As technology continues to evolve from year to year, it is essential for companies to stay on the pulse of the latest trends. These technologies are already revolutionising internal management, consumer offerings, as well as the use and storage of data. In short, to maintain a competitive advantage, innovative technologies are needed by both startups and established corporations in order to incorporate and enhance their daily operations.
This is precisely the objective of the Scaleup Summits - a series of events organised by the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) and led by innovation consultancy Mind The Bridge, to create an interactive platform between the best European startups, corporations, and investors to facilitate business and identify the latest technological trends. For the 2018 series of Scaleup Summits, AI and Blockchain are two of the most anticipated verticals featured at these events. The Enel Group, a long-time partner of Mind the Bridge, will be participating in the 2018 series as a sponsor and leader for deep-dive discussions in verticals such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain.
A platform for start-ups
For co-founder of Mind The Bridge, Alberto Onetti, there is an abundance of events focusing on these topics. He says that the Scaleup Summits are far more robust than other events, "rather, they are a platform aimed at facilitating strategic and business opportunities between startups and companies at a pan-European level. As the participating startups and corporations are international companies, we expect transnational agreements as a result.”
Onetti adds that during the previous event held in Milan, Italy last March, they organised some 400 one-to-one meetings and that many of them have had promising follow-ups, as well as commercial and investment-related discussions. This is confirmed by the Head of Enel Innovation Hubs, Fabio Tentori: "We saw several startups in blockchain and other topics. It was an occasion to meet and discuss real business opportunities. We are now following up with a couple of them.”
The summit events are by invitation only, with attendees representing investors, corporations and startups. Among those selected, a maximum of 75 startups and roughly 50 corporations and investors attend, including famous companies such as Google, Microsoft, Generali and Acciona. This year, the Scaleup Summits are being organised at the prestigious European stock exchanges. "We decided to do this because we believe that the growth of European companies requires greater involvement by the stock exchanges," says Onetti. The upcoming event in June will take place at the London Stock Exchange followed by summits in Budapest and maybe Lisbon later this year.
The Scaleup Summits feature keynote speakers, interactive workshops for startups, corporations, and investors, as well as a series of deep-dive discussions focusing on various technological trends. During the Milan event, the topics included AI and Machine Learning, Blockchain, Foodtech, Insurtech, Fintech and Digital Construction & Infrastructures, and a keynote speech given by 2001 Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Michael Spence.
The Enel Group’s Involvement
As a participating member of SEP, the Enel Group has been collaborating with the Scaleup Summits since their inception. Onetti explains that "collaboration between startups and corporations works best if the key players are involved. The presence of multinational companies like Enel offers startups the opportunity to deploy their technology on a global scale.”
The Enel Group also has a longstanding partnership with Mind The Bridge. Tentori adds: “Mind the Bridge is one of our best partners in Silicon Valley for startup scouting and other opportunities across the Enel Group’s business lines. We are so well integrated with them that we recently moved our Innovation Hub to their offices in San Francisco.”
The Enel Group’s participation in these events helps create a strong international innovation community. The figures speak for themselves: “We have delivered more than 140 collaborations with startups in the last couple of years and we will deliver even more in the near future. We are already an active part of the broader innovation ecosystem. These activities are all aimed at creating an innovation community around the energy sector and the transformation it is undergoing,” explains Tentori. "We have identified technologies which impact across our business lines, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, and we have organised Innovation Communities, cross-teams of experts from all business lines, to identify and use cases of these technologies that are applicable to Enel. Our participation in the Scaleup Summits is focused on our Innovation Communities,” adds Fernando Sandoval, manager of the Enel Innovation Hub Spain.
For the upcoming Scaleup Summit in London, "Our main focus is Artificial Intelligence, which is already applied to a lot of our businesses when it comes to managing drones and robots, predictive maintenance, etc… We are also interested in Fintech in terms of looking for solutions for our 70 million clients in the world,” says Tentori. By doing so, the Enel Group supports their scouting efforts by "directly doing business with some of these startups or collaborating with them in the development of their solutions, in order to solve Enel's innovation challenges,” concludes Sandoval.