Startup Calls: how we do it

How we do calls and why we think it is necessary to do more of them. Summing up our approach on it.

For a while now (well, over 2 years to be honest) we are trying to permanently push boarders when it comes to finding Startups with new ideas and implementing them. This doesn’t sound too new to everyone that is working in the field of innovation BUT for a company such as Energie Steiermark with quite a long success story it can be very demanding. Changing your mindset and widen your view doesn’t just happen. It requires a lot of work. From us and from everyone involved. What really makes us proud is the fact that slowly but steadily we are getting closer!

One of the tools we are using are so called ‘Startup calls’. Usually if someone needs a solution for a problem you define your requirements and potential candidates can hand in a proposal. This is a process that works very well and in many cases it is just the thing you need. But sometimes you need more!

When you look for innovative solutions, something you haven’t thought of yourself and maybe a team that would love it if you actually work with them on their product to meet your requirements, I would totally recommend trying a Startup call.

Of course you don’t just shout out to ANYONE to apply but there is quite a structure behind the scouting process. This is how we do it:

  1. A department or a team from our mother-company or any other company reaches out for our support
  2. Together we define the initial situation and the framework
  3. We put together a team of experts that are involved during the whole scouting process to make sure we have as much knowledge as possible for the evaluation
  4. Usually we publish this call on our own channels but we also use PIONEERS & their Startup database. And of course you spread it in your individual network
  5. Deadlines are set and the experts have a certain period of time to evaluate & rank all applications
  6. We mainly choose max 10 Startups that are interviewed more closely. From a long-list to a short-list J
  7. Of all the short-listed Startups we invite 3-5 to a meeting/workshop in Graz that we call Bootcamp. The meet with all the experts, get the chance to pitch their product again and actually work on a possible pilot project that will be presented after this Bootcamp
  8. Sometimes it is one Startup-> sometimes it is none! This is where the customer takes the lead again to start working on a pilot project and sometimes even more!
Example of a timetable for a call

Can we say we are successful in what we do? Yes and no! It is challenging to always be questioned but we love what we do and we love to see how many pilots and projects are implemented.

Because you know:

ideas:it has to be done

Christa Kloibhofer-Krampl

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