Startups And Corporations: Disruption Through Collaboration

Posted: Updated:
Powderkeg CEO Matt Hunckler says the platform has more than 10,000 members. Powderkeg CEO Matt Hunckler says the platform has more than 10,000 members.

Disruption has had (er, is having) a long moment. Though disruption is an easy concept to misunderstand, it's easy to understand why it remains such an attractive topic among entrepreneurs. We've seen simple startup ideas rapidly create new industries and take over established ones. It ties into our culture's love of an underdog story.

But what about the startup stories that are less "David versus Goliath" and more "David teaches Goliath how to be a better giant?"

We see that happening now as more large companies invest in corporate innovation—and turn to startups for help.

Why Corporations Need Startups

Earlier this year, I dropped by HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Jam Session, hosted by our friends at Raidious. A few things stood out to me from HubSpot's excellent presentation:

  • The expected lifespan of a Fortune 500 company has slid from 75 to 15 years (and is sliding toward 5 years).
  • U.S. corporations are collectively sitting on about $1.6 trillion.
  • More companies want to see product adoption following an S curve rather than a bell curve.


That last point is especially noteworthy. S curve growth of product adoption seems like a violation of logic, until you realize that many corporations are trying to disrupt themselves before a competitor does. That means innovating, innovating, and innovating to continually find new growth opportunities.

That's what startups are built to do. Hence, not only are we seeing more collaboration between corporations and startups, it also feels like corporate ventures are on the rise. (Though it's over a year old now, this Forbes article by Teddy Himler of Comcast Ventures mentions that "75 of the Fortune 100 are active in corporate venturing, and 41 have a dedicated CVC team.")

How Do Startups Create Relationships with Corporations?

We find ourselves talking about this a lot here at Powderkeg. We know the need is there, so we want to create as frictionless a path as possible to help startups and corporations to find each other.

It's something we're working to figure out, but we've noticed a few things so far. For example, like pitching to the press, knocking on the front door rarely works. That's a big reason why we push to get a corporation innovation presence at all of our events, so startup founders and corporate leaders can organically meet and start a conversation.

OK, But What About Doing That at a Larger Scale?

Of course, it isn't practical to rely solely on the above approach. Also, given the enormity of corporate America, there’s plenty organizations such as accelerators, entrepreneur centers, and even local governments can do to facilitate collaboration between startups and corporations.

  • Perspectives

    • Circling Back on WeWork

      Back in July when we first discussed WeWork, this fast-growing but money-losing venture was one of the most talked-about IPOs in years. At that time, we noted that it was too early to say what would happen, but “it should be very interesting to watch it all play out.” Turns out, that was a massive understatement!

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Artist rendering of proposed headquarters for Ruoff Home Mortgage in Fort Wayne.

      Ruoff to Build New HQ in Downtown Fort Wayne

      Fort Wayne-based Ruoff Home Mortgage has announced plans to build a $43 million corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne. Plans call for a 110-thousand square foot, nine-story structure, at the corner of Ewing Street and Jefferson Boulevard. The building would include leasable office and retail space, as well as a parking garage. It would overlook Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne Tin Caps minor league baseball team. The company is currently located on...

    • (IIB Photo/Alex Brown)

      India Wants to Partner with Indiana on Sports

      Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger says a recent trade trip to India included a rare meeting that produced some interesting results.  Schellinger and Governor Eric Holcomb were granted an audience with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  “We were taken aback at how well he knew Indiana,” said Schellinger. “He knew our (economic) background, our educational background, our history of sports statewide,” said Schellinger, who added...

    • Photo courtesy of MutualBank

      MutualBank President Dies

      The President and Chief Operating Officer of Muncie-based MutalBank Pat Botts has died. In a statement on Facebook posted Sunday, the company said the passing was unexpected.

    • (stock image courtesy of Pixabay/Gerd Altmann)

      Hoosier Banks Rated for Work Environment

      Three Indiana banks have been judged as Best Banks to Work for in the U.S. by American Banker. The publication compiled a list of the top 85 banks in the country having a good work environment and strong, engaging leadership. 

    • The company also owns a building leased by Ulta in IN. Photo courtesy of Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp.

      Greenwood Amazon Building Gets New Owner

      New Jersey-based Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp. (NYSE: MNR) is acquiring a property in Greenwood.  The company says it is purchasing the nearly 616,000-square-foot industrial building for $81.5 million and will lease the space in a 15-year agreement to Amazon.com Services Inc.