Tech Scouting Virtual Panel

Our panelists discuss the purpose of tech scouting, how it can benefit your business, and the current tech trends emerging within the mobility industry.

 

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Learn about the purpose of tech scouting, how it can benefit your business, and the current tech trends emerging within the mobility industry.

 


Transcript

[00:03:14] Taryn Kutches: Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for joining us this Wednesday, wherever you may be. We have 45 minutes to get through some great content. So I’m going to kick us off and get rolling right away. As a way of introduction, my name is Taryn, and I will be the moderator for this session today. I help lead our brand and business development efforts at Twisthink and I’m just fortunate enough to work alongside these amazing panelists that we have. So with that, why don’t we go ahead and Uri, Allen, and Kurt, if you can introduce yourselves briefly, then we’ll get to the good stuff.

[00:44:05] Uri Pachter: Great. Hi, Taryn. It’s great to be here on this panel. My name is Uri Pachter. I’m located in Israel. For the past six years, I’ve been scouting for Faurecia and also leading the Cyber Security Center of Excellence in Israel and as well as being a tech scout for Twisthink for the last three months.

[01:11:01] Allen Shi: Perfect. Hey, guys, my name is Allen. Thanks, Taryn, for having me on this panel. I’m based out of Silicon Valley in California, for those of you who do not know. And I have spent the bulk of my career working at startup companies, working with startup companies, as well as engaging large corporations to find the right startups, to run pilot projects, proof of concepts, anything around the innovation side. So all of this is very exciting to me.

[01:39:11] Kurt Dykema: Hello, everybody. My name is Kurt Dykema. Good to be with you today. My role is Chief Technology Officer at Twisthink and I’ve been with the team for over 20 years helping customers think about new digital opportunities and then going and building those opportunities out. So, happy to be with you. And I look forward to the conversation.

[02:06:11] Taryn Kutches: Thanks, Uri, Allen, and Kurt. With that, first want to just define tech scouting for the audience here so we all have the same frame of reference in the way we’re defining it. So for the purpose of this discussion, we’re defining tech scouting as a process of matching startup capabilities with corporation needs. We’re going to talk about the purpose and benefits of tech scouting, how you can apply it to your business, some common challenges and solutions to those challenges. Then we’ll pivot to emerging trends within the mobility space. If you look at the bottom of your screen, you will see a Q&A button. Please, please, please engage with that. We will have 10 minutes at the end of our session for Q&A. You can ask anything to Uri, Allen, or Kurt. And then we’ll also follow up in email if we can’t quite get to all the Q&A. But the more Q&A the merrier, please. We love to hear your questions, your comments and where you’re interested. Okay. Let’s get going. Starting off with our first question, Allen, maybe you can take this one. Around from your point of view, what’s the purpose of tech scouting and how can it benefit businesses?

[03:22:20] Allen Shi: Okay, sure. So I think one of the first things to mention is that tech scouting should be an ongoing process. It’s not necessarily something you do once a year or once every couple of years. It’s usually done maybe every two months, every three months, building off of existing themes or different trends that your team is putting together. You want to make sure that you understand how, for example, adjacent industries are affecting your primary industry. For example, how is health going to change how things are moving along in the mobility sector? Or how is A.I. or personalization as different trends or themes going to affect mobility, and how does that fit into the customer experience? And I think going back to the original question, the tech scouting aspect should be done with intention, right? So in the very beginning, maybe you’re really looking just for technologies that can be interesting for you guys to pursue internally, but ultimately you want to actively be engaging with the startup companies to run pilot projects, proof of concepts, or even maybe look for investment or M&A opportunities. So one of the big reasons why large corporations enjoy working with startups is because traditionally startups move a lot faster than large organizations. They have learned to fail quickly and then reiterate quickly. And large companies typically will draw out decision making process or have a lot of internal political structure that you have to go through to make sure that things happen. And from a financial standpoint, maybe sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to build out a system internally when you can work and become a customer with these startups. And the last point I know I’m talking a little bit more, I’ll give some time for Uri and Kurt, is that you don’t know what you don’t know, right? And so in Silicon Valley, if you are not engaging in actively engaging the ecosystem or working in tech scouting, your competitors probably are. And so just by not being engaged with the startup ecosystem or community is already putting you at a disadvantage.

