The next edition of Mondial Tech will join leaders and experts from the Automotive industry, who are continuously looking for innovation and improvements in this field.This is the case of Christina Russ from Samsung Next Ventures who will be part of the jury at Mondial Tech Startup Awards.
We recently interviewed Christina to know more about her participation and point of view regarding Connectivity & ITS in the automotive industry.
Please introduce yourself, present your experience and your role at Samsung Next Ventures.
Christina Bechhold Russ, Principal with Samsung NEXT Ventures,a early stage fund investing in transformative early-stage software and services startups that have potential to scale and deliver outsized financial returns by leveraging the Samsung ecosystem. I joined the fund in New York in 2015, and am now our first investor in London. I’m also co-founder and managing director of Empire Angels, a New York based angel group of young professionals investing in seed stage companies with a focus on supporting young entrepreneurs, as well as a contributor for the Wall Street Journal on startups and small business.
What is your current relationship with startups?
I spend most of my time meeting with entrepreneurs, hearing their ideas and finding ways to be helpful. Investment is just one tool; I do a great deal of mentoring and advising as well, both individually as well as through community partners like Startup Sesame.
What are the best ways for startups to stand out from the crowd today?
A professional, passionate and engaged founder is always memorable, much more so than an idea or product.
What are the challenges that startups face in the automotive and mobility industries today? How can technology address these challenges?
Legacy industries are always challenging to break into, automotive and mobility even more so because cities, politics and regulations are involved. Startups that approach their entry point as a partner, a collaborative listener rather than an agitator, is more likely to succeed and find the long term support needed for success. Good relationships are extremely valuable assets.
If you had to create a startup in the automotive industry right now, what would it be / what problem would it solve?
I’m particularly interested in companies building mobility as a service offerings; I think the next wave of winners in transportation will be those who can make getting from point A to point B efficiently and on time as easy as tapping a button, no matter how many modes it requires.
What are the most important trends or latest innovations in the field of Connectivity and ITS in the automotive industry?
Most offerings today are siloed, as is the data being generated. We need to start thinking about how different systems speak to one another, interact and make decisions. How do public and private operators connect? What rules does everyone agree to?
Which parameters will you consider for choosing the winner?
Clarity of presentation (delivery, organization, enthusiasm), size of opportunity and differentiation.