Why your corporation should look into startups as a source of innovation and inspiration?
Open Innovation allows organizations to benefit from ideas and solutions coming from outside the company¹. Working together with outside partners provides access to a much broader pool of knowledge, ideas, and experiences, accelerating innovation processes. Most of all, collaboration for innovation offers a quick and impactful way to solve specific business problems and enter new markets². While there are many possible stakeholders for innovation, one specific group has been gaining popularity for collaboration: startups. The recent demand for startup collaboration can be drawn back to numerous reasons.
First of all, startups may bring valuable technologies that might just fill your portfolio gap. Young, innovative companies are known to have disruptive ideas and fast development cycles. Thus, partnerships with startups offer the opportunity for technology import and new business ideas. Startup collaboration provides a way to internalize open innovation, transforming into a corporate innovation engine³. With the right structural integration into your corporate resources, the fast development of radical innovations leads to fast monetization of solutions.
Secondly, startups and their characteristics are known to be inspirational. With their disruptive ideas, organizational agility, willingness to take risks, and aspirations for rapid growth, nascent companies can bring a fresh working style to rigid organizational structures⁴. Those characteristics make startups appealing collaboration partners to bring in important inspiration to your organization.
Startups cannot inspire your teams but also to improve your corporates’ dynamic capabilities. A firm’s dynamic capabilities are its’ abilities of sensing, seizing, and reconfiguring assets and resources⁵. Those dynamic capabilities are vital to nurturing transformation, as they facilitate knowledge development in areas that might be of strategic importance for your company in the near future. Allowing fast responses to market demands thus enables your company to stay relevant in a changing competitive landscape⁶.
In conclusion, startup collaboration offers not only opportunities for financial returns, but also valuable insights in form and knowledge exchange and priceless inspiration. Such alliances enable a realization of synergies through the exchange of routines, capabilities, and resources
Where to start? There are numerous ways to seize partnerships with startups, such as, for example hackathons, corporate accelerators or startup investments. If you are interested in innovating by collaborating with startups, we are happy to start the dialogue and help you find the best possible strategy to transform your innovation activities. Get in touch with us for a non-binding call to discuss your current situation: acccoi.com/contact-us/
For more information on working with startups, we can recommend the following articles:
- Chesbrough, H. (2012) Open Innovation – Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going. Source: Research Technology Management. 55 (4), p. 20–27.
- Kohler, T. (2016) Corporate accelerators: Building bridges between corporations and startups. Business Horizons. 59 (3), p. 347–357.
- Bauer, F., Matzler, K. & Wolf, S. (2016) M&A and innovation: The role of integration and cultural differences—A central European targets perspective. International Business Review. 25 (1), p. 76–86.
- Weiblen, T. & Chesbrough, H.W. (2015) Engaging with Startups to Enhance Corporate Innovation. California Management Review. 57 (2), p. 66-90.
- King, D.R., Schriber, S., Bauer, F. & Amiri, S. (2018) Acquisitions as corporate entrepreneurship. Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions. Vol. 12, p. 119–144.
- Autio, E., Nambisan, S., Thomas, L.D.W. & Wright, M. (2018) Digital affordances, spatial affordances, and the genesis of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. 12 (1), p. 72–95.