co-pace started in 2017 out of a strategy process to answer how Continental should address the relationship to the startup ecosystems around the world in a structured way. We were not the first (and not the last) to start doing this, but we are proud of ‘how’ we do it. My team and I have had the privilege to work with more than 200 entrepreneurs and thought leaders and to bring more than 20 partnerships off the ground in the past 5 years, generating value for both Continental and the startups.
Our industries are going through a massive transformation. We see the changes in the shifting technology landscape as well as the dynamics of the markets (even before the pandemic). As Continental continues to evolve and adapt in this 150th anniversary year, co-pace is also evolving – on the eve of our our 5-year anniversary.
We have a new ‘skin’ which emphasizes our deep roots both in Continental and in the startup ecosystems. But the changes go deeper than ‘skin’. For us at co-pace, partnerships between startups and Continental are the true north – we catalyze future products and services out of such partnerships, creating value both for Continental and the startups. We jointly execute the product roadmaps innovating both internally and externally. And the outcome is renewed, reinvented, and transformative products, services, and business models.
There are much deeper changes in how we do things than a mere brand-relaunch might suggest:
1. We have crystalized our focus topics that we want to develop with you
2. With experience of 5 years, we know how long the partnership journey takes, and what it takes to make it smooth
3. We understand the importance of personal connections and mutual trust. That begins with knowing the co-pace team – they are there in most of the global ecosystems and you should meet them both in person and on the Journal pages
4. We want to inspire you about the future products and services we can build together – and what better way to do this than highlight some of the partnerships we’ve been fortunate to catalyze as well as dive in deeper technology analyses right on these pages.
• We don’t do ‘startup theatre’ – we will not make a show asking you to pitch in a competition, and we will continue to do only very little social media or other marketing
• We continue to validate concepts quickly and efficiently – it works, or it doesn’t work
• Our goal remains – to bring startup solutions on the Continental roadmap, generating value for customers, Continental, and startups – in other words, always looking for the win-win-win
• And we continue to operate in the global ecosystems from Tel Aviv to Singapore, from Berlin to Silicon Valley.
It is in these global ecosystems that we find thought leaders such as yourselves – startup founders, serial entrepreneurs, investors, technology strategies and innovators. And we constantly meet new people to enrich each other’s network. This network is very important because it gives insights into all industries with the new perspectives, approaches, and players. We love linking that to Continental’s strategy, problems, and interests. And in this way, we co-create and shape the new products and services – we look outwards and thus sharpen our focus inwards. Through these interactions (be it at one of our own events, the global thought-leader events, or one-to-one dialogues), we anticipate product concepts and create new markets together with the thought leaders of the ecosystems.
It is privilege for me to work with the evolving team on this: they come from organizations such as MIT, Google, Daimler, Dell, and of course Continental. They bring knowhow from areas such as chip design, PC development, smartphones, and others. They also understand integrated business models. But most importantly, their superpower is to be the catalyst that brings Continental and startups together to create what wouldn’t be possible if either worked alone.
To summarize: we were born to create new potential for the future, benefiting from Continental’s global reputation and resources, co-creating tomorrow’s most promising solutions with you, the startups and thought leaders of the technology revolution. And we have only just begun.