Evolve or Die: Cracking the code for successful business creation within a corporate

A commonly discussed theme in many corporate boardrooms is new business creation.

Large corporates are acutely aware of the commoditisation and competition they face in their core business and the need to provide market analysts with a compelling vision of a digital future. At its essence, the ability to grow and scale new businesses is the holy grail that provides constant renewal in an environment where corporate longevity is in steep decline.

Those tasked with leading new business creation, at face value, have a simple task - to use the extensive assets and talent in the corporate to create new fast growth ventures; however, many quickly realise that there are numerous challenges to overcome:

  • How should new ideas be generated? Surely the thousands of employees must have some innovative ideas? If the CEO choses a winning idea from an internal competition, is it hard to kill it even if it's a little “lightweight”? If external sources for ideas are used, isn’t there a risk of lack of senior buy-in and “not invented here” syndrome?

  • Should group strategy set the direction? Would this direction be a frustratingly broad “industry space”?

  • Should the new business ventures be developed and incubated by high potential leaders from within the corporate? Or are external entrepreneurs required? Can the corporate tolerate their seemingly haphazard ways of working?

  • How will funding be allocated? Will traditional finance techniques be used to assess venture potential or will Venture Capital techniques be deployed? Does corporate finance have expertise with these techniques? Is the corporate willing to offer equity to entice entrepreneurs accustomed to the successful VC model? Could money from the (often huge) CVC fund be applied?

  • What execution methods should be used? Is the corporate ready for experimentation based approaches such as Lean Startup?

  • How closely should corporate IT be involved? Instead, should leading edge open source software tools and techniques be used?

  • Should the new venture be kept physically separate from corporate HQ? Is there then a risk of dislocation and loss of buy-in from the mothership? Are opportunities for wider culture change being missed?

At Rainmaking Innovation, we partner with corporates to address these types of questions and put in place innovative approaches to crack open successful corporate venture building.

Senior corporate leaders are invited to join us in London on May 1st for a roundtable discussion to learn from Rainmaking's experience building new ventures across Mobility, Banking, Insurance, Logistics and Energy. 

You can learn more about the event and request a ticket here.

By Rob Morris

Managing Director, London Corporate Innovation

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