If this is your first foray into corporate venturing, please check out our two previous blogs on what it is and why it’s beneficial for companies. If you’re all read up on the landscape and the available options, now’s the time for more insight on how to choose the venturing tool that is right for your corporation.
We’ve created our own Corporate Objective chart for you to consider.
What’s your objective?
Instead of ‘innovating to innovate’ or just attempting to reach KPIs, it’s important to identify the higher level objectives your business wishes to reach for. Though not limited to these options, we’ve identified the reasons that most corporates have turned to specific venturing tools:
Those seeking an ‘Ecosystem’ objective need a tool that will be most effective for creating a platform for startup engagement.
Most recommended for this objective are tools falling under the labels of accelerators, events and sharing resources.
Is your team or corporate structure lacking a startup mindset? To boost the entrepreneurial spirit within the office, corporates should choose the tools that will help rejuvenate corporate culture by boosting the innovative spirit within employees.
Most recommended for the ‘Culture’ objective are tools falling under the labels of incubators and sharing resources.
If the main objective is to reach current or nearby markets with slight or necessary change, go for the tools best suited for incremental innovation.
Most recommended for this objective are tools falling under the labels of strategic partnerships, accelerators, incubators and venture development studios.
Ready to get radical? For corporates ready to venture out of their comfort zone, a tool aimed at seeking out new sectors or target groups could be the right choice.
Most recommended for this objective are tools falling under the labels of corporate venture capital investment, mergers & acquisitions and venture development studios.
Things to Consider
Corporate capital commitment
There are definite considerations that should be researched before making any final decisions on which tool to use. The above image reflects where the options fit when considering capital commitment vs. venture ownership. Note that in this context, ‘venture ownership’ includes equity, culture and the impact on the value proposition of the venture. Do your research and be pragmatic about the budget you have for any venture.
Establish a realistic timeframe
Along with the capital commitment, timeframe estimates will influence what tool you could realistically use to reach business goals. It never hurts to be generous in your estimates.
Wants vs. needs
What is the objective that you would most like to reach? Now, define the objective that you need to reach. Look for any overlaps that may occur. Repeat this exercise for markets — is there a portion of the market which you would like to focus on more? Or are you most concerned about cultivating culture and innovation?
Consider your in-house talent and what they can bring to the table
Does someone in your company have what it takes to be an intrapreneur? If your first instinct is to answer no, have you truly checked? Be sure that no in-house talent is hiding in plain sight.
Involve your decision-makers as early as possible in whatever process you choose
Our strategists and co-drivers have seen the outcome of not doing this time and time again. A great idea has been generated and developed, with a potential schedule planned, only to be axed by the decision-maker who was not a part of the ideation stages. Involvement helps to create idea ownership for all parties.
Choosing Your Venturing Tool
There are, of course, many more internal and specific details to dissect and consider before you move forward with any of the options in the toolkit. However, identifying your objectives will make that decision much easier when the time comes.
Still not sure of which corporate venturing tool to use for your business?