Need

PÖTTINGER is an Austrian family business that contributes to a sustainable increase in effectiveness, efficiency and quality in agricultural production and sees itself as a reliable partner for its customers. Since the company was founded in 1871, the family business has developed into one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of agricultural machinery. PÖTTINGER Landtechnik GmbH generates annual sales of over EUR 300 million and employs 1,700 people. In order to foster innovation and shape the future of agricultural engineering, PÖTTINGER was looking for startups in the fields of sensors, predictive maintenance, autonomous processing and optimization of the process chain.

Solution

For PÖTTINGER, the ideal approach to kick off their innovative projects was a three-day long hackathon. Thus, we set up a campaign to promote the hackathon and scouted startups through our tailor-made process. More than 110 startup applications from 37 countries were generated this way. After evaluating the startups, PÖTTINGER invited the top four startups to the hackathon to elaborate a clear Proof of Concept. In order to achieve this in only three days, the internal employees worked together with the startups on specific use cases in interdisciplinary teams. On the last day, the teams pitched their Proofs of Concept and a jury decided which project will be implemented. The whole event was initiated and supported by the Automotive Cluster Upper Austria and the Initiative Connected Mobility.

Benefit

Through the startup collaboration program, PÖTTINGER not only identified new technologies in the market but also found high-quality startups to work with. Through the campaign by WhatAVenture and by the support of Automotive Cluster Upper Austria, PÖTTINGER also positioned itself as an innovative company in the market.

Besides that, employees from various business units were trained in lean innovation methods by working together in interdisciplinary teams during the hackathon. Every participant of the program gained in-depth knowledge about the tools and processes needed to independently create innovations and to quickly validate new business ideas.
WhatAVenture’s role was the facilitation of the whole project and coaching of the innovation teams. By bringing together startup agility and corporate power, new opportunities for business model innovations were illustrated. Besides that, with over 110 applications, PÖTTINGER now has a detailed market overview about the status quo and future trends in the AgTech sector. The startups, on the other hand, have received the opportunity to collaborate with one of the leading companies in agricultural business on a concrete use case.

Two startups are now working with PÖTTINGER on three different Proof of Concepts. 7Lytix, a predictive analytics startup is working on two projects in terms of predictive maintenance. The third project regarding the optimization of agricultural yields by measuring soil moisture, temperature and precipitation is implemented with the startup Sensefarm.