Some of the worlds biggest tech firms started at the turn of the millennium and they are driving major innovations that are replacing incumbent technologies and existing business models, writes Thomas Kohler in his paper ‘Corporate accelerators: Building bridges between corporations and startups’.
Kohler argues that sustaining innovation requires using external and internal ideas and identifies a number of models saying ‘corporate accelerators provide a unique platform for long-term growth and renewal; while offering mutual benefits for corporations and startups’.
He outlines ways that established businesses are building structured programs to harness entrepreneurial power ranging from hackathons and business incubators through corporate venturing to mergers and acquisitions.
He then identifies ten top features of successful corporate accelerators including those associated with Samsung, Orange and Cisco.
He comments: “Our research suggests a range of questions that leaders of corporate accelerators need to answer and these fall into four design dimensions: Proposition (what do you want to achieve) Process (how are you going to do it) People (which startups are you going to accelerate and how do you ensure buy in) Presence (where should it be hosted)
Successful corporate accelerators share the following characteristics, they:
- Let startups retain ownership
- Focus on specific verticals
- Compress the innovation cycle
- Balance structure with flexibility
- Grant autonomy with meaningful interactions
- Select startups carefully
- Ensure corporate alignment
- Foster networking and mentoring
- Enhance personal interactions online
- Nurture serendipity
To read the full paper: Corporate accelerators: Building bridges between corporations and startups by Thomas Kohler, Business Horizons
Volume 59, Issue 3, May–June 2016, Pages 347-357