Fueling innovation through synergies: How corporates benefit from collaborating with startups

Fueling innovation through synergies: How corporates benefit from collaborating with startups

The Start.up! Germany Tour presents a unique and invaluable opportunity for startups by providing a platform to connect with potential partners and investors. On the flip side, it also offers established corporations the chance to learn from, exchange ideas with, and network within the vibrant startup scene. Such synergies are also harnessed by Evonik, a well-established name in the specialty chemicals industry. We had the opportunity to interview Viviane Winter, who works in digitalization strategy at Evonik, and gathered some exciting insights to share with you.

Stay tuned for an engaging behind-the-scenes look at Evonik's experiences as part of the Start.up! Germany Tour.

1026 Ihk Reverse Pitch Schuetze 125 1

Viviane Winter at the Reverse Pitch of the Start.up! Germany Tour 2022

What drew Evonik to participate in the Start.up! Germany Tour?

As an innovation unit at Evonik, our objective is to cultivate a broad ecosystem for collaboration. The Start.up! Germany Tour facilitates this by connecting us with diverse startups from various sectors. The innovative ideas and trends emerging from the startup scene greatly inspire us. Particularly, the international scope broadens our perspective, inviting fresh insights and fostering productive cross-cultural interactions, which is a vital aspect of our participation.

How does Evonik benefit from collaborating with startups?

Startups are known for their fresh, innovative approach and their ability to think out of the box. Collaborating with startups offers us a unique advantage in exploring new horizons. Furthermore, it also makes sense in an economical way for both sides in case that the use cases match. Startups, with their flexible approach, can bring a novel perspective to our established processes. These collaborations bring value to our work by offering cost-efficient opportunities to work on innovative projects and the startups get the chance to gain insights into how we as a corporate work.

What areas are of particular interest to Evonik when collaborating with startups?

We're interested in startups playing in the field of (generative) AI in chemistry, e.g. to support lab work and to shorten innovation cycles by using data. The areas of sustainability and circular economy also show promising opportunities for collaboration with startups. Ultimately, the relevance of the use-case presented by the startup decides the potential for collaboration.

How does the Start.up! Germany Tour enhance the partnership between Evonik and startups?

Personal contact is a crucial element in nurturing collaborations. The Start.up! Germany Tour offers a platform where corporates can engage face-to-face with startups, paving the way for effective communication and deeper understanding. This allows us at Evonik to build fruitful collaborations by connecting directly with startups that have relevant use-cases. It also presents an opportunity for startups to network and learn from industry veterans. Once we have established a personal connection, startups can reach out to me, for instance, via LinkedIn. But it's essential that I've had the chance to form an impression of the startup and that we've already exchanged first ideas.

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