Large companies believe startup cooperation creates a competitive advantage but lack experience in implementing it

“In a time of crisis, innovation accelerates. The last few years have shown that technology and consumer trends change quickly, and now is the time to establish future research, agile learning, and startup cooperation as part of the company’s strategy. Broad economic concepts, such as the green transition, require versatile expertise and clarification of value generation in different parts of the ecosystem. Startup cooperation can cover parts of the value chain, or it can be used for jointly developing the company’s core business”, Piia Maaranen, Partner, Innovestor Corporate Venturing.

In 2022 we interviewed our Corporate Venturing customers extensively about the current state of startup cooperation and its prospects. The 42 large industrial companies interviewed all operate in Finland, in very different industries, such as energy, manufacturing, construction, and logistics. Based on the interviews, we recognized a few clear challenges and trends in corporate-startup cooperation.

The vast majority, 93%, of the responding companies strongly believed that cooperation with startups would create a significant competitive advantage for their company.

Overall, there was a consensus that startup cooperation is an important factor in improving the future competitiveness of large companies dealing with issues around sustainable development and global competition.

Based on the interviews, the companies will likely focus more on startup cooperation in the next few years, both through pilots and investments. 91% of the interviewed companies considered it very likely that they will implement some pilot projects with startups in the near future.

The lack of experience in implementing startup cooperation was seen as a challenge in getting the best possible mutual benefit out of the cooperation; 78% of respondents felt that they do not have sufficient experience in this area.

In addition to the above points, the companies also felt that the capabilities and know-how of startups are a good tool for increasing competence within their own organization.

Together with its customers, Innovestor wants to tackle these challenges with the help of its own extensive experience in the startup field. Since 2020, Innovestor has offered large corporates a view of the latest technologies and innovations through tangible, VC-level Corporate Venturing tools and business models. If these topics are current for your business, please get in touch, and we would love to discuss them further.

Matti Härkönen,

Managing Partner, Innovestor Corporate Venturing

+358 40 578 2688

Innovestor is a Finnish investment company focusing on venture capital and real estate. In addition, we offer corporate venturing services. The firm currently manages four VC funds with total capital of over €200 million. Consisting of almost 100 growth companies across multiple sectors of technology and life science & health, it represents one of the largest private venture-backed portfolios in the Nordics. Our mission is to make good money. For more information, visit LinkedIn Twitter