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How can large corporates prepare themselves to build partnerships with start-ups for co-innovation?

At Infocomm Investments, we are seeing a growing interest from corporates to partner start-ups and vice versa, to co-innovate and commercialise solutions. In a sense, it is a complementary partnership that brings resources of corporates and agility of start-ups. I am curious to know, from both the start-ups and corporates' perspective, how MNCs could structure themselves to offer more benefits to start/ address start-ups' needs.

7 Replies

Akhil Jonnavithula
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CEO,FOUNDER OF "SOLITARY BRANDING MEDIA"​.
As a Startup Entrepreneur, I think i am eligible to answer this question.
It is a very good statement that, Corporates are showing interest in building partnerships with Startups to commercialise solutions.
One thing which is to be noticed is that, Firstly there is a lot of potential in Startup enthusiasts as they have a team with skillsets almost equal to that of an experienced person. The only thing that stops a corporate to not joining hands with that Startup entrepreneur is that; neither he nor his team have an experience and they are not professionals. But, it would be an excellent step if some organisation comes forward and encourage Startups to partner big corporates and the vice versa and thereby help in raising the name and fame of the organisation in all possible ways.
All it takes to judge a startup entrepreneur is a small Meeting and requirements you are looking in him or his team. The real potential in Startup Enthusiasts today may not be found even in Professionals. Because We(Startup entrepreneurs) have a zeal and passion towards Entrepreneurship and have excellent skill sets. We offer our best (sometimes free of cost) in order to establish ourselves,prove ourselves and thereby helping the corporates also to grow. In such cases, Passion should be given more marks than Experience...
Thanks :)
Fetih Saygi
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Fetih Saygi Entrepreneur • Advisor
Senior Executive at Confidential (In stealth mode)
Large Enterprises could host some Startups in their Accelerator areas and have some use case project meet ups periodically. They could give them support in need of expertise or logistics, training . Large enterprises have unnecessary costs, meetings and blunt vision with routines. They could have option to open new dimensions. Some entrepreneurs could see what they don't see or act for Large Enterprises, if they could have collaboration opportunities.
Oliver Sanchez
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Oliver Sanchez Entrepreneur
Director of FPA @ Homesite, Founder @ ASCiNT Investments LLC
Large enterprises can have competitions that address specific challenges. Similar to the Netflix Prize model
TheNetflix Prizewas an open competition for the bestcollaborative filteringalgorithmto predict user ratings forfilms, based on previous ratings without any other information about the users or films, i.e. without the users or the films being identified except by numbers assigned for the contest.

Michele Tivey
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Michele Tivey Entrepreneur
COO at FinTech Payments Corp, Director CNP-Solutions
This is an excellent model, and one that corporations should be actively seeking. In our case, finding a payments processor willing to adopt our piece of FinTech would not only increase that company's revenue, but combined, the worth of the joint venture would skyrocket exponentially. The biggest problem, as in all of US banking, is to find corporations willing to take a reasonable leap of faith. They say they want innovation, but they are not
Willing to make a move.
Chris Gorges
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Chris Gorges Entrepreneur • Advisor
Partner, Strategy at Rocketure
Check outhttps://getkite.co/ andhttps://www.partnered.com/
Tarah Feinberg
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Tarah Feinberg Entrepreneur
CMO & NY Managing Director at KITE
Thanks for the shout out, Chris. At KITE, we are indeed helping enterprises to establish their strategies, processes and ongoing operations to partner with startups at scale.

We're finding that "outside-in innovation" has become an imperative for enterprise. Large corporations realize that innovation, in all aspects of their businesses, is evolving rapidly outside of their "four walls" and are pursuing a variety of programs to engage with emerging media, platforms and technologies to unlock growth. In fact, KITE research finds that 77% of the Fortune 100 have scouting, strategy, business development, corporate venture, R&D or talent functions in top global tech centers to bring innovation into their business. 62% of these companies engage in innovation partnerships to test, learn and scale their efforts in new areas. See research here: http://bit.ly/kitef100

The problem is that there are a host of issues that often prevent corporations from getting to deals with startups, or even beginning to effectively track the startup ecosystem, including pace, financial/payment systems, legal, workflow management and communications across the enterprise. In their 2014 report, "The State of Digital Business", Forrester reported that 68% of executives believe the functional units in their own businesses act as barriers.

At KITE, we've built software to address these barriers at ever stage, but I'm not here to sell you on that. We're seeing the corporate leaders that are truly moving their innovation practices forward moving along a spectrum from hypotheses to firm theses and processes about what actually works for their businesses.

A great example is Unilever. They started with the Go Global program in 2013-14, a competition with seven brands in seven regions each choosing one emerging tech company for a pilot. The learnings from this endeavor led to the formation of The Foundry, which, in its first year, received over 4000 applications, ran over 75 pilots and around half resulted in ongoing partnerships. It takes significant investment and a willingness to fail, but the value it's driving is immense.

Startups -- if you do want to reach enterprises for commercial partnerships, join us at KITE. It's 100% free for you and always will be: getkite.co/startups

Corporates -- if you're interested in learning more about how we're helping enterprise power their innovation efforts, I'm happy to chat.

Shawn Rhoads
0
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Shawn Rhoads Entrepreneur
Software Engineering
Having participated in a large corporation innovation/start-up initiative, I will say it's not easy. In fact, here is what the Dell Chief Innovation Officer's view on this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EKt630P7Vg

In my opinion, corporations should partner with venture funds to participate in angel groups/funds (like http://www.iselectfund.com in St. Louis for example) to promote the technologies they would like to see developed, but basically allows for failure and without the waste that generally accompanies a large successful corporation environment.
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