The Bind 4.0 Mentors are professionals with entrepreneurial, investment or industry-specific experience and they are part of what makes Bind 4.0 so valuable, beside the on-going support from our Partners and sponsorships from Industry 4.0 enterprises.  

Often startup accelerators have mentorships in their program but at Bind 4.0 we offer experts, specialized in a wide variety of areas from, Business Development and Sales to Legal, Structural and General Management, Research & Development to Venture Capitalists / Investors and they represent all the major industries we aim to support at Bind 4.0 like Advanced Manufacturing, Smart Energy and Health Tech.  

Our Partners and Mentors bring so much more to the table than a client-customer Industry 4.0 project, they are focused on getting mutually beneficial results and boosting the startups into the next level, so they provide the best services and products they can while preparing for continued growth and sales.   

As the interworking of a small startup and a large enterprise are very distinct, our Partners have to know the importance of the role of the liaison between the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the corporation.  We asked Oscar Villanueva, Technology Transference & New Ventures, from our Partner Repsol, to explain what he considers some of the biggest challenges as well as the important aspects of our program and the different responsibilities of the startups and corporations.  

The biggest challenges for established companies are related to the management of intellectual property, brand protection, financial stability and entrepreneurial culture. For the startup, the key is finding the right point of entry to start the collaboration, understanding the role of the different people and departments that work in a large corporation, dealing with slow decision cycles, overcoming the fear of abusive negotiations, etc.

Villanueva stated this is one of the key aspects of collaboration between to very different work environments, The collaboration between large companies and startups poses important challenges for some more than others, since their characteristics and dynamics are very different, almost antagonistic. But precisely that difference can also make them very complementary.

Bind 4.0 Acceleration Program is valuable for large companies like our Partners and bright young startups. As Villanueva said, partnering with Bind 4.0 offers “Access to an extensive and quality deal flow in key technologies for Industry 4.0. In short, it delivers the best technology startups to your doorstep. Otherwise, companies would have to go out and look for them or even pay for scouting services to find them. It is an unbeatable way to connect talent and technology with companies and the market, saving corporations time and money. The fact that you are with peers in the program means that you also learn from other partners and startups.

Remembering you are never done learning is how large and small companies experience growth, stay relevant and develop new ideas and more efficient processes.  Great Mentors provide an outside opinion which is incredibly valuable to a young company or startup looking to accelerate their business. When you are an entrepreneur you face a lot of challenges and new experiences and to help reduce the mistakes, wasted time or failures, an unbiased opinion can be of utmost value.  

Bind 4.0 mentoring meeting

Bind 4.0 Mentor Gonzalo Martínez de Azagra shared what he considers the value of mentors in our program, “Startups have the opportunity to receive unfiltered feedback from veteran investors. This feedback is of tremendous value because investors are skeptical to sharing under real-life circumstances. The mentor can coach, serve as an unbiased second qualified opinion and also connect the startup to other relevant investors or corporate partners.

Good insight, feedback and collaboration can help prevent mistakes and leap over hurdles or sidestep obstacles along the way. Current Bind 4.0 participant, Oretek is working with Partner Tubacex on an Advanced Manufacturing project and they’ve found great value in our acceleration program so far.

Oretek CEO Silvia Nieto, recommends mentoring as a tool for any startup, “It’s through failure that we learn, and this is extremely costly for a startup. With mentoring sessions, this can be prevented thanks to the experience of someone that has faced this hurdle before.Listening to and learning from experienced professionals is how to make most of a mentor, Nieto continued, Every mentoring session is a masterclass because of the background and expertise of the mentor.” 

Bind 4.0 takes pride in the mentors selected for the acceleration program and their varied fields and focuses, they offer something for every single participant and provide education, experience and growth.

Mentor Mikel Irizar shared the most common mistake startups make when they don’t have the advice of an acceleration program and access to mentors, Spending too much time with prospects that will never buy their solution. Time is one of the key limited resources a startup needs to manage and optimize. Startups need to carefully qualify their prospects to understand if they have a budget, an authority to make the purchase, a real need and a timeline to make the purchase.

Overcoming obstacles with the help of your entrepreneurial network, qualifying leads and maximizing your time on the things you do best are essential to the success of every startup. How do the mentorship sessions offer value for Industry 4.0 startups, we asked Irizar to explain, “It brings practical experience from professionals who have gone through the same challenges entrepreneurs are going through. Mentors share their experiences so entrepreneurs don’t repeat the same mistakes we have made. It also provides an outside and fresh perspective from people who cover the whole scope of the entrepreneurs’ interactions – successful entrepreneurs, business angels or VCs, operators from small and large corporations.

In addition to mentoring, making connections is a great benefit of the Bind 4.0 program and our commitment to supporting young companies joining the local Industry 4.0 ecosystem by providing networking events and opportunities both in public forums as well as through relationships developed during the Bind 4.0 exclusive trainings, on-site visits and mentorship sessions.  

Bind 4.0 mentor Gonzalo Martínez de Azagra offered this piece of advice for startups in every field, Help other entrepreneurs, it helps having a community that understands and suffers as you do. Create meaningful relationships with investors, don’t wait to meet them when you need the capital, meet them before, create that trust before you are asking for their investment.

Our growing startups receive ongoing insight into business development, project management and sales, throughout the duration of the program in addition to more industry-specific sessions. Last week mentor Nancy Levy shared her expertise in the USA Healthcare Ecosystem. Plus, our participants had an on-site visit with Partners BTI Biotech, specialized in biomedicine and biotechnology. Last month Beatriz Casado spoke about medical device reimbursement in Europe. Coming up we have Paul Celen to share about B2B Sales and Gonzalo Martinez de Azagra offering an Investor Pitch training.

Don’t miss the chance to become a participating startup, mentor or partner, stay tuned for our Demo Day in July for the opportunity to meet Bind 4.0 startups and see the results of their hard work these past few months! We’d love to meet you and we’ll be touring locally for the next two months in Basque Country as we prepare for the next edition of Bind 4.0 Acceleration Program.