The recent II4 Conference in Tel Aviv: Beyond Man and Machine brought together many local and international movers and shakers in the world of Industry 4.0 and brought light to many intriguing insights into the world of Industry 4.0 – in particular as far as Israel Industry 4.0 (II4) is concerned. Start-Up Nation Central is proud and honored to be able to bring you a few of them.

How Investors Evaluate a Company Before it has a Steady Revenue Stream

Companies are evaluated by formulating a hypothesis of what the company’s revenues are likely to be, based on the movements and progress of similar types of companies, or on patterns and trends of companies in the same space.

Software companies are far harder to evaluate on spec, since there are far fewer in the space – meaning that the risk is higher, which can cause uncertainty and reluctance to invest. Also important, is how strategic a business unit is; start-ups are also evaluated according to how they relate to strategy. A final yardstick for evaluation was how much benefit a start-up offers to the customer.

Approximating the range of potential futures in Industry 4.0

With all the changes that are continually occurring, we forget just how fast things are actually moving. Not only is it a new environment, but it is also inevitable that disruptive solutions will continue to be used to digitize manufacturing – for example, 3D printing as a prime example of that which is cutting-edge, new and different, or autonomous delivery using unmanned trucks. It’s clear that if manufacturing companies don’t adopt these or similar technologies, they will find themselves being left behind.

Thanks to digitization, various trends in manufacturing can be observed as it evolves, including cost reduction, flexibility and a decrease in the consumption of power. Using digital twinning software tools to map a full process, set-up time is reduced, and machines and their productivity levels can be accurately compared.

Connectivity has made its mark over the last 20-30 years as machines began to be inter-connected and sync’d with each other. However, in terms of disruption, the next phase is to open this world to cloud services and to connect factories together – moving to the next level from merely inter-connected machines.

The Must-Haves for Fruitful Collaboration

Start-ups cannot rely on invested cash alone. Companies seeking to collaborate with others must also bring their own resources to the table. This is a partnership and it’s not just about money – it’s also about effective proof of concept.

Processes tend to move according to the nature, and speed of the corporate involved. A successful collaboration is a partnership where two organizations, one large, one significantly smaller, manage to work together. Such a situation is not simple, but it is also not impossible as long as there is as much open-mindedness to different ways of doing things on the part of the corporate as much as of the start-up.

Companies in search of a partnership are looking for profound collaboration, not just investment but also support throughout the R&D process. Providing effective testing grounds are essential and enable a concept to become a reality – particularly valuable for early stage start-ups.

From the Horse’s Mouth

* Tips for start-ups looking to collaborate with a corporate:

Big corporates are not always quick to adopt disruptive technologies – or even the idea of them. When it comes to partnerships and collaborations, patience is essential. Remember that the wheels of change turn slowly, and factor this into your business plans. That said, don’t lose time at the beginning of the process. Ensure that you come to the table knowing the pain points that you are addressing, and as many of the other practical issues that you can.

Try to partner as soon as possible during your lifecycle, as standalone solutions are unlikely to survive in this area. Start building relationships, partnerships and bridges early on. Establish a presence with your potential partner and amass a knowledge of who they are. Finally, get your house in order now. Don’t leave unnecessary details to the last minute.

* How Israel Industry 4.0 can feature in bringing your organization into the rosy part of the spectrum

Automation is basically a system of brains and muscles, but for machines. The key is to have corporates understand that this requires them to combine their existing capabilities and use them in a new and alternative manner. It’s less about riding the wave as it is about learning how to surf the wave with a new technological “surf board” – which is a metaphor for the Israeli innovation ecosystem – and illustrates the very point of coming to Israel in the first place. Corporates need to have a big core competency and manufacturing focus and be willing and open to adopting new technologies.

If you have not yet done so, join the II4 Community! Click here to register.

Many thanks to…

Alexandre Bonay, Managing Partner, Siemens Dynamo
Andrew Bolwell, VP, Chief Disrupter and Global Head of HP Tech Ventures HP, Inc.
Anton Papp, Investments and Corporate Development at Rockwell Automation
Amos Dor – CTO & Pharma General Manager, Applied Materials
Dr. Phillip Ulbrich, Vice President Innovation Scouting and Co-Investing at E.ON, Managing Director of E.ON :agile
Dror Nahumi, General Partner at Norwest Venture Partners
Murray Grainger, Managing Director and Head, Honeywell Ventures
Steve Miller, Director of Product Owners – Software & Automation, Merck
Thomas Gottschalk, BASF 4.0 Cluster Head Smart Innovation & Technologies, BASF
Yogev Katzir, Managing Director, Infralab Construction-tech Innovation Hub

Irit Avni leads the Industry 4.0 sector at Start-Up Nation Central. Irit is a highly creative and results-driven manager, with more than 16 years’ experience and expertise managing different projects and products for multinational customers in Israel’s high-tech scene. Ms. Avni holds a BA in Statistics and Operation Research and Political Science from Tel-Aviv University and an MBA from Tel-Aviv Open University. Irit served as Systems Analyst in the Center for Systems Analysis in the Planning Division, and is a captain in the IDF reserves.