On the 25th of February the first KMU-Forum of 2020 took place.
In cooperation with the BVMW we invited interested SMEs for a breakfast event to discuss the question:
“Innovation and corporate succession – are startups an option?”
We were happy to welcome the participants, representing the Berlin and Brandenburg metalworks industry, in the top-modern showrooms of the Swedish office furniture manufacturer Kinnarps, located in the riverside storehouses at the Stralauer Allee. Kinnarps was so kind to host the KMU-Forum in their showrooms.
Even the Transfer Office of the Beuth Hochschule für Technik, university of applied sciences, was represented by two members of its management team.
As usual Manuela Faber, Creditreform Berlin Brandenburg Wolfram GmbH & Co. KG, hosted the event again in her charming and binding manor and started the program with a short insight into the German SME world and its problems with corporate succession, by which a steadily growing number, at least one forth of all companies are affected.
To get closer to the question, if startups are an option for corporate succession of SMEs, Klaus Krause, Krause3PM, presented a SWOT-comparison of both groups. It turned out, that both complement each other most useful. Operational stability and market access on the SME side meet innovation, internationalization and a high degree of digitalization, both in products and processes, on the startup side.
The very vital and interesting discussion among the participants finally was stimulated by the insight into self-financing of high-tech-startups, given by Joanna Czarnecka, CEO of Zixio Cognitive Systems. Zixio has developed a truly disruptive technology for man-machine communications, based on anthropological methods beyond AI.
The discussion laid open, that there is still plenty of preparing work to be done to enable corporate succession by startups. Both sides know each other not enough and have very often pre-determined views and expectations.
The resume of this KMU-Forum finally was, that SMEs should very early utilize especially the university startup-incubators, e.g. the Startup-Hub of the Beuth Hochschule, to build up trustful contacts.
Student research project, master theses or sponsorships for dissertations or founder’s teams can be equally simple and straightforward approaches.
If you have any question about this interesting topic or look for advice and support, don’t hesitate to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org).