What’s all the hype? Why do Corporates work with Startups?

 By Ben Hutt, Chief Program Director, Slingshot Accelerator


Working with Startups can create real, long lasting impacts on a Corporate’s transformational journey. Having been involved in some of the most high profile Australian Accelerators like Qantas AVRO, HCF Catalyst and Caltex Spark, the reasons why Corporates are seeking Startup interaction go beyond finding new tech.


HCF staff talk about their three year transformation

Corporates are often overwhelmed with where to start. They know that new ideas are going to underpin their business growth but what’s the most efficient way about starting this process?

You probably know, that Slingshot assist corporates in finding and educating the right Startups, build sustainable businesses and plug them back in to drive corporate innovation and transformation.


What are the impacts of an accelerator?
If you are debating the impacts of an accelerator around your boardroom table, the CEOs and Strategy Managers that I have worked with offer some unique insights on the benefits that were sometimes not envisaged.

1) Growth through new ventures. Corporates don’t know what they don’t know and looking ‘outside’ is the smartest, low risk way to test the new products and services in the marketplace

2) Partnering with an entrepreneurial community like an accelerator cohort gives Corporates access to leading global talent on their terms. For a large corporate, collaboration can create real value far faster than they could ever do internally

3) Working with the Startups is really exciting because you’re dealing with founders of businesses and they’ve got energy. For established corporates, some of your energy is dissipated, but when you engage with somebody who has is really passionate about an idea and they love what they do, that buzz gets transferred.

4) Working with Startups allows Corporates a way to accelerate some of their own thinking and streamline internal onboarding by learning how to work in an agile, frugl, speedy way

5) Startups inspire staff to think differently about the problems they have on their own desks and work with the tides of disruption, not against them


See some of the outcomes from the Lion Unleashed Accelerator?

At times this type of collaboration is really challenging. It can create friction, ruffle culture and the status quo. But this is the exact bi product of disruption, its not doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

What’s important is that there is clear leadership when you decide to commit to an accelerator program, and an even clearer set of expectations and productive conversations that are outcome driven along the way.


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