Stringcan supporting the disruption the co-creation space with OpenUp.

Thursday 17th November saw the launch event of the OpenUp application by BNP Paribas. Stringcan was very proud to collaborate with BNP Paribas to create this revolutionary co-innovation platform, which invites startups and corporations to collaborate from one space. 

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The event kicked off with Jason McDonald and Robin Wauters’s introducing themselves: after a short description of Stringcan and Tech EU, both welcome on stage Marie Schneegans, CEO of the app Never Eat Alone! 

Marie spoke about a better future for the startup & corporation collaboration through the OpenUp platform. She described how the app will help startups find the right person within BNP Paribas, and in her words "Once you find the right person, you can find the right expert who can help you with your issues”! 

After the wonderful praise from Marie, Marwan Naami, Program Lead for OpenUp, took over the stage to explain what exactly is the OpenUp platform. The audience indulged in a little animation about OpenUp itself, which showed just how easy it is to match your idea with the right team in BNP Paribas, with the correct hashtags, project description and idea post, nothing could be simpler! We saw that the app has already welcomed 660+ startups and 700+ employees from BNP Paribas, and Marwan invites all to “Join us now!”

After Marwan, Jason McDonald (Director and Co-Founder of Stringcan) & Andreas Lambropoulos (Head of Strategic Initiatives at BNP Paribas) took over the stage to discuss ambitions and business opportunities with startups. We were then taken to another part of Paris via video call, to engage with Myriam Beque, (Head Of Innovation Development at BNP Paribas French Retail) about her experience collaborating with startups. She mentioned the OpenUp app is a great tool for reaching out to startups that could meet the ambition the bank seeks. She seemed to be enjoying herself at another BNP Paribas startup event, which just shows how open and eager the Bank is to dialogue with startups!

Following the video call, Robin Wauters (Founding Editor at Tech EU) welcomed on stage his good friend Roxanne Varza, CEO of Station F. Self-titled a Startup Lover, Roxanne got us up to speed on all her great achievements within the French startup community and spoke about some of the challenges faced by startups, in particular the huge disconnect between how the startup and corporate world work. She praised how BNP Paribas’ OpenUp platform was allowing corporations to reach out to startups in order to join their network, rather than the opposite.

Roxane’s positive input was further validated with a panel of speakers made up of BNP Paribas experts and startupers working closely together, all thanks to the OpenUp platform.

Jason McDonald invited Sonia Voronine  (Head of digital marketing for BNP Paribas Wealth Management) and Clément Coeurdeuil (CEO of Budget Insight) to speak about the importance of mutual understanding between corporates and startups as key to successful collaboration.

They were further joined by Alessandro Ciani from BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas and Antonio Ruscitti, Project Manager of IQUII who came all the way from Italy to talk to us about their collaboration story! Antonio was a big advocate of the OpenUp platform since he met with Alessandro via the application itself in a record time of… only seven 7 days for their projects to match!!

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The panel ended with Zoé Cazalet from BNP Paribas Cardif, and Igor Volzhanin CEO of DataSine sharing their success in collaborating together on helping banks build meaningful relationships with their customers. 

Both Igor and Clement spoke about OpenUp being the perfect solution to finding the right persons - from tech to legal experts -  within BNP Paribas. No more issue with having to go from the top down or bottom up to find the middle man: The OpenUp platform puts you in contact with the middle man from day one! Igor stated that if every corporation had the OpenUp platform, things would be done much faster!

Overall the event saw many positive outcomes from the collaboration between startups and corporations. We can see the OpenUp platform has been the perfect solution to many problems both organizations were facing, and we are happy to announce that together with BNP Paribas, we will continue breaking the barriers between both worlds. 

We would like to thank everyone who made this day possible, especially the 660 startups that have already signed up to the OpenUp application! Our words to everyone else… what are you waiting for?