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The role of sector-leading corporations in the startup ecosystem

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Any idea needs resources to be brought to life and fertile soil for its development. Consequently, it goes without saying that the startup ecosystem could not exist without policy makers, investors, the integration of academic institutions and partners, who are able to provide the necessary capacity and expansion opportunities.
Large corporations have a number of contact points with startups, such as mentoring the creation of solutions, supplying technology, building distribution channels, as well as potentially involving startups in the development of new business directions and products for the corporation itself.
As an IT product and solution distributor, the ELKO Group supports the view that promoting innovation is the most important catalyst for the development of the IT industry and the country as a whole. By supporting innovation in IT, we are able to provide startups with access to the necessary technology, knowhow and communications, which in turn open up completely different, sometimes previously unimagined opportunities. Several of the manufacturers we represent offer a variety of initiatives and programmes geared directly to startups. These are also available in the ELKO represented regions, and we are very open to discussing them with potential beneficiaries.
Svens Dinsdorfs ELKO Group CEO
The integration of corporations into this ecosystem is encouraged and supported by a number of public organizations, movements and accelerators. The recent Digital Freedom Festival was one of the most visible and effective efforts to consolidate the digital world’s startup ecosystem by inspiring dialogue on a comprehensive scale.
The first Digital Freedom Festival was a great success. More than 1 000 attendees from 25 countries confirmed that the idea of ​​closer cooperation in technology and innovation is very relevant today. Not only in Latvia, but globally. There are more questions than answers – how to make cities and states ‘cleverer’ and smarter, whether and how artificial intelligence and robots will improve our quality of life, how ready we are to face cyber attacks. Only through close cooperation between startup entrepreneurs, corporations, policymakers and lifestyle experts will we be able to bring the benefits of digital culture, or the ‘digital dividend’ to every member of society in the future.
Dagnija Lejiņa Co-founder of the Digital Freedom Festival
From prototype development to the marketplace
During the Digital Freedom Festival, the ELKO Group showed that it plays a significant role in the industry and is a first-rate partner, fostering the creation of various cooperation models between manufacturers, developers, system integrators and sector experts.
Under its wing, the ELKO Group invited local unmanned-aerial-vehicle developer UAV.tools, embedded systems developers Brannfox from Belarus, Estonian intelligent-home systems integrator Indome, and one of the world’s principal IT manufacturers – Intel, to the festival. These representatives were not invited randomly, they were chosen to reflect the full cycle, from prototype development, through technology selection, integration, to the marketplace.
If a startup has an idea for an IT technology-based product or for developing a service, ELKO will readily offer knowhow and practical help, testing and finding technologies, testing integration scenarios in our demo laboratory, seeking sales partners worldwide.
Svens Dinsdorfs ELKO Group CEO
As a high-tech startup, we have to be certain that the technological platforms, on which we are basing and building our solutions, are being maintained and developed further. When developing new business ideas, many questions arise and it is important to get advice on the potential and restrictions of technological platforms. In the current phase of our business development, we are not trying to compete directly with major companies, but trying to build up business momentum by utilising the most advanced and promising solutions from trusted manufacturers. Cooperation with large companies like the ELKO Group, as well as their support, enables us to make more efficient use of our team’s expertise and focus on higher value-added activities. Some markets and business lines only become reachable through combining our resources, experience, knowhow and access to a network of partners
Olegs Krutikovs Co-founder of UAV.Tools
The most extensive technological options the ELKO Group currently has available are in the development of IoT (the Internet of Things), smart home and urban solutions, video surveillance and drones. The ELKO Group has also just qualified as a member of the Intel IoT Solutions Alliance. For those startups working on the development of IoT technology on the Intel platform, this presents an opportunity to promote their newly created product globally, partnered by the ELKO Group.