On the top floor of accelerator NUMA’s vibrant Parisian co-working space, a panel of speakers including startups and in-house innovation teams discussed how small and large businesses can collaborate most effectively — moderated by YCN Director Nick Defty.
On the subject of corporate innovation labs, NUMA’s head of innovation Claudio Vandi explained that he tends to encounter two types of internal teams. The first behaves like a cowboy, charging around with pioneering ideas that are never actually integrated within the company. The second more desirable type of innovation lab works alongside other areas of the business more deeply. He described working with startups as like getting insurance, protecting corporations from inevitable future disruption.
John Lewis head of innovation John Vary spoke about how his team at JLAB looks to work with startups that will bring value to the John Lewis customer or help improve the company’s own internal processes. For example, one business John has recently worked with is Ding Labs. The startup has created a connected door bell that allows home owners to talk to anyone at their door via an app, so they will never miss an important delivery or visitor.
Three startups joined the panel, including Hugo Schleicher from Storefront, Armel Tricaud from Show-Roomer and Fivos Maniatakos from Sensewaves. The guys spoke about what they have gained from working with Numa and the businesses that they were introduced to via the accelerator. For example, Hugo explained that large organisations need to make sure they are not arrogant about their experience and expertise. Problems can also occur are when large corporate organisations don’t or can’t keep up with the pace of a startup.
However, a key theme that emerged was how startups can learn from larger businesses, too. The conversation should be two-way and both parties need to be prepared to compromise and have a mutual understanding of each other.
The panel included:
Claudio Vandi, Head of Innovation at NUMA
Claudio contributed to the development of Open Innovation in France: with the first User Experience laboratory dedicated to startups (2011), the first Open Data Hackathons (2012) and more recently Open Innovation programs (Data Shaker Media Explore, Datacity.paris) and Entrepreneurship programs (NumaShift).
John Vary, Innovation Head at JLAB, John Lewis
Working within the UK based retailer with over 150 years history, John has successfully launched an incubator JLAB — now into its third year. John has seen first hand the value of inviting start ups inside; and in creating the cultural conditions for partnerships to be effective.
Hugo Schleicher, Head of Sales at Storefront (ex-Pop Up Realty)
Hugo is in charge of the business consolidation and expansion of Storefront, the leading global platform for short-term rental of shopping spaces. Storefront Recently merged with Pop Up Realty — its european competitor -— Bringing together the two skilful Largest and MOST marketplaces for short-term retail space.
Fivos Maniatakos, CEO & co-founder at Sensewaves
Fivos co-founded Sensewaves, an analytics platform that transforms raw data into meaningful insights. Sensewaves is one of the winners of the program Data City.
Armel Tricaud, co-founder of Show-Roomer
A solution that help webmerchants reassuring their customers by enabling the customers to talk to a user of the product before buying it. Our key feature is that we set up a demonstration/presentation of the product at the user’s house. With our technology, webmerchants don’t need to have a physical shop and they involve their customer base.
A printed briefing expanding on the subjects explored at the event will be available to Members shortly.