Collaborate To Innovate: How Can Startups and Corporates Partner For Success?

Collaborate To Innovate: How Can Startups and Corporates Partner For Success?

19-Jan-2017 by Andy Shannon

The oil tanker analogy for big business is very much a truism. Even for the most innovative of corporates, the sheer volume of people, geographies, and processes that can slow down their world makes working with agile, enthusiastic startups hugely appealing.

Likewise, startups are determined to tap into the resources, customer base, experience and finance of the corporate world. It’s a rare entrepreneur who thinks they can do it alone. Collaboration is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and most startups know that it’s critical to help sell their product or bring it to market.

This creates a perfect storm. Corporates need startups and startups need corporates. That’s the premise behind Startupbootcamp. But what is the reality of them working together?

Insights From Founders and Corporates

To find out, we surveyed Startupbootcamp’s alumni base and gathered detailed responses from startups representing a large mix of industries and regions across the world. We also conducted in-depth interviews with six key corporate partners (Cisco, Eneco, ING, Intel, VINCI Energies and Rabobank) about their experiences of working within the startup ecosystem.

Published today, Collaborate to Innovate report reveals the results of our research and provides practical advice for both corporates and startups from some of the most experienced innovation leaders in the market today.

Read the full report

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Within ‘Collaborate to Innovate’, the findings highlight that while the majority of startups (45%) wish to collaborate in order to sell their business, 30% see corporates as the customer for their solutions and hope to secure pilot projects. Yet despite it being in their interests to work with startups to bring agile and innovative thinking to their business, the journey is not always plain sailing, with 70% of the startups report to have experienced long and complicated internal process to work with corporates.

Findings Included In The Report

From a corporate perspective, there are very few corporates who haven’t woken up to their need to innovate.

Whether they’re an energy company wanting insights into customer behavior, a bank looking for a new business model to build customer loyalty, or a technology business like Intel or Cisco with a huge dependency on R&D, corporates are becoming acutely aware of the importance of innovation for survival.

But tackling innovation from the inside-out requires significant cultural shift and investment, as explained by Jorge Rivero from Vinci Energies:

“Innovation is much more than having ‘good ideas’; it is about culture, business processes, planning and strategy,”

With this report, our aim was to create a document highlighting the challenges, opportunities, and best practices for successful startup corporate partnerships.

While the collaboration landscape has matured significantly over the last couple of years, with more than 70% of the startups surveyed reporting to have collaborated with corporates, our research shows that there is still work to be done.

And as we continue to expand Startupbootcamp globally, it’s even more crucial to not only understand the challenges and identify ways of overcoming them but also to create an environment that supports open dialogue and greater transparency in a space overshadowed by hype.

Read the full report

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Andy Shannon

Andy is the Head of Startupbootcamp Global. His past includes multiple startup operating and investing roles, with plenty of failures along the way. Andy has his MBA from Imperial College London and BBA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison