Sto is a $1b mid-cap construction player looking
to tap into growth markets in next-generation building materials..
As with many mid-cap and small-cap companies, Sto dedicates the majority of its internal resources towards delivering for its fast-growing customer base. Advanced R&D is always important for long-term success, but it can be challenging to redirect investment from ongoing operations. Sto sought an order-of-magnitude improvement on state-of-the-art building materials, and the new venture community delivered.
Successful entrepreneurs have creative ideas and valuable technology, but may not have builtcommercial traction
ProblemSpace is an open innovation platform where entrepreneurs can learn the challenges of potential customers and secure their first commercial commitments
Legacy-sector companies have moonshot ideas and intractable problems, but have trouble working with startups
ProblemSpace Prizes Include
Contingent purchase order which can be used for funding
Corporate investment in the venture
Fellowship to pursue an earlier stage concept
Following the final presentations and review with Sto’s Board of
Directors, Liatris Inc. – a building materials startup co-founded by
Frank Yang – was selected as a winner of the Open Innovation
Challenge, along with two other winners. The forthcoming
investment from Sto will allow Liatris to add experienced technical personnel and pay for initial product development while leveraging Sto’s market knowledge, technical resources, and market access.
Frank Yang of Liatris describes the process as a win: “the
ProblemSpace process has resulted in a direct market interface for us and has enabled more meaningful conversations with co-investors.”