Better collaboration with startups: Case studies for corporates

What's the best way to collaborate with startups? What other corporates are doing in the field?

If your corporate needs inspiration to successfully engage with startups or would like to have an overview of how other corporate are embracing this opportunity, you will find these examples of corporate-startup collaboration quite useful. 


Best programmes to achieve defined goals

The case studies below are the result of more than 40 interviews with corporates’ CIOs, Startup Programme Managers and Executives. To make your read easier, we have divided the case studies according to the strategic goals your corporate wishes to achieve. 

Rejuvenating Corporate Culture: Dell, Google, Rabobank

Innovating Big Brands: Telefónica, Accenture, Microsoft

Solving Business Problems:  Unilever, Diageo, glh Hotels

Expanding into Future Markets: BMW, Enel

Additionally, the blogposts series 'Lessons from Corporates' includes the most important lessons learnt corporates' programme managers and CIO have shared with us. We are sure you'll find it useful. 


Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars - Role models of collaboration

To celebrate exemplary corporate-startup collaborations and promote best practices, Nesta in collaboration with the Startup Europe Partnership awarded 25 corporates as Europe’s 25 Corporate Startups Stars

Their programmes and activities have been featured on to inspire new corporates to follow suit.

Read about Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars case studies here (e.g. 'What does Metro offer startups?'). 


How to overcome corporates’ internal barriers

Differences in culture, languages and speed are the main barriers for corporates and startups to engage in a long term relationship. 
Another challenge for corporates to work effectively with startups are what we refer to as ‘internal barriers’. Lack of entrepreneurial culture, long processes, risk aversion and misaligned internal corporate strategy are a few examples. 

Below you can find a few case studies showing how to successfully overcome these obstacles: 

Strategic Barriers: Infosys
Structural Barriers: Castrol Innoventures
Cultural Barriers: Coca-Cola
Process Barriers: Enel

To know more about it, read Scaling Together

Photo credit: thikstock


Simona Bielli

Simona Bielli

Simona Bielli

Head of Programmes – Nesta Italia

Over the last year, Simona was working on a new exciting project that led to the foundation of Nesta Italia.

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Yann Finger

Yann is a Research Assistant in the policy and research team. His focus is on investigating policies supporting digital entrepreneurship across Europe, as part of the Startup Europe Pa…