KPN and start-up OPT/NET win the CoSta Award

The most innovative and impactful partnership between a corporate company and a startup. That is what the CoSta Awards are all about. KPN is proud of this recognition!


Together with OPT/NET, a start-up in Artificial Intelligence software, KPN has won the second edition of the CoSta Awards. This prize is for the most innovative and impactful partnership between a corporate company and a start-up. The prize was awarded by VNO-NCW chair Ingrid Thijssen.

CoSta is a program of VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland that helps corporates and larger SMEs to set up new partnerships with start-ups and scale-ups. Apparently start-ups have difficulty getting access to corporates. This award encourages companies to set up more fruitful partnerships.

The organization praises KPN for its innovative approach and for its role as a frontrunner in entering into partnerships with start-ups. “I’m really proud,” says Marie-José van den Boomgaard, Liaison Manager start-ups & scale-ups. “On the one hand because we won the prize in competition with strong corporates in the Netherlands. And on the other hand because this solution adds value to KPN’s network. We have achieved these tremendous results thanks to the help of many network colleagues.”

OPT/NET is a Dutch start-up that has been in operation since 2018. Through their software they help telecom companies to manage and maintain IT and telecom networks. KPN’s award-winning partnership distinguishes itself by its strategic relevance and social impact. An extract from the jury’s report: “For many years KPN has been a perfect example of a company that gives attention in a structured and systematic fashion to the collaborating with start-ups. Special attention is paid to scalability, sustainability, the courage to be disruptive, and facilitating new business models for the start-up and for KPN itself. OPT/NET has been able to benefit from this. In addition, KPN deserves appreciation for sharing a lot of knowledge and experience with other companies and for frequently hosting sessions. This shows an admirable willingness to share. Doing business for the prosperity of all.”

KPN and startups
Two KPN divisions dedicate themselves day in, day out to lucrative partnerships with start-ups. KPN Ventures invests in strategically relevant scale-ups and tech funds, thereby getting access to almost all the European investment hubs. With access to and association with innovative technology partners valuable partnerships can be built up for experimenting, improving KPN’s offerings and/or expanding the offerings so as to give better service to customers. The domains in which KPN Ventures operates are Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Data/AI, Digital Healthcare, Internet of Things, Networking Technology and Over the Top Services.

KPN Liaison Management Scale-ups is the team that devotes itself on a daily basis to start-ups and scale-ups. The team finds challenges within KPN and then looks for the most suitable innovative company with which to enter into a structural partnership and consequently to innovate within KPN. Well-known examples are the recurring events Scaleup Afternoon and KPN’s Circus, in which large international non-competing telecom companies are brought into contact with innovators. This has already led on dozens of occasions to capital injections and partnerships between corporates and start-ups.


Photo caption:
From left to right: Wouter de Vries (KPN), Thom Timans (KPN), Seva Matselyukh (OPT/NET), and Ingrid Thijssen from VNO-NCW.