Rise in corporate venture shows innovation is moving to startups

By October 7, 2016Innovation


Regular readers will know that for me the rising pace of change is one of the defining features of the early 21st century. Things are now changing so quickly that traditional structures are breaking down. Within a decade or so we will have adjusted to rapid change as the new normal, but in the short to medium term expect more disruption rather than less.

One example of traditional structures breaking down is that large companies are increasingly unable to keep up via internal innovation. Instead they are looking to partner with the startup ecosystem. Corporate sponsored accelerator programmes are one of the most visible aspects of that partnership, but whilst they command a lot of column inches they are small beer in terms of dollars committed.

The chart above (courtesy of Pitchbook) shows another aspect – direct investment by corporates into startups. Most striking is the rapid growth since 2009, but the dollars involved are also significant. The $26bn so far this year is the total deal value including the contribution from corporates, rather than the contribution itself, but I would guess that the actual corporate contribution will easily top $10bn this year.