How Large Corporations Can Successfully Engage With Startups

Innovation, performance excellence and risk management are top agenda items for corporate leaders. Their innovation strategy usually covers: product, service, platform, structure, process, business model, network, channel, customer engagement and brand.

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For long-term success, corporate innovators need to cultivate habits of curiosity, deliberate observation, diverse information seeking and engagement with other creative people. All this is easier said than done. Tightening up of long-term R&D budgets, increasing digital disruption, organisational bureaucracy and the bias of prior success are making it harder for large enterprises to innovate on their own, and thus driving them to tap new sources of innovation: startups.

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Why Big Companies Want In

Corporate venture capital is picking up speed in the investment industry, as large companies start setting aside funds for external investment in fledgling companies or startups.

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Tech giants like Intel, Dell and AMD all have strong track records with their proprietary funds, and more companies like Microsoft and Salesforce are now entering the venture-fund game. During the past four years more than 475 corporate venture funds have started, bringing the worldwide total to more than 1,100, according to Global Corporate Venturing.

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