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Founders: How established companies can learn from start-ups

Nico Ruess and Erwin Mayr share the passion. On this evening they are engrossed in a shop talk. Ruess, a former construction mechanic, explains Mayr, the head of the Wieland Group with 7000 employees, how he wants to advance his business start-up and bring his sport shoes with interchangeable outsole to the market.

Only a few minutes ago, the official part of the start-up event of the IHK Ulm came to an end. She wants to use this format to bring together founders and established companies. Therefore, Jonas Pürckhauer, member of the IHK management, is pleased about such discussions. One and a half years ago, the IHK founded its start-up initiative. The number of young companies taking part has since grown from 15 to 35. “We did not expect this development and the strong commitment of the founders,” says Pürckhauer. This evening, 90 guests listen to the 3-minute performances of the start-ups, then to them 3 minutes with questions to holes.

“200 years ago, we were a bell-founder start-up,” Wieland CEO Mayr had said in greeting. Today, the company is Europe’s leading copper processor. “To remain successful in the future, we need to strategically align our innovations.” The company has formed an offshoot with Wieland Ventures, which has now participated in the recycling start-up “Urban Cold”. But investments are not the main focus: “Our aim is to advance start-ups through our know-how – and to supplement our own research and development with products that have already been further developed.”

Even established people learn to do so

According to Michael Reichert, director of the IHK Starter Center, there is currently a rethink in the economy. “SMEs discover the topic and network with founders.” They could learn about working methods and pace and technology.

Also published on Medium.

Published inStartups

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