Why Collaboration Is Key for Growing Startupsby Olivia Neubauer, Senior Marketing & Communication Manager at F10 FinTech Incubator & Accelerator October 19, 2020
The next generation of banking and insurance customers is generally speaking less loyal to companies or brands. They tend to perceive financial products and services as interchangeable. Innovative startups such as N26, ndgit and Apiax have been developing tools that provide financial institutions with new solutions to improve user journeys, personalization, and customer relationship management.
These solutions help banks and insurance companies to fulfill the needs of the next generation of customers and stay competitive in the face of globalization and digitalization. F10 strongly believes that incumbents should be collaborating with disruptive startups instead of competing to further innovation and not only defend but also increase their market share. As the place where innovation meets industry, F10 considers early collaboration between startups, incumbents, and investors to be the fastest route to innovation.
Collaborations between big business and agile startups combine decades of experience with fresh ideas and lean structures. True collaboration includes offering opinions and being open to other perspectives. Gather feedback from potential customers, investors, and industry experts to find out what works for your team as soon as possible and discard the rest. It enables entrepreneurs to discover if a proposed business model is viable before allocating valuable resources to projects doomed to fail.
For B2B startups, one of the most efficient ways to receive an overview of the wants and needs of the target audience, to get feedback on solutions and to validate hypotheses on product-market fit is interviewing relevant players in the target market. Even while maintaining social distancing and with most bigger industry events cancelled, software solutions allow getting feedback on your product or service and connecting with your target audience. Try to gather as much feedback as possible, and adjust your product or service accordingly. Continuous testing and modifying ensure the product-market fit.
How entrepreneurs benefit from global ecosystems
Especially in the first stages of founding a startup, it is crucial to get feedback on your ideas from potential customers and investors. Is your product or service addressing real-life problems? How does your solution further innovation? Where does your target audience see growth opportunities? Early-stage startups benefit from multiple feedback occasions and valuable connections by becoming part of the global F10 ecosystem. With the Incubation Program, F10 helps pre-seed FinTech, RegTech, InsurTech and DeepTech startups to solve the number one problem new ventures face: selling their solution to big companies and organizations.
The F10 team in Switzerland is already scouting for high-potential startups to join the seventh batch of the F10 Incubation Program in Zurich starting in June 2021. The startups selected for the program have the chance to connect with the prestigious F10 corporate partners. These connections lie the foundation to conduct pilot projects or start business partnerships. Furthermore, the experienced F10 startup coaches – who have guided more than 120 startups on their journey to become successful companies – provide feedback on business models, scalability as well as teamwork and facilitate introductions to investors within the extensive F10 ecosystem. Another source for constructive feedback is F10’s global mentor network: industry experts share insights with the startups, evaluate new ideas and participate in prototype testing.
Post-seed startups have the opportunity to get market feedback when scaling their business model by working closely with incumbents when joining the F10 ecosystem. Teams accepted into F10 Acceleration Program benefit from direct access to senior executives of the F10 corporate partners, the chance to conduct pilot projects with selected F10 partners and 1:1 investor meetings. After successfully kicking off the F10 Acceleration Program in Zurich in summer 2020, the three-month program goes into the second round in February 2021. F10 is currently scouting for the best post-seed startups in FinTech, RegTech, InsurTech, or DeepTech to join the program and take the fast track to scaling their business. So far, more than 120 international startups have completed the F10 programs and generated over 100 million in funding.
Featured image credit:Business photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com