[05:26:20] Uri Pachter: I only have a really small thing to add. I think Allen covered it pretty much, but I think tech scouting is a great tool of both learning about the ecosystem, learning about what emerging technologies that not necessarily relate to your specific industry today, but may come into prominence in the future. So it’s really important to have this kind of tool in a corporation that will get you up to speed with the latest trends in other industries that may find their way into yours. I would just mention and give a brief example of the automotive industry during COVID, they were looking for technologies that will provide antibacterial materials and similar, and they were looking for industries in healthcare and food where these kind of technologies are prominent. So overall as a tool, the ecosystem guidance of learning in different industries is really, really important.

[06:38:19] Kurt Dykema: Nice job. I would just finish by saying the overall goal for your business is a healthy and vibrant innovation pipeline. So tech scouting is a tool toward that end, but it has to be used to drive action. It’s not in observing and watching. It’s rolling up your sleeves, getting involved and driving movement from within your business.

[07:10:04] Taryn Kutches: Great. Thank you, three. I think you all did a great job at stating the purpose of it and, you know, getting exposure of what’s happening not only within your industry but outside of your industry. You know, it’s an ecosystem. It’s helping fuel your innovation. So really great points. Now, maybe, Uri, you can help us understand how can you actually apply it. So you know what it is and what the benefits of it, but how can you actually apply it to your business? And maybe you can start us off with that question.

[07:41:20] Uri Pachter: Yeah, I think tech scouting is part of innovation management of a corporation. In that I mean, first of all, you need boots on the ground. You need a person either external or from your own company who is located in the specific region that you want to survey. This is number one. The other aspect is to really understand that there is a big difference in culture between startups and the corporations, that maybe some of the participants come from. So you really need a person that will really guide you and be sort of a bridge between the startup culture and the corporate culture and smooth out a lot of wrinkles that you can be facing along the way.

[08:38:19] Allen Shi: Yeah, I love that you mentioned the fact that you need someone to smooth out some of the wrinkles and you need someone to be able to connect the right people in the organization. One of the things that we used to say all the time is that innovation comes top down and it’s very important to have executive buy in because let’s face it, at the end of the day, the business units that are engaging with these startup companies don’t necessarily have KPIs linked to the success of a pilot project, and it’s oftentimes they already have the typical 40 hour workweek. It’s hard for them to dedicate the time unless somebody from the top is really trying to drive innovation and having that important champion within an organization that has a very good line of sight across different business units. That’s definitely very key to success. And I guess one of the biggest things is you want to have an open mindset when working with startup companies. The term open innovation comes to mind every time someone thinks startups. And so just being able to think like, okay, hey, maybe not all the smart people in the world work for our company. Maybe we should be open a little bit more to partnerships and engaging with different companies that already have access to these startup companies to help us get things off the ground.

[09:52:14] Taryn Kutches: Allen, if I can ask you one question, you used the term open innovation in your response. Maybe some people are familiar with that term, maybe others aren’t. Could you just share with us what do you mean by that term? And what are we really trying to get at with that phrase?

[10:09:06] Allen Shi: Sure. So I think the term open innovation, if you guys are not familiar, it’s it came from Henry Chesbrough who is actually sitting on the chair for Berkeley, Haas and Innovation. And he actually wrote a book about new product development and the fuzzy front end. And the goal is to be able to utilize external resources towards a common goal. And so the idea is that you’re not necessarily just only looking to build things from within the company. By working with others, you’re able to get much farther. So a great example of this is I think it was back in 2019, and since this is mobility focused, Toyota actually gave access to every single OEM company and tier one of their patents around EV, and that was a very big move in the automotive industry because they were willing to be able to say, hey, we want everyone to move forward as an industry. Let’s work together so we can make these big steps.

[11:04:00] Taryn Kutches: Awesome, thanks for that. Kurt, I just want to circle back with you. Kind of going back to the original question we started with of how can you apply tech scouting to your business and see if you had anything to add to the comments that Allen and Uri mentioned.

[11:18:03] Kurt Dykema: I like the analogy of building a bridge from your company into the startup community. So I would say build a bridge well. Make sure there’s a cross-functional team there with different disciplines represented. Embrace it as a continuous process and budget for it.

