The key is smart collaboration

Those who want to find startup companies to collaborate with should go to Slush in Finland. With 20,000 participants, it has become a world-leading gathering for startup companies.

iHubs Sweden The key is smart collaboration

Image above: Martin Olausson and Camilla Kullborg from Synerleap, ABB’s Growth Hub.

Martin Olausson, Head of Business Development, and Camilla Kullborg, Head of Automation & Robotics, at Synerleap, ABB’s Growth Hub, have intense days at the world’s leading start-up conference, Slush in Finland. With over 20,000 entrepreneurs, investors, lecturers and technology companies under the same roof it is a golden opportunity have meetings with startup companies that may become future partners.

Close by one of the major stages in the huge fair hall, ABB has strategically set up its booth. This is base camp for Martin Olausson and Camilla Kullborg. But you are lucky if you’ll find them there. Martin and Camilla have a well-planned schedule for all the meetings during the two days when they walk away for meeting the chosen startups.

We cannot do everything ourselves, we need to collaborate.

“We have booked a lot of meetings here at Slush. In forehand we have received a lot of requests and we meet startups from all around the world,” Camilla Kullborg says.

“We ourselves don´t have time for any of the big keynotes and presentations, we are to busy for that,” Martin Olausson says.

A growth hub

Together with his colleague Camilla Kullborg, he can offer the startups an advanced growth hub with a lab environment in the city of Västerås, filled with industrial competence, a network of ABB customers worldwide and a large number of researchers and experts that are in for collaboration.

“Starting today, we also have a virtual membership that we opened to offer companies from around the world,” says Martin Olausson, something that is necessary as more and more startup companies from other countries are approaching Synerleap.

Collaborating essential

Collaborating with startups has become essential for most major international companies. In addition to ABB, Slush participants can meet IBM, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Porsche, PwC, Nordea, Samsung and many more – all with an open invitation to startup companies seeking collaboration.

At Slush startup companies can have quick meetings that they cannot arrange elsewhere. For the startup companies, such meetings are very important. A collaboration with, for example, ABB can provide access to major international markets and network of customers that ABB have globally.

This is something Martin Olausson and Camilla Kullborg are well aware of, and it is a necessity if ABB wants to keep position in increasingly tougher international competition.

Cannot do it ourselves

“We need to be quicker to create innovations. We cannot do everything ourselves, startups are important, we need to collaborate, “Camilla Kullborg says.

“Therefore, we have started Synerleap as a way for startups to come closer to ABB,” says Martin Olausson.

But it’s not just individual startups that are important. For Synerleap it is also of big value to be part of an ecosystem and innovation system that works smoothly. Therefore, the region around Västerås city and Västmanland is important, Synerleap has its base there. This means that organizations in the area such as Automation Region and Robotdalen, both Vinnväxt initiatives, as well as local incubators and science parks are important in the partner network.

Working for the whole of Sweden

But Synerleap’s activities extend throughout Sweden, emphasizes Martin Olausson. Two of the hub members, Prediktera and Algoryx come from Umeå and Martin Olausson and Camilla Kullborg look forward to welcome more companies from the north.

“We work for all Sweden, and of course would like to continue working with Uminova Innovation in Umeå,” says Martin Olausson.

Recently, he attended the Umeå Tech Arena and the match-making event Ignite North to meet startups from northern Sweden. Over 80 meetings on one day between startups and major industries were conducted, and Synerleap was involved in several of these.

“I’m really impressed with the entire Umeå atmosphere and the pulse that was there. I am also very impressed with the startup sessions. It was especially one of the startups I feel passionate about, we sure will them again,” says Martin Olausson, looking forward to working with more companies from northern Sweden.

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