Stryber corporate venture builder that uses startup and venture capital approaches to support established organisations innovate
Please introduce yourself and your startup Stryber to our readers!
Stryber is not one singular startup. It is a corporate venture builder that uses startup and venture capital approaches to support established organisations innovate, adapt and succeed in an ever evolving business environment by building portfolios of corporate ventures. Our customers include Swiss retail giant Migros, Swisscom and many more. Stryber was founded in 2016 by Alexander Mahr and Jan Sedlacek and has since grown to approximately 90 employees in Zurich, Munich, Kiev and London. I joined Stryber to build up its London presence this year after several years in strategy consulting at Bain & Company and after founding, growing and running my own startup in the hospitality tech space for many years.
How did you get the idea of Stryber?/ Why did you decide to start with Stryber?
Alex and Jan, our founders, have had years and years of experience in corporate innovation. And they discovered that the most successful approach to corporate innovation is to build corporate venture portfolios. Today’s popular approaches to corporate innovation like corporate accelerators or corporate venture capital all have major drawbacks (check out our website for some really interesting articles on the subject!). So we are here to help our corporate partners get corporate innovation right!
What is the vision behind Stryber?
Stryber wants to build on its early success and support established organisations innovate, adapt and succeed in an ever evolving business environment as the biggest independent corporate venture builder in Europe. We are not a strategy consultancy, we are not an agency. We build portfolios of exciting new ventures in record time to put our partners on the right side of disruptive trends.
Who is your target audience?
We are focussed on established organisations with a turnover of at least several hundred million in revenues. We have worked with partners across various industries and are not limited on the types of corporates we partner with. What is most important for Stryber is that the top decision-makers of potential partner organisations must be dedicated to drive innovation with significant impact rather than running a few innovation projects just for show. We do not want to be involved in ‘innovation theatre’, we want to drive impact.
What is the USP of your startup?
Stryber is different to other players in the corporate innovation space because we are focused on building portfolios of corporate ventures. We are extremely fast at testing a new venture and running it through an MVP stage. That gets us to a position where together with our partners, we can decide what ventures work and which ones to double down on very quickly. This approach decreases risks and costs for our partners while offering a substantial upside through successful innovation and full control over the ventures we build.
Can you describe your typical workday?
A typical workday for me starts with an early morning of reading the latest corporate and startup news. The ‘official’ part of the workday starts with a short alignment meeting amongst my part of the management team. After that, every day is different: I might spend a whole day in a workshop with one of our prospective partner companies laying the groundwork for starting new ventures that leverage the existing assets of our prospective partner companies while incorporating the latest startup and venture capital trends. I might also spend my day engaging with one particular venture we are building for one of our partner companies, discussing successes, roadblocks and the path forward. Every day is different as we work in a very dynamic environment. But every day has one thing in common: It never gets boring.
Where do you see yourself and your startup Stryber in five years?
Stryber is already the leading corporate venture builder in DACH. We want to build on that success and become Europe’s leading corporate venture builder. Above all, we want to help the companies we work with grow sustainably and drive future success.
What 3 tips would you give to founders?
While I am not the founder of Stryber, I have founded a startup in the past and ran it for many years and have learnt a thing or two during that time. I would advise new founders to (a) aim big, (b) find the right balance between stubbornness and understanding when you need to change course, and (c) assemble a team of people who are willing to work hard and who complement your skills well.
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Thank you Julian Ritter for the Interview
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