10 examples of collaborations between startups and established companies

Pioneering spirit, willingness to take risks and an informal culture of trying out, failing and getting up again, learning and further developing ideas characterise startups. Ideal conditions for developing new technologies and bringing innovative products to market. Small and medium-sized companies benefit in particular from working together with startups, as there is usually a lean organisation in small and medium-sized companies with short decision-making paths and rapid reaction possibilities to market developments.

Below are some examples of successful collaborations between established companies and innovative startups:

IABG and innosabi – Lab of ideas for digitization
The Munich startup innosabi supports companies in finding out the most creative and successful ideas of their employees. The basis for this is a software platform for in-house idea management on which employees can exchange ideas and upload their ideas. The industrial plant operating company in Ottobrunn tested the platform in a beta phase and, above all, highlighted the highly efficient innovation process.

Orcan Energy and E.ON
The startup company Orcan Energy has developed efficient processes to generate electricity from waste heat. In times of energy revolution companies can use the so-called ePack to reduce their ecological footprint and produce in a more environmentally friendly way. This also convinced E.ON, which joined Orcan Energy in mid-2013. Depending on the application, the price for the energy recovered can be as high as six cents per kilowatt hour.

Polarstern and BKK VBU in Berlin
The Munich startup Polarstern sells green electricity and ecogas, the core target group being private households, businesses and retailers. Polarstern has built up a close-knit network of customers and is also active in the social media, primarily via Facebook and Twitter. Since spring, Polarstern has been operating a fruitful cooperation with BKK VBU in Berlin, which, in addition to a low-cost supply of green electricity, can learn a lot from the startup’s modern customer management.

Carpooling and Deutsche Bahn – innovation per App
Carpooling originated in 2001 from the platform Mitfahrgelegenheit.de. In the meantime the European carpooling network is active in nine different countries and uses apps to bring more than 10,000 people together to carpool every day. Deutsche Bahn finally became aware of the mobility platform which soon led to a permanent cooperation. Deutsche Bahn offers its own services via the network and addresses potential customers directly.

Lingoking and Paulaner
Lingoking is an interpreting service that operates with translators in more than 40 countries worldwide. If you need a translator quickly, Lingoking will help you quickly and easily. Business directly on the phone is the core business of the company. The established company Paulaner profited from this by having a licence agreement translated into Chinese within a very short time.

OnPage.org and Care.de
The bavarian startup OnPage.org is specialized in the search engine optimization of websites. While a few years ago the targeted placement of keywords was still sufficient for a high Google ranking, today more sophisticated mechanisms must be used to be displayed right at the top of Google. Especially companies that sell their goods in their own online shop are dependent on a good search engine optimization. Care.de is a non-profit organization that wants to alleviate hunger in the world and help people in need through donations. In order to address as many potential donors as possible via the Internet, a targeted search engine optimization must take place.

Explainr and Sira GmbH
Explainr is a startup specialising in the production of explanatory films for companies. Customers of these companies no longer have to go through pages of operating instructions and almost fall asleep, but receive the relevant information in a compact and often amusing explanatory film. This saves time and informs customers about the company’s services. Sira GmbH, as an internationally operating pipe and plant manufacturer, uses such animated films.

Vemcon and Kinshofer
Vemcon is a startup specializing in control technology for mobile machines. Vemcon’s experimental team has, for example, developed a sophisticated excavator control system for the construction equipment manufacturer Kinshofer.

DyeMansion and EOS
The startup DyeMansion has developed a dyeing solution for the 3D printing industry. EOS, a global company, is partnering with DyeMansion because stable, cost-effective and scalable dyeing solutions are critical to the further development of additive manufacturing applications.

NFWare and Maxfield Capital
The software startup NFWare develops virtual solutions for the telecommunications industry with the aim of replacing routers with virtual programs.

About Ambivation

Ambivation connects established companies with startups for innovation partnerships. As an innovation consultancy and matchmaker, Ambivation facilitates collaboration between founders and executives for general exchange, concrete customer, supplier or research partnerships. Ambivation supports companies in the identification of needs, startup identification, startup evaluation and initiation of cooperation. Formats such as research of relevant startups, startup monitoring, strategic cooperation consulting or event formats such as startup tours or Design Thinking workshops serve this purpose. The monthly newsletter also informs curious company representatives about current collaboration examples and events related to these cooperations.