The biggest part of our mission as an entrepreneurship center is to bring together startups, academia and corporations to foster the exchange of knowledge between them. Over the course of our two and a half years of existence, we’ve been so busy creating awards with company leaders in their respective fields, supporting meetup series together with them and helping corporations in their digital efforts that, we have to admit, we don’t always find the time to write about it.
Today, we decided to take a look back into what we’ve achieved in the past together with our partners, and we’ve found out that we actually have created a huge portfolio of workshops, events, awards and initiatives: some of which we need to keep undisclosed, but quite a few that we can tell you all about. So here we go, enjoy the ride!
Back in 2016, one of the biggest successes for us at that time was hosting the Blockchain Innovation Award together with Globumbus and RWE (now innogy). This competition ran for 5 months and we awarded 50.000€ to the 5 best blockchain startups from around the world. On top of this, companies taking this challenge obtained access to our GTEC Lab, which offered them the opportunity to get our support for up to 12 months, commitment-free and with zero equity.
Watch here the recap of the Blockchain Innovation Award Ceremony:
Between the end of 2016 and the start of 2017, we supported dena, the Deutsche Energie Agentur (German Energy Agency), in the creation of the Start Up Energy Transition Award, which selected 18 companies among 500 applications to participate in the Tech Festival, held in Berlin. Part of our partnership with dena involved hosting a series of meetups exploring the different aspects covered by the award competition, which helped dena to maximise their reach among entrepreneurs in the energy sector and put in their radar the best projects for the award.
The PropTech Innovation Award was held for the first time in 2017 and we created it as an initiative to support Property and Real Estate technological solutions that aim to disrupt these rather conservative and analogical sectors. We brought on board our partners from Union Investment in our search for the best PropTech ideas, prototypes and companies for a competition awarding 35.000€ in prizes. For the occasion, we also gathered a world-class line-up of judges from the Real Estate, PropTech, Blockchain and IoT world!
The first edition was such a success that we’re back for the second round in 2018, with a bigger prize pool of 40.000€ and a new partner supporting us: RICS, the professional body that accredits professionals within the land, property and construction sectors worldwide. If you have a PropTech idea in your head, go ahead and apply until March 15, 2018. We accept concepts at all stages and we’re looking forward to supporting your vision!
Our second big and public initiative with corporations this year has been the IPRIZE held together with innogy, one of our founding partners and closest allies. We’ve been supporting innogy over the years with their entire digital innovation strategies and we consider them the proof-of-concept for our philosophy and operation method.
For the IPRIZE, we called for innovators with the ability to help shape the future of Automation, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence without disregarding the moral dilemmas and the basis of the relationships between humans and machines. Basically, visionaries of the Machine Economy knocking on our doors as we speak. As a reward, GTEC and innogy offered 3 opportunities of seed investment up to 250.000€ for early-stage startups and 2 idea incubation scholarships, including free office space during 6 months and a 2.000€ monthly stipend.
The amazing reception of the IPRIZE initiative took us by surprise, and thanks to our partners at innogy, the awards ceremony held during their Unconference was a blast.
But on a lower profile, apart from award competitions and ceremonies, over the years we’ve been creating different events and workshops with the likes of BASF, BOSCH and the Hasso-Plattner-Institut, to name just a few. These executive education programs are held with the top management of global corporations who trust GTEC to bring together the best knowledge available to stay on top of technology, entrepreneurship and digital innovation.
As part of our Executive Education offering, we created for members of the BASF VC team a 2-day workshop packed with incredible learnings from experienced founders in the Berlin startup scene.
On the first day and over the course of a whole morning and afternoon, there was time to reflect on the last 20 years of startups being founded, funded, grown, exited and shut down in Berlin; how to execute an idea into a company, how to change the mindset from employee to founder, the most common reasons for startups to crumble, how to manage the growth and scaling phase, how startups can work close to established industries and how to bring the startup spirit to corporations.
For such a discussion, we counted on the expertise of Sebastian Winkler, CEO of Medizintechnikmarkt.de, Oliver Lukesch, former founder and CTO of Avuba, Benjamin Thym, CEO of Offerista Group, Jackson Bond, founder of Relayr, Maxim Nohroudi, founder of door2door, Erik Adolphs from Connectavo and Johannes Nuenning, VP of the Telekom Intrapreneurship Program UQBATE.
For the second day, we analysed the status quo of the digitalisation in German companies and what would be the best practices going forward. Case studies of digitalisation within big corporations were presented by Anna Ott, HR Expert and Program Manager at Hub:raum, Sebastian Fittko, Berlin Innovation Hub Lead at innogy and RWE, and Harald Marx, Head of Innovation Hub at Daimler Fleetboard. After lunch, Ludwig Preller, CEO of GERMANTECH DIGITAL, presented how company building can bring the best of the startup world into the corporate world. The last talk about accelerators was delivered by Marius Sewing, CEO of Microsoft Accelerator.
All in all, it was the perfect setup for the exchange of knowledge between startup founders and corporate types, where the attendees were handed all the insights they craved for and more. In their own words:
“The insight of the success criteria for entrepreneurship and the best case setup of startups was particularly exciting for me. The numerous discussions of the various aspects surrounding the now fully-fledged companies have shown me how to introduce all this new knowledge into the culture of a large company!”
“GTEC helped me to significantly expand solutions for my field of work, and I believe that the starting points for joining a new network are crucial for having success in the future.”
“It’s been an impressive experience to meet all these people from the founder’s world who have created their own companies, made mistakes and found success. This workshop stimulated in me new ways of thinking and has helped me to understand where and how digitization matters to corporates.”
In the case of BOSCH, we’ve created between 2015 and 2017 a series of workshops with ESMT for their top management development program. Meaning that when top managers are promoted to C-Level, they undertake a series of training, and one of the key areas is entrepreneurship. Executives need to create a startup idea to present to the Bosch board and that is when we come into play.
Our Managing Director, Education, Christoph Raethke, delivered several blocks of training, provided team clinics and team coaching, gave talks and intros into methods for idea building and evaluation, and dived into how to build a data-driven business with the help of seasoned CEOs and entrepreneurs from Berlin.
This year, we also hosted 2 rounds of innovation beyond borders and talent development programs that hugely benefited the BOSCH executives attending them.
Also this year, we hosted in the fall an “Employer Branding” workshop for the training series “Personal 4.0” that brought together our Managing Director, Education Christoph Raethke from GTEC, Anna Ott from Hub:raum and Eirill Eckbo from Friendsurance.
This event was organised together with the Hasso-Plattner-Institut and was led by Martin Talmeier within the project “Gemeinsam Digital” (Digital Together), an initiative supported by the German Ministry of Economy and Energy.
This session was an opportunity for recruiting managers from SMEs to learn about the importance of a company’s brand, digital marketing, as well as recruiting and business models innovations.
In these workshops directed to SME managers, recruiting managers and SME employees, we discussed how to attract talent through their employers’ brand, adapt their website to their recruiting goals and how to use untapped resources and networks such as Instagram or bots for achieving success.
During 3 break-out sessions, the conversation focused on Recruitment, Artificial Intelligence and chatbots, and storytelling for job descriptions. Here you can see how the room looked like during the event.
As you can see, lots were achieved over the years, and especially in 2017, to bring together corporations and startups! We’re grateful for the trust all these companies and organisations put in us in the past 2 and a half years, and we aim to continue our work with corporations in 2018.
If you think we could help your company with your digitalization and innovation efforts, drop us a line regarding our Executive Education programs and we’ll gladly help! Also, if what you read and saw inspires you and you’d like to strike a partnership with GTEC, drop us a line to let us know.