Hardware & IT

Startup radar identifies startups for digital change

The Startup Radar initiative developed by Vinci Energie identifies start-ups for the digital transformation of the system integrator’s customers.

Vinci Energies in Germany is reacting to the digital change with a further massive expansion of its own start-up offensive: the Startup-Radar initiative.

The Startup-Radar identifies DACH-wide start-ups that can supplement the range of services offered by the Vinci Energies brands through innovative technologies and solutions.
As a system integrator, Vinci Energies focuses on cooperation with young companies in order to integrate their expertise into customer projects and thus create an innovative ecosystem.

Startup Radar identifies DACH-wide start-ups
According to a study by Bitkom, 67 percent of established companies are currently not working with start-ups – and are thus wasting the opportunity to enter into strategically valuable cooperations due to lack of time (53 percent) and budget (24 percent). Vinci Energies has developed its own start-up radar in 2019: The DACH-wide initiative will initially identify promising start-ups that, together with Vinci Energies, will expand the digital service portfolio in the areas of Smart Industry, Smart City, Smart Energy and Smart Building. The basis of the cooperation is a partnership agreement.

Cooperation with start-ups is a must

„In the future, the value of a company will no longer be determined primarily by its own products and original performance, but to a significant degree by its ecosystem. That’s why cooperating with start-ups is not just an option, but a must: If you want to be fit for the future, you need competent, innovative partners at your side,“ explains Dr. Bernhard Kirchmair, Chief Digital Officer Vinci Energies Europe East. „We act as a mediator for our customers, giving them access to the highly specialized know-how of young start-ups and supporting them on their way to new innovations“.

„Being successful as a lone wolf is becoming increasingly difficult in this country – a partner you can rely on and who helps you to develop your full potential is therefore all the more important,“ explains Thomas Grimm, Chief Operating Officer of S O NAH. „We have only been cooperating with Vinci Energies since the beginning of 2020 and the partnership is already bearing fruit: Vinci Energies‘ expertise combined with our solutions for sensor technology and machine learning has already led to the first successful projects, such as our joint presentation at the E-World in Essen. Together we are contributing to solving the parking problems in cities with smart parking innovations – and this is just the beginning.

Benefiting from each other’s knowledge and skills

A clear advantage for start-ups in a cooperation with Vinci Energies lies in the structure of the group: The system integrator serves more than 5,000 customers across all areas, to whom the young companies can easily contribute their know-how at short notice. Vinci Energies thus offers them direct access to the market and enables them to scale up their start-up’s own solution. The support in marketing, communication and sales as well as the optional accompaniment during financing rounds represent an additional benefit for Vinci Energies‘ cooperation partners.

If required, the start-ups can also use co-working spaces, a workshop area and the „Digitalschmiede“ development laboratory in Frankfurt am Main for the practical development of joint showcases. Vinci Energies also enables the start-ups to participate in the largest and most important technology trade fairs in Europe, such as the Hannover Messe, Smart Production Solutions (SPS), E-World, Viva Technology or Smart Country Convention. Here the start-ups receive a professional appearance by integrating their solutions into the showcase exhibition at the Vinci Energies stand.

Startups that are part of the Vinci Energies start-up ecosystem
Hellsicht develops customized deep learning applications. The start-up’s services range from consulting to the development and implementation of customer-specific solutions for industry and research. Hellsicht won the challenge called by Vinci Energies at Viva Technology 2019 to develop automated test systems for an industrial customer. Since then, Actemium and Axians have been working closely with the start-up and Hellsicht’s expertise is a key success factor for quality control projects for the industrial sector.

The S O NAH-BOX registers adaptive patterns in its environment – corresponding to the human eye – and processes them on the optical sensor in compliance with data protection regulations. Attached to a street lamp, for example, the box helps to digitise parking spaces and traffic flows, and thus keeps an eye on the utilisation of parking spaces thanks to real-time information. However, since street lamps are normally only live as long as the light is on, and the S O NAH Box cannot operate without electricity, Omexom, the Vinci Energies brand for energy infrastructures, has developed the „We-Light-Open“ product. It ensures that the box has a permanent power supply even when the streetlight is switched off.
Beat it! – the Vinci Energies start-up competition
After the cooperations with start-ups have already led to a number of future-oriented projects, Vinci Energies will continue to rely fully on the know-how of start-ups in the future and is launching a start-up competition for the DACH region for the first time in 2020 under the name „Beat it – A Vinci Energies start-up competition“. The focus here is on the Smart Industry with the sub-sectors Smart Safety, Smart Manufacturing and Smart Quality. The three challenges with the respective three finalist start-ups will be presented in pitches and discussion rounds at Beat it! Event on 8 September at the Digitalschmiede in Frankfurt am Main.

The participants at the event include customers and operating units of Vinci Energies as well as innovative heads of the start-up landscape from the DACH region. In addition to pitches and discussions with the finalists at the Beat it! stage, interactive speed dating sessions will ensure a lively exchange between startups and customers. Interested parties can find the registration form and the exact conditions of participation here.

Startup Speed Dating

The cooperation between the business units of the Vinci Group and young technology companies already leads to many joint customer projects. In order to further intensify this degree of networking, a Startup Speed Dating will take place as an online event on June 25, 2020. In the run-up to the event, startups apply for six strategic innovation topics from the Group’s brand network and pitch their solutions to management representatives of the business units.

The topics of the Startup Speed Dating are aimed at precisely those industries and customers in which there is currently a high demand for digital transformation and sustainability: „Smart maintenance in industrial services“ (by Actemium and Axians), „Smart Roads – How to make roads smarter to improve their sustainability“ (by Eurovia, Omexom and Vinci Concessions), „Smart Government – Digital approaches for public administration“ (by Axians), „Digital solutions for the bulk materials and building materials industry“ (by Axians and Eurovia), „Smart City – Towards the city of the future with intelligent sensor applications“ (by Axians and Omexom), „Smart Energy – Sustainable energy management in urban infrastructure and production zones“ (by Actemium, Axians, Omexom). The event is expected to result in further cooperation between the start-ups and business units.