Corporate Venturing: 16 Tools

Can you name 10 different tools for developing corporate innovation offhand? Thomas Van Halewick, founder and managing partner of Bundl, has compiled a list of 16 such tools that are used in one way or another in corporate innovation models. Models are constantly changing and updating, their main goal is to help corporations find more efficient and effective ways to innovate.

Here are 16 tools that corporations can use when working with startups, innovation and venture capital investments:

  1. Corporate venture capital enables direct equity investment in startups of strategic interest for the corporation.
  2. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A): large companies buy startups and their commercially ready products in order to gain access to new technologies or markets.
  3. Corporate accelerator offer highly structured programs that typically last no more than three months. These programs provide startups that do not yet have proven products or services with the facilities, resources, and expertise needed to speed their product development and time to market.
  • 3b. Corporate accelerator partnerships offer the same advantages of regular corporate accelerator programs, but are run in partnership with external parties that have the blueprints for the program.
  1. Corporate Incubator includes mentoring and value-added services to support entrepreneurs creating viable, market-ready ideas. The corporate incubator is launched even before the idea is created.
  • 4b. In-house incubator functions as a startup in a corporate environment. In-house innovation teams come together for short projects, during which they quickly prototype new products or services to market test MVPs.
  1. Venture development studio (also a startup studio) is a structure that creates startups based on shared resources and a multidisciplinary team. Such a studio offers startups launch as a service.
  2. Strategic partnerships mean alliances between established corporations and startups that can take many forms, including joint development of products and services. A great example of such a strategic partnership is the Retail Innovation Tech Alliance.
  3. Hackathon is a specialized seminar where software developers come together to jointly find technological solutions for corporate innovation challenges.
  4. Acqui-Hire is a process of acquiring a company with one main purpose, for hiring its employees (without necessarily showing interest in its products and services or continuing to work on them).
  5. Sharing Resources means giving startups access to resources that allows existing corporations to get closer to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  6. Excubator lets development studios use their own external team to carry out venture projects on behalf of a third party, individual or company.
  7. Entrepreneur-in-Residence is an informal and usually temporary position at the corporate venture capital arm of the company. EIRs introduce organizations to new business models, technologies, and strategic partnership opportunities.
  8. Challenge prize is an open competition that focuses on a specific issue, offering an incentive to field innovators to develop the best solution.
  9. Scouting is when an established company appoints an individual within a given industry to scope out innovation opportunities in alignment with the corporate strategy.
  10. Employee Jurors/Mentoring is when team members participate in startup competitions to spot emerging technologies or business models early.
  11. Corporate University Partnerships are collaborations between corporate R&D departments and university researchers to find promising ideas for further development and investigation.
  12. Licensing enables corporations to apply innovations developed by startups to new markets, industry sectors and customer segments.

If you would like to develop the direction of corporate innovation but are lost in such a number and variety of tools, write to us at GoTech Innovation, we will help you develop a strategy for finding and implementing innovations and bring them to life.

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