Calling BS on Corporate-Startup Engagement Myths

The recent innovation ‘wave’ (let’s not call it a fad) of corporate-startup collaboration has spawned all kinds of ‘new’ practices, and commentary. This article highlights some of the issues (myths) and promises (wisdom) with the current corporate-startup collaboration wave. To start, the author claims

best practices for leveraging startups in corporate innovation’ are not working: despite all the best intentions, ambitions are not being fulfilled

Some statistics back this up (although the author’s citing the fact that 19% of corporates have no goals for startup engagement in place means that 81% do – a pretty good number). This makes the foundational claim somewhat suspect but the main value of the article is the list of ‘myths’ and ‘wisdom’.

Myth Wisdom
We want to drive internal cultural transformation by adopting startup tools & methodology We need a proof of concept or pilot tests
We want to increase brand awareness within the startup community We want to better understand customer or tech trends
We want to invest in startups to generate a return on investment We want to be an early customer through licensing or buying (startup) technology
We want to identify, recruit and hire innovative entrepreneurial talent We want to support the local entrepreneurial ecosystem where we are based
We want a potential acquisition

The article suffers from translation issues (could use a good editor) and from confusion about point-of-view. Sometimes the points being made are from the startup’s side, sometimes from the corporation’s side. Despite this, it provides a nice, concise list of what to expect (and not) from your corporate-startup collaboration efforts.

Original Article »

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