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Tech startups ‘can help large corporates enter new markets’

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Some 66% of respondents think interaction with startups helps large corporations enter new markets.

A report, produced by OpenAxel, a European Commission project coordinated by Wayra, also found that 76% of people believed interacting with startups helped large firms rejuvenate their corporate culture.

Additionally, 83% of participants think corporate accelerator programmes are an important way of interacting with startups to find disruptive and innovative business solutions.

Meanwhile, financial gains and corporate social responsibility proved to be less significant as drivers for collaboration with startups.

Gary Stewart, director of Wayra UK, said:  “It is often assumed that corporations that engage with startups are doing so with a profit motivation, seeing the potential for high growth and strong returns on their investment. This research study shows that in reality the reasons for investing in startups are varied, and often more to do with the positive impact they can have on the business’s own culture and processes.”

“While there has clearly been a great deal of progress made in developing incubator programmes, the priority for businesses operating accelerators must be to closer integrate with their own business to produce more meaningful and measurable results,” he added.

Specialist accelerators for startups

The report also found that approximately 60% of accelerators across Europe are still horizontal, meaning generalist, as opposed to focused on specific sectors or industries.

This, the report adds, shows that corporations are yet to embrace specialist incubator models despite the need for innovation in areas such as finance and mobility.

Ana Segurado, director of Telefónica Open Future, said: “The research has provided an interesting overview of the European startup landscape and insight into how relations with more established businesses may evolve in future.

“The findings suggest that we will see greater cooperation as businesses realise the true value of embracing disruptive innovation in their industry or sector and re-evaluating how they offer their product or service in a technology-driven world,” added Segurado.

Finally, the research looked into the tools used for scouting and initial engagement with startups, noting that one-off events (69% of respondents engaged in this activity) proved to be the most popular, followed by shared resources (64% of respondents) and investments (45% of participants).