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After the Honeymoon Ends

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After the Honeymoon Ends

Making Corporate-Startup Relationships Work

Boston Consulting Group,

5 min read
4 take-aways
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What's inside?

Mix the new energy of a start-up with corporate experience, and you’ve got a match made in heaven…sometimes.

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How does the corporate environment differ from the start-up environment? Assuming that the two are fairly different, what can they learn from each other, and how do they keep a collaboration from turning into a major clash of cultures and ideals? The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) surveyed 187 traditional corporations and 86 start-ups, and then analyzed 570 companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Armed with that data, they interviewed more than 30 investors, founders and executives with leading roles in the start-up world. This BCG report contains insights from those surveys and conversations.


Many corporations and start-ups are interested in entering mutually beneficial collaborations. 

About 65% of surveyed corporations report having collaborated with a start-up during the past three years, through a corporate venture capital (CVC) model, accelerators, partnership units, incubators, innovation or digital labs. According to Speedinvest, about 50% of the start-ups in its portfolio have a corporate investor. When a traditional corporation and a start-up enter a partnership, the corporation benefits from the start-up’s creativity, familiarity with cutting-edge technology, innovation and agile work processes. The start-up benefits from its corporate partner’s extensive experience, market access, existing customer base and the...

About the Authors

Michael Brigl, Stefan Gross-Selbeck, Nico Dehnert, Florian Schmieg and Steffen Simon are contributors to the Boston Consulting Group’s special reports.

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