Since 2008 the Slovenian Enterprise Fund has been offering financial support for newly established innovative enterprises with a high growth potential. The focus has been at enterprises at the beginning of their business journey and are developing innovative products for the wider market as well as processes and services with a high added value.
These incentives provide financial support to young enterprises in the first development phase, which covers the setting up of an enterprise, the creation of a minimum viable product (MVP) based on own development, the creation of an entrepreneurial team, a direct transfer of knowledge and knowledge institutions into the business environment.
This is the most extensive group of newly established young innovative enterprises that show potential for rapid growth and need the most favourable financial sources at the beginning of their business journey. The call for proposal is composed of two phases: pre-selection and complete project proposal. The successful startup can gain up to 54k euro in grants funding.
In addition to financial suppport, the startups can benefit also from free consulting services, provided by eminent mentors and coaches. This measure »Startup Incentives« is the first part of the comprehensive Support Programme for young enterprises in Slovenia.
Chamber of Craft & Small Businesses of Slovenia
Several domain leaders are looking to collaborate with start-up companies that are more open to novel approaches and flexible in their approach towards manufacturing. These start-ups usually focus on creating new technologies that can enhance the capabilities of existing organizations by leaps and bounds.
Another major benefit of partnering with start-ups is that they are smaller in size and it is easier for them to adapt to the changing business ecosystem. Finally, services offered by start-ups that are just beginning to gain scale in the market are usually priced low and are easily affordable. Thus, organizations can save huge amounts by opting for start-ups instead of established companies for their collaborations.
Moreover, start-ups usually come armed with a variety of new-age entrepreneurs that are skilled in several cutting-edge disciplines. The exchange of novel thoughts and ideas between individuals who have worked on and with leading technologies is always a huge plus for evolving companies.
Things to Keep in Mind While Collaborating for Innovation
Keeping in mind that digitization will be at the heart of these collaborations, here are some key factors that can lead to a successful collaboration between organizations:
Currently, rapidly evolving trends and multitudes of challenges exist in the manufacturing industry. Along with widespread technological uptake, companies will have to go through complete mindset shifts in order to survive in the 4th industrial revolution. Organizations carrying out business alongside each other will be required to become one unit, to share digital technologies and infrastructures and remain competitive in this ever-evolving business landscape.
Different from the traditional R&D business model that keeps all the information internal, companies who embrace Open Innovation let the door open and ask for external ideas to solve their current business challenges more efficiently.
According to the article Could Open Innovation save the world? (Fitzgerald, 2020), there are few aspects that Open Innovation can bring benefits to the company:
However, not merely more companies are participating in the Open Innovation programme because the payoff is not always clear and also it is difficult for companies to identify which business solutions can create value for all the stakeholders. The author in the article suggested that companies should focus on the overall ROI created by open innovation rather than the individual return of each solution.
Responding to the title of the article, can Open Innovation really save the world” our answer might be yes, but the problem lies in how to make it happen.
In the Upskilling Lab 4.0 project, we will develop a robust model of collaboration between startups and corporates, the skill development network to make more Open Innovation and collaboration happen.
European Startup Network