Monday, February 13th, 2017 | 4 min read
Creating a successful startup is a monumental challenge, especially for those with grand ambitions to see their ideas in action on a global scale.
Every new company – even those with game-changing technology – must find a way to scale up effectively, and get its product or service into the hands of users.
Corporate collaboration is becoming increasingly common for startups who want to turn their ideas into a reality and reach a critical mass. By partnering with an established company, startups can benefit from the resources and reach of an already recognized brand portfolio and introduce their technologies to a wider audience at a faster pace.
Over the past few years, many accelerators and corporations have established startup schemes that facilitate these exchanges.
HENRi@Nestlé is one corporate collaboration scheme that stands out from the rest.
HENRi is Nestlé’s open innovation platform, which allows any startup or entrepreneur to pitch their solution to a specific business challenge and work with the 150-year-old global company to make it a reality. These projects all have the shared goals of enhancing quality of life and contributing towards a healthier, more sustainable future.
New rounds of briefs are posted regularly on the site, all based around real challenges faced by different sectors of the company, from finding alternative packaging for bottled water, to diagnosing micronutrient deficiency. From there, senior Nestlé stakeholders review the submissions, select and meet shortlisted candidates face-to-face and then choose which company or companies they want to work with. It also comes with $50,000 in funding from Nestlé to pilot the project in the lead market.
Through combining the creative spirit of startups and the scale of Nestlé’s global brands, HENRi is about bringing ideas to life. For startups, it offers a fast track, with funding, expertise, and one of the world’s largest and best known fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) portfolios. For Nestlé, it’s the chance to bring innovation inside and promote a new, more agile and more entrepreneurial culture which allows them to collaborate with new partners while delivering solutions to those core challenges via great products and services for their consumers around the globe.
This peer-to-peer relationship is core to HENRi. Open innovation builds a relationship of trust and shared goals, and Nestlé also put skin in the game; by offering $50,000 of funding, close partner relationships and access to the Nestlé brands, Nestlé show a genuine commitment to this approach as a new way of working. HENRi’s strength comes from a shared passion for great ideas and innovative solutions, with the overarching goal of creating a healthier future for everyone.
And the successes of this approach are already beginning to show. At the start of 2017, HENRi will partner with a select number of startups, before welcoming more pitches and more partners regularly throughout the year.
In the world of innovation, every collaboration is a learning experience. Nestlé is ushering in a new era of experimentation, collaboration and open innovation, with startups from around the world invited to submit their solutions to the issues that keep Nestlé business leads awake at night.
Throughout 2017, be sure to look out for more challenges and the opportunity to partner on meaningful projects that will reach all corners of the globe at henri.nestle.com
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