Corporate accelerators are “out of step” with needs of start-ups, report claims
Most of Europe's corporations say they have launched open innnovation programmes in order to improve their business culture and processes
Corporate accelerators and incubators are out of step with start-ups and are too horizontal to support demand in specific sectors.
This is the headline claim from research conducted by Telefónica’s Wayra and European Commission project OpenAxel.
The research, which examined the roles of 60 of Europe's largest corporations with open innovation programmes over the last three years, argued that, while the growth of accelerators has “been pivotal” in connecting corporations and start-ups, success has been hindered by challenges in integrating structures, goals and systems of measuring business success.
The report also investigated the motivations behind accelerator programmes and found that the majority of corporations are motivated by a desire to find disruptive and innovative business solutions (83%), while 76% view accelerators as a means to rejuvenate corporate culture, and 66% view them as a way to help enter new markets.
Financial gains and corporate social responsibility proved to be less significant as drivers for corporate involvement in start-up accelerators and incubators.
In addition, the report found that almost 60% of European accelerators have a general focus – as opposed to a sector/industry-specific focus – and called for a need for corporate brands to “fully embrace specialist incubator models” particularly in areas such as finance and mobility.
Gary Stewart, Wayra UK director, said of the report:
“It is often assumed that corporations that engage with start-ups are doing so with a profit motivation, seeing the potential for high growth and strong returns on their investment. This research study shows that in reality the reasons for investing in startups are varied, and often more to do with the positive impact they can have on the business’s own culture and processes.
“While there has clearly been a great deal of progress made in developing incubator programmes, the priority for businesses operating accelerators must be to closer integrate with their own business to produce more meaningful and measurable results.”
To read the report in full, click here.