Supply chain start-ups are (overly) optimistic

Start-ups have an optimistic view of their commercial opportunities, including regarding the supply chain, according to the findings from the first SCM Start-up Health Check carried out by Supply Chain Media. A total of 41 European supply chain start-ups answered ten questions on topics ranging from their business visibility to the sales pipeline and collaborative partnerships.  

The Start-up Health Check and the associated research reveal that start-ups are predominantly optimistic, with over 95% feeling positive about the uniqueness of their solution. “This is actually pretty remarkable considering the increasing competition from start-ups in Europe,” says Martijn Lofvers, Chief Trendwatcher at Supply Chain Media. “In our Maturity Matrix published earlier this year, you can see that some of the ten categories are getting quite crowded with competitors.”

According to the EU-funded Startup Europe Map, there are as many as 990 registered start-ups right now, and AngelList – which has been keeping count of the number of new start-ups in Europe since 2010 – now stands at an astonishing 68,400 companies.

Brand awareness and media coverage

Despite the overwhelming optimism, the start-ups surveyed are not equally positive on all fronts. Every start-up has to gain a foothold in the market to survive, and supply chain start-ups are no exception. The awareness and media coverage of their brand leaves much to be desired according to 50% of the respondents, and 60% are disappointed by the speed with which deals are signed. Attracting new investors and international expansion is going reasonably well, with 50% feeling positive about that.

One striking finding from the results of the Start-up Health Check is that the respondents have lots of sales leads in the pipeline. “Potential customers are willing to work on a pilot with a start-up,” notes Marysa Vos, Trendwatcher at Supply Chain Media. “But then it takes longer than desired to sign them up as actual customers.”

Start-up Contest on 22 May

In addition to the SCM Start-up Health Check, Supply Chain Media has published the positioning matrix showing European start-ups and scale-ups for the second consecutive year. This analysis forms the starting point for selecting interesting entrants for the second European Supply Chain Start-up Contest. On May 22, five finalists in the start-up category will pitch their innovative solution during the inNOWvate Supply Chain Event in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. Other start-ups will also be exhibiting at the event, and five scale-ups will compete for the public’s choice award.