Jul 3, 2017 Miikka Kataja
But wait… Wasn’t Slush a startup event? Yes, it still is.
However, along with 2,336 startups, more than 100 partners joined the effort to make Slush a success in 2016. Ranging from traditional industry corporates to tech giants, our partners are looking for collaboration with startups to boost their innovation, product development, and business – not to mention direct investments and acquisitions of startups. Terms such as corporate venture capital, corporate innovation, corporate lab, and accelerator are frequently heard on the street. However, these are only a few examples of how to organize startup-corporate collaboration.
As the State of European Tech -report from 2016 notes, a new breed of corporate innovation is expected to unfold, and it offers a huge potential for startups to access more capital, customer networks or other vital resources from their corporate partners. This is exactly the reason why it is important to have corporates present at Slush.
At Slush, we always have founders in the “driver’s seat”.
Nonetheless, as every startup is born in a larger ecosystem, there is a need to build a link between the big and the small to overcome obstacles for cooperation.
We’ve seen an increasing willingness from large enterprises to work with startups. How about startups then? Are they equally fond of working with traditional corporates? Can a corporate keep up with the pace of a young startup, when decision-making does not always seem fully rational in a fast-paced environment? These kinds of cultural and structural biases seem to overwhelm some of the corporate-startup pairs on their journey to success.
The PwC Slush Study from 2016 highlights a need for corporate representatives and executives to dive into the startup ecosystem in practice: by visiting startup events, getting to know the community and to open dialogue with startups – simply putting yourself into the startup founders’ shoes. In order to collaborate, you need to understand first. This makes sense, doesn’t it?
I would like to leave you with a few hand-picked tips for corporate representatives looking to reach out to startups at Slush 2017.
Good luck for startup hunting!
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