Meetup no. 1
On 8 July the first meetup took place with startups and corporates in the construction industry. We were guests at Ithodaalderop and Virus Free Air. CEO Bart Romeijn talks about why he is interested in startups such as Virus Free Air. Here you can read further.
For startups, working together with a corporate or SME company can be a springboard. The collaboration with Virus Free Air is a win-win situation. In concrete terms, it is clear from what happened with the cost price of the Virus Free Air product: after 7 years, Ithodaalderop reduced it by over 70% in 3 months. In addition Ithodaalder on the accounting, for them a piece of cake. For Ithodaalderop, the benefit of innovating with a startup is relatively low risk. Bart knows that innovating is accompanied by failure. That 40% of the ideas become successful at Ithodaalderop is a high percentage. That is no longer possible at a R & D department, because they lack the dynamics needed for real innovation. Bart is both an investor and one of the customers of Virus Free Air. Virus Free Air can do what they want; about 1 of their products has been agreed that it will only be delivered to Ithodaalderop. He is closely involved in the startup and thinks it is important that they remain on their own feet. Virus Free Air is at Itho on location, they rent their own site. The advantages are clear to the startups. But how do you find each other?
Bart gives the startups a number of valuable lessons if they want to cooperate with an established company.
Lessons to Startups
First of all: Sell your stuff! There are enough investors but go for it. Call them and agree. Because as CEO I want to meet the entrepreneur and hear what moves him or her: “If I believe in the entrepreneur, I want to invest.”
In addition: Startups underestimate marketing and sales, they spend a lot of time on the product and do too little on business. When doing business comes more than the product.
Finally, do not go straight to the big companies. Here decision-making is slow and, for example, an investment that is needed can not be released on time. Look for SMEs: these companies switch much faster, the lines are shorter. They may be more curious about startups than the big boys.