What does Accenture offer start-ups?

Offering a well-structured way of creating cost-effective products

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.
Written and reviewed by:

25 European Corporate Startup Stars reveals which large companies are doing the most to support new firms. These case studies highlight some specific examples of active and successful collaboration between corporates and start-ups.

A good example of…

Adaptive processes

European headquarters: London, UK

Geographical reach: UK, France, Ireland, US (New York, San Francisco), Japan, Israel, Brazil, India, Hong Kong, Singapore

Sector/s of interest: Fintech, blockchain, enterprise software, business-to-business (B2B) platforms, analytics, mobile, Cloud, retail technology

Works with start-ups through:

  • The Fintech Innovation Lab accelerator which provides 30 desks for 15 start-ups over three months, with mentorship
  • The Accenture Consumer Innovation Awards, which recognises early-stage start-ups in the retail and consumer spaces
  • The open innovation team which assess start-ups for collaboration with Accenture
  • Investments

Why does Accenture work with start-ups?

Management consultancy Accenture works with start-ups to identify and understand the latest technologies, business methodologies and market disrupters so it can advise its clients on what products to purchase and strategic partnerships to engage in.

How does Accenture work with start-ups?

Start-ups are evaluated through Accenture’s five-phase open innovation ‘funnelling’ process. In parallel, Accenture runs several start-up accelerators, including the Fintech Innovation Lab, which provides 15 start-ups with desk space and mentorship from senior in-house executives and banking professionals. A key impact of the Lab has been enabling Accenture’s open innovation team to engage more with blockchain and enterprise technology start-ups.

Accenture’s work with start-ups allows it to bring cost-effective and easy-to-implement solutions to its customers. The corporation’s recently established Consumer Innovation Awards (for start-ups operating in the retail and consumer spaces) have also helped to bring in new innovations.

What has Accenture done to facilitate collaboration with start-ups?

Since 2012, around 70 of the Fintech Innovation Lab start-ups have engaged in a meaningful way with big banks, either through a paid proof-of-concept, joint development or selling their technology. Accenture’s recently launched Consumer Innovation Awards (which will run in London, Singapore and New York) also promise to do the same for retail start-ups.

Particularly impressive is Accenture’s five-phase ‘funnel process’, developed by its open innovation team to manage the evaluation of start-ups. The phases are:

  • Phase 0: Watch List (start-ups are on Accenture’s radar and will be reviewed)
  • Phase 1: Prospect (start-ups meet with the open innovation team and are evaluated)
  • Phase 2: Qualified (start-ups are analysed and strong opportunities for Accenture and/ or its clients are identified)
  • Phase 3: Commitment (start-ups are given an Accenture ‘action owner’, outside of the open innovation team, who drives client engagement)
  • Phase 4: Client Win (start-ups generate their first ‘win’ with Accenture, through a client engagement)
  • Phase 5: Scale (start-ups generate multiple client ‘wins’ through engagements with Accenture)
Success story: Anaplan

Accenture has a long history of supporting early-stage technology companies that become partners. For example, it has a high-profile partnership with European start-up Anaplan, an online platform that helps Accenture’s clients to become more agile by enabling them to effectively analyse and interpret data.

Accenture’s Sarah Santoro says, “Anaplan is a great tool for our clients because once the solution is in place, they are able to make changes to their models and reports very rapidly.”


“Accenture is embracing the latest trends to be able to lead the process for their customers. The entrepreneurial culture is high and the approach to and integration of startups seems well ingrained throughout the organisation.”

Edward Wray, Corporate Startup Stars judge


What can other corporates learn from Accenture about working with start-ups?
  • Working with early-stage companies enables large corporations to identify the kind of cost-effective and easy-to-implement solutions customers are looking for
  • Creating flexible awards and initiatives, which can be adapted from country to country, helps to engage globally with start-ups
  • Accenture’s ‘funnel process’ is a thorough and well structured way of engaging with start-ups that could be adopted by other corporations

What is Accenture looking for from the start-ups it works with?

Accenture is looking for start-ups that: have created technology or a product of interest to its large corporate clients; would benefit from a partnership with a consulting firm (either to sell or deliver products to clients); and have credible founders or investors who understand the space they’re operating in.

How can start-ups get involved with Accenture?

Start-ups can apply to the FinTech Innovation Lab, three times a year. It runs programmes in New York, London or Hong Kong. Click here for more details.

The Accenture Consumer Innovation Awards is also open to start-ups three times a year and runs programmes in New York, London or Singapore. Please visit this site for more details.

For more information on Accenture’s Open Innovation programme, please click here.

NESTA_LOGO_RGB.resized StartupEurope_logo_resized Startups logo.200

Image courtesy of SVC2UK CEO Summit 2015.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 644104.

Written by:

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top