March 11, 2021

Catching Up with Jochem Cuppen: How We’re Taking Workforce Technologies Beyond Known (And How You Can Join The Ride!)

Building venture engines around global challenges that need to be solved in the next 10 years together with industry leaders is central to Unknown Group. Jochem Cuppen, Partner at Unknown Group is leading the next stage of development of our venture engine, Unknown Workforce Technologies


Why is this topic of strategic importance to Unknown? Jochem explains: “The health and safety of workers in physical jobs is a global challenge. We see space to create tangible impact for workforces around the world. Our vision is to make workers the athletes of tomorrow. We’re bringing together a network of top leaders in a domain – industry players and innovative solutions – that can make physical work safer and healthier.” 


By scaling technologies that make work healthier, Unknown Workforce Technologies venture engine will realize safer work conditions for employees, consequently improving their quality of life. Companies today have a responsibility to their workforces to invest in solutions that positively impact their health. 


[Dive Deeper: Check out the November 2019 article by Jochem from when he first started developing the Workforce Technologies Network]


When quizzed about their accomplishments in the last year, Jochem answers: “Our main focus has been to build and activate our co-creation and co-investment community. The Workforce Technologies venture engine has facilitated 25+ collaborations. For example, we brokered a match between a market leading technology manufacturer with a data analytics company to measure and validate the positive effects of their devices on users and further strengthen their proposition”. He continues: “Another time, we connected a leading Japanese tech giant with a direct solution to a major pain point – improving warehousing and logistics via wearable technology for their smart factories. It is an exciting time to be in the Workforce Technologies domain and we’re glad to be in the thick of things”.


In the last year, the Unknown Workforce Technologies venture engine has grown to consist of 32 corporate partners and 35 innovative workforce solutions that are validated by a selection of 40 industry experts. By creating networks of industry leaders alongside a pool of validated solutions and their founders, the venture engine empowers the founders in the Unknown Group network. 


Another feather in the cap of the venture engine is the Get in the Ring Workforce Augmentation Competition, which was launched  to identify the most innovative workforce augmentation solutions globally. With events in Singapore, Toulouse, Hyderabad and Eindhoven, the competition was host to numerous potentially game changing solutions. Speaking on the added value of these events, Jochem remarks: “At our event in Eindhoven, we facilitated the connection between a participating venture and two market leaders in the construction and automotive industries. They were quite amazed by this venture’s anti-vibration technology and are keen to adopt it for their workforces. Forging these strategic collaborations is key to the development of the venture engine. ”


What’s next for the Unknown Workforce Technologies venture engine? Jochem concludes: “Over the last year we have proven our value-add to our partners. Joining our venture engine gives industry leaders unprecedented access to intelligence, discovering possibilities and acting on collaboration opportunities to help scale technologies that make work healthier. If your organization is interested in joining us and gaining a competitive advantage, get in touch with me on LinkedIn or drop me an email at“.


[Dive Deeper: Watch the special session we organized in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Defence and TNO for the Ministry of Defence’s Innovember event]