[11:39:00] Taryn Kutches: Thank you. Thanks for all those responses. So within the ‘hows’ there were also a set of maybe common challenges that came along with that. You know, Uri, in your response, you mentioned different cultures between, you know, startups and corporations. Allen, you referenced leadership alignment. I think, Kurt, even in your response, there was some similar themes to those as well. So maybe if, Allen, you could start us off, what have you seen some solutions to some of those challenges? How do you how do organizations get in the right open innovation mindset and overcome some of these obstacles to really be effective with tech scouting?

[12:17:01] Allen Shi: So I think one of the biggest things is visibility within an organization. Oftentimes innovation teams or tech scouting teams or companies that have small groups based in Silicon Valley as an outpost, the rest of the organization is unaware of their activities. And so it makes it very, very difficult for them to even engage with these startup companies. Some things that we’ve also find is the legal process or like the contracts and large companies tend to overwhelm the startup companies. If you have a 40 page MSA or 10 page mutual NDA, the startup company is not going to have time to actually sift through these documents. They’re actually going to have to utilize an external consulting firm, a legal consulting firm. And that cost actually comes back to you. And at the end of the day, these big contracts and legal documents all serve as stifling innovation in a sense, because that’s just going to get to make the decision making process significantly longer. And for a startup company, those three months, those six months are not necessarily going to be like, okay, we can sit here and wait, which a large corporation thinks, okay, hey, we can wait until next quarter. We can wait until to two quarters later. But for that startup company, it could be life or death, right?

[13:32:07] Taryn Kutches: Uri or Kurt, anything you want to add to that?

[13:39:19] Kurt Dykema: I’d maybe point to the, the framework of human centered design and apply the filter of do you know what’s desirable? Do you know what’s technically feasible and do you know what’s business viable? And then work with the startup to shore up whichever leg of that three legged stool needs the most focus. I would say that’s a great way to drive a solution into the organization.

[14:05:00] Uri Pachter: Yeah. And I would add a couple of things. The first one is really bear in mind that a startup has an entirely different time cycle of activity and they are really stressed either for funds or they need to show that they have some engagement with companies. So really the speed of process of the entire, I would say, supply chain of the innovation has to be different than the normal course of business. And not often a lot of corporations don’t take this into consideration and they miss out on a lot of innovation and a lot of opportunities. And I would definitely say that it’s really important to nominate a specific person within a business group or within a business unit that will be that contact person for the tech, for the technical scout or for the innovation team to really gather all the information and then take it from there together with either the engineering or with other departments within the business unit or business group. And this leads me back to my first a comment about strategy. You really have to have you really need to have a strategy before you start all these innovation, different innovation channels and tech scouting as well.

[15:49:18] Taryn Kutches: Great. Yeah, I mean, there’s a ton of upside to tech scouting, there’s no doubt. And there’s also, you know, some challenges that come with that, especially with something new. I think the key point that you all highlighted was be aware of those challenges, be prepared, understand the different dynamics between corporations and startups. And just communication is such a critical, critical tool internal to your own organization if you want to embark on tech scouting and have it really be successful for you and your business. So with that, there are some organizations that have seen tremendous success with tech scouting and have really great stories. Does any one of you have a success story about a startup and a corporation that is that you can share with us what they did and how they did it and what it led to?

[16:41:05] Allen Shi: Yeah, I actually have a very favorite story I like to tell for the mobility side. It’s what three words, if you’re familiar, and the three is the number. And so essentially what they’ve done is they’ve broken the world up into these three-by-three squares. And each of these squares will be assigned a unique three-word combination. So you could be standing on apple tree green and then a couple of steps later to your left, for example, like update shark fish. And so essentially, this solves a lot of issues for logistics. If you want to drop a shipment off to the front of the building or to the back of the building or if you’re an ambulance trying to pick somebody up in an area that doesn’t necessarily have street roads or if you are, for example, an autonomous vehicle and you don’t want to give the exact longitude and latitude of the coordinates, this actually solves a lot of these issues. So Daimler Mercedes actively is engaging in tech scouting, and they started working with this company back in 2018. And today, now in their cars, you can actually click on a button on the steering wheel and they will navigate directly to any of them to what, three words, addresses and using that feature is another partnership with a startup company called Soundhound, which they actually invested in later on for semantic search and so that’s actually a great example of how engaging with these startup companies led to full implementations in their end product.

