MEETING RECAP: Innovation Showcase Demo Day

Telecom Council’s 10th Annual Innovation Showcase didn’t look like the previous nine, thanks to the need to social distance, but nevertheless, we followed-through with our mission to introduce young companies to the telco and telecom industry partners that can take them global. Our Showcase normally takes the form of a mini-trade show, with a few presentations and minimal stage content, so we worked with the virtual tools to recreate the same. We used Zoom for the presentations, and some proprietary software we have been developing for booking of one-on-one meetings between innovators and potential partners. In this way, although virtual, we were able to get each startup in front of the audience, but also with the ability to follow-up and kick the tires privately.

Since we’re running virtual, we are taking full advantage of the ability to encourage greater participation from the European Time Zones, who can now attend our meetings in their late afternoon. As such, we were treated to a kick-off analyst presentation from Arthur D Little Global Practice Leader, veteran Karim Taga. Taga’s presentation gave us an update on the telecom industry as it is in 2020, and how it is adjusting and coping with the changes in demand caused by the pandemic. One key take-away from Taga is that telecoms that made early investments in digital transformation are better-positioned to adapt to any challenge or opportunity, including the current situation.

Taga’s presentation rolled smoothly into a discussion with two major telecoms, Lee Dawson from T-Mobile and Ankur Jindal of Tata Communications. The telcos talked about their process of innovation partnerships, and how that shifts and adapts to current events.

But the bulk of our meeting was the Rapid Fire presentations that followed, where two sets of 8 innovative companies pitched their wares in rapid succession. These companies were selected from a wide range of applicants as part of our search for the Class of 2020, curated based on their potential for success and matched to innovation priorities expressed by our telco members. We had solutions presented across the range, including:

  • Fixed telecom
  • Mobile telecom
  • Mobility and LBS
  • Platforms
  • UX & customer service
  • AI
  • Radio
  • Antenna
  • IoT

Following on from these presentations, a full 36-hours of 1-to-1 private MatchMaker meetings were facilitated via the new Telecom Council Portal, including a virtual tradeshow where these companies were invited to demo their solutions to potential partners and Innovation Showcase Demo Day attendees. A hearty thanks to all the great presenters who participated and shared their ideas with the Members. Digital Demos remain available on the Telecom Council Portal for our members to review, along with all presentations stored in our Member Library.  Bit by bit, we’re all getting the hang of these virtual meetings, and we thank our members for adapting to this new age of online networking! Let us know if you’ve seen or heard of other great ideas we could implement to make the meetings more valuable to you. These are new challenges, and we’re keen to spot the opportunities and put them to work.

Good luck, and we’ll see you next month.

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