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Startup Programs Design & Management: Part III - Where Should I Start?

We are compiling what we know and have experienced in designing and managing tools/programs such as acceleration, scouting, venture building, etc., for collaborating with startups in large companies or Technoparks, into a playbook. For those interested in the first two posts, here's a link -> Click


Especially in large companies, the toolkit for accelerating the innovation process is vast: from startup partnership units, startup acquisitions, corporate venture capital (CVC), incubation, accelerators, venture builders, entrepreneurs-in-residence, hackathons, internal entrepreneur training programs, to the most traditional R&D departments. The team at the helm must first decide how to blend these tools. There's no standard recipe; different tools can play roles in creating culture in every company. The goal is not just to use different tools but to find the right setup to accelerate innovation. Finding the right setup and strategy to transform into a beneficial mechanism for startups requires an average of 3-4 years. To produce a significant, revenue-generating output for the company from this game plan also takes about 3-4 years. Companies that cannot stand behind this 6-8 year process, expecting immediate results, are merely performing innovation theater. Although startup programs, demo days, and other eye-catching tools may create a good PR, they hardly move the needle in terms of the company's innovation capacity.

We plan and manage a startup collaboration program process in 7 sub-areas. Kushner Ryan's book "Accelerate This!" presents a clear depiction of these areas, and to avoid lengthening our discussion unnecessarily, let's quote it:


Every innovation program has different objectives, serves different backgrounds, and targets different startup profiles. Managing a startup program for a large company aiming to develop technologies that can provide a competitive advantage over the next 20 years is not the same as managing an acceleration program in Bilişim Vadisi. The former aims to create technology integrations with startups developing technologies relevant to the company's field of activity; the latter focuses on accumulating a community around a technology theme while employing equity (sweet equity) or revenue-sharing business models to generate income and sustainability. Everything from the startups sought to the services offered varies.

The "Pipeline Development & Outreach Plan" phase is seen by most program managers as merely preparing an application form and making announcements, which is a critical mistake!

If your program fails to reach the targeted startups at this step, you'll end up eating what's served to you; in other words, you'll have to settle for the applications that randomly come your way. You might add a bit of salt and spice during the program, but it won't change the taste of your bland dish.


In Part IV, we'll share what we do to find good startups during the "Pipeline Development / Outreach Plan" phase, offering methods focused on application.

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