[18:06:01] Uri Pachter: I remember when I started scouting for a demo for Faurecia, I applied since in Israel there’s a lot of an abundance of cybersecurity startups in, in different industries, and I uploaded a lot of information about I think it was about 15 Israeli automotive cybersecurity startups. And I was told that at the time, Listen, it’s not relevant, okay? Keep it in the system, but it’s not relevant. And a mere six months later, I was asked from the CEO to open the Center of Excellence for Cybersecurity in Israel and an investment in an Israeli startup Guardknox took place. So things you know, when they are necessary and when they are really I wouldn’t say a buzzword, but it’s a field that is getting bigger and stronger, then corporates can move pretty quickly. And this is exactly a great example of moving quickly and really enjoying the benefits of such a move.

[19:21:15] Taryn Kutches: Great. Thank you for those responses. So that’s encouraging to hear and see some of the success that tech scouting has led to. Both in your responses, Allen and Uri, you know, you reinforced your boots on the ground. A big part of your day to day and is engaging with startups. Allen, you in Silicon Valley, Uri, you in Tel Aviv, and just understanding that landscape, what’s happening there, what are the innovations that are emerging? What are some of the trends? So with that, if you both could share, what are you seeing in your regions of the world, in these tech hubs of the world? What are what are some trends within innovation and mobility you’re seeing today?

[20:03:11] Allen Shi: So Silicon Valley, I think, has always been synonymous with software. And so going back to the traditional mobility trends, which is case—connected, autonomous, shared, and electrification—we see quite a bit of technologies on the autonomous side as a lot of companies like Tesla are rearing towards L4 and L5 with all of the data that’s being collected from all of these vehicles. We see Waymo cars driving past every 20 minutes or so in mountain view, for example. But in and in, for example, shared mobility or connected, there’s a lot more focus now on the human machine interface. So HMI. So with the increasing amount of technologies around 5G and connectivity, we want to be able to ensure that like, okay, how is the car communicating to other cars? How is the car also communicating with the infrastructure? And that’s also all tied into the autonomous side of things. In autonomous, we see a lot more of the personalization aspect. Companies like Hyundai and Kia are looking to see if they can utilize A.I. for a more personalized experience within the cockpit of the car, maybe as more of like a transition between L3 to L5 autonomous. So for example, if you walk into a car, they will capture your facial and then they will be able to create a baseline of this is how this driver, for example, Allen, looks on a regular basis. How can we tell whether if he’s getting sleepy, is there any way that we can make him happier or if he’s feeling stressed out based on his vocal or his facial recognition, then is there any way we can maybe introduce a smell into the cabin that will maybe calm your nerves. On the electrification side, obviously, in the U.S. there’s not as much financial incentive or government incentive as different parts, for example, in like Europe and Asia. But we see a lot of increase in battery management solutions, especially with this huge bias for EVs and a big push to electrify all of the fleets by 2025.

[22:08:22] Uri Pachter: Yeah, in Israel on the you know if I look on general side not necessarily on mobility then obviously cybersecurity is really important. FinTech is a sector in which you have a lot of investment as well as food tech. And on the mobility side, obviously data is king. It’s an estimate that that modern vehicle generates something around 4000 gigabytes of data per day from the various sources that that is within the vehicle, such as the sensors and other than obviously for the data you need it,  you utilize it in production in the finance and automation. In smart cities, product development, obviously what Allen mentioned connected in autonomous vehicles and also in sustainability. This is one thing that I see in another sector that is really growing in the sense of you see more and more startups even nowadays is the industry 4.0. Everything that has to do with digitization of manufacturing. So you can see there are a lot of predictive analytics, a lot of robotics, Internet of Things, cloud computing, cybersecurity as well. Edge computing. So all these, all these themes are really very prominent in Israel.

[23:48:01] Taryn Kutches: Great, great. That’s exciting to hear. It’s this convergence, I think, of all the things happening around us in terms of the speed of innovation and different dynamics that have that have taken form since the pandemic. And you know, what organizations need to do today to kind of thrive and excel is much different than what they needed to do even just a couple of years ago to stay within the pace, the rate of change, innovation that’s happening. So with that, what does this really all mean for businesses today? What is this emergence of tech scouting? The speed of innovation, the new technologies? What does that all mean and how can businesses prepare themselves?

