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The Question is… What is the Question?

What methods do corporations use to seek startup partners?

Technology has leveled the playing field of business. Today’s startups are just as likely to come up with the next innovation that consumers “must-have” as a corporate innovation team. It’s all about having the right idea at the right time – and the resources to make it to market.

A corporate-startup partnership is a win-win if all the synergies of business are in place. A small, agile startup with disruptive innovation meets a resource-heavy corporation in need of reinvention – it could be a match made in heaven, but only if they find each other in the first place. The corporation has to know where to look, and in today’s hot startup market, literally everywhere is a good place to start.


Artificially Intelligent?

Enter today’s analytics and algorithms, claiming to match corporate partners with startups with a “few clicks” and a monthly fee. These one-size-fits-all approaches to innovation partnerships may seem like an efficient, effective way to find a startup. The problem is, no algorithm exists to ensure the quality of the startups it recommends, nor is there an innovation matching app that contains anything but surface detail from startup-provided data. Accurate? Possibly.

By the time a corporation wades through a huge pool of self-populated startup data, they may lose sight of what they started the search for or worse – the goalposts may have moved, requiring a whole different type of startup. What was the question again?


Startups Seeking Collaboration

It’s widely established that corporations today are open to working with startups on many levels. From venture funds and accelerators to networking, hackathons, and even events like the World Incubation Summit, corporates are seeking startups in an avid, active way. Finding the right startups to work with can become a needle-and-haystack adventure.

Meanwhile, on the startup side, the vision of working with a corporation is quite different. Most startups don’t know what potential corporate partners should bring to the table – knowledge, access to market, expertise, data, networks, funds, all of the above, or a combination. Startups at different stages have different needs, and their maturity and market-readiness can stand in the way of a win-win partnership.


Collaboration Framework

Corporations with problems to solve or big market ambitions need to choose startups that support these priorities. What they require is a strong startup assessment of vetted and verified startups with the right innovation that is ready to scale. A database full of startups only gives a corporate innovation seeker a shot at the low-hanging fruit, like the first page of a Google search.

The framework for corporate-startup collaboration goes much deeper and includes a strong market assessment, a global strategy, and a targeted, detailed serving of startups. A list of handpicked, intelligent startups ready to tap for corporate innovation goals is what corporations value when it comes to working with startups. Finding this list on their own is impossible; the question becomes clearer – where can we as a corporation find the best startups?


Impactful Intelligence

Once a corporation knows the question – Where can we find the best startups? – it is then a matter of looking in the right place. As an innovation intelligence company and interactive learning community of business incubators and accelerators, UBI Global is the right place. As we put the finishing touches on the fifth edition of the World Benchmark Study, it reminds us of the value of our network and how critical it is that we connect with corporations seeking innovation to create those win-win situations.

Corporate seekers of innovation, inspiration, and partnerships – across all industries and in all locations – UBI Global can identify and make contact with the most impactful startups on the planet. These startups are ready to scale and impact your bottom line – how do we know? They have been incubated by the best programs in the world, and our data proves it. This is not some do-it-yourself top-level search; these are the real startup companies ready to disrupt your industry. 


UBI Global member programs that participate in the World Benchmark Study have demonstrated a very important trait; their startups are more successful. With a 5-year average survival rate of 59 percent, UBI Global member programs outperform non-incubated startups by 15 percentage points. The programs in the study supported ventures with over $3.2 billion in sales over the past five years.


Curious to find out more?

Our team is on standby to help you boost your innovation activity, whether it is on startup engagement intelligence or scouting and monitoring of incubators, accelerators and/or their startups.

Schedule a call with UBI Global, Innovation Manager, Lucas Molin.

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