Northern Connections

Introducing Meet the Buyer Method

13 March 2019 - Published by Anne Katrine Arentsen
Nothing is more exciting for an entrepreneur than having an opportunity to pitch their product to a prospective international buyer. Statistics suggest that you are half way towards making a sale, if you can get a face to face meeting with a buyer, and almost 80% towards that first all-important sale if the buyer invites you to present a follow up proposal for your products, services and solutions.

The method
The overall objective within the Northern Connections project is to get more enterprises to participate in transnational innovation collaboration by strengthening transnational cluster and city/region cooperation. This objective is partly realised through our Living Labs Events, which is based on the Meet the Buyer Method. This method is inspired and borrowed by Scale Up, which also is a project that is sponsored by Interreg NSR. 

"Our main focus is, how can large corporations be the drivers for the growth in small and medium sized companies. Our goal is that they can present and pitch their technology to a big corporate, but also that they can meet each other – and thereby, pay the road for trans-regional innovation collaboration”, states Leon Aahave Uhd, CLEAN, partner in Northern Connections.

Our method invites innovators with solutions to meet the buyers that are searching for cleantech solutions in the North Sea Region. Furthermore, our method is designed to match large enterprises (buyers) to innovators. The Meet the Buyer events bring large customers with cleantech innovation needs together with SMEs with innovative cleantech products, services and solutions. Through our method, we are aiming towards strengthen transnational innovation collaborations.

The process for Meet the Buyer method
The first step into the method is company selection, where the companies’ interests in innovative cleantech solutions are identified, the expectations are aligned, and the commitment are secured. Second, the companies’ needs are being identified. In this step, the buyer’s profile is developed, which is defined through either interviews or workshops. Third, the next step is planning the event. Here the format of the event is decided, which can be illustrated with a 1:1 meeting, speed dating, exploratory workshops etc. Furthermore, the invitations, programmes, time schedule and locations are to be made and found within this step of the process. The fourth step within the method process is selecting the innovators, where our international stakeholders are working hard to select and screen their national cleantech network. The fifth step into the process is pre-event and supplier coaching. Moreover, this means that our project is making Q&A webinars with the suppliers and constructing individual pitch training and feedback on their pitch presentations. In addition, the sixth step is running the event, when the event is on. This consists of a presentation of the companies’ vision and needs - and the 1:1 meeting are held, where the innovators are pitching their solution to the buyer/company. The last step is event follow up. This consist of a qualitative dialogue, where the buyer contacts the innovator to talk about future collaboration and joint solutions.

Innovators evaluating the method
Marisa Cortright, UNStudio, a participant at the SE Living Lab Event, said the following about participating: “We are so happy to be invited through our network and be a part of this event, where we get consultations and are meeting with further partners – talking about solutions that we can develop together in the future.”

Our network made it possible for us to stand here today in another country and present our solution to an international challenge owner. This method gave us the opportunity to be a part of an incredible pitch possibility and a networking meeting with innovators like ourselves and share experiences” said Parag Rastogi, arbnco, about participating in one of the Northern Connections Living Lab events that used the Meet the Buyer Method.  

For more information about our future Living Lab Event HERE.