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The Process Of Cooperation Between Startups And Mature Organizations

In a new ‘Road to Doing Business’ conference, Sonja Moosburger and Rafael Pires brought the perspective of the mature organizations about cooperating with startups.

The first webinar of the last day of the “Road to Doing Business”, brought experimentation directors from two big retailers and was dedicated to the theme “Startups and Mature Organizations Cooperation”.

Sonja Moosburger, managing director of MediaMarktSaturn N3XT – a subsidiary of the multinational Media Markt, whose focus is on the search for innovative products and services – set the tone by highlighting  “the great relevance of startups for big companies these days”.

Sonja shared the process followed by N3XT, from the phase of implementing pilot products/services to the final delivery, the phase corresponding to the integration of a new offer in the thousands of Media Markt stores spread across different countries.

One of the most relevant phases of the experimentation process, according to Sonja, corresponds to the product/service test, which “can take between three to six months, and should serve to meet the requirements and KPI’s defined in the initial pilot implementation phase”.

“If it serves both parties, we move on to the delivery phase (roll-out) and the new proposal is quickly integrated into our stores, serving the customer. If not, we will end the connection as soon as possible, through an honest and transparent procedure. For startups and large companies, it is not healthy to maintain relationships that will not have results in the near future”, added Sonja.

Among the main recommendations for startups, Sonja referred the need  of making simple proposals, the preference the company has for plug & play solutions, the need for an effective and concrete speech, the need to be insistent, to plan the product/service integration in the company, to present an effective and safe solution and the active listening. Also, it is important to define precise and measurable KPI’s, delivering what was promised and, finally, responding to the problem that must be solved.

Rafael Pires, responsible for IT Labs at Sonae MC, left a set of tips for startups, “from the perspective of a large company”. Rafael highlighted a must-have  for the development of a cooperation between a startups and a mature organization: “the objectives of both must be aligned in order to have a first approach ”.

“Although it is legitimate for companies to interact with startups to discover a new technology or solution, it is equally legitimate for a startup to seek, through a large company, the validation of its innovative product/service”, said Rafael Pires.

As a startup seeking to cooperate with a large company, you have to “study the objectives of the company, to approach a decision maker (preferably from the Innovation units), discover the budget available for experimentation, make sure you fit in the organizational culture of the company. And you have be able to promise and deliver”.

Sonja and Rafael also revealed some of the trends in the retail sector in the coming months, considering the Covid-19 pandemic. Large companies will seek to invest in a “rigorous and effective” way. According to the guests, in the near future the demand will be based on new technologies, processes or products that guarantee a better experience in the store, in a touchless and contactless perspective, together with a reinforced bet in e-commerce and an improvement in the quality and speed of the delivery services.

 “Road to Doing Business” is part of the 5th edition of the Doing Business activity, promoted by ScaleUp Porto, in partnership with UPTEC.