Climate Tech Open Innovation Networking

Climate Tech Open Innovation Networking

We invite and welcome thought leaders from different networks in global industry & startup ecosystems, to share knowledge, and ask for collaboration as well as give help to each other, including corporate innovators, accelerators, industry experts, mentors, angel investors, venture capitalists, and government agencies for global networking opportunities.

Not another average panel, each event has a scope of the topic (July’s topic is Smart Cities, with speakers from Dell Technologies, etc.), accordingly thought leaders from the above roles are invited for interviews and give feedback to startups. Startups within the scope of Climate Tech can submit interests to present and get invited to events according to topics.

The purpose of the track is venture building, so conversations will underline business feasibility, business model, scalability, growth strategy, and market opportunities for emerging innovations. Furthermore, the conversations aim to shine a light on how to align making a profit and making an impact. All impact investors are welcome to join and learn from industry speakers.

Track Plan

Scope of topics for events in this track:

Agenda of Each Event

  1. Welcome. Thank event partners. Introduce speakers (5 min total)
  2. The panel of thought leaders (30 min)
  3. Three Startups/Companies showcasing (25 min)
  4. After the hour: Breakout room with each demo company/startup

Monthly Date (every 2nd Wed. of each month, time might be adjusted)

Partnering Organizations

Born Global Community/Studio/Ventures


Global Energy Mentors


Rice Green Energy Accelerator

Singapore Global Network

Taiwan Smart Solutions Association


July Event

Smart Cities Going Toward Net Zero

Wed., 2022/7/13, 8 – 9 AM, US Central Time / 9 – 10 PM, Singapore Time

Cities are a global economic engine, responsible for 80% of global GDP, and are key to a net-zero emissions future. Cities generate around 70% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and 75% of global energy use, according to IEA (International Energy Agency). As societies push progress towards ambitious climate goals, we can’t miss the major opportunity of reducing the footprint of cities. How can we empower cities for net-zero transformation? Increasing energy efficiency, reducing emissions from transportation by optimizing traffic management, and making city energy consumption more sustainable through the circular economy and green energy systems…. are among many other possibilities, digital technologies and data will be the core to unlock those potentials. We will have a panel discussion on how some cities are progressing on this front, and what further innovations are possible in the future.

Opening remark: Sunny Shuoyang Zhang, General Partner of Born Global Ventures

Panel speakers

Manminder Takhar, Head of Digital Cities Solutions, Dell Technologies 

John Lockhart, Lead Sustainability Technologist of Digital Cities, Dell Technologies 

James Chiao, Chairman of Taiwan Smart Solutions Association, Smart Cities advisor for Work Bank Group 

Spincer Koh, CEO of Gorilla Technology 

Moderator: Jessie Chuang, Partner of WiseOcean.Tech, with Born Global Community

Scale Up Talk – How Enterprises Can Keep Innovating Like Startups with Startups

Scale Up Talk – How Enterprises Can Keep Innovating Like Startups with Startups

This is an interesting point in history as Moore’s Law is coming to an end. Pursuing device dimension downsizing doesn’t work as well as before, innovations in materials, IC integration and packaging, technology stack, system and architecture level, also business processes and business models are all important and fast-moving. Collaboration across old boundaries is not just a nice-to-have. Furthermore, the big environmental impact caused by the semiconductor industry can’t be neglected, answering to sustainability calls is another challenge to the semiconductor industry. How can collaboration across segmentations in the value chain help with a greener future? What’s possible and what’s not?

As usual, we connect conversations from across boundaries, in this roundtable, we’ll have authentic perspectives from a big enterprise leadership (Samsung), a deep tech venture capitalist (Lam Research/Capital), and an experienced expert on engineer’s leadership development (with UT Austin). It’s a closed-door brain date, no streaming, sign up to join us.

Sign Up Here

Enterprise innovating like startups with startups


Date: Dec. 13, 2021

Time: 5 PM, GMT / 11 AM, US Central Time 

Where: Zoom (The meeting link will be sent to you)

Interview questions

(For Samsung’s background information)

Samsung is a huge multinational enterprise with capabilities from semiconductor foundry, memories, to IC design to consumer electronics. Could you help us understand the organizational structure and collaboration of the whole Samsung innovation ecosystem? (venture capitals, innovation department, new product planning department, etc)

What is Samsung’s strategy for engaging with startups across different possibilities? (how do you scout, relationship before investing, early-stage investing, integration with business units, M&A…) And which business lines are working with startups? (Semiconductor, consumer electronics, sofrware & services…)

(For Lam Capital’s background information)

Lam Research is a long-standing leader in semiconductor equipment manufacturing, while Lam Capital is a young subsidiary of Lam research. What is the main strategic consideration when it comes to establishing an investment arm?

