Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we are excited to introduce another speaker for the SME Assembly 2019, Alberto Onetti! Alberto is the chairman of the Mind The Bridge foundation which works to bring startups and corporates together to enhance growth and foster innovation. He is also the co-founder of Funambol, a white-label cloud solution provider, as well as a professor who specialises in research in entrepreneurship and corporate strategy.
Here on the News Portal we asked about his inspirations, what he is looking forward to at the upcoming SME Assembly 2019 and his advice for future founders.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by doing things that have an impact. Simply continuing to do things that I know I am quite good at, staying in my comfort zone, is no longer that exciting. If you look at the evolution of Mind the Bridge  over the last ten years, you can probably see a similar pattern.
We started as a bridge between Silicon Valley and Europe. While we were supporting hundreds of startups and entrepreneurs to improve their vision and plans, we noticed that there was another gap to be “bridged”: connecting startups to established corporations. As a result, we decided to turn Mind the Bridge into an organisation that helps companies shape and execute their open innovation strategies.
This is quite an interesting and complicated challenge, but it is definitely an opportunity for us to make and have an impact, and that is what I care about and what is most important to me in the end.
What are you looking forward to at the SME Assembly 2019?
I am looking forward to sharing insights on how we can help SMEs go beyond incremental innovation and capture the opportunities enabled by open innovation and startup-corporate collaboration.
Startups and scaleups can provide mid-size companies with radical and disruptive innovation, while established companies can help startups and scaleups to grow. It is a win-win opportunity. However, based on our experience in the field, SMEs are – most of the time – not aware of such possibilities and opportunities. As such, we need to collectively find a way to fully involve SMEs in open innovation which is currently limited to large corporates.
I hope to come back from the SME Assembly 2019 with some concrete plans on how to make this happen, and add to the ideas I already have.
If you could give a founder a single piece of advice, what would it be?
To be ambitious and dare to be unconventional. It is hard to get something new if you follow other people’s paths.
Interested in what Alberto will say at the SME Assembly 2019? Make sure you are following @EEPA_EU  on Twitter and #SMEAssembly2019  for live coverage from Helsinki! You can also follow Alberto (@aonetti ) and Mind The Bridge (@MindTheBridge ) on Twitter.