Foundry Calls for Innovative Solutions frequently asked questions
What do you mean by a "test" and what is included?
The most effective way to match innovation with market needs is to test the respective solution in a real-world setting. For every case that we announce, we invite startups to test their solutions. To get the most out of these tests, we work with both the startup and European test partner to structure the test itself in the leanest way possible to measure the various qualities that will be used to objectively gauge the solution's potential fit.
- A set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is agreed and assigned which we will monitor throughout the duration of the test.
- The participant is advised on possible outcomes based on reaching the KPIs that may include commercial activation with the test partner, funding and/or sales support in Europe
- A structured plan is agreed with a process for setting up the test, a starting date for the test itself, an interim checkpoint for review and end date of the test
- An interim report will be provided mid-way through the test along with an advisory session on potential outcomes
- At the conclusion of the test, the participant will receive a report summarising the results of the test and an evaluation that can be shared with stakeholders (e.g. management, shareholder, prospective investors, business partners, potential customers)
What are the costs for participation?
The types of costs will be indicated on the official announcement of the call. Here are the various potential costs that may be required for tests. All costs are for the involvement of third-party specialists and are not for the benefit of the test partner in any way.
Integration and technical services - Some tests might require support for integration or implementation carried out by local specialists.
Test design and evaluation - All tests will incur a cost for the design, evaluation and reporting of the tests and their results. This is essential to ensure that there is an objective way to judge the results of the test for supporting the outcome. This also serves to keep the process contained sparing the startup from open-ended trials that could drain resources and lead to misunderstandings between the various stakeholders. This cost is due once the agreement for the test is signed between the participant and the test partner.
Travel - Any travel expense such as flights, hotel, etc... is the responsibility of the participants or their sponsors.
Transportation and shipping - In cases where hardware or physical products are required for testing, there may be costs associated with transporting or shipping. We can assist in the arrangement of logistics for the test. However, the participant is responsible for all related expenses not covered by the Test Operator.
I am a startup, what is the benefit for me to apply for a call?
Each call is for a specific case where a business or organization is asking for a solution to a clear problem. This is your chance to show that your innovation can be the right solution for this market need. We are providing you a real commercial opportunity to fast track your expansion in Europe. With a successful test not only will you have a potential customer in the test partner, you will have the reference and proof needed to get others in Europe interested and excited such as investors, distributors and partners.
What do you need from me to get started?
What are Foundry Calls for Innovation?
Europe is a massive and modern marketplace on par in size with the US in terms of its collective economy and home to the world’s largest economic zone with the European Union. As a destination region, it most definitely should be on the agenda for any international expansion plan. However, it is often overlooked or discounted because of its perceived complexity and kaleidoscope of cultures. But that is exactly what makes Europe such a strategically meaningful target for growth. The homogenous, effectively singular market of the US may be the Land of Opportunity. Europe, in contrast, is the Land of a Thousand Options. With its rich diversity, it is certain as a marketplace to offer the right mix of market dynamics, customers and needs within one of its many markets to enable a foothold and provide a path for sustained expansion.
The problem that many startups face is knowing how and where to even start. Successful, innovative startups are founded on developing a solution that typically matches the needs of the local, home market. When looking to expand abroad they effectively become solutions seeking problems. Trying to succeed in this scenario is difficult, costly, and frustrating. It can be rewarding but is also very risky. And most startups don’t even try.
Recognising that this is the single biggest factor preventing a lot of the world’s best innovation from making its way into Europe, we identify actual needs in Europe as problem cases across established corporate players, industries and locations. For these cases, we periodically invite qualifying startups to apply to participate in a real-world test of their solution to validate their offering in Europe, prove their potential, gain references and help enable market entry and expansion.
What are the next steps after my application?
Stage 1 - Open call: Applications are accepted until the deadline specified on the official announcement of the call.
What are the selection criteria?
The criteria for selecting candidates who will be invited to attend a Q&A session with the Test Partner are given in the official announcement. At the Q&A session we will evaluate each candidate on the merits of their solution and make the final selection for testing based on the quality and relative fit of the innovation.
Can I opt out before being selected for the test without penalty?
There is no obligation to proceed until the agreement for conducting the test is completed between you and the test operator.
Can the whole process be done remotely?
What happens if sales occur during the test?
It is to be expected that sales opportunities in Europe may open up while you are conducting the tests (that is, in the end, why we are doing it). There is no restriction or condition for how to handle that. In fact, we encourage that as it helps us prepare a better case in evaluating the final results.
Any cases related to sales through the test partner will be accounted for in the agreement to be concluded before the start of the test and is one of the anticipated outcomes of the process.