How to accelerate robotics companies? We explained everything at ICRA 2020!

By June 25, 2020Uncategorized

On 10 June, the successful live session was organised by Fundingbox together with ISDI, BLUMORPHO, Mobile World Capital Barcelona and KEWAZO in the frame of the 2020 edition of the International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

Project partners shared the success recipe of the RobotUnion acceleration programme in front of an audience of 372 viewers from 38 countries.

To begin with, some keys figures related to the first startup batch (10 companies) that finished the programme:

  • More than €8 million of private investment raised during the acceleration.
  • RobotUnion startup teams nearly doubled their workforce in a year.
  • Their revenue increased by more than 60% in the same lapse of time.
  • The Technology Readiness Level* of all companies grew by 3 extra levels on average!

So what were the main ingredients of the RobotUnion acceleration recipe?

The presentation included an introduction and results for all the main aspects of the programme (technical mentoring, business support, fundraising strategy), the various RobotUnion partners – Izabela Zrazinska (FundingBox, the coordinator), Xianshu Zeng (ISDI), Régis Hamelin (Blumorpho) – as well as Ekaterina Grib from Kewazo, a construction startup accelerated by RobotUnion, expanded on their main learnings.

Presentation made during ICRA 2020

Regarding for instance technical mentoring, several crucial aspects were underlined:

  • It was highly beneficial to startups to externalise basic technical services that would help them save time and eventually deliver high-quality products with the help of specialised providers.
  • Guidelines relative to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) should be prepared in advance especially since hardware products, obviously including robotics, are not as easily protected compared to software products.

Business support managed by ISDI appeared to be very important to startups (9.5/10 satisfaction rate!). The Master Training Camp in Madrid allowed them to refine their internationalisation ambitions. Does it make sense to establish oneself in a country where the cost of entry and market culture are different? Many questions in addition to this one were dealt with during that week. Another very useful and maybe less visible advantage was tapping in the mentors’ networks. Their knowledge of the robotics market came handy for startups to make their business development strategy more concrete.

Finally, the classes on fundraising led by Blumorpho enabled accelerated companies to sweep away many common preconceptions related to access to investment, a generally fundamental step to go from startup to scaleup. By way of illustration, thinking that investors do not understand technologies, or that your product will just sell by itself is often at odds with reality.

With an overall impression of the programme reaching the excellent score of 8,75 out of 10, the RobotUnion recipe has proved to be effective! Check out the summary of the first startup batch’s story to know more:

*TRL, a standard scale to evaluate the maturity of a technology

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