What is Lam Research/Capital’s strategy for engaging with startups across different possibilities? (how do you scout, relationship before investing, early-stage investing, integration with business units, M&A…) How does Lam Capital collaborate with startups and your parent company? 

(For Samsung and Lam Capital)

How do you measure the success of startup engagement? What is its value that can’t be quantified?

Can you tell us some lessons about startup engagement you have learned? And some success stories? 

What are you looking for in startups that want to work with you? 

  • stage
  • product or technology category
  • geography
  • Attributes of founders or teams …

(For all speakers)

Most startups you engage with might be deep tech teams. What are your suggestions for engineer founders? (or stories of how engineers succeed in startup ventures)

What are the different challenges faced by scaleups compared with startups, and do you have any advice for them?

What is great leadership look like when it comes to leading deep tech enterprises to continue to innovate at a meaningful scale and speed?

What environment and education can create the most innovative engineers in deep tech?

(Add your questions)


Hrishikesh Sathawane, Director of Product Planning at Samsung

Hrishi has his MS in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Semiconductors and Solar Cells, and MBA with a focus on Marketing/Strategy and Clean Technology. has had leadership positions in big companies – 10 years in Micron Technology, 6 years in Toshiba, 3 years in Western Digital, and currently the Director of Product Planning at Samsung. His strengths include product marketing (coordinate sales, customers, engineering and management to launch new products and opportunities), and strategic marketing (investigate big trends in technology and markets and relate them to the company’s product offering, conceptualize new products based on market direction and ensure company’s involvement in industry groups). He has a deep understanding in the market for electric vehicles, battery, Flash memory modules markets, Utilities and related regulations, among others.

Kevin Chen, Partner at Lam Capital

Kevin joined Lam Capital mid-2020 bringing over 15 years of entrepreneurial and operating experience in materials-centric deep- and bio-tech companies. Most recently, Kevin was CEO of Crop Enhancement, an agriculture technology company commercializing novel products that replace synthetic pesticides, leading it from Seed through Series B. Prior to that, Kevin held senior roles at Hanergy (EVP of Silicon Valley Product Development Group) and Applied Materials (CMO of Energy and Environmental Solutions and GM of Energy Storage Solutions). Prior to Applied, Kevin led business development and product management efforts at NanoGram (acquired), AMD/Spansion, and Lumentum. Kevin’s passion for entrepreneurship was ignited early in his career when he co-founded Cumulus Photonics to commercialize innovative optical networking equipment. He earned his Ph.D. from MIT and is a mentor with the MIT VMS.

Leslie Martinich, President, Competitive Focus

Leslie holds a Master Degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a regular speaker at global and corporate events, inspiring technology and engineering professionals to improve innovation capabilities. In her many years in the tech industry, she observed that engineers and leaders need to build skills in innovation management, leadership, critical thinking, communication strategies, negotiation, ethics, diversity and inclusion, and more. Knowing that engineering professionals prefer to receive that training from someone who understands their industry, she has been teaching those topics to engineers, entrepreneurs, and leaders since 2001. She has also chaired several operating units in IEEE, including the IEEE Central Texas Section.


Jessie Chuang, Wise Ocean

With a background in Physics and Electrical/Electronics Engineering, Semiconductor Industry R&D, and consultancy experience with corporations on cost reduction, product development, and project management of emerging technologies and AI, Jessie has been passionate about building interdisciplinary knowledge networks for big challenges and open innovations. She co-founds Wise Ocean with a team across borders to help scaleups build up the growth journey through global strategic partnerships, also to coordinate collaboration between startups/scaleups, strategic investors, ecosystem partners, and enterprises. Jessie helps with industry connections opportunities in the IEEE society as a community service.

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Ecosystem Partners


StartupBlink is the world’s most comprehensive startup ecosystem map and research center, working to uncover the momentum of startup ecosystems globally and to accelerate their growth. We combine our technology with consulting and research, to offer startup ecosystem developers all the support they need in order to succeed.


