The key to becoming a successful start-up is speed.
Speaking at Travel Technology Europe 2016, Andy Owen-Jones, co-founder and chief executive of BD4Travel – a data analytics start-up itself – said a good idea often only accounts for 20% of the success of a new company.
Asked how start-ups who partner with established corporates can prevent the latter adopting their idea, Owen-Jones said attributes like speed and agility will help.
Jason Nash, Travelport’s global vice president of marketing and product incubation, added: “It is all about speed.
“Established firms know their processes and everything around them slows them down to a crawl.
“Apple can perform so well because it still manages to get stuff out quickly even though it’s big.
“It is held up as an example of a big business that acts like a small one.”
Nash listed the three main criteria he believes are essential for start-up success.
“Is the problem being served urgent?” he said.“Is it pervasive – do lots of people have that problem? And are people willing to pay for it?
“If you fix those three then you’re probably on to something.
“If those things aren’t proven then move on to another idea.”
Andreas Hansson, chief executive at Cabforce, said the word ‘disruption’ is overused.
“It’s so much more than that,” he said. “It’s long term process and requires start-ups and incubators to work together. It takes years to be truly disruptive.”
Asked whether the recent boom in crowdfunding is disrupting the role of incubators themselves, Nash said: “It is to a certain extent.
“Kickstarter puts two people together and for me that’s the new business model we’re going to see over the next 10-15 years.
“Traditional businesses are going to suffer horribly trying to figure out how to compete with that.
“But where I think incubators can still add significant value is not just bringing the value but the learning and expertise and exposure to people with deep knowledge.”
Owen-Jones added: “Going to a crowdfunding site with an analytics solution is not quite the same.
“If you go to a VC firm and can show incredible engagement they get it straight away.
“For B2B solutions you’ve got to go down the traditional route.”