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Corporate venturing 

Ecosystem thinking as a key success factor for corporate venturing

Corporate venturing companies are in an ideal position to become drivers of growth within the start- and scale-up ecosystem, given the fairly limited impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their activities. With an ecosystem thinking mindset, they can create a win-win situation for both organisations, and help the overall ecosystem to grow.

Corporate venturing companies are in an ideal position to become drivers of growth within the start- and scale-up ecosystem, given the fairly limited impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their activities. With an ecosystem thinking mindset, they can create a win-win situation for both organisations, and help the overall ecosystem to grow.   

The purpose of corporate venturing companies that adopt the ecosystem thinking approach is to help grow their surrounding ecosystem, which in turn allows them to strengthen their network of customers, suppliers and complementary businesses and—by doing so—reinforce their position within the market. This approach also allows start- and scale-ups to keep a high level of autonomy.

Be it in the form of investments or merely support, corporate venturing companies are now in a prime position to take on a more prominent role within the start-up and scale-up ecosystem. However, this is not just limited to larger corporations. The current situation also allows for SME players to take on a more notable role and pick up corporate venturing activities. 

With an ecosystem thinking mindset, corporate venturing has the potential to become fully transformational, fostering a more entrepreneurial, risk-tolerant and fast decision-making culture.

Read our opinion piece to discover the benefits, avoid the pitfalls, and learn how to thrive with ecosystem thinking.

Key takeaways

  • Given the fairly limited impact of COVID-19 on corporate venturing activities, corporate venturing companies are in an ideal position to become a driver for growth within the start- and scale-up ecosystem, while meeting their own strategic objectives.
  • With ecosystem thinking corporate venturing companies move from a “take-over” mode, where they are simply looking to acquire something, to a partnership mode which allows for more bidirectional benefits and opportunities across the entire ecosystem.
  • When the ecosystem thinking is strongly embedded within both the corporate as well as the start- or scale-up, the benefits of the relationship are strengthened even further and radiate to the broader ecosystem. As such, this not only creates a win-win situation for both organisations, but also helps the overall ecosystem to grow.
  • When adopting an ecosystem approach, it is key that corporate venturing companies do not lose focus on the benefits for the existing business, avoid becoming disconnected from the core business and strategy, and balance internal and external corporate venturing activities.
  • With an ecosystem thinking mindset, corporate venturing has the potential to become fully transformational, fostering a more entrepreneurial, risk-tolerant and fast decision-making culture.
  • Strong collaboration within the ecosystem can act as a catalyst for economic growth on a European scale, allowing Belgian companies to thrive during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Corporate venturing opinion piece

Five key insights

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