INSIDE VIEW – Co-Creation Summit 2017

On May 16, digital leaders, entrepreneurs and investors were invited to the Co-Creation Summit to discuss the ever accelerating digitalization of our economy while enjoying food and drinks at Soho House Berlin.

Our hosts Felix Staeritz (Founding Partner FACTOR10) and Colette Ballou (President Ballou PR) gave a warm welcome to the highly discerned and engaged audience.

We were delighted to hear that Colette just became a LP at a Venture Capital fund and further emphasized the importance to invest in new businesses. The program continued with a keynote on “Digitalization goes physical” by Michael Stephanblome (Founding Partner FACTOR10), breakout sessions on investments, co-creation as well as agile leadership, a panel discussion on “Leading German physical industries facing digital transformation head-on” with Markus Fuhrmann (Founder Delivery Hero) and Franziskus Josten (Director Corporate Development TAKKT) and concluded with networking as well as food and drinks.

The program inspired guests to actively engage in discussions

„Digitization is the driving force behind the success of small and medium-sized businesses on the internet. This gives them the opportunity to remain competitive and expand their business further. Digital solution providers must therefore increasingly act as a trustworthy and capable partner to make the process of digitization as easy as possible for SMEs.“ – Robert Hoffmann, CEO 1 & 1 Internet

While SMEs are witnessing the advantages of digital innovation the keynote by Michael Stephanblome underlined the disruption potential for large established companies as well. 15 years ago the biggest firms by market cap were not led by digital players, but today we see Apple, Microsoft and Amazon at the very top. Even a traditional industry such as automotive is facing a large transformation with Tesla enjoying a rapid increase in value compared to incumbents.

The breakout session on investments discussed the differences between corporate VCs and institutional VCs, shedding light on different approaches to fund innovation. While the former provide in-depth industry knowledge and network, the latter drive financial results by excelling in building companies.

Meanwhile the Co-Creation group learnt about its principle, combining the speed of startups while leveraging established companies’ resources. In addition, previous experiences showed the importance of top management’s full support for digitalization in order to be successful.

Constanze Buchheim (Founder i-potentials) shared her knowledge on agile leadership emphasizing the importance of not only retraining people continuously, but also of a management understanding the agile mindset.

“Digitalization for the food delivery industry didn’t feel like a large transformation rather than a natural channel switch from phone to online orders.” – Markus Fuhrmann, Founder Delivery Hero

The panel discussion gave us the opportunity to look at different approaches to drive and gain from digitalization. The path of serial entrepreneur Markus Fuhrmann was unstructured, but still led to success with the creation of Delivery Hero. Franziskus Josten on the other hand established a corporate VC vehicle to focus on direct investments beneficial to the core company.

Conclusion for business leaders

The highly interested audience and fruitful discussions proved the importance of digitalization for businesses in various industries and society alike. It is high time for business leaders to not only focus on digitalization, but to do it in a strategic way in order to gain the edge over competition. Given the rapid developments, trying to master it without the needed digital expertise and entrepreneurial spirit can lead to losing out to new businesses. They don’t only understand the chances and challenges better, but are also able to navigate through the complexity and anticipate changed customer needs.

“I deeply believe the future of Europe depends on how fast we learn to extend our traditional strengths with radically new approaches and digital mindsets.” – Felix Staeritz, Founding Partner FACTOR10

FACTOR10 will update you on relevant topics regularly and is happy to hear your opinion on and experiences with digitalization at any time. Please visit our homepage for detailed information and contact Felix Staeritz at to discuss opportunities to partner on this exciting digital journey together.

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