July 1, 2016

Town Hall: Fostering Collaboration and Supporting Innovation

Over the past year, we’ve expanded the Verizon Ventures family with a dynamic group of founders and technologies that are shaping the future of IoT, UAVs, machine learning, and analytics. We learn an incredible amount from the startups we invest in as we strive to accelerate their businesses, so establishing and maintaining a two-way dialogue among our portfolio companies is very important to us. We recently hosted two Town Hall meetings to further that goal and bring our portfolio together to exchange insights and share how Verizon can support their success. We heard from attendees about their successes, concerns, and how we can continue providing the tools they need to succeed.

Our West Coast startups gathered in Palo Alto and joined winners of Verizon’s 2015 Powerful Answers Award contest (who were at the end of their 12-week accelerator program at BootUp Academy) for an evening of discussions and networking. Then in New York City, our East Coast startups met at AOL Headquarters and had the opportunity to discuss business initiatives and partnership opportunities with AOL executives and the team at BBG Ventures.

At both events, we discussed specific ways Verizon Ventures is knocking down doors to desired product teams and customer channels while providing a broad range of services and resources beyond capital along the way. This includes providing wireless devices to portfolio companies, along with a year of free service, so they can code where they want and stay connected on the go. We also work with our portfolio on content development opportunities for the Verizon Ventures blog and participate in joint speaking engagements at business and technology conferences throughout the year.

One of the best things to come out of our Town Hall meetings was getting our portfolio companies together under one roof to network and formulate potential new business partnerships. Several founders identified how their business goals align with other startups in attendance and it was great to see ideas for collaboration developing in the room. To foster this, we rolled out a communication platform to establish an online community where everyone can keep in touch and stay informed about portfolio news.

We believe that true innovation at Verizon extends well beyond the walls of our headquarters. Investments in strategic startups – their ideas, collaboration with us, and collaboration each other – is where the magic happens. Thus, we work to help our portfolio companies achieve organic growth, and measure success by seeing the influences of their technologies on market change. Ultimately, Verizon’s intended growth is directly tied to these emerging companies, and it is thrilling to be part of that investment in the future.

 

Related Posts from Verizon Ventures: 

Venture Forums: Getting the Birds-Eye View of How Industries are Shaped and Formed 

Saying Hello to Innovation at Verizon Ventures' Startup Day 

Verizon Venture Forum: IoT - Connecting Devices to Drive Solutions

Tags: portfolio , Startup , Paul Heitlinger , Founder