Why are large corporates getting start-ups on their side?

posted by 4 years ago in News

Before start-ups become successful and a threat to large companies, they are embracing their advantages. That’s according to Telegraph journalist Lauren Davidson.

The market prowess of large corporate organisations such as; John Lewis, Barclays and Diageo (owners of brands; Guinness, Captain Morgan’s and global giant Smirnoff) is clear however, they are still having to keep up and adapt to the constant transformations offered in the market. Smaller businesses are forcing them to look into more detail at what consumers are shopping around for and helping them take into account things like; purchasing decisions, costs the consumers’ are willing to pay and products they are expecting to receive must be adapted to also. Innovation manager at John Lewis, John Vary has said:

“It’s vital that we keep looking for new ideas, we need to revolutionise how consumers engage with John Lewis.”

John Lewis is one of many retailers that is launching a Dragon’s Den-style programme – the idea of the programme is to find start-ups with the best potential that will help them fulfil consumers’ needs and demands before start-ups become significant competitors in the market.

Companies including Barclays and Diageo are joining these “corporate accelerator” schemes – normally the process involves a competitive application process to compete in weeks of creating and refining products and business plans towards the final pitch of winning the funding that is up for grab.

12% of all accelerators of the British branch of Telefonica’s start-up scheme is now owned by corporate companies and there is many more to come.

Chief operating officer of L Marks (a start-up accelerator programme for large corporations), Liberty Mawhood has said;

“There is a lot of market change going on and even the larger companies are having to get involved. You get this sense that everyone’s just going ‘I don’t know what to do, can you help us?”

Head of Businesscomparison.com, Philip Brennan has said;

“There’s no doubt that a partnership between larger, more established businesses and start-ups can be mutually beneficial. Whereas start-ups can offer innovation and fresh ideas, talent and skills more established firms have experience on their side as well as the all-important funds to make things happen. Dragon’s Den style pitching opportunities are a fantastic way of discovering if two companies can work together. That’s not to say that many small businesses have the drive and skills to go it alone.”