Bees and Trees – cooperation between startups and big companies

The Bees and Trees project maps the possibilities for cooperation between small companies (bees) and large companies (trees) in the field of consumer cleantech. The project is part of Tekes’ Cleanweb program.

Strategic partnerships are necessary for the co-creation and development of groundbreaking products and services. This need is particularly relevant in the field of consumer cleantech, where changes in consumer behaviour are often radical and systemic.

Small companies and startups often have lots of exciting, fresh ideas, but lack the resources and/or knowhow for broad implementation. Large companies, on the other hand, often stick to established practices and are resistant to change. Through cooperation, it is possible to mobilise cleantech-related ideas more broadly than through individual action.

The project started in 2016 with startup-mapping and will continue until 2018. The Bees and Trees first co-creational innovation camp took place in January 2017 and since then, the selected Bees have paired up with the Trees and have had a series of bilateral meetings and planning sessions for establishing business experiments with new forms of cooperation facilitated by Demos Helsinki. In the end of the project, there will be a review of the partnerships created and the results obtained. The lessons learned will be compiled and published in a manual, intended to guide and inform small companies in creating future partnerships with larger actors.

Throughout the project, there will also be an ongoing study into the partnerships and their consequences. The results of this research will be published in the end of the project.

The project is run by Demos Helsinki and Aalto University School of Business with Coor, Granlund, S-ryhmä, Bonava and several consumer-cleantech-startups.