[24:36:05] Allen Shi: I think one of the best ways to prepare yourself is to just be able to actively engage in the ecosystem, actively engage with startup companies. Kind of going back to my previous point is that you just want to be ahead of the curve in a sense. So to reiterate a little bit what I was talking about, about the trends and themes and the tech scouting, it’s not necessarily like if you do the themes and trends immediately, you’re set up for the next year. These trends and themes are typically preparing you for three years down the road, five years down the road. And if you’re engaging in this in the tech scouting this year, then you’re already 3 to 5 years behind your competitor who started looking at these technologies quite a while back.

[25:22:22] Uri Pachter: Yeah, I think that if you don’t and this is something that I’ve been really discussing with some of my peers here in Israel that are working with other tier ones and OEMs in different industries. I mean, you can see that if a corporate has the mindset of innovation and really has a clear strategy of how they want to utilize the different opportunities that startups and the ecosystem can bring them, then you can see that the benefit is huge, not only now, more so down the road. Others, you know, if they don’t have the strategy or they don’t dedicate the required resources, both financially and manpower, then they lose interest right away because the abundance of information is huge. But if you don’t do anything with it, it just gets lost or it gets old. So, I mean, you really need to understand that to benefit from innovation, you, you have to have a strategy and then really utilize that strategy according to the needs of your specific corporates, which is not the same, be it because different industries will be because of different corporates and targets and what have you. So this is my first take.

[26:56:24] Allen Shi: I think to build off a little bit about what Uri was sharing is that there are different ways to engage also with startup companies. A lot of people will think innovation and then immediately think new business revenues and start looking into ideas and startup technologies that are maybe not applicable to the business now or maybe not even applicable to the business in five years. Maybe in ten years. And we call this a moonshot idea. It would be very, very interesting and very cool to pursue. There is something we like to call low hanging fruit and so on the industrial manufacturing side or the IoT 4.0, that Uri was explaining earlier on the predictive maintenance, the predictive analytics, these are ways to really show value to the rest of the company very quickly and show that there is ROI in engaging with startup companies. If you work with a startup company that saves you tens of millions every single quarter, it makes it very, very easy to get the green light from your executive to continue these engagements down the road. And so anything that can decrease overhead cost is definitely just as innovative as finding new ways to enter a different market, for example.

[28:08:22] Uri Pachter: If I go back to the previous question that I think that we missed out or we didn’t mention the whole field of circular economy and sustainability, which are two, I think, themes that are very much in focus in many corporates, both in Europe and in the U.S., I know. So this is also to theme, just to complete what we said before, I thought it was worth mentioning.

[28:38:19] Kurt Dykema: I think you can all see how having a Uri and an Allen on your team and doing that connection work brings fresh fuel to an innovation process. It helps you see and feel what things are possible today that maybe weren’t possible a year ago. And there’s incredible value in that. And it deserves to be part of your strategy for building an innovation pipeline.

[29:10:16] Uri Pachter: Yeah, and if I may add, I think that having a company such as Twisthink, it could be in the first stages, it could be even for a more advisable for a long term, it could be definitely use very useful for corporate to drive the innovation through this channel and not necessarily through a dedicated person in a that you want maybe in the first stage to deploy because we think I think bring the entire package that a corporate could definitely use to drive innovation in its activities.

[29:51:15] Taryn Kutches: Thanks, Uri. That’s hitting on an audience question we had. So we have one more question before we jump to Q&A, but I think it’s worth touching on that. The question was a paraphrasing, but what does a partnership of Twisthink and tech scouts look like? And so just to pile on to what Uri said, both Allen and Uri are our boots on the ground. And we work with Uri and Allen in partnership with the corporations that we serve to tech scout on their behalf. Just to close that, they bring a ton of perspective not only to us but to our partners as well. Before we hit a couple more of those audience questions, I do want to end it with just one last question and that’s on measure of success for tech scouting. You know, many of us that are in the world of innovation and it can get scrutinized at times because of the measure of success or ROI as Allen brought up before. So what are some ways that you have seen organizations measure success of their tech scouting efforts?

[31:03:17] Allen Shi: Sure. So I think ultimately the goal will range differently from company to company. If the company is more in the exploration or experimentation phase of their startup engagement journey, then we’ll see their KPIs be more along the lines of how many startup companies can we source, actively source, actively talk to and learn more about. And then down the road, once they are a lot more mature, how many companies are we actively running pilot projects or proof of concepts with every single year? And for the more, much more mature and the companies that are very familiar with working with startup companies is how many of these POCs or pilot projects can we convert to full implementations? Can we take this to market? More commercialized? Can we integrate this into any existing business lines or should we create a new product based off of these interactions?