Mawsonia Ltd is the publisher of three titles: Global Corporate Venturing, Global University Venturing, Global Government Venturing. These are accompanied by events and networking opportunities across the world. Our target community is the world of corporate, university, and government venturing. There are about 1,000 companies worldwide with corporate venturing departments. These departments back and incubate exciting new companies. Alongside these investors are universities developing new spin-outs and governments seeking to create a framework to encourage enterprise and ingenuity. Mawsonia is the publishing and events company that operates at the heart of this community.


Digital Innovation Leaders Interview with Qmarkets Michael and Steve

Digital Innovation Leaders Interview with Qmarkets Michael and Steve

The speed of changes at the global range is accelerating because of the intersection of AI and multiple other new technologies such as IoT, edge computing, quantum computing, robotics, 5G, human-machine interface technology, Blockchain, distributed ledger technology, and smart contracts, etc. Knowledge building is exploding but happens in too many silos. And because of the complexity, no one has all the answers, collective intelligence or sustainable collaboration becomes more important than ever.

Qmarkets, a company supporting open innovation across 500+ companies for 12 years, was founded in 2008 by three people on a kitchen table. It’s inspired by the crowdsourcing process – the wisdom and knowledge of a large crowd. And with that, the organizations can make more qualified decisions than an individual.

Recently we had a chat with one of the co-founders & Senior Vice President, Michael Stilger, and Director of Innovation Solutions, Steve Reed. The highlights of the conversation are below.

The Maturity/Evolution of Corporate Innovation

The evolution of ideation, from the suggestion box over post-its which are sticking everywhere, to the spreadsheets and manually managing ideas, to have automated ideation papers plus spreadsheets, to a full-blown, modern end to end ideation system including next-generation AI features.

Open innovation

For a company today in globalization, there are knowledge pockets in different departments or company locations. An ideation system with AI breaks up these silos and lets them all come together. The software lets you capture trends or problems. And based on those problems, you can find solutions.

Global Innovation

You have all the trends from all sides that come into the market, which can be small trends or big trends. It could be social media content or big data… It doesn’t matter whether it comes from startups, suppliers, customers, citizens, or business partners. You have all these trends hit the company that is relevant for you. Then these trends get generated into challenges, then you ask your employees, your customers, your partners to come up with great ideas or you scout new technology, new startups.

Then you take these ideas and incubate them, prototype them, experiment and launch, measure the ROI and outcomes of new technologies, new products, new materials. You process new IP, brand, strengthening revenue or savings. Different processes are needed for different purposes. For example, there are “fail-fast” types or “incremental improvement” types. (Qmarkets covers all the processes)

Open Innovation Process

Innovation’s 3 Key Elements

  • What is important is in an organization, you need to create a culture of innovation. (Please refer to the image on the next page)
  • There is a strategy, like 3M or Apple give their employee half a day per week to stop working and to think of new ideas. There is an innovation process, how to do it. And they have a tool and can scale it across the whole organization and reach the wisdom of the crowd.
  • In an organization, you need all three things to create a culture of innovation. When you have these three things, You have a winner. But if you only have one of these things or two of these things, it can work, but they usually struggle …

3 key elements in corporate innovation

Some Success Stories

Utility Provider

  • For Utility Provides, customers have no loyalty. The electricity comes out of the socket. It doesn’t matter where it comes from as long as it’s the cheapest. This is a challenge. This is a global trend for utility companies.
  • How RTE, a utility provider and high-voltage transmission system operator in Europe, uses the wisdom of the crowd, their employee, to improve this problem?

Corporate innovation

Open Innovation -RTE

Truck Manufacturer

The whole world is terribly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic since 2020 started. How Ford Otosan, a truck manufacturing company in Turkey, adopts and leverages the wisdom of its employees for this Coronavirus pandemic to help local hospitals and health workers?

Corporate innovation - Otosan

Corporate innovation -Otosan

Corporate innovation - Otosan

Food and Drink Company

The world’s largest food company Nestle, a Swiss multinational food and drink processing conglomerate corporation headquartered Switzerland, adopts and leverages the wisdom of start-ups worldwide. By connecting the brightest ideas and innovation with Nestle’s businesses, expertise, and market insights, start-ups and Nestle can make the biggest possible impact.

