AI & Data

Vision vs. venture: why taking risks is scary, but often crucial – also for corporates

“You are jeopardising the success of our entire company”, told me the CFO of a traditional retail company when I once introduced, what the US-based competitors had long done: No shipping costs and a focus on customer interests first.  
The reality was: not acting was not only jeopardizing - but killing the company.

Taking risks, breaking beloved rules and disrupting traditional business models is not an easy task. In this case, the CFO finally agreed to the innovation project - and it was successful: revenues were increasing again in that sector and customer churn was reduced at first.

But truth be told: one innovation project doesn’t save a company that needs to adapt from the core. Therefore, reacting fast to changing customer needs and finding new and more efficient ways of doing business when the time is right for innovation (and not when it is almost too late) is essential for a company today: With current challenges such as higher production costs, shortage of skilled labor, higher sustainability regulations and awareness and higher energy costs, German industry players face challenges in highly competitive global markets – accelerating the need for more efficiency and faster uptake of technology-enabled innovation.  

“Do-Tank” for the Future of Industries

Our new BRYCK INDUSTRYTANK is a “Do-Tank” for players facing the above-mentioned challenges and therefore having a strong interest in exploring the huge opportunities of disruptive business solutions and tech-enabled innovation. With our startup- and innovation centric programs, the Do-Tank offers the opportunity to develop new ideas, to validate new approaches and to co-create completely new but tailor-made solutions in cooperation with different players of the relevant innovation ecosystem – mainly corporate players and startup teams. In a nutshell:

The INDUSTRYTANK is made to accelerate new business opportunities based on tech for Industry players – a corporate innovation accelerator

We believe in corporate-startup co-creation 

One of the highly attractive fields we focus on are startups accelerating a circular economy with e.g. solutions for reverse logistics, refurbishment, and recycling services for industry products, enabling manufacturers to extend the lifespan of their goods, recover valuable materials or reduce waste. Solutions can also be in the field of recycling, e.g. robotics systems equipped with advanced sensors, computer vision and AI algorithms to automate sorting, compaction, and separation of recyclable materials.

To enable the sustainable transition of our economy, e.g. towards more circular production, we at BRYCK believe in the transformative power of startup innovation. No surprise the activities of our Do-Tank put a huge focus on corporate-startup co-creation.  

Successful venture clienting programs: moderation between startup & corporate mindset 

Facilitated by experienced supporters such as the BRYCK team, a corporate-startup partnership can accelerate technology transfer and knowledge exchange, and best case promote seamless integration of emerging technologies into existing manufacturing systems.  At the same time inherent risks associated with technological adoption are mitigated, e.g. by applying a clear framework for experimentation and validation.

This clear framework has proven to be one of the most crucial success factors for startup-corporate co-innovation to moderate between two very different mindsets:

Therefore, we have established a clear framework, to support both sides individually and also connecting the partners.

Successful corporate-startup co-creation examples 

A good example for such a clear framework is a venture clienting program such as the so-called HOD-Challenges from the Hands On Data program, which was taken over by BRYCK at the beginning of the year. This concept has proven itself with corporate partners like Vonovia, RAG or Evonik over the last 5+ years – initiating long term business partnerships and generating measurable business improvements. 

Measurable examples of successful cooperation 

  • Evonik & data analytics platform startup InnoSEP developed an algorithm based on customer order data to increase the just-in-time planning for their SILANE production from 60 to 85%
  • City of Herne & startup adiutaByte optimized route planning for local bulk collection. Based on their AI-based planning approach the company reduced the waiting time for citizens from 6 to 2 weeks on average.  
Adiutabyte adapted this case later on also on the cities of Cologne & Berlin.
  • Startup ScrapBees supports B2B customers like Vaillant, Rittal or KONE by collecting & recycling secondary raw materials. Until March 2023, they recycled 3.300 tons of scrap – saving 792 tons of CO2

Currently a new batch of five data-enabled challenges is running with challenges published by TÜV Nord and Vonovia. They are co-piloting solutions with those innovative startups: Omnifact, econvio,, Nilg.AI and Vreed GmbH. The solutions improve efficiency and sustainability in the core businesses of our established business partners and will be presented at the HOD Challenge Demo Day on May 16th at the Conf3rence in Dortmund. (More info)

Interested in exploring the possibilities of corporate-startup cooperation in the field of Industry Tech?  

Do not hesitate to reach out! We are more than happy to start a conversation and explore common opportunities. (Let´s co-innovate) 

Vita Laura Kohler 

Laura Kohler has 15 years of experience in corporate innovation, startup growth and sustainability management. She started her career at the media corporation Bertelsmann, where she witnessed challenges in digitalization and innovation processes in the original core business Bertelsmann Bookclubs.

This inspired her to apply startup methodologies in corporate innovation projects and drive successful projects with an agile mindset. With this new knowhow, she enjoyed supporting established companies such as utilities, logistic companies, automotives or a security expert in building successful new corporate businesses before she switched to the startup ecosystem. Working for many years as startup mentor and startup program lead now, she learned how to build a fertile ground for startup growth in Europe.

At BRYCK she now brings both worlds together and focuses on building cross-border and cross-industry partnerships with companies, institutions and individuals.

Get in touch