The Potential Of Corporate Venturing

Prepared by IESE Business School, in collaboration with Acciona and Cardumen Capital, a new report is published today on corporate venturing, the collaboration between established companies and innovative startups, a phenomenon that is growing rapidly worldwide.

As it opens the doors to innovation, this phenomenon is attracting more players. In corporate venturing, enablers such as universities and venture capital firms are increasingly key: they help established companies to join forces with startups and benefit in return, offering different advantages from independent knowledge to access to opportunities , cost reduction and network synergies.

The study has the authors Josemaria Siota and Mª Julia Prats from IESE, in collaboration with Vittoria Emanuela Bria, Telmo Pérez from Acciona, and Gonzalo Martínez de Azagra from Cardumen Capital. This aims to explain how to unlock hidden growth opportunities for corporations by knowing the roles of enablers, what types could be most valuable to different companies, and how to craft a mutually attractive value proposition.

According to the study, within corporate venturing, there are six most prominent enabler categories:

1. Knowledge institutions, which includes research centers, university departments and think tanks.

2. Impulse institutions, that is, private incubators and accelerators that support entrepreneurs by providing physical space, technological infrastructure and other types of help.

3. Investment institutions that finance startups, including business angels, venture capitalists, and private equity firms.

4. Public institutions, including governments and embassies.

5. Business institutions, including other large corporations, including competitors, as well as chambers of commerce.

6. Service institutions, that is, consulting companies that offer specialized support in innovation.

Based on 95 interviews with innovation leaders at companies on four continents and more than 100 examples, the report identifies the most prominent benefits of enablers. Topping the list is “independent knowledge” (in 32% of cases) due to rapidly evolving trends such as venture client as a service, fund of funds and excubators, combined with the complexity involved in understanding related startups. emerging technologies.

Next in line is “access to collaboration opportunities with startups” (in 26% of cases), an area that is increasingly critical as the providers that offer it have proliferated, as well as being increasingly difficult identifying opportunities before competitors.

The report also finds that enablers also benefit from their interactions with corporations. The interviewees highlighted the “industrial experience” of the companies (in 29% of the cases) and their knowledge of the “business applicability” (in 17% of the cases) as some of the main benefits. Finally, it shows the emerging trend of corporations working together with other corporations to innovate with startups, also called corporate venturing squads.

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