Looking for the Best Corporate Strategy to Work with Startups? Add Value First-IHB23

Illai Gescheit

Partner at Siemens Energy Ventures

as recorded on 17 February 2022 as part of Innov8rs Connect on Startup Collaboration & Ecosystem Engagement

Corporates and startups have a complex relationships working together. There are many corporate innovation programs and corporate investment funds that are claiming to do it well. However, there is one very simple strategy that is the key for a healthy and successful engagement with startups and founders - adding value first. Usually, when corporates talk with startups they seek where they could gain something: technology, talent, financial gain. However, the way that the startup ecosystem works is different and the main objective is to build trust and see where you can help without the expectations for immediate return. Illai shared some of the stories and experiences that led him to develop this approach and examples of how they apply this strategy at Siemens Energy Ventures to help founders and investors to solve climate change and lead with energy transition.

About the speaker

Illai Gescheit is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He spends his career building businesses and working with entrepreneurs in diverse areas such as smart mobility and climate technologies. Illai is a Partner at Siemens Energy Ventures where he works with founders, executives and investors to build and scale high impact energy and climate startups. In his previous role he was an Entrepreneur in Residence at BP, where he built the next generation of sustainability and impact ventures for BP. Illai is a Mentor in Residence at Techstars. He coaches and mentors founders and startup teams in many organizations and helps them scale and solve the world’s most challenging problems. He is an inventor of over 20 patents and his entrepreneurial story was featured in the Harvard-MIT book publication Entrepreneurial Negotiation. Illai developed the ZIZO (Zoom In Zoom Out) design methodology and led workshops in top business schools such as London Business School and Cambridge University.

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