On October 23th, Dr. h. c. Wolfgang Kniejski, Managing Director of INI-Novation GmbH and Business Developer in European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) was invited as a speaker in an “Entrepreneurs in eCommerce” event in Cologne: “Start-ups in the Internet economy – the European perspective”.
In front of start-ups, coaches and accelerators, Dr. Kniejski presented his approach for the development of business models and business plans at all stages of a company development process, from start-up to international expansion. “In particular, we dedicate to enter the so-called ‘soft landing’ process,” explained Dr. Kniejski, “by supporting start-up companies with an expert network and providing them the help in their efforts to enter international markets and to overcome the early stage challenges of existing barriers.”
Dr. Kniejski presented three support initiatives that are available for all eligible start-ups:
• TESLA (Transnational Ecosystem Laboratory & Actions) project
With the support of partner organisations from Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands cross-border access-to-market opportunities are offered. The goal is to drive the internationalization of start-ups faster, giving them access to important export markets in the European Union.
• LILA- Lab web platform
LILA Project is a user feedback platform. It helps the entrepreneurs on their very first stage of product development by providing feedback from targeted users. Start-ups can test their inventions in different stages of their development, even when it is still an idea. Through LILA Labs markets in France, UK, Luxemburg and Germany can be approached. Key to the success is not the platform itself, but the successful networking of partners and the strong groups of user communities behind the LILA platform.
• EIT Digital Accelerator
Assistance is provided to later stage start-ups and scale ups that have already market evidence to show.. On this stage, the start-up is striving for internationalization. Therefore, the EIT Digital network provides the supported scale ups access to market, to experts and to investors on matchmaking events. Support measures in all of this three activity lines can even be provided outside Europe. As Wolfgang Kniejski replied on an entrepreneur’s question: “This is generally possible and we already created success stories. However, it depends on the personal networks and of the quality of the network partners of every business developer.”
*All materials for this event can be downloaded through:
*The Press info is published also here:
Darmstadt, October 2015
NELUMBOX pro is a cold chain solution with only battery-operated long-term controlled temperature device, which is one of its unique features. NELUMBOX is patented technology and is created by Martin Voigt – an entrepreneur from Darmstadt (Germany). Based on this technology, he developed four different types of solutions for four different use cases: personal medication and traveling, for baby care, for professional use and leisure. Martin Voigt still do not have his own company but all his products are ready for testing by different users.
The General Manager of INI-Novation GmbH Wolfgang Kniejski met Martin Voigt on one of the seminars, organized by INI-Novation about IPR management. After the seminar, they had long conversation about the market and different ways for market entrance. Both agreed that the users’ needs and preferences are important for the market entrance strategy. For this reason, Martin Voigt was introduced to the process of LILA Labs. It was decided a LILA lab to be organized during a special pitching competition “UNCAP 2015 INNOVATION AWARDS”. It was good opportunity for Martin, because he could easily receive feedback from people working in hospices, care homes and from frequent travellers.
The idea of this participation was good, because the NELUMBOX creator Martin Voigt received a lot of feedbac
k from the users during the LILA lab session. The discussion during the LILA lab made clearer the benefits and the challenges of NELUMBOX for the users, that participated in the lab.
The inclusion of a LILA lab session during another event with the same-targeted focus groups was helpful in two directions: Martin Voigt discussed issues of NELUMBOX with highly competent people in the Health Care and Home Care sector; and secondly, the responsible people from the Innovation Management Teamof UNCAP had the opportunity to know in details the new invention.
As a result, NELUMBOX won the second place in the “UNCAP 2015 INNOVATION AWARD“ competition. Martin Voigt was invited as an associated partner in the UNCAP EU project which means that he could test in a real field his invention. He also was invited to participate in Nottingham in the UNCAP conference on eCare and to exhibit his technology.
Next steps are preparation to take NELUMBOX to the international market and again the first step will be LILA lab, organized by our LILA partners in France and England.
Testfabrik AG is a German start-up company, established in 2013. The team was striving to enter the German market and to provide Internet Technologies based services, as webmate. “Webmate” is a groundbreaking tool for the automatic testing of web applications, with a focus on cross-browser compatibility. Until their entrance in the LILA Labs program, they had no clients.
Testfabrik AG is one of the best cases for LILA Lab session because they have a prototype of their future product, tested among other their colleagues, with very high appreciation but without any client’s interest. Their main questions were “Why?” and “What?” – why they don’t clients and what they have to improve.
Their first LILA Lab was in November 2014 in Darmstadt. INI-Novation invited the main target group that can turn into potential customers – web designers from the region. During the session, Testfabrik AG was interested to get information about the following questions:
- Where do the users see webmate fitting in their work?
- What does the user see as the major issue for the acceptance of webmate?
- What do the users think about the pricing model – does it encourage or discourage the usage of webmate?
- Do the users need more features to be implemented in webmate?
The LILA Lab session was organized as a free discussion between the users and the creators of webmate. A lot of recommendations and useful tips were put on the table, and after the session all were satisfied with the results of the meeting.
After the local lab, Testfabrik AG decided to continue their experience in the LILA Lab process but this time on international level. A road show in Netherlands and Belgium was organized by one of the contracted mentors in the LILA project,Mr. Filip Coenen. This road show actually was set up as a “multiplied LILA Lab”. Instead of getting together users in a meeting room, the company went to the users in their offices. The company received valuable feedback to adapt product’s features to the specific needs of those markets. As a result, Testfabrik AG found beta testers from Belgium and Netherlands, and committed proof of concept cooperation. This was a real success and added value for the company.
At the end, Testfabrik AG realized that they have to accompany their final product activities with more marketing support. INI-Novation’s marketing and PR specialists were also participants in the LILA Lab sessions. Knowing the users’ preferences, they developed the marketing and communication strategy for Testfabrik.
The goal of Testfabrik AG is in 5 years’ time to become a European leader in software quality tools for web applications with near view to the global market leadership. LILA Labs were one of the first steps toward the goal.