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How start-ups and corporates work together

By CCIWA Editor 

Start-ups need corporate partners to get to the next level and corporates need start-ups to focus and fix their problems.

It’s a win-win situation. But just how does a start-up get, well, a start?

Take Coca-Cola for example. It was struggling with its product running out when customers wanted to buy it, so ‘out-of-stocks’ when you have more than 50 million retailers in over 200 countries was costly.

It’s solution was to co-create an app with the founders of Wonolo so that when stocks ran out, retailers can post a job on the app an on demand worker – or Wonoloer – can spring into action and restock.

Since launching in San Francisco in 2014, Wonolo has raised more than US$60 million in venture capital and has signed up more than 300,000 users. Coco-Cola says its reduces its cost by up to 70 per cent per outlet and increased its coverage.

The key is being able to build a successful relationship and clearly show how you can solve an issue, says Shane Ogilvie, Chief of Strategy and Innovation at Bethanie.

Ogilvie has worked with start-ups in the finance, manufacturing and defence industries throughout his career and is now on the hunt for start-ups, scale-ups and tech companies to revolutionise care in the aged care industry.

Benefits of partnerships

The benefits of a successful partnership are not a one-way street for the corporate. It’s an opportunity for validation of a start-up’s idea, ultimately leading to scale. For the corporate, it’s about finding quick solutions with an expert focus.

Engaging with third parties in the aged care industry will be different to the other industries Ogilvie has worked in because caring for people in the best way possible is at the core of what they do, not making millions of dollars.

This means partnering with others in the industry to get the critical size required to develop and test new technologies that will ultimately innovate care of people.

Ogilvie and his team will look to talking to companies about robots and gadgets that can make movement through an aged care facility safer.

“There are robotic linen trolleys, so you don't have staff pushing around heavy linen trolleys, bashing them into walls, bashing them into other people and those sorts of things because it can be robotised to do that for you,” he says.

Smart sensor technology that detects and alerts unusual movements through a house or that a homecare customer hasn’t got out of bed are examples of the types of technology Bethanie will investigate.

Cost-effective problem solving

Impressed by the sorts of problems start-ups can solve on tight budgets and in short time frames, Ogilvie says corporates and governments should foster the environment because industry and government will reap the benefits.

“If you look at the start-up scene in Western Australia, and in Australia as a whole, we have some of the most innovative people in the world working here,” he says.

“And if you if you go to some of the start-up accelerators where there’s conglomerations of these start-ups, and you spend some time in there you can see them all working together, they can solve some really big problems in a really small amount of time for really low cost.”

Start-ups need corporate partners to get to the next level and corporates need start-ups to focus and fix their problems.

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