Why corporates and startups need each other? The answer to this question is rather clear. Established businesses need new ideas and approaches to stay relevant to the market, while entrepreneurs can benefit from trusted brands and scale products within their customer base. What is not so clear is how the magic happens in practice.
Therefore, the early-stage investment fund Eleven Ventures and the young media company Trending Topics are starting the new section called Corporates ♥️ Startups. It’s dedicated to corporate acceleration and innovation. How to redesign corporate structures so startups and innovative ideas don’t get stiffed? What are the right KPIs in a Proof of Concept process? How should both sides protect intellectual property? Answers to these and many more questions provided by experts, but also observations on the practice, garnished with real-life examples is what the new edition is all about.
A new source of know-how
Together we want to create a living document that encapsulates the essence of corporate innovation, provides practical knowledge and talks broadly about the role of the human-centered design in the process of open innovation. This project will be also a kind of chronicle that follows the startup engagements in corporate acceleration projects in Bulgaria, starting with focus on fintech and healthcare. All the content in this new section is created on behalf of any business that considers the corporate acceleration step, regardless of the side.
“You can always be an observer, or you can become an integral part of this ecosystem, contribute to its growth and benefit from the results alongside the whole society. I am delighted to see that the conversation for corporate innovation is gaining popularity in Bulgaria and it’s not related only to hot topics such as fintech, for example, but also to healthtech, agritech and mobility. If we want to have smart, meaningful and sustainable lives, we all need to put some effort because we have both the resources and the foundations.” -Daniel Tomov, partner at Eleven Ventures.
Eleven Ventures is the first Bulgarian accelerator to make a step towards bringing together startups and corporations. In 2018 and 2019 two corporate innovation projects were started – with the tech payment company Visa and with the pharma company Sopharma Trading. Infusion is the term that captures the essence of the open innovation process, the Eleven Ventures team says. “When two things mix together and become stronger, they also have the power to transform established processes, models and behaviors for good. The enhancement of how people eat, pay, commute or entertain, is hard to be done by single players, either startups or enterprises, especially in the context of accelerating technology development. Both sides should unite and contribute to this successful symbiosis and take care to nurture it further by adding the right talent, investments and most importantly time,” Tomov explains the need for corporate innovation initiatives.
SoInventure and Visa Innovation Program provide collaborative platforms with networking, expert mentoring, know-how and client exposure aiming at commercial pilots. Up to five startups will participate in each program between June and November this year.
Trending Topics as a media aiming to give visibility to innovative ecosystems and spread the know-how within the community will follow and feature the development of the two programs. Furthermore, its team is committed to dig deeper and research the topic, let experts speak and share insights, so a comprehensive living guide and case studies are created.