WINNING TOGETHER: a guide to successful corporate-startup collaboration

Winning_TogetherLast 17th June, in London, at the CEO Breakfast Forum of the Founders, the guide “Winning together – A guide to successful corporate -startup collaboration“, created by Nesta (in collaboration with SEP and Founders Forum) was presented to 90 CEOs from around the world. It collects the results of the research work that lasted several months and shows how companies of different sizes and operating in different areas may benefit from cooperation with startups.

During the CEO Founders Forum, Brent Hoberman, co–founder of lastminute.com and made.com, said something that goes straight to the point of this research:

The importance of innovation is not lost on most corporates. Much has been written about the drastically shortening lifespan of big companies – the average tenure of a firm in the S&P 500 has shrunk from 61 years in 1958 to 18 years. But the most forward thinking corporates know that the best ideas don’t always come from within their own business. Instead they are setting powerful examples of how working with and investing in startups can help defend and grow market position.

Innovation is changing; big corporates are waking up to the fact that startups, especially digital and tech businesses, are disrupting whole industries from the bottom up. Forward looking corporates see startups not as a threat, but as potential partners to create more value for their company, consumers and sectors.

This guide is for corporate executives and managers:

  • To help them understand what value working with startups can bring to their organisation
  • To provide them with a three–step approach and framework to evaluate and select suitable programmes to engage with startups
  • To empower those who want to champion startup engagement inside their company with case studies and stories that clearly illustrate the transformative benefits of collaborations

No matter which programme you choose, these are ten important lessons to remember:

Designing your programme

1 Carefully consider your objectives to engage with startups

2 Select the programme(s) that best deliver on these objectives

3 Secure board–level sponsorship

Measuring your programme

4 Develop key performance indicators

5 Capture data and feedback continuously to iterate the model

Implementing your programme

6 Hand startup programmes to people with an entrepreneurial mindset

7  Allocate an internal champion with decision and budget power

8  Create a publicly visible, single access point for startups

9 Scout internationally to attract the best startups and technology

10 Make it easier for startups to work with you

What’s next – three steps to getting started today

  • Talk to people who already work with startups for inspiration and advice, be they in other corporates, the growing ecosystem of organisations supporting startups or entrepreneurs themselves.
  • Define your objectives to work with startups. Our framework will help you identify a range of suitable programmes.
  • Start with a small–scale programme pilot, iterate and then scale up.

Good read.

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