We tend to think of corporations and startups as being on opposite ends of the same continuum. That corporations are the more evolved form of startups, and they are what every startup hopes to eventually become.
And while this is true to some extent, it doesn’t mean the relationship is one-way. Just like startups can learn lots from corporations, they also can teach corporations how to think in new ways and embrace new possibilities.
Company culture is one of these areas where startups can offer some real insight to corporations. Most business leaders agree that a strong and appropriate company culture is a real competitive edge, but organizational change is a daunting task that sometimes seems too great to undertake.
If you’re skeptical that startups can teach business leaders about company culture, then consider the following.
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We talk with a lot of interesting people every day (definitely one of the best perks of the job!). We learn every day from these smart people and their experiences and thought why not share all that with you. Cue our new monthly webinar series.
The first six episodes focus on collaboration and specifically piloting. In each episode we have two guests from startups and one from banks, insurance companies or other corporations, who talk about the different parts of the collaboration journey from the first contact to life after the pilot.
While we are waiting for the next episode (live on the 5th of September), I thought I would gather together some of the learnings from the series. I have to emphasize the word ’some’ as it is impossible to fit everything into one post, and I highly recommend checking out the series here for all of the learnings.
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The best innovations come from collaboration. Yet most attempts at collaboration fail. Most corporates blame the lack of strategic alignment or maturity. Most startups blame bureaucracy and internal politics.
And they’re both right: most of the time, there’s some building block missing. When you buy furniture, you wouldn’t leave half of the pieces “for later”. But with collaboration, that often happens. Neither startups nor corporations come with an Ikea-like manual.
That’s why we’ve decided to put together the elements of startup-corporation collaboration. After 25+ programs, we’ve seen a lot of what can go well, and a lot of what can go wrong. And many of the pitfalls are predictable, to some extent.
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We have done 26 programs so far, but still, each new program makes us as excited as if it was the first one. And the same thing happened again with our latest program: startup accelerator with OTP Bank.
Now it has already been a month since the Demo Day and the end of the program itself. While the collaboration still continues, it’s a good time to look back and reflect on what happened.
Three months of collaboration, innovation & results
Last summer when we started designing this accelerator, we mapped our partner’s OTP Bank’s needs with them – like we do with every collaboration program, be it for a bootcamp, a three-month accelerator, or continuous startup-innovation support. Read more »
Last week it was finally time to get the accelerator started at OTP Bank! We have worked hard with OTP Bank to prepare for it, and we couldn’t wait. We were looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work with the startups and their counterparts at OTP Bank. Based on the selection period, we had high expectations, and lucky for us, so far it seems like we weren’t wrong!
The first week was a whirlwind of introductions and clarification
On day one we got to know the startups better, and they got to know us better. But even more importantly: the got to know their collaboration partner OTP Bank better. The startups met with their business champion (who will Read more »
The rapidly changing world requires corporations to re-think all aspects of their organizations. They need to renew their strategies, operations and the way they organize their resources. Some of the most successful companies have realized startups are a good tool for fostering organizational renewal. They understand that in today’s world, they cannot only rely on their in-house resources.
By building relationships within a broader ecosystem of organizations, corporations can mobilize relevant expertise and talent to address unexpected challenges whenever they arise. Bill Joy, the co-founder and Chief Scientist of Sun Microsystems once Read more »
Is your startup going to be the next big thing in fintech? Do you have the AI, blockchain or cryptocurrency solution of the future? Or other innovation that is going to change how we do banking? And most importantly, do you want to collaborate with top banks from all over the world?
We are looking for the top fintech startups to work with top banks with over 100 million customers.
Make us love you and will make the banks love you more
Convince us you are what banks need, and you will be part of the selected top startups we Read more »
This is a guest post from one of our mentors, Petri Ekman. Petri is an experienced executive with a broad and in-depth experience in financing, financial and insurance products and risk management strategies for corporate clients. Petri’s current role is the founder and owner of Elevon Consulting Oy. There he focuses on advising companies in carrying out change programmes and setting up financing solutions.
In part one, I discussed the external factors forcing change upon the insurance industry. There is an obvious question that arises after. What is holding back insurance companies from changing their ways? Especially taking into account all of these looming threats on their horizon?
Again, I see a number of factors, many of which are universal, not insurance industry specific. Here is my list:
1. Non-life insurance is profitable
The non-life business is profitable today. That is because companies in a difficult investment environment have systematically cut their operating costs. And thus made their primary insurance business much Read more »
Most corporate accelerators fail in giving tangible results. Many corporations don’t even have a clear vision of what they’re trying to do with it! Some succeed in bringing only a few innovations to the market. Rarely the ones that can create real change. And most fail at changing the corporation in any meaningful way at all. This is entirely predictable. If that’s you, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Innovation is messy: you don’t know much at the beginning of the process, of what you’re going to get. Unfortunately, many people feel like they can’t prepare because of this. When it comes to corporate transformation, it’s exactly the opposite. Both sides (the startups and the corporation) must do their homework. Before and after the accelerator.
In fact, the accelerator should be no different than normal business Read more »