Start-ups and bigger businesses share that very same growth motive and there is a growing trend of co-innovation where larger businesses look upon start-ups as collaborative partners.
Agile, fast-growth start-ups can bring plenty to the table for even the most heavyweight of corporates. New and Growing Companies excel at getting successful proof of concepts off the ground and with larger companies often better at scaling those proof of concepts, by working together they can benefit the economy and the business ecosystem itself.
Start-ups don’t need to be viewed with disdain by bigger companies and as fresh meat on the food chain. By building meaningful relationships with corporates, young businesses can illuminate new ways of doing business to big companies with more complex systems and processes. On the other side of the coin, corporates increasingly need to keep New and Growing Companies close in order to better understand how their industry is evolving.
Here are a few reasons why some of the biggest and best-known corporations are working closer than ever with start-ups to grow their business and transform their respective industries:
Working with or investing in start-ups can be more cost-effective than internal R&D
Investing time and money in start-up innovators can actually be less expensive and more cost-effective than a corporate’s own research and development. Internal R&D will rarely break new ground in the same way that an innovative start-up can. New and Growing Companies can secure big investment from corporates to push and break boundaries and the corporates secure a stake in their future.
Just this month, machine learning start-up Magic Pony Technology, alumni of Workspace customer and tech incubator, Entrepreneur First - based in The Biscuit Factory - was bought by Twitter for more than £100 million, building on the social media network’s “other investments made in machine learning” including Madbits and Whetlab. Twitter is a perfect example of a global giant that’s invested in innovation with Twitter Ventures supporting the efforts of creators across the globe.
Start-ups rejuvenate corporate culture
It’s a fact of business that larger corporations are more risk averse than their younger, smaller adversaries. By working with New and Growing Companies, corporates can rejuvenate their working culture, making their organisation more agile and open to new market trends and emerging technologies.
New and Growing Companies have an infectious entrepreneurial mind-set and their fresh thinking and lean approaches can help recast corporate brands by rejuvenating both the way they think internally and their external presence.
Solving key business issues
Put simply, New and Growing Companies bring talent, ambition and innovation in spades. For corporates seeking a solution to a key business problem in a quick, cost-effective manner, partnering with start-ups offers something less risky to their core business offering.
Whether it’s strategically expanding into new sectors or markets, New and Growing Companies can provide the necessary agility to compete in fast-moving, emerging industries.
Acknowledging the challenges of start-up/corporate partnerships
Achieving those business goals does not come without its challenges. Start-ups and corporates need to be prepared to tackle mismatched working cultures, confusing points of contact, unyielding internal procedures, misaligned strategic departmental goals and incentive schemes.
But by overcoming those hurdles, New and Growing Companies can benefit greatly from the validation, experience and routes to market that big businesses can offer, arming them with the tools to grow quicker.
At Workspace we offer a packed calendar of business and networking events throughout the year that could be perfect for any corporate company looking to build contacts with some of London's most talented New and Growing Companies based in a Workspace building. To find the events nearest to you simply click here.