Although technical skills are required to develop a product, market focus, and sales methods are equally essential for tech startups to identify the right customers for their technology. To support startups in designing a market-focused approach to accelerate their market entry, Zurich based Sparksense, provider of Business-Development-as-a-service solutions launched the Sales Challenge. The program matches early-stage startups with Junior Business Development Trainees (challengers) to help them accelerate their access to customers.
“Our team has profound knowledge in sales development built over several years of working with tech companies. Through the Sales Challenge program, we aim to contribute to the startup ecosystem by voluntarily helping startups develop their business with customer-centricity at the core of their sales strategy. This will enable them to execute, launch and accelerate their growth around a validated value proposition”, said Hervé Flutto, founder of Sparksense.
Eligible for the program are early-stage, tech B2B startups from Europe that have a working product or working prototype (beta-version) of their solution in the fields of Robotics, Automation, IoT, Enterprise Solutions and Environmental Tech. On the other hand, aspiring challengers should have a solid education background in business or engineering, initial sales experience and a passion for working with startups.
For the first edition, the program attracted 20 applications from Germany, France and Switzerland from which the program organisers nominated six startups and six challengers for the next round.
The selected startups are
Tinamu Labs – The ETH Zurich spinoff uses cloud-connected drones as flexible sensors to automate indoor monitoring workflows.
Ascento Robotics – develops a new type of agile, mobile robots that can go where humans can go.
BLP Digital– the ETH spinoff uses Artificial Intelligence to automate document-based ERP and accounting processes
Libattion – is an innovative lithium battery provider accelerating the global shift to a more sustainable future.
Gilytics – offers intelligent Software for efficient Energy and Infrastructure planning
Blendeez (Paris, France) – is a no-code software integration platform that helps sales and marketing teams automate their admin work
From September, for three months, each startup will collaborate with a designated challenger that was chosen through an online matching process. The challengers will get access to online coaching programs, on-the-job Sales training and mentoring from the Sparksense team. The selected startups will benefit from free know-how and expertise from the challengers, regular feedback and expert sessions. At the end of the program, all parties have the opportunity to discuss long-term collaboration.
The second edition of the program will take place in the Spring of 2021.