[31:57:02] Uri Pachter: Yeah, I think it’s what Alle said is right to the point. But I do know of many corporates in Israel that all they want is someone to share with them information about what’s going on, be it events, be it the startups, the ecosystem in general, no KPIs, nothing which is ideal for the scout. But if you want to be a I would say efficient, then first of all, you must have a list of fields that you are requested from the corporate to really investigate and find the solutions or the technologies that are relevant and match and do the matchmaking. I mean, and then you can either measure it by the number of POCs. But again, it’s really tough to set up a concrete KPIs because it’s not always up to the scout to really drive the startup or the company within the organization. And most of the time it’s up to the business unit or the business group. And this is why I think that and again, I mentioned it time and time again, the strategy is so important because without that then really there are doesn’t matter what KPIs you would put ahead of the scout it will not it will not do anything.

[33:32:04] Allen Shi: Sorry, sorry, sorry. I was just going to make a fun comment. I think someone once said that KPIs stifle innovation and I’m not sure who said that, but I think that’s just one way to tie into what Uri was saying.

[33:45:17] Taryn Kutches: Yeah, it was reminding me earlier in the conversation, we talked about mindset and making sure that or the importance of having the right mindset, you know, with your tech scouting efforts and just being open to, to exploration instead of being so locked on a KPI or an ROI metric. Can anybody comment on the concept of mindset and why it’s so important and how it can help un-stifle innovation, if you will, and just how that can counteract maybe some of the ROI questions you might get.

[34:19:04] Allen Shi: And one of the biggest things is you just don’t want to be afraid to fail, right? Because a lot of these big companies are worried about the public image. Maybe it’s for shareholder reasons that they’re so afraid to feel that they just never engage with startup companies. And we see this a lot more common in Asian corporations. You’ll see that because they’re just so scared of potentially looking bad in front of their superiors. Or maybe they just don’t have the right executive buy in from the company. They don’t they don’t even try talking to the startup companies in the first place. So my advice there is fail fast, learn to fail, fail fast, and then reiterate and learn and try it again.

[35:01:16] Uri Pachter: Yeah, I think this is very important. I mean, the number of startups in Israel that I meet that they failed time and time again before they became successful is just unbelievable. And I and I do think that the most important thing for me is the team, rather, and not always the technology. I mean, you can have a great technology, you can have a great solution, but if the team is shit and pardon my French, then it doesn’t really matter what you and how hard you’re going to try to work with them, you’re not going to be successful. So you really and this is why it’s important to have somebody who is connected to the culture, who knows the ecosystem who can give you some recommendations from other people, especially in Israel, which is a small country and it’s a small position. And almost everybody you meet, you either know him from school or from the army or from the university. So you can gather information really quickly about the team and the team and the background of the team is no less important than the technology itself.

[36:05:21] Kurt Dykema: I think I would amplify what Alle said and just finish by saying that fear and creativity cannot exist in the same brain. Literally, the fear will squelch and quench creativity every time. So be very careful about letting fear creep into the process.

[36:31:16] Taryn Kutches: Great. Thank you. I do have a couple questions that we can get to here. Before I do that, I just wanted to tag Uri, Allen, Kurt, any last comments that you want to hit on before we pivot to Q&A or any last sound bites you have top of mind that maybe we didn’t cover in our session before we jump to questions well.

[36:55:15] Allen Shi: One last point. I feel like I’ve been talking quite a bit. So reputation matters when it comes to working with Silicon Valley or working with Tel Aviv or working in the startup ecosystem. And one thing to keep in mind is that if you are, I don’t want to say wasting the time of the startup companies, but if you’re stringing them along, typically you’ll build a pretty bad brand or reputation in these communities. And these startup companies will oftentimes talk to each other and slowly down the road, maybe when you’re finally ready to engage with these startups, no one’s going to want to talk to you because they think, okay, I have this company, this person is very known for wasting people’s time. They talk to this company six months ago and nothing came out of it. And so it’s very important to build a brand from day one. People want to be willing to work with you because they know that when they talk to you and they spend time with you, something meaningful is going to come out of it. Maybe it’s not going to be a pilot project immediately, but maybe you help connect them to a technology leader within your organization and it helps them validate the technology, helps them move their product along in some sense. So reputation matters a lot.

