prototype.club is a tendering platform connecting companies and startups. The platform helps you identify innovative solutions for your challenges – fast and efficiently. prototype.club offers a procurement-compliant prequalification process by letting skilled talents work on specific tasks provided by larger companies. You are wondering why it is better than a consultant company? The results are much more efficient, cheaper and more concrete than any management consultancy output. Interview with Sophia Bense, Operations Officer at prototype.club Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Sophia Bense: We are organizing innovation competitions to connect slow-moving established companies with startups. Our process is a fast and innovative method for the implementation of small-scale ideas for larger companies. And it is a great opportunity for startups to have a market entry or receive a contract. All this is happening on the stages of major trade fairs in different industries to give the startups the chance to promote themselves and network. E.E: What’s the news about new products? S.B: We will be active at four different trade fairs with several challenges in 2023. 1. Hannover Messe, April 2023 2. E-world, May 2023 3. IAA, September 2023 4. Agritechnica, November 2023 To find out more details and apply as a challenge owner or participating startup, visit our website. We’ll keep you posted right there. E.E: What are the ranges of products? S.B: Our core competence is to be a tendering and market platform for contracts, mainly between small and big players. We are doing this by organizing competitions and events to include effective marketing. From the trade fair developer sprints to inhouse hackathons, over HR speed hackathons – we’re just the right ones to ask. For networking we are organizing forums and panels to actively engage with industry leaders. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? S.B: In other industries tenders are a common practice to receive contracts, e.g. in architecture. Our vision is to implement the same system for other sectors since we assume it is the most fair and efficient way. Therefore, we are establishing the method in the agriculture, energy, mobility, and tech industry at the moment, disrupting the traditional way of problem-solving. It helps young companies to receive meaningful contracts and gives larger companies a certainty for working with them. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? S.B: Cooperation with start-ups has deteriorated. A few years ago, one-third of established companies worked with “young unconventional,” but the latest survey by the digital association Bitkom found only 24 percent were still doing so. The answers: Too expensive. No time. Doesn’t offer any benefit. Our goal is a fair and transparent competition in the market so that truly great ideas are appreciated as they deserve it. By connecting topic-specific startups with established companies via our tendering platform, we eliminate compliance hurdles and work towards increasing the collaboration between large and small players again. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? S.B: Usually startups have an existing idea and pitch their product to a large investor or company, hoping they would take them on. The innovative part about our prototype.club process is turning this approach upside down. We start with a large company’s problem, prequalify suitable startups and within a very limited time frame, a solution perfectly matching the needs is turned into reality.