Digital Debate: VC Dollars vs. Enterprise POs | Recap
By Isaac Brown
Earlier today, I had the pleasure of hosting a virtual panel-style debate with my friends Abel Archundia Pineda (Chief Information Officer at Bayer Pharma) and Bilal Zuberi (Partner at Lux Capital) – see the recording here.
Over 100 global executives joined the virtual event from companies like: AB InBev, Allergan, BASF, Bayer, BorgWarner, Bosch, Coca-Cola, Conagra, Corning, Diageo, GE, Grainger, Gulfstream, HARMAN, Honeywell, Magna, Oxy, Pepsi, Renault, SBD, Schneider, Solvay, Starbucks, Suez, TechnipFMC, ThyssenKrupp, Whirlpool, and many more.
The discussion kicked off with the big picture question: Why have digital industrial tech startups failed to scale? For years, investors have poured billions into IoT, Industry 4.0, and related industrial tech vendors – but industrial enterprises are extremely slow to buy and roll these solutions out at scale.
To get to the heart of the matter, we debated the following points:
What is preventing digital industrial tech startups from scaling?
How is selling into industrial operations different from IT, marketing, etc?
How can industrial tech startups unite buying centers and navigate procurement?
For years, investors have poured billions into IoT, Industry 4.0, and related industrial tech vendors – but industrial enterprises are extremely slow to buy and roll these solutions out at scale.
Finally, Bilal and Abel discussed VC investment timelines and their alignment with enterprise purchasing cycles: Bilal talked about the importance of anchor customers during early-stage financing, the urgency of converting early POCs into scale deals, and the ability to demonstrate continuous growth. Abel discussed generating stakeholder alignment, and why it’s so important to build an internal coalition to drive interest, purchasing, and scaling of industrial tech solutions. If only there were a way for the VC & startup community to get access to these enterprise cycles at the right time (hint = that’s what Landmark does!).
We briefly covered a few questions submitted during the Q&A, but would welcome any additional thoughts folks might have on these two questions:
Is it more effective to allow people across the org chart find/develop their own specific technical solutions, or to mandate global standards for consistency?
How is investing in / buying industrial tech different than other software solutions, and what advice do you have for startups selling to large industrials?
Leveraging our deep network to keep us all connected during these unprecedented times, Landmark will be hosting an ongoing series of digital events featuring renowned thought leaders in industries ranging from cybersecurity and industrial tech to digital marketing and social impact. To learn more about our digital series as either an attendee or partner, please contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org.
And in case you missed it, check out the recording!