[38:02:06] Uri Pachter: Yeah. And if I get just to complete, if I may. To give you know, if you don’t want to do any business with the startups, don’t just ignore them. Give them an answer that either you know you’re not interested or it’s not relevant whatever. But give a feedback. For a startup, many times they told me, listen, it was very important for us to learn that we’re not yet ready to work with an automotive company, that we have to do this and that, that we’re too small, whatever. This kind of feedback not only provides the startup with, with the feedback and with the team, it saves them a lot of time and money many time. So it and it connects to the to what Allen said about building up your brand and reputation because if you have a reputation of a company that is genuine in its either criticism or remarks, then you build a good reputation in the ecosystem, which is extremely important.

[39:13:14] Taryn Kutches: Great. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Okay, let’s pivot last 5 minutes here to hit some questions. So going back to the theme of trends in innovation, a question from the audience is, do you see an increase in startup companies that are geared towards e-vehicles?

[39:36:18] Allen Shi: The short answer is yes. So, so, so definitely yes. A lot of the technologies are on battery management solutions and so a lot of companies are focusing on ways to help increase the charging cycles while maintaining battery longevity, whether if it’s from the dendrite formation aspect of it or just the ability to increase capacity for charge. And this is definitely making very big strides. One of my favorite companies run by one of my friends is avionics, and they’re raising quite a bit of capital working very well. They’re actually out of Israel, neighbors with Uri, I believe, and they’re focusing specifically on dendrite formation so that the batteries can fast charge multiple cycles without losing the overall capacities. That’s super exciting on that side. I see a lot of Tier one automotive players that are in the transmission space, for example, like BorgWarner or Alice, and Transmissions are investing heavily into the B side because maybe down the road when cars are fully electric, there’s really going to be no need for transmissions or powertrains. So big, big, big things happening on the EV space. It’s not necessarily just also tied to the car itself. You see things on the infrastructure play. So a lot of these companies are now working with the governments or maybe these larger energy providers on the batteries are not battery, the energy storage, distribution, etc.. And so a lot of things are tying into different industries as well.

[41:06:05] Uri Pachter: Yeah, I see also companies that are working on hydrogen solution. So it’s both the hydrogen storage and the fuel cells and in other areas. So I see both of these field as the emerging also in Israel, although although you know, you need a lot of, I would say technical experience and very specific knowledge in these fields, which is not always in especially in Israel, it’s not always the case. But you do see more and more of these innovations coming out of academic institutions and also from the military.

[41:49:04] Taryn Kutches: Great. Thank you. Another question teed up here is how do you find unique startups outside of your region? So outside of Silicon Valley or outside of Tel Aviv, Israel, how are you connecting with unique startups outside of those ecosystems?

[42:12:12] Uri Pachter: You can find them in different events or that there are a lot of events that are focused on and and with startups, even if you go to Helsinki, it’s an amazing event that takes place in November in Helsinki. If you if you like to go, then you can definitely see us and other events both in Europe and in other places. In Israel we have an event called Echo Motion, which is a once a year in May where you can meet around 700 startups and also a lot of foreign startups come, come over. And I also use the commercial attachés that are located around the world and I try to get information from them. But my main task is the local ecosystem. Or, you know, if I have a person like Allen, I can contact him and get a lot of valuable feedback from him.

[43:12:13] Allen Shi: Yeah, I think basically everything that Uri was going to say, having the right connections in the right places and oftentimes if you’re going to the same events in the industry, you’re going to start building relationships with everyone and slowly you’re going be able to just bounce ideas and bounce out of shared deal flow in a sense, with each other. Say, hey, have you seen this company? They’re doing something very, very exciting in this space and it would probably show something else back, right? And so I think that’s a great way to keep visibility across different locations.

[43:46:06] Taryn Kutches: Great. Okay. I want to be sensitive to time. I know we all have extremely busy schedules. I thank you so much for taking the time to attend this webinar this afternoon with us. If you have any questions about tech scouting for your Uri, for Allen, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Twisthink. You can reach out to us at hello@twisthink.com. We’re very open to just collaboration and discussion and if you have any follow up questions you want to bounce off of any of us, please know the door is always open and we’re happy to collaborate and have any discussions with you. So with that, thank you, everybody. Thank you, Uri. Thank you, Allen. Thank you, Kurt. Your insights were amazing and enjoy the rest of your afternoon.

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