We talk to Beata Cichocka-Tylman, PwC's Director responsible for innovation and R&D, about the benefits of participating in the program and why PwC wants to cooperate with startups.
B.C.T. The main goal of the Startup Collider program is to support and promote startups primarily from Central and Eastern Europe as well as to shorten the path to market with the products and services they develop. PwC is a global organization that has thousands of customers in the CEE region alone. These are very often companies that are dynamically developing and looking for various innovative solutions that can be implemented in their own structures. The main aim of the PwC accelerator is to develop a joint offer with a startup and then offer it to PwC’s clients. Therefore, participants of the Startup Collider program have a unique opportunity to establish cooperation not only with PwC but also with companies from many different countries of Central and Eastern Europe which we approach with a joint offer, and thus to develop in new markets. This is particularly important from the point of view of the results of a study conducted by Startup Poland in 2016 which indicates that as many as 53% of Polish startups do not reach foreign markets. The Startup Collider program facilitates international expansion which is often difficult or even impossible for a start-up company, even with unique and innovative technology. I think this is the greatest real value of our program.
B.C.T. Whether a startup will develop into a dynamic company or not depends of course on the individual characteristics of a given business, but support from outside the company also plays an important role. As the Collaborate to Innovate study conducted by Startupbootcamp in 2017 shows, 70% of startups consider cooperation with a corporation to be very important for the development of their business. Beginning entrepreneurs usually lack the experience and knowledge of how to effectively develop a company and earn money on developed technologies. We provide this knowledge to startups. Teams that will get to the accelerating round will be invited to a three-month program during which each of them, under the supervision of experienced mentors, will learn about the needs of their customers, develop their business model, analyze the markets in terms of their potential and learn about legal issues related to the type of their planned business activity as well as develop pricing strategies. Each accelerated startup will receive professional advice from a dedicated PwC expert associated with the industry in which it operates.
B.C.T At PwC, we firmly believe that innovations, both internally implemented and those that a company can offer to its customers and business partners, are nowadays one of the primary sources of competitive advantage for any organization that wants to develop dynamically. Innovation has always been embedded in the DNA of our brand and the very rapid development of startup ecosystems which is observed in recent years has created new levels of collaboration between beginning and mature business. Our goal is not to find a startup for a direct investment or purchasing technology from it. We are looking for startups that will become our business partners with whom we will really develop a new, joint product. PwC provides the opportunity to scale through our network of contacts and relations, translating into often very large market players. To this we add our expertise in the development and sales of professional services and their scaling. Startup has a developed, often specialized technology or service, it is fast and flexible in operation. Combining these two worlds gives us a recipe for success!