Collaboration journey /

Corporate & Start-up Engagement – A collaboration journey

Enterprises focusing on digital transformation initiatives, or domain-specific technology adoption, can work closely with innovators through partnerships, collaborations, and acquisitions. Start-ups are innovating rapidly across domains, such as AI, blockchain, mobility, 5G, etc. to drive success stories and use-cases that can be studied closely by business leaders.

The need for collaboration within the technology adoption space is growing as well, as more companies opt to work with start-ups to optimize processes, products, and productivity. While innovation is a powerful output of start-up collaboration, key areas such as revenue growth, business expansion, and product development also incentivize several buyers to reach out to start-ups as well.

Why start-up collaboration is key for enterprises

A vital reason why corporate enterprises should work with start-ups is the potential impact on growth and cost-reduction. Growth is a significant challenge when innovating within a larger company, especially if it is not digitally mature or has deep experience with technological innovations. Start-ups offer strategic in-roads into key innovative technologies, that can be scaled up with the help of capital infusion, partnerships, product development, etc.

There is also a significant acquisition and investment opportunity available within the start-up space if a company desires to understand growth markets better. Corporations can acquire strategically placed start-ups within markets such as IoT, blockchain, AI, mobility, etc. and benefit from the pre-existing infrastructure available via these companies. With close to 58% of innovative start-ups finding their core market and business model, enterprises can acquire an already successful model rather than develop innovation from scratch.

Continuous innovation through start-up collaboration

External innovation, or innovation driven through start-ups and technology vendors, is one of the major reasons why a company develops a start-up collaboration relationship. It opens enterprises up to find potential investment opportunities, business differentiation, co-innovation possibilities, and digital transformation initiatives. Companies benefit holistically when collaborating with start-ups, as it enables them to continually develop their innovation horizon.

Companies that establish a collaboration journey with start-ups are more likely to create impactful relationships that drive business success. That is one of the main reasons why corporate venture capital investments (CVCs) have grown 32% over the last few years and why three-quarters of Fortune 100 companies have active projects in the start-up collaboration space. Marketplace signalling, coupled with core business impact of start-ups, drives companies to continue collaborating for greater innovation.

The best way forward to ensure continuous collaboration is to focus on a holistic approach to collaboration. Companies that are committed to acquiring talent, technology, and resources, from the start-up drive more successful collaborations than single-use partnerships. In fact, satisfaction levels with single-use collaborations can be as low as 28% in many cases. The more agile that companies are with their processes, the more value they can find within start-up partnerships.

It is also important to establish the right success metrics when focusing on a continuous collaboration journey. EBITDA, ROI, and revenue may not be enough when assessing successful start-up partnerships. Key projects, pipeline strength, total addressable market, new market growth, and project success rates, can be more optimized metrics to understand the impact of start-up collaborations.

Organizational best practices to follow when collaborating

There are several best practices that a company should follow when collaborating with start-ups long term.

Structuring collaboration goals – Corporations can benefit significantly by understanding what they offer (marketing, customer-access, resources, capital, etc.) and what they need (new technology, MVP, etc.). By structuring a partnership, acquisition, or investment before scouting, businesses can gain better results.

Scouting the right start-ups – It is important to find the right start-up, prior to engagement, for a fruitful partnership, acquisition, or collaboration process. The start-up’s team, skillset, and resources should align well with long-term goals.

Using the right platforms – Start-up scouting can be challenging, with different platforms (online and offline) in the mix. It is important for companies to use the right platforms that curate highly specialized start-ups that can drive value through innovative execution.

Involving leadership is key – Collaborative initiatives are made that much more successful when CIOs, business leaders, and key decision makers invest their time into the partnership. Start-up satisfaction can increase by close to 93% when senior managers are involved in the collaboration.

Cultivating growth culture – Corporations must cultivate an innovation culture within key domains, to streamline the adoption of solutions and integrate the start-up’s ideas, processes, and products seamlessly.

Supporting start-up projects – Start-ups require nurturing to successfully deliver projects that are impactful and can benefit business practices. Close to 54% of start-ups believe that collaboration is vital to business success and mitigating long term failure-risks. Whether that be in IoT & AI, or robotics & drones, companies need to provide extensive structuring and support throughout various stages.

Finding impactful value by collaborating with start-ups via vBridge Hub

Companies can create transformational value by collaborating with start-ups through vBridge Hub. The platform offers CIOs, technology buyers, and users, unprecedented access to the innovation ecosystem, to engage with start-ups directly.

vBridge Hub selects key technology innovators across industries, such as AI, blockchain, IoT, and AR/VR, to bridge the network between corporate enterprises and start-up companies. The platform empowers tech decision makers to review multiple start-ups seamlessly, while structuring the collaboration process through its innovative features.

Want to engage with us to initiate your collaboration journey? Reach out to our technology scouting experts at -

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