Four Principles and Martian & Machine launch venture service

01 June 2021 3 min. read
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Four Principles has teamed up with German digital consultancy Martian & Machine to launch a new service aimed at helping digital-startups incubate, launch and scale.

The new offering – which bills itself as ‘Disruption-as-a-Service’ – is aimed at corporates who are seeking to successfully expand their corporate venturing activities.

“We offer companies the opportunity to digitally and operationally disrupt their own sectors, or enter as disruptors into new sectors in a fast, efficient and effective way without being obstructed with their incumbent innovation processes, and internal politics and resistance,” explained Seif Shieshakly, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Four Principles

Four Principles and Martian & Machine launch venture service

To be successful in their corporate venturing endeavours, companies need to “adopt a start-up mindset” and ensure that “speed, flexibility, talent and the right capabilities” are in place.  Most corporate innovations fail before they ever see the market and this comes with a hefty price tag, reputational damage, and last but not least, a “dented leadership appetite for taking on such challenges” said Shieshakly. 

A Middle East – German tandem

This is where Four Principles and Martian & Machine come in. Four Principles specialises in helping its clients embrace the power of lean management. In the world of start-ups, it specialises in helping ambitious growers with adopting a lean mindset and modus of operations from the very start, so that “lean is embedded in their DNA.”

Martian & Machine meanwhile is a Berlin-based group that specialises in delivering the technology-backbone of new, digital businesses. Since launching in 2014, the firm has helped dozens of corporates such as Volkswagen, Porsche, Allianz, Opel and Daimler with delivering their corporate innovation projects, and digital start-ups that have raised millions in funding.

“Our team consists of software engineers, entrepreneurs, product managers, designers, marketers, and business consultants,” explained Jerolim Dragojevic, one of the co-founders of the Martian & Machine.

Shieshakly: “They have a proven track record in their field. Together we can help clients deliver real tangible value.” Further backing their joining of forces is a period of successful collaboration on a number of projects in the Middle East, which has demonstrated “our complementary offerings, and aligned approach and company cultures.”

In their go-to-market, Four Principles and Martian & Machine are seeking to disrupt their own industry as well, by expanding on the traditional pay-for-what-you-hire consulting model, and offering clients a risk-sharing approach. “It definitely demonstrates our belief in putting our money where our mouth is,” said Shieshakly.

This sees Four Principles and Martian & Machine provide their services in return for a (small) equity stake. “We lead the disruption ambition, and offer our expertise ‘as a service’. We take charge of the full cycle, starting with the identification of concepts that can add value.”

“We then launch a start-up company that is jointly owned with our clients based on the minimum viable product, and lead the operational, digital and project management activities. We also support a continuous improvement cycle via constant data collection, solution adjustment, and a never ending iteration of this process.”

The end goal is to rapidly reach a scale that “makes an impact in the market,” said Shieshakly, “at the lowest cost- and time-invest possible.” Once owners decide the time is right to exit their stake, then Four Principles and Martian & Machine join the exit. “Our goals are fully aligned to those of the owners.”