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6 UK corporates ranked in top 25 for startup collaboration in Europe


Some six UK-based corporates have made Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars ranking, unveiled at the Startup Europe Summit in Berlin today.

The ranking, which reveals how big corporates such as Virgin, Sky, PwC, RBS, Unilever  and KPMG UK are working with startups, shows that an increasing number of industries – aside from tech – are going down the route of collaboration.

Led by UK innovation foundation Nesta and the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP), the ranking recognises the contribution of large corporate firms in the startup ecosystem and aims to highlight role models.

Chris Haley, head of startups and new technology research at Nesta, said: “Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars celebrates the myriad ways that corporates are now working with startups. The number of interactions has grown in the last five years as increasing numbers see new companies as an opportunity rather than a threat, with both learning from the other. We hope the ranking acts as food for thought for big businesses wanting to stay at the forefront of trends and grow their market share.”

The judging panel included Sherry Coutu, author of The Scale-up Report and angel investor; Alberto Onetti, Chairman Mind the Bridge; Dolf Wittkamper, head of EIT Digital’s Accelerator; and Candace Johnson, entrepreneur behind SES, Loral Teleport Europe and Europe Online.

Alberto Onetti, coordinator of the Startup Europe Partnership, added: “A lot of corporations today speak about open innovation and its importance. But the companies that are concretely executing it and pro-actively working with startups are not that many. With this research as well as the work we do every day through the Startup Europe Partnership platform we aim at identifying best practices and helping startup-corporate interaction to grow.”

Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars 2016 are: Cisco, Orange, KPMG UK, Microsoft, EDF, Rabobank, Telecom Italia, RBS, Sky, Diageo, Unilever, BBVA, WPP, KLM, BMW, Telefonica, KPN, Eneco, Accenture, PWC, Virgin, EDP, MSD, SAP SE and METRO.