The Next Silicon Valley

Key tips for corporates looking to innovate through engagement with startups

While corporate R&D is said to be on the rise, one of the other ways in which large firms look to innovate is through working with startups. As we said in an article published a couple of years ago, we were seeing a rise in the corporate accelerator, in a trend for large companies and organizations to engage with startups that might help fuel relevant innovation.

With this necessary symbiotic relationship between corporate and startups, it’s important to set the right framework for engagement between the two.

Prajakt Raut, founding partner at The Growth Labs in India, offered some valuable guidelines in a recent blog, which we publish an extract from here:

More corporates are launching innovation programs and engaging with the startup ecosystem than ever before. One big reason is that companies are realizing that just doing product innovation is not going to be sufficient to grow business, or in fact, to even survive in the market. They recognize that they need to innovate and adopt new-age solutions across all aspects of business – be it HR, marketing, sales, distribution, warehousing, etc., etc.

Companies are therefore reaching out to the startup ecosystem to seek innovation. Especially frugal innovation that may cost them 100x more to design and develop in-house. But large companies and startups live in two different worlds, with totally different cultures. How then should corporates and startups engage meaningfully?

Here are some key points to consider:

Raut concludes, “At The Growth Labs we are encouraged to see the increase in the number of companies planning innovation and startup engagement programs. While many will be exploratory expeditions to understand what is happening in the ‘startup world’, it is these expeditions that will pave the way for meaningful engagements between startups and corporates that will help startups find easier access to market, and help companies find innovations to drive growth and leadership.”

The original article can be found here.

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