In February 2018, ZeroPoint Ventures and Datacom partnered to bring together six Founders from New Zealand’s startup ecosystem and six Senior Executives from Corporate New Zealand, at a three-day retreat, to begin a conversation.
We all recognise that the old paradigms of business no longer work. Today, startups and corporates are taking the opportunity to collaborate far more seriously. Each is looking for partners to commercialise ideas or solve problems.
Corporates recognise that there is an urgent need to develop a new level of innovation understanding, capability and success within their organisations and that it is increasingly necessary for them to tap into the innovation available within the broader eco-system, including startups. The risk is that the corporate embrace often includes processes that can end up ‘loving startups to death.’
Startups simply cannot afford this – it affects their livelihood, staff, family well-being and mortgages. They recognise the benefits of accessing corporates’ scale and experience but are wary of working in with big organisations.
That’s why we believe an open dialogue between big companies and entrepreneurs is absolutely vital.
The Retreat The idea for the retreat was to take people out of their day job environment, to create the thinking space necessary to do things differently and reflect on what’s possible. We wanted a free and frank conversation about innovation and the future of partnering between corporates and founders in New Zealand.
Our goal was to rekindle the entrepreneurship DNA that was once active in corporate New Zealand. Working together to define the addressable problems and principles to ‘oil’ the interactions between startups and corporates, the goal being to create the right conditions for a smarter market.
At the end of the retreat, we promised to publish the initial outputs of the attendees, created in a wiki and shared widely for wider community engagement.
The Playbook This is that wiki. It forms the first draft of a playbook, that over time with input and engagement from the wider New Zealand ecosystem, will hopefully be broadly adopted by the corporate and startup venture community to provide the first steps to begin building engagement model for smarter, venture-led corporate innovation in New Zealand, leveraged with the local startup ecosystem.
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