The startup hype in Germany has now also reached the corporate world and more and more companies are starting their own initiatives. Large DAX companies usually rely on complete startup incubator programs and thus, in addition to their own spin-offs, also push the support and financing of start-ups in related business areas. In addition to well-known incubator and accelerator programs such as “Hubraum” from Deutsche Telekom or “Plug and Play” from Axel Springer, B2B companies and mid-sized companies are now increasingly starting their own programs, or are participating in joint funds for start-up investments. And our East Westphalian heavyweights such as Schüco, Miele and Dr. Oetker have now also discovered the topic of “start-ups” for themselves and are now starting their own programmes.
But which path leads to success here? Construction of an “ivory tower” in Berlin, where some digital nerds (I would also call myself that :-)) may let off steam, but without reference to the core business? Or rather a spin-off from the company directly in the hip co-working space around the corner with colleagues who are still considered capable of digital change?
The experiments are as varied as the startup scene itself and everyone is completely convinced of their path. But when it then goes into the implementation and the first 6 months are over, the disillusionment is often great and the measurable results are usually still very manageable. And even if I would agree with everyone that a start-up takes time and a spin-off or integration into corporate structures even more, it is usually no more than a PR wave that is generated. Many a board member will therefore quickly feel confirmed in his critical attitude towards these “digital savages” (original quote from a manager).
Building new business models that are implemented by companies either on their own or in cooperation with a startup is never really a question of resources, technological competence or financial resources. Rather, the attempts often fail because the projects are not given sufficient freedom in day-to-day business, in business culture and in the implementation of unconventional ideas. And even if the projects are successfully started, it is still difficult for many companies to network them with the existing business and the existing employees and thus create synergies.
These challenges are also faced by many companies in East Westphalia and therefore there will be a first Meetup on the topic “Corporate Incubator” in autumn. The aim of the meeting is to give an insight into the possibilities that corporations and SMEs have to approach the topic, what implementation variants look like and the difficulties and solutions that companies have in integrating start-ups into the overall organization.
Interested in participating? Please feel free to contact me, all companies that already have their own startup programs or are planning to do so in the future can participate. Just write to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here and we will get in contact with you.
I look forward to the exchange,