Nestle Open Innovation

Nestle open innovation

Nestle open innovation

Enterprises are facing many pressures such as cost-down, customer experience improvement, or technology development. Democratizing insights improve the decision process and productivity. Collaboration between internal and external innovators also enhances the workplace culture as well as the speed of innovation. The innovation process needs a digital transformation to support the scale and speed.

We are excited to partner with Qmarkets and provide a free space for companies that want to try open innovation, you can test it out here, it’s our community service. (welcome to discuss ideas with us, we will help set it up, the ideas and process can be set confidential)

We also put up a “Corporate Digital Transformation” challenge campaign that startups or professionals are welcome to submit solutions or ideas. Technology implementation or digital transformation isn’t easy and what works might vary from company to company, the ideation and discussions for developing proof of concept (PoC) on implementation are important.

Open Innovation Challenge



Insights Into Corporate Innovation from MIND THE BRIDGE Alberto Onetti

Insights Into Corporate Innovation from MIND THE BRIDGE Alberto Onetti

An effective innovation strategy is a major edge for all enterprises, but it could be very different in different industries or for different challenges. How do great companies innovate and thrive in a fast-changing world?

We just have had the pleasure to interview the Chairman and President of Mind The Bridge (MTB) Alberto Onetti — a seasoned serial entrepreneur with a background in corporate strategy and finance, and a professor of Entrepreneurship and Management at the University of Insubria. Since 2009, he has become the Chairman of Mind the Bridge (MTB), a global organization with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Barcelona, London, Milan, and Berlin, that provides innovation advisory services working at the intersection between Startups and Corporates. In 2014, he was selected by European Commission to help drive on behalf of MTB the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP), the first integrated open innovation platform to support the growth and sustainability of European companies. He regularly blogs on #openinnovation and #intraprenuership, mostly on LinkedIn, beyond being also quite active on Twitter, Instagram (@aonetti), Facebook, and Telegram.

This is the first post of our interview series with Digital Innovation Leaders. Here is a brief of the interview.

Could you share with us the history of Mind the Bridge?

Mind the Bridge was founded in 2007 in Silicon Valley by my partner in crime Marco Marinucci during his time at Google. The original idea was to create a landing platform for Silicon Valley for international startups and entrepreneurs. A few years later (2013) we noticed that there was a bigger gap to be bridged: connecting the world of startups to large corporations, i.e. what today is known as “open innovation”. Then we decided to shift the focus of Mind the Bridge activities on bridging the most interesting startups and scale-ups worldwide to large and mid-sized corporations. That’s what we do today, at a global level.

What problems do Mind the Bridge solve or what value(s) does it bring?

Currently, we offer our corporate customers a wide range of services that range from innovation advisory to market research and technology scouting.

On the advisory side, thanks to our experience of working with most of the world’s innovation leaders from multiple industries and countries, we support corporates to design/reshape/fine-tune their open innovation strategy and structures or specific areas (such as corporate accelerator, CVC, …). Some examples are an Oil&Gas Fortune company who asked us to run a dedicated in-depth assessment about the opportunity to launch their own corporate accelerator; and, one of the Big Tobaccos who commissioned us the design of their innovation organization structure (lines of reporting, processes, incentives, KPIs, …).

Additionally, we regularly sit with the top management of our customer companies to provide Landscape Analysis and Market Insights — the strategic directions competitors and international innovation leaders are taking.

On the scouting side, our open innovation advisors identify the innovation needs of our corporate clients (and their business units) and match them with the emerging startups and scaleups of the global market. Our team is able to make relevant matchings by combining startup experience and corporate world in-depth understanding. They leverage our proprietary database that – up-to-date – includes over 50 thousand startups from all over the world (roughly 10+ thousand from Europe, 10+ thousand from China, 20+ thousand from US, 10 thousand ROW) plus our long term relationships with 200+ VCs, accelerators, universities/tech transfer centers, startup associations and partners across the globe.

In the last four years we provided scouting services to 50+ corporates from all over the world and multiple industries. For some of them, we are also asked to follow-up the scouting and matching activities by supporting with our dedicated resources either for the negotiation process (organizing “beauty contest”, financial due diligence, price/impairment and terms negotiation, …) and/or the Pilot/POC implementation phase. 

In the past decade, what are the major trends of corporate innovation and open innovation?

