Sounds like a sports announcement, doesn’t it? And there is much truth in such an analogy. But one could also compare the whole recruitment to PwC Startup Collider to… job recruitment. This analogy is even more apt, especially since this is a corporate scale-up program addressed to technological startups that aim to begin successful relationships with the corporate world.
The whole recruitment process started late last year and lasted until mid-December. Over several weeks, mature startups from all over the world with working B2B solutions sent their applications to PwC Startup Collider. Think of it as sending your résumé to a company you would like to work at. Then, there was the preliminary selection and, out of 252 applications, 119 were approved for analysis by dedicated teams of experts and mentors specializing in given fields of innovation. Now, there are 43 visionary tech companies, but only a quarter of them will make it to the final dozen that will begin colliding in the months to come. What happens in the meantime? Interviews – just like when you’re applying for… a job.
Izabela Wisłocka, Digital Transformation Strategy Manager at PwC Poland, tells us: “Our corporate clients are always on a lookout for new and better concepts for driving revenue, retaining customers, and achieving overall company objectives, data-driven concepts that allow for high conversions. In my view, these are some of the many qualities found in startups that can help the corporate world achieve a successful transformation faster. What startups need though is proper exposure to the biggest market players. Now, if they have the necessary X factor and tick all our boxes, they will be given the chance to rediscover, disrupt, and enrich the products and services of our clients.”
PwC’s experts chose 43 startups out of 119. These young companies trying to break new ground in both technology and business come from 16 countries – all of them European: Latvia, Hungary, Finland, Austria, Ukraine, Czechia, Germany, Lithuania, Romania, Norway, Croatia, Poland, France, Switzerland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. Some of these countries are “newcomers” which proves that our program has become a household name in scaling innovation.
The lucky forty have in our experts’ view developed technological solutions that will benefit our clients and, to a certain extent, challenge the way we do business. Our task is to confirm our assumptions and make sure that, during the scaleup process, we will be able to help the startups build successful business cases with corporations. In order to do that, we ask all of them for individual interviews – either in person or via e.g. Skype. During these face-to-face sessions, experts delve into technological details of the startups’ solutions, discuss potential new applications of their products, or analyze the mechanisms of the services offered. This is no easy task and both sides must be thoroughly prepared. After all, this is a fight to the death. As we have already mentioned, only one in four startups will emerge out of the interview phase victorious.
The interviews began on the first days of February and will last until the end of the month. The carefully selected dozen will be announced mid-March and will begin scaling in early April the latest depending on their individual schedules and needs. April 2020, of course.
More news will follow shortly, probably within less than a month. Stay tuned!
The Startup Collider Team
Starszy konsultant, PwC Poland
Tel: +48 519 507 332
Startup Collider Coordinator, PwC Poland
Tel: +48 519 506 350