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This tech firm uses AI to match startups and corporations

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Posted March 27, 2019

Tech kids and business titans are teaming up like never before.

Startups and corporations are increasingly collaborating to share innovative ideas and industry experience, respectively. Now, a Danish company has found a way to facilitate the whole thing.

Valuer.ai meeting

The company, called Valuer.ai, has developed a digital platform that matches startups and corporations whose businesses fit each other. The platform is based on AI, qualitative research and data from no less than 320,000 startups.

But why the need for such a tool?

In a case of If you can’t beat them, join them, innovation departments in large corporations are starting to realize that they cannot keep up with the innovative ways of entrepreneurs. Therefore, more and more corporations are instead opting to collaborate with startups in order to boost their own innovation efforts.

The arrangement makes a lot of sense for the startups as well. What they give in disruption and tech savvy, they get back in market access and industry know-how, tapping into resourceful corporations that have already created economies of scale. Sometimes, funding is part of the equation, too.

On paper, this should be a win for all parties. But here’s the issue: often, corporations don’t know how to pick the right startup partner. As a result, they might end up spending time and massive sums of money on collaborations with young companies that simply aren’t a very good fit for their business – and vice versa.

The end of innovation tourism

Valuer wants to put a stop to bad relationships between startups and corporations. Not by fixing broken ones, but by making sure corporations and startups only engage in partnerships that are likely to be fruitful from the get-go.

This can be done be matching startups and corporations whose companies will complement each other. Valuer finds matches based on a number of factors from each party, including technology, team, management, vision, selling points, market, results, and much more.

“It’s great that corporations see the value in working with startups. This is a very positive trend. But too many large companies approach the collaborations the wrong way, sometimes basing the entire partnership on a few casual meetings with the first startup they stumble across. It seems like sense of urgency trumps due diligence,” says Dennis Poulsen, CEO & Co-founder of Valuer.

“My co-founders and I have all observed this. We call it innovation tourism. You go to a startup ecosystem, visit a few startup offices, look at a pitch deck, and attend a network event or two. Then you enter into an expensive and time-consuming partnership with one of the startups you just met. The intentions are great, but there is a tremendous lack of research and analysis in this scenario. That’s why we founded Valuer.”

AI and tech scouts

Valuer’s method is a combination of data, AI-technology and qualitative interviews with startups.

The Copenhagen-based company is connected to almost 4,000 technology scouts across 100 startup hubs around the world. The scouts regularly interview startups to detract information – and then, Valuer combines the findings from said interviews with findings from a random forest algorithm that predicts early stage startups’ growth potential. As so, Valuer only includes the best possible startups on its platform. As of right now, 65 new startups are added every day.

As for the corporations, they sign up to the platform through a subscription model in order to be matched with the startups.

“When a corporation has been added to the platform, we use the information from our tech scouts as well as AI techniques to screen startups that live up to the corporation’s request,” Dennis Poulsen explains.

“Then, the AI system automatically selects the startups that match best with the corporation and its needs.”

The result is a partnership with the best possible chance of being a success – for the corporation and for the startup alike.

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