Groningen OPEN starts this week. Four companies from the Northern Netherlands have formulated challenges and are looking for startups with innovative solutions. The aim of the new initiative 'Groningen OPEN' is to connect established companies and startups in the region in an accessible and effective way. Groningen OPEN is organized by Campus Groningen, Founded in Groningen, VentureLab North and the NOM.
Startups often benefit from the accumulated expertise and experience of larger companies when it comes to product improvement, market knowledge and acceptance. And conversely, established companies increasingly depend on the speed and flexibility of innovative startups for competitiveness. Yet both parties often find it challenging to connect or collaborate. Groningen OPEN offers startups the chance to connect with established companies and respond to their current issues, develop, test and possibly implement solutions.
OPEN for innovation
Four established companies - Krinkels, MercachemSyncom, FC Groningen and Cloetta - have committed themselves to Groningen OPEN. They have formulated challenges and in the coming weeks, together with the partners of Groningen OPEN, they will look for startups that can offer a good solution for their issue. By committing to Groningen OPEN, the four established companies are showing that they are "open" to new ideas, innovation and collaboration: Groningen OPEN for Innovation. For example, Cloetta is looking for a startup that can playfully bring the positive effects of Xylitol on oral health to the attention of Dutch consumers. Krinkels is looking for methods for scalable processing of grass into a valuable semi-finished or finished product. FC Groningen wants to collaborate with a startup that can help the club provide insight into its KPIs in a (live) dashboard. And MercachemSyncom would like to get in touch with a (biotech) startup that can supply specific enzymes quickly and reliably.
Opportunities for cooperation
The partners of Groningen OPEN - Campus Groningen, Founded in Groningen, VentureLab North and the NOM - are using their network and expertise to connect companies and startups. "With Groningen OPEN, we can connect the speed and flexibility of innovative startups with the network and market knowledge of larger companies," said Lusanne Tehupuring, Private Lead of Founded in Groningen. "That combination is valuable and fits well with our core mission: actively connecting and supporting startups in the region." Ronald Hesse, Business Developer Campus Groningen, is also convinced of the added value that the new Groningen OPEN initiative can provide. "From Campus Groningen, we actively encourage the connection and opening up of research, education and business," he said. "Groningen OPEN offers opportunities for even more collaboration between the larger parties and startups on and around our beautiful Campus, where Open Innovation is central."
Groningen OPEN is made financially possible in part by the Groningen Accord to stimulate the innovation climate.
Matching and pilot projects
Startups can apply for the four challenges until November 1 at the latest. Introductions and pitches will take place in November. During an (online) event on November 16, it will be announced which startups have a match with the four larger companies. Once there is a match, the startup and the company (the challenge owner) will go through an 8 to 12 week process to come to a solution together. The partners of Groningen OPEN will guide and support this process.
More information about Groningen OPEN and the challenges can be found on the website. The Groningen OPEN project is a new project of Campus Groningen, Founded in Groningen, VentureLab North and the NOM.
After this first edition, we will evaluate how the program can be set up as effectively as possible in the future. Established companies wishing to participate in a subsequent edition of Groningen OPEN can contact us via the details on the website.