On the 7th of February, local and international start-ups met with the five partners of the Start4big open innovation initiative at Innovahub in Barcelona.
The Start4Big competition that launched last year, on the 10th of December, connects Naturgy, Caixabank, Aigües de Barcelona, SEAT and Telefónica with start-ups that can answer the following challenges:
How could we help users to better control and manage consumption at home?
How could we improve the customer experience and/or reduce the costs of services and products involving online transactions?
How could we provide new services taking advantage of the communication between different devices, vehicles and/or infrastructures?
How could we track customer activities in real time to personalise their experience?
Start-ups compete in six months-waves of innovation to solve two types of business challenges: cross-sector and transversal. In cross-sector challenges, companies have the opportunity to work with two or more Start4big partners. In transversal challenges, start-ups collaborate will all five partner companies. The minimum requirement for Spanish companies is to have a functional prototype while international start-ups are required to have a market-ready product.
Start4big was created to facilitate access to networking, mentoring programs and the incubators of the five most developed Spanish companies, that together make up 2% of the GDP of Spain. For Naturgy, Caixabank, Aigües de Barcelona, SEAT and Telefónica this is a way to develop their R&D initiatives by making use of external ideas and technologies while letting their own unused ideas and projects to be developed by external companies.
The meetup was a great opportunity for representatives of the partner companies to connect with start-ups and explain the four challenges of the first call in more detail.
Any local or international start-up with a functional prototype can submit a project proposal on the Start4big website until the 11th of March 2019. After the deadline, a panel of experts select the winners that go on to build pilot projects with one or more partner companies. The winners will be announced online, in June.