– By Jean-Baptiste Leguet
Collaborations between large companies and startups are more and more frequent because of the many mutual benefits.
While the large company can contribute capital and resources, the startup can contribute an innovation mindset. In addition, startups are usually staffed with highly skilled employees able to devote all their efforts to developing an innovative solution to meet a specific need.
Large companies understand the added value of startups in terms of innovating quickly and at low cost, while externalizing the risks. As for startups, they perceive a collaboration with a large company as a way to gain credibility, by acquiring a well-established initial customer.
But the benefits do not stop there. There are other crucial advantages to consider.
Here is a diagram summarizing the mutual benefits of a collaboration. The first three benefits are often cited by large companies and startups, but the three others are also important.
Startups often think about the credibility that a renowned company can provide, and they sometimes overlook how the large company’s internal resources could take their innovation further. In fact, some internal resources are essential to developing a technological solution, such as equipment, expertise in a specific industry, or access to suppliers and customers.
Large companies, on the other hand, are often attracted by the speed with which startups can develop an innovative technology, and they sometimes overlook other unexpected benefits of collaborating with a startup, such as a change in their internal innovation culture.
Of course, a collaboration between a large company and a startup is not without its challenges. These two types of organizations have different management styles as well as different speeds and priorities. In view of the benefits and challenges of collaborating with startups, many large companies receive support from a startup incubator with an open innovation program. This is why several corporations have become partners of Centech Collision Lab.