This time writing live from the DLD conference in Tel Aviv, where I am right now (in case you do read it asap :-)) looking out for great new technology, ideas to invest in and medium- (and of course large-) sized companies that are trying to grasp a little innovative spirit to transform themselves to a more digitally thinking enterprise.
First of all for those who have not been to DLD in Tel Aviv, this one is completely different to the DLD in e.g. Munich (the "mother" of all DLD conferences). DLD Tel Aviv is about start-ups, and of course, there are lots of keynotes, welcomes, speeches etc. all around, too. There are some great people on stage, e.g. the Amazon CTO Werner Vogels and of course the well-known investor Yossi Vardi but this is something where most people go to just for shorter periods. Everything else is about investments into start-ups, i.e. founders meeting potential venture capital companies and large businesses from all over the world looking out for great technology to integrate into their own platforms.
Why is it about digital transformation?
It's easy to explain as the bigger companies are present with their own booth, e.g. Mastercard, Lufthansa/Swiss/Austrian and many more, and they are actively seeking the contact to the innovative young companies. Not all of them wanting to invest but all of them interested into working together. So there has been a complete change in recent years as young start-ups - which always have the risk to fail and go bankrupt - are now talking to big potential clients on eye-level as both sides have something what the other does not have: Money and a brand vs. innovative technology and often ideas.
Does mixing innovative + transforming companies help both sides?
Yes, indeed. Some years ago you could always hear that bigger companies do not want to risk a company they are working with to fail but nowadays this behaviour has changed. Therefore lots of young companies are finding big counterparts and both are using the technology and the size to generate common ideas and cross-fertilise. One side gets transformation to digital business models and processes and the other side gets references and money, both worth a lot to each party.
In regards to this exchange, DLD Tel Aviv is completely different, very open-minded and from my perspective much more helpful for start-ups and seed investors / business angels then for example the Dublin based Websummit which is too big and there is primarily the start-up scene present (if you are wearing an investor batch, take care that founders do not follow you everywhere ;-)) looking for capital.
Looking back to the meetings I had today, the number of ideas were fantastic and there is a big chance that some of these talks will lead to cooperation between young and established companies, mostly even in different countries. The quality of the ideas, the founders behind the companies and the technical and business development they had done up to now was impressive (I will mention them here when we have gotten to results worth talking of).
If you are working in a medium or large company and you are looking for open-minded entrepreneurs and technology without risking anything and speaking openly about parts of your plans, than there is a great chance that you will find interesting counterparts to stay innovative and transform far more into the digital world.
As DLD conference here ends on Wednesday (September 9th, 2015), join for the next DLD here in Tel Aviv.
P.S. I am not part of the DLD team and not paid for writing this.