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PODCAST TALK: Irene López de Vallejo Discusses How to Partner Successfully with Professors and Start-ups

Welcome to TALKS: a spontaneous conversation with an expert in collaboration, innovation, or topics we are just curious about. With these talks, we want to share knowledge, best practices, fresh ideas, opinions, and new ways of working together to inspire our followers and members.

Today, we are here in Amsterdam with Irene López de Vallejo, Director of Partnerships and Business Development at DEX, an open source software company. She is also co-founder of GivingStreets and a former Director of Collaborative Research at Digital Catapult in London. We talked about how to collaborate with start-ups, businesses, and professors successfully.

PODCAST TALK with Irene López de Vallejo
Business of Collaboration Podcast


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In the section below, we highlight the main lessons learned from our podcast conversation and create a snapshot of this interesting talk with a bright mind by providing easy key points and categories.


  • Find people identically minded
  • Create collaboration with technical components
  • Think about the possibilities of technology (bringing hope to some group of people)
  • It’s all about people and relationships
  • Facilitate the process
  • Find different people, see the connections, and put them together
  • Build a solution together, in which each partner will provide a key part
  • Create special conditions and fair conditions for everybody with consideration of knowledge, new ideas, future revenue, and a potential product
  • Don’t insist when the collaboration does not have the pre-conditions to happen or when people are not matched immediately
  • Don’t force collaborations, only facilitate them
  • Create a trusting environment because sometimes the group must go through conflict before becoming great


  • How technologies are coming into society at the same time, for instance AI or Blockchain
  • How to bring technologies to new environments and sectors
  • How to translate technologies to people and users
  • Think differently about technologies. It’s the C-level educational process on how to integrate anything into businesses
  • Consider influences for uptake in technology translation and educating regulators and policymakers
  • Make a better world with technology
  • How groups of people are using technology without a polarized view


  • It’s impossible to be aware of all the things happening- it’s moving very fast
  • Focus on something very specific
  • Try to understand ideas at a high level and try to find the connections
  • Talking to people and going to conferences
  • Get some one-to-one conversations and ask questions

Dr. Irene López de Vallejo
Founding team member of Ocean Protocol
Director of Partnership and Business Development at DEX Pte Ltd
Co-founder of GivingStreets
Mentor at IoTTribe accelerator
IoT London Mentor at Startupbootcamp accelerator

Read a personal interview with Irene López de Vallejo and her Golden Rules for Living, here.

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