70 startups, 130 people, 8 incredible speakers and a LOT of mimosa – we are still recovering from the launch of CAPSULE, Tnuva’s digital innovation program for startups that took place last week in partnership with Re:Tech and support of AWS.
We were lucky to host fantastic speakers who shared the current challenges facing the world’s leading CPG companies, and how they work with startups to drive innovation:
Anat Gross Schon, CEO Dairy Division at Tnuva, Shir Zakai, Chief Digital & Data Officer at Tnuva; Shay Cohen, Head of Corporate Innovation at Tnuva; Anna Farberov, Venture and Innovation at PepsiCo; Or Rozen, Corporate Segment Manager at AWS; Eilat Cohen Basat, Managing Director, Global Digital Innovation Lab & Smart Products at Kimberly-Clark; Meir Orbach, Editor & Reporter at Calcalist; and Yael Kochman Re:Tech Partner & CEO.
Photo Source: Netanel Tobias
For those who missed it – here are our 5 key learnings from the event on how CPGs can drive innovation through collaboration with startups:
1. The retail industry is changing. Brands are becoming less brand-centric, and more customer-centric. This change is reflected by the growing focus brands are putting on creating memorable experiences, their openness to new concepts and implementation of disruptive technologies.
2. Corporations need startups in order to maintain a competitive advantage. Startups need corporations to scale. It’s a mutual need – that with the right timing, technology and communication – can lead to significant partnerships.
3. Israeli technology is playing a growing role in the transformation overtaking the retail industry, helping corporations stay relevant and adapt to change. Israel has 500+ startups specializing in retail tech. In 2018, 32 Israeli retail tech startups raised a total of $428M with an average investment of $14.5 – a growth of 20% since 2017, a number that is very likely to grow. These trends are also covered in Re:Tech and Viola Venture’s recent report, which includes a comprehensive overview of the Israeli retail tech ecosystem.
4. For traditional companies looking to enhance their digital innovation, partnering with Israeli startups is a substantial way to drive innovation. However, innovation is not the goal: It is a tool for achieving value. In order to create that value, companies must understand the importance of establishing internal systems that think differently, have an organizational mandate to break the silos, and work beyond the standard corporate rules.
Photo Source: Netanel Tobias
5. Last but not least – here are our 3 important tips for large CPG companies looking to work with startups:
A. Meeting with startups can be complicated: There are a myriad of components CPGs should take into consideration when working with startups. Perhaps one of the most important things to do before entering the process, however, is to set clear exceptions. Startups don’t always understand the complexity of working with a corporation, and co-creating a clear roadmap and measurable goals for both sides is essential to ensure the success of any future cooperation.
B. Communication. Startups and corporations work very differently. Startups are fast and agile, while in corporates, things take time. With such major differences, communication remains one of the major pain points for corporations looking to work with entrepreneurs.
A great example raised in the panel referred to the importance of saying no, and making things clear from the outset if you are not interested in working together. For a startup, working with a corporate can make or break the company; so if you don’t work with them, explaining why is important and could be extremely helpful for the startup.
C. Find an industry expert to work with. As a CPG, finding the right startup for your company can be hard. That’s why partnering with a third party that knows the startup ecosystem and can help you identify the most relevant startup for your company, can be beneficial in your search of disruptive technologies. This could also assist in the components mentioned above – as the industry expert will do the work for you, prepare the startups before the meetings and assists in the ongoing communication with them. Finally, a third party will help not only in identifying the startups but implementing the technologies themselves.
During the discussion about the various ways in which startups can cooperate with startups, one of the things that stood out was how an organized program set by the corporate can have a lot of benefits for both sides.
During the event, we launched CAPSULE – Tnuva’s new digital innovation program for startups developing groundbreaking technologies in consumer and retail fields.
CAPSULE is a great example for a platform for entrepreneurs wishing to work with Israel’s leading CPG company: startups who will be chosen to participate in the program will get the opportunity to conduct a pilot with Tnuva, with the support of top mentors and financing of up to $50,000 for conducting a POC (proof of concept) as well as technological support from AWS.
Learn more about the program and apply here