Open innovation is an evolving beast and often what was working just a few years ago doesn’t anymore. There are multiple trends that are clearly visible. Main ones being:

  • Corporate accelerators. There are growing doubts about their efficacy. We see many corporates shutting down their own accelerators or downsizing efforts and budgets.
  • CVCs. They are booming particularly among large companies (Fortune 500/Forbes 2000 like). Many of our customers are asking us to help them set-up their own venture arm (and designing the related investing strategy).
  • Venture Builders. This is a very recent hot trend. We see a growing number of corporates that are trying to do it properly. Not easy. Since many attempts in the past have not proven to be successful (more on the incubation side). It is key to properly allocate the resources (both investment and people)
  • More scaleups than startups. Corporates have learned that is more effective working with later-stage companies rather than early-stage startups. Consistently they have re-oriented their scouting efforts (plus their acceleration programs) in this direction.

What kind of companies really continuously prioritize and invest in their innovation programs? (examples, what do they do)

Innovation leaders are not slowing down innovation, rather accelerating. At the same time they are also reshaping the way they work with startups, abandoning “old” models (examples are corporate accelerators), innovating/adjusting others (e.g. CVCs introducing implementation managers to work with the parent’s business units) and experimenting new concepts (i.e. startup studios and venture builders).

Enel, BP, Shell, Telefonica, Robert Bosch, Engie, National Grid, ACCIONA, Nestlè are some reference cases here.

Other corporates should avoid to just replicate a model they see applied by others (joining an accelerator is a typical example), without checking whether these models have become obsolete. This means they skip the only advantage late movers have: learning from other’s mistakes and experience. At Mind the Bridge, we typically try to “fix this bug” by helping corporates start the innovation journey in a faster and more efficient way.

Could you share with us some important lessons learned AND best practices about open innovation?

As I mentioned in a recent interview, it is key for corporations to get the conditions right for properly scouting and executing innovation.

  • Commitment. You need top-level buy-in to the innovation project. If the chief executive is not intimately involved, the project has little chance of getting traction.
  • Maturity. Companies focus too much on early-stage startups, rather than working with scale-ups that can work much more productively.
  • Internal vs. External. The startups are not integrated with business units. Innovation managers waste too much time scouting for startups at conferences, rather than walking the halls of their own business units to find out what they need.
  • Culture. Corporates are so risk-averse. If one out of five ventures succeeds, you are doing very well in innovation. But a one in five success-rate is unacceptable to most companies.
  • Time. Corporations don’t factor in time in the right way. They are slow to make decisions, they can take six months to decide on a pilot project, but then they are impatient, and if something does not produce results straight away they shut it down.

Barriers to innovation are most of the time internal rather than external. We help corporates put in place the right conditions and lower these barriers.

This requires most of the time some organizational adjustments plus actions to spread entrepreneurial/innovation culture inside the organization.

Can the return of investment in the open innovation program be measured and how?

While a few years ago the main goal of companies was to communicate their activities in support of innovation, targeting attention from the media and, generally, their startup-friendly-ness, today it is all about producing collaborations with startups that have an impact on the company’s EBITDA  and creating measurable strategic value.

Return on innovation can be measured, though it is not easy to design a KPI system able to measure the impact on the P&L and EBITDA as well as the value creation produced for the company and its business units.

Innovation leaders are increasingly asking us at Mind the Bridge to help them in measuring their open innovation activities. Here we provide our clients with a full Open Innovation Assessment – which provides a way for companies to rate and benchmark their open innovation practices – that might lead to a detailed measurement of open innovation results (Revenue generated, Cost Savings, Churn Reduction) and strategic impact (contribution to strategic decisions, impact on cultural transformation, …). In certain cases we can also set-up a full Open Innovation Audit.

A company that is very advanced here is Wayra/Telefónica[1], who recently communicated the economic impact on their P&L generated by collaboration with startups

In this year (2020), what are the major changes you see amid COVID-19? What suggestion will you give to enterprises now amid this uncertain time? (about innovation or digital transformation)

We are seeing some corporations slowing down innovation projects, but some are going ahead with business as usual. It really depends on the maturity of the organization. If you have a strong vision for where you want to take the business, you might even accelerate projects. Covid-19 has definitely accelerated some trends — many new people are being forced into understanding digital ways of working now. The need to innovate has become stronger than ever. Definitively it is not the time to slow down innovation and digital transformation.

[1] Refer to: Las ‘start-ups’ de Wayra y Telefónica facturan 32 millones de euros