At BLINK, we fundamentally believe that working with emerging startup technologies is the fastest and most effective way to accelerate digital innovation for our clients and drive competitive advantage.
To highlight our work and the quality of startup technologies we have seen over the past 18 months, we hosted an event at MediaCom this week, which coincided with Startup Week Europe. Startup Europe Week brings together entrepreneurs and regions for one week of the year to showcase some of the best projects that are fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems across Europe.
The event was a chance for attendees to understand the pros and cons of working closely with startups through Corporate Innovation. The event kicked off with an introduction to how BLINK helps our clients bridge the gap with the open innovation market before heading straight into fast-paced pitching rounds with eight of the leading startups across various innovative areas such as IoT, Blockchain and AI.
Below is the list of startups who presented on the day:
After a short networking break, we dived straight into a fascinating keynote speech from Dave Knox. As a brand marketer, venture investor, and startup advisor, Dave Knox provided a unique insight into the changing relationship between disruptive startups and Fortune 500 companies. In his talk, Predicting The Turn, Knox discussed how corporates must foresee the future of their industry and respond to these new competitive challenges.
We finished the event with a thought-provoking panel discussion chaired by Sue Unerman, CTO at MediaCom, asking the panelists if today’s Corporate innovation programmes were delivering real business value or are they simply a PR vehicle.
Dave Knox was joined on the panel by Hannah Mirza, Global Head Media Partnerships at Mediacom. Named in Internationalist 2017 as one of the foremost Agency innovators and as the agency lead on the Mars Launchpad programme, Hannah provided insights on how Corporate Innovation can work and how Media Agencies are uniquely placed to help facilitate this process.
Also on the panel was Dora Michail, Managing Director, Digital at The Telegraph Media Group. Dora experienced life in a US startup, Blue Lithium, and has spent most of her working life in one of Silicon Valley’s largest Tech companies, Yahoo. Now heading up digital at one of the UK’s most established and trusted publishers; Dora brought with her a fascinating insight in to how Corporates and startups can best work together.
Finally, we had Jon Bradford, Founding Partner of Motive Partners. Given his prolific résumé of founding Accelerators earning him the title as the “Godfather of European Accelerators”, Jon was forthright in his opinion that more could be done in this space to ensure that Corporate Innovation was not merely lip service.
The event was well received, with the startups receiving a fantastic response from the audience, and generating some positive leads. There were several key takeouts from the day:
Dave Knox provided some fascinating insight and case studies, highlighting how “Venture Capital is becoming the new R&D”. He believes firmly that there is a need to flip marketing and R&D budgets and that the key stakeholders for innovation tend to be with the CEOs – but that needed to change.
Jon Bradford touched on how startup tourism was harming innovation and that being polite and stringing startups along was detrimental to the community.
In answer to this, BLINK @ MediaCom discussed how we are exploring new and unique ways in which we collaborate with startups, to help our clients, the startup community and ensure our own product offering is not only competitive but also pushing boundaries.