Sometimes you need to flip the script to get inspired and to obtain new perspectives. Then you can create something new and better. Recently our departments - Business Development (BizDev), Marketing, Projects & University Relations (UR) held their first strategy days. To change perspectives a different environment helps; so most of us gathered at the office-spaces of "oatsome". Their founders & ekipa know each other since they were part of the same startup incubator (Unibator Frankfurt).
Learn more about our deep experiences; maybe we can inspire you to join us, our challenges or implement your own strategy days!
So, what is a strategy day?
It meant for us, that our departments had a day (or more) “off” to review last year's developments, discuss new company goals for 2023 and rethink processes to improve work and achieve our goals. The greatest learning we had from this experience: We should do it more often! In the daily business, there isn’t really time to discuss strategic topics in detail. To actively take a pause to rethink the past, influence the present & to shape the future seems simple, but can be easily dismissed, if everything else seems to be more important.
You are invited to take part in the different experiences of the departments from their perspective in the following passages.
Business Development (BizDev) – from new sales processes to Irish pubs
his includes everything regarding sales & customer acquisition, but also to see & grab opportunities, conceptualize new programs, discuss collaborations and evolve the revenue streams. “We” are Stella, Marius, Viktoria, Jan, Corinna and head of Business Development & Co-CEO Justin.
In the beginning of the day, it was all about getting to know the new sales process, which was presented to us by Justin. Of course, the team had a lot of questions & discussions to better understand and challenge the changes. This took a little bit longer than planed – instead of 90 minutes, this session was more than 3 hours long. But good things take time. ?
After we gathered the huge amount of information, it was lunchtime to rest & fuel our brains again. The team stopped at a butcher Gref-Völsings, who is regarded as one of the best in town – and the sausages there are really tasty - worth the long wait!
Restrengthened it was time to go deeper in our core structure and update documents, but also think about opportunities with politics as well as new and additional business models. After the long day we were excited for food (again) and ended the day cheerfully in an Irish Pub. Without taking the time to collectively think about our departments development it would be much harder to achieve our goals, but also work together.
Marketing – making moves for ekipa enablement content
Plans are good, structured flexibility is better. We wanted to discuss many different things, but there was simply not enough time to give every task with enough justice. Still, there are a lot of things to be done and judging from the concentrating faces of BizDev next door, we had a little bit more fun. ??
Usually, our team - with the dual & working students Aurelia & Connie, designer Anika, online marketeer David, copywriter & communications expert Sacha as well as Head of Marketing & Co-Founder Nico - works highly remote; finding (nearly) all of us in one room is like February 29th, quite rare. But it is important to come together, not just for team building reasons, but also to stay concentrated during the sessions. Anika deserves a lot of respect for following the day online from Spain!
Like all teams we looked back at our year and how our growing & changing team developed during 2022. It was great to see, that we already climbed many hills, and the upcoming mountains are a challenge, but also conquerable with our skills & structures.
As marketing we focus on improving our communication, discussing enabling content that helps our participants with their submissions, ideas & startups and also looked at AI tools, that make us more efficient. After a long day we talked & laughed in the Italian restaurant “Das Leben ist schön” (La vita è bella – Life is beautiful) – which fitted our mood in the end of the day.
Next time we will probably need two days to discuss everything, but we still have more than enough to-dos for the upcoming months. Still, we are excited for the upcoming year and we hope to create content that helps, inspires and engages our different stakeholders!
Projects – creating unique experiences for all stakeholders
We were a little bit smarter than the other teams (?) and had 1,5 strategy days planned, which helped us a lot, but 2 days would have been even better.
Our department with Hannah, Phoebe, Nico S., Lidia, Isabelle & Head of Projects Nico H. focused on improving processes with more standardization, becoming more resilient and creating better interactions with our participants, challenge providers and overall ecosystem. It helped us a lot to have the time to discuss in depth how each of us manage their projects and what we can learn from each other.
We had a lot of ideas, discussions and now to-dos, but we are really excited to further grow as a projects team and to implement our ideas step by step - like our innovators we accompany.
University Relations – empowering our academic ecosystem
Pioneering the strategy day concept, the focus of the University Relations Department was twofold: (re-)defining ourselves and our purpose within the ekipa universe and how to achieve this. Therefore, we (Isabelle, Dani & Head of UR Katharina) put our heads together during an intensive but incredibly rewarding strategy day back on December 21st to develop a departmental purpose statement, a concrete value proposition and comprehensive analysis of current processes and structures.
Laying the ground work for the departments future, lots of changes are afoot that will strengthen the and enhance the roles of academic minded people and their empowerment through methodological tools within the ekipa ecosystem.
Many pieces that work together
In conclusion, the strategy days of ekipa’s departments has been a great success, as they allowed us to come together and align our goals for the coming year. It is important to take an active pause from the daily business and change the usual surroundings, while coming together in a concentrated atmosphere. For us it was the first time we experienced this kind of meetings to discuss the strategic development of ekipa. The yearly team offsite focuses on the company as a whole, but the strategy days helped us to bring the small pieces for the big picture of the ecosystem ekipa together. We are capable and have great potentials to innovate together to drive a positive change – with our team, but also with people & companies we work together. That’s why we are ekipa!
If you want to be part of ekipa, want to join our innovation platform or even start your own open innovation challenge, feel free to click on the following links:
ekipa is a leading open innovation incubator, which brings together diverse groups of people, industries, institutions, and organizations. Our common goal is to encourage positive change through sustainable, future-oriented innovations. We inspire, enable and fast-track individuals and projects to develop solutions that address the complex challenges of our era.
With the help of our innovation platform and programs, we helps interdisciplinary and pioneering projects to flourish. We build bridges between science, economy, politics, and society, and unite the energy of young minds, startups, researchers, and students with the capacity of established organizations.