Konica Minolta invests 10 million Euros for co-innovation with start-ups

| 29 October 2014

Konica Minolta@Pioneers Festival 2014 - For the third time, Konica Minolta, a leading service provider for IT and document processes, is going to sponsor the Pioneers Festival as Global Partner on 29–30 October in Vienna, Austria. On board is one of the four Konica Minolta’s Business Innovation Centres (BIC), which Konica Minolta, Inc. has newly established in 2014. Under this year’s motto of “Innovation and the power of many”, the BIC’s approach is to involve the community, namely start-ups, in co-innovation. To emphasise this future model, the BIC Europe today announced its investment sum of over 10 million Euros in start-up funding over the next two to three years.

Langenhagen/Germany, 29 October 2014Every year, about 2,500 attendees take part at the Pioneers Festival, one of the most prominent technology festivals in Europe. The event educates and brings together European start-ups, established companies and investors. By supporting start-ups, Konica Minolta helps the young entrepreneurs to put their innovative business ideas into practice. Konica Minolta does not only promote and support start-ups but, through exchange and networking with these young entrepreneurs, Konica Minolta can benefit from new stimuli and innovations.“Innovation and the power of many”Konica Minolta’s long-term commitment to innovation plays a key role in the concern strategy. Today, Konica Minolta announced its planned investment sum of over 10 million Euros in start-up funding over the next two to three years. “Our vision is to develop innovative products, which will revolutionise the market. That is why we are now going through an amazing and radical change. A company, whose roots are printers, is now involving the community and start-ups in order to create innovations on a common basis. This is a radical change – from exclusively proprietary products to collaborative co-innovation. That is why our motto is: ‘Innovation and the power of many’. Those co-innovation models are what we consider a future model”, Dr. Dennis Curry says.Curry is the Director of the BIC Europe, based in London. This is one of four BICs, already established by Konica Minolta in each of four key regional markets of North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Japan to develop new businesses and thus respond to regional customer needs and markets.Start-up meets enterprise: Win-win situation for both“Start-ups profit enormously from collaboration with established companies like Konica Minolta”, Curry comments. “We own resources, networks and management know-how. Being a partner with us means always playing a part in designing the future and obtaining privileged access to Konica Minolta’s industry-leading knowhow. Our partners get access to our leading R&D, including top-tier scientists and engineers worldwide.” Start-ups in particular can speed up the time to market for their new products by levering our supply chain and sales channels. They accelerate their return on investment and company growth. “Konica Minolta wants to draw in Europe’s top talent from start-ups. To create this win-win situation, we need platforms upon which companies and start-ups can meet. The Pioneers Festival is such a platform and therefore we support Pioneers since foundation,” Curry emphasizes.The first strategic partner of Konica Minolta is the Austrian start-up Wikitude. Today, Konica Minolta announced its initial intention to partner and investment in the company which is a pioneer in the field of mobile augmented reality (AR) technology. Wikitude has won a score of awards for AR solutions for smartphones, tablets and wearable display technologies. “When a multinational company like Konica Minolta engages in a partnership dedicated to augmented reality, the possibilities are enormous. While we at Wikitude will provide our award-winning technology, expertise and vision, it will be Konica Minolta’s market presence and business network to mark the next milestone on our mission to augment the enterprise world”, Martin Herdina, CEO of Wikitude says.Leading Edge Partner CommunityThe co-innovation thought is also been borne by the “Leading Edge Partner Community”, the BIC Europe is launching today. This is a pan-European tool to build up new partnerships and develop innovations together with these partners. The community is a place to collaborate online, i.e. in special Leading Edge Networking Sessions (LENS), as well as during client events and start-up events, such as the Pioneers Festival. It is a place to achieve knowledge transfer and advance the commercialisation of ideas and prototypes. Anyone with an idea can join the community and apply for funding. Promising development ideas will pass through a formal investment process consisting of five review points, which Konica Minolta will use to filter the most viable partners to take a business idea right through to commercialisation. The emphasis is on co-innovation, on working with others in related fields to accelerate the realisation of a proof of concept or vision. Those related technology fields are the digital workplace, healthcare business, information
automation and business technologies.Ideation PlatformKonica Minolta has set up a specific ideation platform especially for the Pioneers Festival: https://pioneers.konicaminoltabic.spigit.com. If start-ups have an idea, a concept or product connected to the related fields, they can join the platform and submit their ideas. The best ideas will win the opportunity to shape the future digital workplace in the Konica Minolta labs and receive the funding. For further information, visit:

Product images are available at www.konicaminolta-images.euTerms and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and are hereby acknowledged.ContactSilke Zühlke
Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH
Phone: +49 (0)511 7404-5604