Startup Day

Agile partners for industry – Why the big players are looking to startups

Agile partners for industry – Why the big players are looking to startups

Agile, innovative, and fast: Startups are seen as the ideal partners for established companies, particular for tech issues. So it’s all the more surprising that, according to a recent survey by Bitkom, just 24 percent of German companies are cooperating with startups. The example of Kontrol, a specialist in autonomous driving and compliance, demonstrates in the IAA MOBILITY Visionary Club how startups can generate value-added for their partners.

Daniel Gamber, CCO at Kontrol, brings experience from the automotive industry with him: At BMW, he was involved in the market launch of the i3 and i8. He enjoyed the innovative themes and high speed on this project, meaning that he didn’t need to think for long about joining Kontrol, founded as recently as 2017 as a startup in an academic environment.

Startups need to find their niches

Autonomous driving is seen as one of the major issues for the future in the automotive industry. Daniel Gamber expects it to make road travel safer and more sustainable. Many billions are being invested in this field, including on making the systems legally watertight right from the start. This is precisely where Kontrol gets involved: It offers a cloud-based platform to simplify and automate the complex compliance processes associated with autonomous driving. This means that the manufacturers are free to concentrate better on their actual core task, implementing the systems in the vehicles. In other words, true value-added that the industry players get from the startup.

Value added convinces potential partners

Self-driving cars are not only electrifying the car industry: Software companies specializing in processing the big data generated in self-driving cars, and semiconductor manufacturers whose chips are fundamental to delivering the computing performance needed for the elaborate on-board systems, are both very interested in the subject too. For them, Kontrol translated the regulatory requirements into mathematical interpretations, summarizes Daniel Gamber. These companies can work more efficiently with the information prepared in this way – a further value-added that the startup delivers.

With the right partnership, to a win-win-win situation

The young company acts like a flexible hinge, so to speak, between the various stakeholders wanting to get self-driving systems to market, thereby significantly facilitating their collaboration. The startup creates advantages for all parties, and for itself. The result is a win-win-win situation, one of the decisive reasons for Kontrol’s success.

What additional advice would Daniel Gamber – who is familiar both with the world of industry and that of startups – like to give to established companies, in closing? “We are operating in a fast-moving environment, and for that reason you should be closely monitoring developments, including outside your own company. And it is equally important to look for solutions in your own hierarchy, as there are often many fantastic ideas here.”