‘How to de-risk corporate startup innovations, while improving speed and cost?’

FINDER and Atos joined with practitioners, academics, and policy-makers to discuss how to yield benefits from these developments by re-positioning banks in the ecosystem, using Artificial Intelligence in insurance, mitigating risks in new venture collaborations and exploring the opportunities of the European GAIA-X project.

On Monday 15th March, the first day’s sessions took place as part of FINDER and Atos’ ‘Inclusive Digital Innovation in Financial Services & Insurance Event Week’. Atos CTO Remco Neuteboom (https://atos.net/en/expert/remco-neuteboom) and Rick Aalbers (https://www.ru.nl/personen/aalbers-h/), Associate Professor Strategy and Innovation at Radboud University hosted the sessions. They were joined by Josemaria Siota – Executive Director of the IESE Business School – who presented findings from a new corporate venturing report. The discussion was moderated by Nikhil Chouguley, the Global Head of Product Governance & ESG Oversight at Deutsche Bank.

The first half of the session was focus on new research on corporate venturing. Josemaria Siota presented the latest research on the new role of corporate venturing as an ‘enabler’. The research findings showed the importance of a corporate venturing ‘enabler’. The enabler is “An institution or individual, within an innovation ecosystem, that facilitates a resource or activity in the collaboration between an established corporation and a startup, in order for the corporation to attract and adopt innovation.” There are many types of enabler, including private accelerators and incubators, research institutions, venture capital firms or investors, governments and even other corporations. The enabler role is to help determine the innovation gap, explore the options for building the innovation capacity or partnering with others, and facilitate any partnership. Then Josemaria Siota answered about the research and its implications in the market.

The second half of the session was open to the audience. Host Nikhil Chouguley introduced himself and explained how he was interested in both sides of the relationship. He is responsible for governance at a major corporate in his day job, but he also operates his own fintech startup. Nikhil was particularly interested in the role of enablers and the relatively new concept of corporate venturing squads. The 25% of collaborations that had succeeded still represented a huge positive as he invited audience questions for Josemaria Siota to answer the research and its implications in the market.

Josemaria Siota explained how the research points to five crucial conclusions for corporates:

1) Protect your company’s core business when running corporate venturing through an enabler

2) Choose capabilities rather than ‘packaging’ to filter potential enablers. For example, working with partners via a local enabler that has a deep understanding of a specific sector in a specific country

3) Remember that enablers are not just consulting firms – the reality is far richer as they bring databases, events and other ways to connect organizations

4) These opportunities offer you a completely new revenue stream: enabling other partnerships through corporate venturing ‘squads’

5) Every day, the company is becoming less and less unique and enablers can improve your value proposition

There was also time for one key conclusion for potential enablers: A proven capability is the most frequent aspect considered by partners. So always under-sell and over-deliver.

The full research findings are available to download for free. (https://media.iese.edu/research/pdfs/74686.pdf)

About the event:

FINDER is a Marie Curie Research and Training Program funded by the European Committee and has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 813095. This session took place as part of Atos’s ‘Inclusive Digital Innovation in Financial Services & Insurance Event Week’ (15th to the 18th March 2021). This is part of Atos and Radboud University’s joint initiative FINDER (https://thefinderproject.eu/), funded by the European Commission.

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