CSE is a trend that is growing bigger this year.
A lot of big corporations are getting involved in collaborating with startups one way or the other.
Most of the collaborations that occur between big corporations and startups were formed to solve an industrial challenge or to bud-up a promising idea or service.
When many corporations institute a CSE strategy, they do it in such a way to attract the best startups in the field.
Most times, it is startup trying to attract big corporations.
The other times, the big corporations have to put in place strategies to attract the best startups because a lot of big corporations are in the market looking for innovative startups to collaborate with.
Different corporations have different objectives. This is why their Corporate Startup Engagement strategy should reflect their objectives.
A lot of big corporations make their Corporate Startup Engagement work by hosting startup programs. Before they host the startup programs in a quest to improve their Corporate Startup Engagement, they have to look at the following aspects.
Before a big corporation hosts a startup program or event, they have to lay a set of reasons or purposes they want to achieve. Every Startup program should have the following values.
- What Are The Organizers' Needs? Before a startup program is initiated, the organizer's needs or the big corporation's needs have to be understood. Why are they hosting the startup programs? What do they stand to gain?
- Be totally transparent: As a big corporation, it is important to be transparent about your goals, what motivated it. Every card should be placed on the table.
- Be A Coach And A Learner Daily: Though the big corporation should adorn itself with the coaching mentality, it should also be ready to learn constantly. A startup can teach big corporations and vice versa.
- Outcomes are important: Though expending effort is very important, the outcome of the effort is more important.
What Are The Objectives?
Before starting out to realize that startup program- partnerships, open innovation and so on- accelerators, incubators have different objectives.
If your reason for trying to get involved in Corporation Startup Engagement is to promote your Corporation's good image, it would be foolish to try it.
Many of these startups and young entrepreneurs are really linked to many others.
The good image your corporation may be trying to protect may end up being soiled.
The objectives of the Corporate Startup Engagement should be carved out before launching the program.
Corporate Startup Engagement: The Usual Goals or Objectives
Generally, most corporations have the following goals when setting up a startup program.
1. Clamping down on innovation's costs
2. Lowering innovation's risk
3. Testing the new innovation
4. Having access to innovative and brand new ideas.
A serious problem in most Corporate Startup Engagement is that most corporations do not want to invest in human resources, as well as financial resources to the program.
The shortage of both resources usually prevent the goals or the program's standard from being reached.
Different Aspects of The Strategy
Brand Image: This shows how the startup program may affect the corporation's image.
Technology: This is the innovation level a corporation is interested in being linked to.
Operational Dimensions: This is the aspect that should be considered when the implementation is about to set in.
Financial Engagement: This shows how much the corporation is ready to invest, and how it would affect their image and balance sheet.
Effort of Implementation: This shows the corporation's involvement level in ensuring the program gets implemented.
Corporate Startup Engagement Types
A lot of corporations get involved in corporate Startup Engagement for different objectives, and with different structures.
It is necessary that the corporation chooses the right startup program that will fit it.
The fund expected to be invested also determines the type the corporation should choose.
This is one Corporate Startup Engagement program that a lot of big corporations use. When comparing the different accelerator programs run by big corporations around the world, there is usually little in common because the corporations have different objectives and structures.
An example of an accelerator program is Seedcamp (UK), which received close to a thousand applications from startups and selected very few.
Those startups selected felt they had won an Olympic gold medal.
The Accelerator program usually has the following features:
• When creating an accelerator program, the corporation should state if an investment will follow the accelerator program for those startups enrolled in the program.
• The accelerator program should have the list and information about those startups that had attended the program, and how they fared a year or so after the program.
• Acceptance rate. This is meant to show how many startups sent in applications and how many were chosen.
• There is meant to be information on the number of startups that have attended the program and have finished.
• The number of startups that are still active either as a private entity or got bought after the program.
Some startups may have questions bordering on how the corporation measures the success of the program, it is necessary that they get answered.
A lot of corporations, instead of selecting only a few startups at an accelerator program, may decide to opt for a hackathon, where they throw the floor open for many startups and entrepreneurs to try to solve a problem within the weekend. Many startups are gathered in one place, with the aim of them solving a social or technological problem. The big corporations' executives then move around, scouting for startups they can invest in or work with.
There are numerous types of Startup programs, and the option a big corporation opts for should meet its objectives and other needs.
About the Author: Simon Hitchens is a startup enthusiast, columnist, researcher and educator living in Chicago, IL. He dreams of someday living somewhere warm and writing a novel -- in ink.
About Gearbox: Gearbox Enterprise Academy provides the leading corporate-startup engagement solutions designed to help innovation leaders, corporate development professionals, and strategic partnership executives master the art and science identifying and aligning with what's next. Through a unique combination of a membership community, AI-driven software, and cutting-edge expertise, Gearbox is focused helping corporations keep pace in an ever-changing digital world and providing startups with new avenues for growth. The result for modern innovators is unprecedented agility, risk management, and superior results. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO with offices in Denver, Chicago, and Los Angeles, Gearbox serves as a pivotal partner to large corporations and a champion to innovative startups.
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