Startups as a strategy | How we encourage startups and why we think it's worth working together

Katharina Hepp
May 3, 2019
Corporate partnerships, Strategy, Startups
As a corporate member at F10 in Zurich, a startup incubator and accelerator, Baloise invited startups and employees to an in-house corporate event on 28 March 2019 for an open exchange between startups and employees.

Baloise not only promotes the individual development of startups,...

... it also promotes cooperation within the company where it considers employees to be possible and meaningful. Nine startups from the current programme were presented: advAIsor, Blocknify, Blockstate, Ex indiciis, iBex, InterlockLedger, Jacob, Oper und Reportix as well as F10 Alumni Qimble and the Fasoon already established on the market. 

Initiating cooperation

It's Thursday morning, 8:30. Gradually, startups and Baloise employees are arriving at the Baloise headquarters in Basel. A breakfast together is an inviting opportunity for informal exchange. And even before the young companies introduce themselves on a large scale, the first contacts are made.

But where does Baloise's interest as an established financial services provider come from in startups and companies in the startup phase? What makes cooperation attractive? 

Why we work with startups

Cooperation with a startup - even with an internal corporate startup - is basically an innovation catalyst that initiates and drives innovation. Startups provide impetus and inspiration. They are close to future trends and help us to recognize the need for change and thus to open up new fields of activity. 

At the corporate event, for example, the young entrepreneurs presented their prototypes in short presentations - so-called "pitches" - and Baloise employees examined whether they consider the use of the products presented to be sensible in their field of activity. At the apéro, there was a non-binding exchange of views and, if interested, a collaboration was initiated. 

However, cooperation with a startup can offer added value not only in terms of technical know-how. It is also good for the corporate culture. In this way, employees can learn a lot from the startup spirit.

F 10 Start-up Event Louis de Montmollin

Startups bring a breath of fresh air to the company

Dealing with startups promotes a positive corporate culture in which things are openly discussed, tried out and developed further together. Thibaut of Six's own junior company "Jacob" adds: "What companies can learn from startups? Try for cheap. That`s what they do. They are very creative with that." Companies and employees can learn to implement ideas with as little effort as possible in a safe environment. Thus, Simply Safe.

... in this way, both sides are always close.

f10 Start-up Event Austausch

Advantages of cooperation with F10

Cooperation with the startup sponsor F10 in Zurich offers decisive advantages in finding the right startup for Baloise.

As a corporate member of F10, Baloise has exclusive access to interesting young companies from the Fintech, Insurtech and Regtech sectors, for example startups operating in the banking, insurance and regulatory sectors.

At F10, it's worth looking around for startups: not only do the young companies come from the right industry, the quality of this selection is also right. Because not everyone makes it to F10. Whoever is accepted into the startup factory has already survived a pre-selection by the F10 employees and members and promises potential.

The quality of the startups also includes how relevant the topics they deal with are for us. Where is the added value for us as Baloise, as bank and insurer? These incentives, for example the questions of interest to us as F10 member companies, are explained to the young companies in so-called trend workshops.

In this way, both sides are always close: the startups learn more about business-relevant topics for their investors, who in turn directly follow the learning and development process of the young companies. 
This proximity offers the advantage that the startups can be guided and supported in the initial phase in which they find themselves. The needs of the investor can thus be covered in an ideal way.

Is it worth investing in startups?

Every investment made by a company needs to be carefully considered, because in the end the benefits should outweigh the (financial) costs. Baloise sees great potential in cooperation with startups.

Startups are a source of inspiration for us, providing ideas for continuously improving our products, but also our culture. They help us to pick up on current trends, not to stand still, and are trend-setting for the further development of our business model.

At the same time, working with them has proven to be simple and uncomplicated, and membership has become a key factor in our success.

Investing in startups becomes a way of living sustainability.

We see the future in startups. And so we not only support external startups in their development, but are also convinced of corporate startups. With Qimble, we are focusing on our own corporate startup, which offers additional advantages.

The effort to invest both time and money in startups is therefore offset by many opportunities and benefits that promise us long-term success as a company. Investing in startups becomes a way of living sustainability. And sustainability pays off.