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Suits & Ties collaborating with Sneakers & Beards

Door Carlijn Tempelaars

dec 07 2014





Practice what you preach: the second edition of KPMG’s New Horizons event was organized in collaboration with start-ups. And, with success! KPMG brought their last year’s lessons learned into practice. Together with start-ups like Van Chefs, Visuele Notulen and Starred, KPMG introduced 32 start-ups to 180 corporates and vice versa. What follows are the key take-aways of this year’s edition.

Tips for corporates:

  1. As a corporate, you need to be willing to engage (Edo Roos Lindgreen – KPMG)
    Head of Innovation Edo Roos Lindgreen opened the event with a clarification of KPMG’s motivation to work together with start-ups. Besides the fact that KPMG wants to add value to the start-up ecosystem they also want to provide corporate clients with the best solutions. And therefore you, as a corporate, need to be willing to engage with startups.
  1. You need to have a good entry point (Michael van der Jagt – ParkxPlastics)
    Do start-ups know with whom they need to talk when they get in touch with your company? It is important to reveal who are the right persons to talk to. And make sure everyone knows.
  2. Be careful to ‘kick to the holy houses’ (Lars van Wieren – Starred)
    If you decide to collaborate with a start-up, it doesn’t mean that your whole organization is looking forward to the collaboration. Involve the people who are enthusiastic and let them become internal ambassadors for your organization.
  3. Bridge the cultural gap (Richard Wagenmakers – KPMG)
    We can’t ignore it: the cultural gap between corporates and start-ups is quite large. However, when both ‘worlds’ take a step into each other’s direction, it can be turned into a positive aspect of the collaboration. Suits & Ties collaborating, instead of versus, Sneakers & Beards.

Tips for start-ups:

  1. Be aggressive and smart (Marco Knitel – Uber)
    Don’t wait but act: time for action. Innovation is like magic! Try to create new markets and fulfill your customers’ needs.
  2. Get your first customers yourself (Peter Kwakernaak – Acceptemail)
    It is great to collaborate with corporates but it is even more important to prove that you can find your (first) customers yourself. That also makes you a better collaboration partner, since you can bring something to the table.
  3. Skate to where the puck is going (Steve Mezak – Accelerance)
    Don’t skate where the puck is, but where it is going. Make sure you are one step ahead of your customers (and competitors). Become a strategic entrepreneur and figure out the needs of your customers.
  4. Create an ‘AHA’ moment (Steve Mezak – Accelerance)
    A good demo is all about creating that ‘AHA’ moment with your customer or with the organization you want to collaborate with. It will be remembered, and hopefully in a positive way.

Finally for both sides the last take away from Michiel Hilders, ABN AMRO: “Each week we saw improvements. Speed, collaboration, co-creation and execution power are the greatest benefits of working together with start-ups.” It was a great event to experience and I am curious to the relationships that survived the first kiss.

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