Recently I had the pleasure to sponsor the Essener Energie Forum 2017 through my company +ANDERSEN & ASSOCIATES and together with Alexander Küppers from Statkraft Ventures, I offered my Pitching Masterclass as a part of the symposium’s workshops.
The Essener Energie Forum is a yearly student-run interdisciplinary symposium on energy technology, innovation and politics in Essen, Germany.
Recently I was honored and delighted to be invited by USAID to help companies and startups in Moldova.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the United States Government agency which is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid.
I knew where the country of Moldova (not Moldavia – that’s the name of a region) was on the map (Hint: It’s just east of Romania), but I had never previously visited. I was surprised to find a small but capable startup community and a lot of familiar faces in the capital of Chisinau.
The entrance to the cool new iHUB Chisinau
First up, I had two workshops with Moldovan companies and their management about how corporations engage with startups and why; One at Starnet (the primary telco in Moldova) and one at the coworking space and startup center iHUB (also supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs among others).
The topic of innovation and growth is especially interesting in Moldova because one of the leading industries is outsourcing; building apps, websites and software for other western companies. This is a good business model for now – but for how long? What happens when other markets will outcompete them on price? So I talked a lot about the importance in experimenting with developing new products and how, before their business model may become obsolete and also how and why they could be reinvesting in local startups as a part of their innovation portfolio.
Back to back, I was also honored to be invited to speak about my startup experiences at the Startup Grind Chisinau in the evening.
At Startup Grind Chisinau, I spoke a bit about my startup experiences
And a day later I held my popular Lean Startup Crash Course for existing startups and people considering founding one.
In between everything there was also time to sit down with an Estonian startup delegation to learn more about the ecosystem there
Recently I was honored to be invited to speak at the members-only pre-opening of the digital HUB Cologne about “What Startups Need”.
Spoiler alert: It isn’t corporate partners and digital hubs.
The digital hubs in the state of NRW in Germany is a political construct part financed with public money. It’s supposed to support and help small and medium companies get onboard with “digitalisation”, whatever that term means.
The ensuing panel debate and Q&A
As you might know, I’m much more of a libertarian than a socialist, so I’m not the biggest fan of this publicly funded hub concept for a number of reasons.
I don’t believe taxpayers should be subsidising private enterprises
If the market had wanted or needed a “digital hub”, it would have created one already by itself
The market is Darwinistic and self- correcting – putting public support-wheels or bandaids on failing businesses is wrong
Creating publicly funded competition to existing local business offerings is wrong
You get the drift.
In sum, I think it’s a political innovation theatre paid for in part by us the taxpayers.
Recently I was invited by Henkel to keynote at “Henkel Startup-Day”, an internal innovation event at their HQ with +300 participants about why and how corporations engage with startups (and sometimes vice versa).
A participant describing my Keynote:
[…] Vidar Andersen, asked us to talk to a person we don’t know at all. A fairly easy task: I turned to the left and talked to a guy that was doing a dual course of studies with Henkel. At that moment he was writing about collaboration between companies and startups. Stunning, his enthusiasm and concentration paying attention to every single detail that was said. Andersen made one point clear that big companies have to be faster and adapt flexibly to startups’ pace in order to be successful. He also mentioned a splendid quote from Claus Schwab: “In the new world, it’s not the big fish that eats the small fish. It’s the fast fish that eats the slow fish”. With his funny sayings he made the audience laugh their ass off. – Amina Mrad on Medium
Recently I held a talk about the new metrics, KPIs and management tools large companies can use to achieve innovation as a process as a part of the ongoing talk series on Corporate Entrepreneurship at Startplatz, Cologne.
Here are the slides I used:
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