Finnish accelerator and investor KoppiCatch launches lean venturing program

While major corporations often have a hard time keeping up with a rapidly changing environment, the converse is true for startups, who are often more agile. StarTap, a new Finnish accelerator program, facilitates partnerships between the two parts allowing them to tap into each other’s strengths.

KoppiCatch StarTap™ is a new Finnish lean venturing program launching this month. The aim is to help bridge the gap between major corporations and startups. The corporations have the cash flow, references and sales channels, while the startups bring bright new services and products, which they may need more power and experience to launch.

The motivation for initiating the program is clear for co-founder and leader of the program, Kaj Hagros.

“We believe open industry collaboration between corporations and startups accelerates Kaj Hagrosbusiness for both parts. Startups and corporations fit perfectly together. But it’s only recently people have realized this. At KoppiCatch, having worked with large corporations and hundreds of startups, we realised we speak both languages and can help,” he explains

Major corporations and startups encounter great benefits
The program is build up as an accelerated cycle of pitching, feedback, adaptation and tuning. Corporations and startups co-create products and services that spice up the corporation’s offerings and drives organisational learning. The startups get quality time with prospective corporate business partners with the aim of selling their product or service.

“Startups are keen to get a meaningful reference and cash-flow, and we have excellent examples where this approach has enabled the corporations to build entirely new businesses in a very short time frame and with very limited investments,” Kaj Hagros explains

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The first round focuses on digital service innovations. Media group Alma Media as well as the telecommunication group DNA hosts this round. They are looking for growth companies especially within the following fields:

  • Digital advertising: new innovations in advertising and targeting
  • The smart living room: New concepts with video, entertainment, consumer Internet of Things
  • E-commerce: conversion analytics, shop and customer care experience (online + store)
  • New approaches to news media, campaign advertising and multi-channel audience measurement

In order to be qualified the startups must bring more than just ideas and concepts.

“We openly invite startups who believe they can respond to these themes. The participating startups are expected to have a product or service at a stage that it can be rolled out using the corporation’s channels this year,” Kaj Hagros explains

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Positive impact on the future startup scene

Kaj Hagros believes, that initiatives like this will have profound long-term consequences for the Finnish startup scene.

“Going forward, corporate strategy work must encompass a startup angle. Our startup scene is already bustling, but we have built the first instrument to throw startups onto the top management’s agenda.”

He hopes that this initiative can serve as an eye-opener and be the beginning of even more cooperation between the two parts in the future

“In five years, with regards to new innovations and business development, we hope Finnish corporations would routinely reach out to the startup ecosystem and not just management consultants,” Kaj Hagros says

The deadline to participate the first batch is Apr 20, 2015. You can find more information and apply here

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