.

When asking Slush about corporate involvement with start-ups they explained that,

there is an increasing amount of interest from the corporate side, to be involved with start-ups and everything related.” 

There are pitfalls as well, like when corporates don’t quite understand how to build and implement an innovation strategy,

“There are more companies wanting to be involved with no actual idea of their innovation strategy. It’s all about picking partners nowadays, otherwise you might end up with partners not adding value to the attending start-ups which is a no-go for us.

The Bakery has been working with an increasing number of corporates over the years, helping them solve their critical business challenges through leveraging the global startup ecosystem. We understand the needs of both corporates and start-ups, which is what sets us apart and delivers results. But don’t just take our word for it,

I was truly impressed by the diversity, quality, and preparation level of the start-ups that The Bakery curated and coached for the 1st Startup Challenge organised by Philips ASEAN Pacific. During Slush Singapore 2018, The Bakery team helped the founders translate complex health care solutions into convincing pitches, successfully encapsulating years of research and experiments into compelling 3-minute-long stories. I can tell on behalf of Philips that The Bakery team was also a delight to work with, and our team really appreciated their insights and engagement.

Bruno Occhipinti, Director of Strategy & New Business Development.

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