Promoting Collaboration at Volkswagen’s 8th Startup Community

Ignite Program Manager Stina Lantz spoke to nearly 70 participants around the world from the Volkswagen group late last year about the benefits of working with startups.

Banner with text from the post

Hosted by IDEATION:HUB and Future Mobility Incubator, their 8th startup community session focused on how to drive startup collaboration in the future. The internal event aims to improve innovative thinking within the Volkswagen group and Stina was invited to provide practical advice and insight into the benefits of working with startups. 

Introducing Ignite’s work, Stina focused on not just the obvious advantages of collaboration but also the unexpected wins for both startups and larger companies including Volkswagen.

“Corporates often feel they don’t have anything to offer if they don’t invest in startups but that isn’t what startups want according to our annual survey. It’s more important for them to develop strategic partnerships and verify both technology and business models with corporates. When we asked what corporates wanted they were more interested in new technologies and access to entrepreneurs’ knowledge and energy to develop their internal innovation culture.” 

At a first glance these two goals don’t work well together but Stina says she has seen two main unexpected advantages of collaborating with external startups.

“Firstly we see increased talent attraction for the corporate, and we also see a change in the teams working with startups. They change their overall work processes, they are more open to solutions and out of the box thinking. This means companies aren’t just gaining new innovations faster, they are also developing unexpected solutions that lead to greater results.”

Participants from around the world also received some practical advice to improve their future collaborations. 

“When you are considering starting something new, always start by looking on the outside because it will be cheaper and faster to work with existing solutions. Become a customer rather than an investor, and make sure to test the business case as well as the technology. It’s also important to have the people who will be involved in the rollout on board from the beginning to shorten time cycles.”

“Finally don’t be afraid to experiment and celebrate all these experiences equally. Not just the successes but also the failures because they are both important to reach your goal,”  says Stina.

Elisa Schmidt, Communications and Event Manager at the IDEATION:HUB says Stina’s insights came at a great time as there is already a lot of interest within Volkswagen to work with startups. The 8th Startup Community session provided a positive platform to work through ideas and challenges.  

“We are working hard every day to excite our customers and deliver excellent products and services. Over the years, we have learned that this works best by collaborating and learning from each other. Although we have strong internal innovation processes, perspectives from outside the company have also proven to be motivating and inspiring. That’s why partnering with startups is a crucial part of our daily work and we are even more eager to develop the most innovative solutions together.”

Share this article

Get inspired by the Ignite Sweden Stories and articles

Login for Ignite Sweden members

Sign in to our digital platform Ignite Magic to join our program, check out our upcoming matchdays, update your company profile, and access useful resources created exclusively for members such as legal templates and other material to help you prepare for your meetings.

Not a member yet?

Click on the boxes below to learn more about our memberships and get started.