Eight European banks have been lauded as among the top 36 corporates across the continent for their engagement with the startup ecosystem.
The rankings, prepared by Mind the Bridge and Nesta on behalf of the European Commission follow a public call to startups to nominate the most active corporates in terms of open-innovation.
In total 36 companies were awarded - 12 as SEP Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars and 24 as SEP Europe’s Open Innovation Challengers.
“Collaboration between established corporates and startups can bring tremendous benefits to both. Startups get the possibility access resources and market insight to help them scale up, whilst for established companies, such collaborations can be a strong driver of innovation - as well as bring subtler benefits like cultural change." comments European vice president Jyrki Katainen. "However, it is hard to get it right. We believe that the organisations doing this well should be recognized as trailblazers, and hope that they inspire others”.
Barclays, Mastercard and KBC were among the top twelve firms named as corporate startup stars, while Banco Sabadell, BBVA, LVMH, Rabobank, RBS and Santander qualified as 'Open Innovation Challengers'.
BBVA was singled out for its M&A strategy as one of three companies to earn the “Corporate Startup Acquisition Award”.
A comparative study conducted by Nesta and Mind the Bridge provides a clear outline of how corporates and startups engage. According to the report, there are six broad categories: Exposure (i.e. organising one-off events such as hackathons and sponsorships of coworking spaces); Trend Detetctor (with permanent presence in large tech hubs: Israel, Silicon Valley…); accelerators; procurement and sharing the development of the project at stake; inventments; and acquisitions.
“POCs confirm to be the mainstream way used by leading corporations to initiate their engagement with startups. Procurement can trigger investments and acquisitions when strategic considerations come to play," says Mind the Bridge chairman Alberto Onetti. "We are also witnessing some cases of corporates abandoning/downsizing their accelerator programmes. In parallel more and more European corporates are establishing a presence in Silicon Valley”.