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Startups wanted for challenges by Krinkels, MercachemSyncom, FC Groningen and Cloetta

08 October 2020

As of this week, startups can sign up for Groningen OPEN. Four companies in the Northern Netherlands have formulated different challenges and are looking for startups with innovative solutions. The goal of the new ‘Groningen OPEN’ initiative is to create an effective and low key way for established companies and startups to connect, and is organized by Campus Groningen, Founded in Groningen, VentureLab North and the NOM.

When it comes to things like product improvement, market knowledge and acceptance, startups can often benefit from the accumulated expertise and experience of bigger companies. And vice versa, to stay competitive, established companies are increasingly dependent on the speed and flexibility of innovative startups. However, both parties often find it difficult to get in touch or to work together. Groningen OPEN offers startups the opportunity to come into contact with established companies and to respond to their current issues, and to develop, test and possibly implement solutions.

OPEN for innovation

Four established companies - Krinkels, MercachemSyncom, FC Groningen and Cloetta - have joined Groningen OPEN. They've formulated different challenges and in the coming weeks, together with the partners of Groningen OPEN, will look for startups that can offer a great solution to their problem. By committing to Groningen OPEN, these four established companies show that they are "open" to new ideas, innovation and collaboration: Groningen OPEN for Innovation.

For example, Cloetta is looking for a startup able to bring the positive effects of Xylitol on oral health to the attention of Dutch consumers in a playful way. Krinkels is looking for methods for scalable processing of grass into a valuable semi-finished or end product. FC Groningen wants to collaborate with a startup that can help the club to provide insight into the KPIs in a (live) dashboard. And MercachemSyncom would like to get in touch with a (biotech) start-up that can supply specific enzymes quickly and reliably.

Opportunities for collaboration

The partners of Groningen OPEN - Campus Groningen, Founded in Groningen, VentureLab North and NOM - will use their network and expertise to connect companies and startups. "With Groningen OPEN, we can connect the speed and flexibility of innovative start-ups with the network and market knowledge of larger companies" says Lusanne Tehupuring, Private Lead of Founded in Groningen. "This combination is valuable and ties in well with our core task: actively connecting and supporting startups in the region."

Ronald Hesse, Business Developer Campus Groningen, is also convinced of the added value the new initiative has to offer. "At Campus Groningen, we actively stimulate the connection and opening up of research, education and business. Groningen OPEN offers opportunities for even more cooperation between larger parties and startups on and around our beautiful Campus, where Open Innovation is central."

Groningen OPEN is in part financially made possible by the Akkoord van Groningen, to stimulate the innovation climate.

Matching and pilot projects

Startups can sign up for the four challenges until November 1 at the latest. The introductory meetings and pitches will take place at the beginning of November. During an (online) event on November 16, it will be announced which startups have found a match with the four larger companies. As soon as a match is made, the startup and company (the challenge owner) will enter an 8 to 12 week program to come to a solution together. The Groningen OPEN partners will guide and support this process.

More information about Groningen OPEN and the challenges can be found at this website.

The Groningen OPEN project is a new project from Campus Groningen, Founded in Groningen, VentureLab North and NOM. After this first edition, there will be an evaluation to see how the program can be set up as effectively as possible in the future. Established companies that would like to participate in a future edition of Groningen OPEN can contact us via the information on the website.

Last modified:08 October 2020 2.42 p.m.
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