Startup Collaboration as a Part of Corporate Innovation : A Qualitative Study on Icelandic Corporations

University essay from KTH/Industriell Marknadsföring och Entreprenörskap; KTH/Industriell Marknadsföring och Entreprenörskap

Abstract: The problem that most, if not all, large companies deal with in one way or another, is to stay relevant and competitive as their industry evolves. They need to keep improving their current services or products but still need to keep their eyes open for disruption. This requires them to make long-term investments in research and development, which does not always result in a quick return. To stay relevant, corporations need to increase corporate innovation. Research on collaboration between startups and corporations has grown substantially in recent years, but there is a gap in academic literature focusing on the barriers of these collaborations. This qualitative study focuses on what perspective Icelandic corporate managers have towards collaborating with startups as part of their corporate innovation. To accomplish that, eight semi- structured interviews with top-level managers from large corporations were conducted. It was clear that all interviewees were very positive about collaborating with startups even though most of them had little or no experience from doing so themselves. Icelandic companies seem to be reluctant to invest the required time and resources it takes for these collaborations to be successful because of the lack of successful examples in Iceland so far. This research only looked at the barriers and benefits from the perspective of top-level managers in large corporations but future research could include the perspective of startups as well.

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