Panel: Startup Engagement: The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing to a Third Party

Ruth Armalé, Ricardo Marvao, Fred Schonenberg & Jan Meiling

Head of Open Innovation at HITS - House of Insurtech Switzerland | Co-founder & Head of Clients Success at Beta-i | Founder & CEO at VentureFuel | Managing Director at StartLife

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

What engagement mechanisms work and why? Should you do it yourself, get expert help, or outsource completely? If sourcing out, how do you select a provider? What are the selection criteria?

Ruth, Ricardo, Fred and Jan explored the pros and cons of outsourcing startup engagement to a third party.

About the speaker

Ruth Armalé, an electronics engineer from Barcelona, has been active in the Swiss corporate and startup scene for 20 years - ten of them at firms such as McKinsey and in leadership positions in the telecom and insurance industries. She spent another ten years working in the entrepreneurial environment, from a dotcom unicorn to co-founding a global social innovation incubation program and a series of leadership roles at Kickstart Innovation in Zurich. At the House of Insurtech Switzerland (HITS), a subsidiary of Generali (Switzerland) Holding Ltd, she is responsible for open innovation, creating collaboration opportunities with other corporate partners in the ecosystem and working with startups to jointly develop innovative solutions.

Ricardo Marvao is Co-founder and Board Member of Beta-i. Based in Lisbon, Beta-i is one of the main entrepreneurship and innovation organizations in Europe. Beta-i helps new and established businesses grow the startup way, by running acceleration and innovation programs, organizing events, promoting investment and creating great workspaces at our hub. Co-founder & CEO of Evolve Space Solutions (Germany and Portugal) since 2004, developing software products for the Aerospace Industry, with clients like ESA, Thales, Astrium, Inmarsat, Eumetsat, Airbus, Boeing, Embraer (acquired by Novabase (NBA) in 2011, Euronext company since 2000, Portugal’s Nr.1 IT company specialized in the Telecommunications sector, with over 3000 employees, offices in Portugal, Spain, Germany, UK, the Middle East, Mozambique Angola, South Africa, and Ghana).

Fred Schonenberg is the Founder & CEO of VentureFuel an innovation advisory that has helped over 100 companies from Coca-Cola, Adidas, Hershey’s, AB InBev, to Comcast discover and implement new technologies through startup partnerships that deliver breakthrough results (18.7% sales lift, $148MM ROI). He builds be-spoked innovation programs for these established companies that range from Corporate Accelerators to Innovation-as-a-Service programs that leverage strategic frameworks and deep relationships with the VC, Angel and Startup ecosystem. He is the host of The VentureFuel Visionaries Podcast (Apple, Spotify) with guests ranging from President of Chobani to CEO of Verizon Wireless and is a frequent speaker at industry events (Cannes, SXSW, Nasdaq, Advertising Week, etc.) and an industry thought-leader published in Bloomberg, Crunchbase, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Media Post, The Drum,, Creator Magazine, Adweek, Event Marketer, etc.

After graduating in Toxicology and Philosophy of Biology at the University of Utrecht, Jan Meiling started off working in Marketing & Sales and Business Development at a Dutch Contract Research Organisation, moving on in 2006 to Innovation management and New Business Development at DSM. From 2009, Jan has been driving Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the Food Valley ecosystem in the Netherlands. Nowadays he is the Managing Director at StartLife, the Startup Accelerator and Business Innovation Centre located at Wageningen campus.

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