Recently, OnePiece Work’s VP of Business Operations Michael Kehoe sat down with Antoine Baschiera and Maria Mossadek of Early Metrics, a rating agency for startups and innovative SMEs, to discuss why startup partnerships are essential for corporations.
Antoine explains there are many aspects contributing to the need for corporates to partner with startups, but he believes that it’s the end of the internal R&D model that is a driving factor. It has become too slow for consumers’ fast-changing needs — the evolution in consumer needs is outpacing the traditional R&D model.
Corporates are understanding they can no longer innovate by themselves, and are seeking the assistance of startups, which have a more open innovation mindset. Startups can help corporates speed up the innovation process and bring it to market more quickly.
When asked why it’s so hard for corporations to develop innovation internally, Antoine maintains it’s not an issue of talent, but more related to the inertia of a corporation’s size. The vastness of many companies inherently implies a sense of slowness.
However, Antoine insists it’s not the end of the R&D department, but rather the beginning of a complementary relationship between corporate R&D and startups. Partnering with small, agile startups allows for more open innovation.
The desire for the corporate world to partner with startups is clear, but what motivates startups to engage with corporates? Antoine believes there are three main motivating factors: credibility, money and partnership. Working with a Fortune 500 company lends credibility to a startup. That startup can then lean on the company’s reputation in other market segments, including small business orbits.
As for money, more and more, startups are looking to corporates as an alternative to venture capital funding. Corporates can provide what Antoine calls “corporate VC,” or “corporate ventures.” And finally, the partnership allows for more complex co-developments. It opens up new markets and new technology to startups. It’s a win-win for both corporates and startups.
Michael concluded his discussion with Early Metrics by touching on the idea of how not only are B2B companies relying on corporate funding, but also B2C startups. Antione explains that now, with the complexity of the cost of acquisition, we are seeing B2C startups that are relying on corporate B2B and B2C models, meaning more indirect distributions. But he says it’s only the beginning, quipping, “We'll see how it goes.”
Early Metrics is the international rating agency for start-ups and innovative SMEs. We provide corporates and investors with qualitative and financial insights to decide which ventures to partner with or invest in. Our scientific methodology focuses on qualitative KPIs to reliably assess the growth potential of any tech start-up or scale-up. With offices in London, Paris, Berlin and Tel Aviv as well as a database of 2000+ rated startups, Early Metrics provides its Fortune 500 clients and investors with transparent and independent knowledge into the most dynamic startup ecosystems.
Michael Kehoe is the VP of Business Operations at OnePiece Work where he works across the operations, sales, marketing and business development teams to drive growth and launch new products that serve the cross-border tech startup community.
Previously he co-founded BitTiger, an online learning platform for Chinese speaking students in the U.S. and China to learn computer science. The platform grew to serve over 20,000 students with offices in Silicon Valley and Beijing. Prior to BitTiger he was a consultant at Deloitte, where he deployed software systems for modeling compensation, quota planning and territory planning for sales organizations at Fortune 500 companies in the high tech, telecommunications, finance and retail industries.
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