Up, Upside and away

The Upside programme

What is Upside?

Upside helps corporate teams build repeatable and scalable internal capabilities to drive digital transformation, cultural change and measurable returns on investments in innovation.

For the last several years, many corporations and institutions around the world have been investing into developing their innovation, digital transformation, and startup-partnering capabilities. Yet the majority of these institutions experience common, persistent challenges including:

  • Lack of clarity and alignment on digital transformation strategy.
  • No structured way to attract and select the right startups.
  • No relevant playbook for onboarding or delivery.
  • Difficulty engaging lines of business or purchasing departments. 
  • Failure to drive meaningful new revenue, best practices or competitive positioning.

This is where the Upside programme, delivered by Deloitte and Upside Partners comes in. We deliver battle-tested best-practices training, coaching and global startup scouting to address your business challenges and help you build the internal operational excellence that will ensure your innovation and transformation investments are positioning your business for long-term outcomes while creating measurable wins, internal buy-in and skills development along the way.

Create a robust formula to run and scale PoCs
Work with experts from corporate, venture capital, and startup industries

Learn to innovate like, and with, startups
Receive coaching from leading entrepreneurs and innovators

Train your executive team to approach innovation with a Venture Capitalist’s mindset
Learn to invest in innovation from top venture capitalists

Reduce the time and money spent on experiments
Collaborate with leading startups that have the skills and capabilities you need

Corporates struggle to produce successful innovations that scale into core businesses:

Corporates struggle to produce successful innovations that scale into core business

How we can help?

Upside is a modular programme, tailored to your organisation’s specific level of innovation maturity, designed to engage and align all levels of your organisation in a process that will build capabilities and accelerate the development of a more innovative culture. The end-to-end programme delivers managerial training, global startup scouting, and coaching through a structured, hands-on process that will deliver measurable results against existing business priorities.


Align your team
Workshops (and 1:1 meetings when necessary) align your team, executives and line of business owners around the Upside approach to driving returns from innovation. Key concepts include reviews of the best practices from startups, venture investors and top performing corporates, key metrics, and management and internal socialisation strategies.


Rapidly identify challenges and solutions most likely to drive value
Define measurable business challenges in collaboration with line of business managers to insure they’re fully engaged throughout the process.

Leverage Upside Partners’ global network, and learn VC-style interviewing skills, to dramatically accelerate the process of identifying the startups best positioned to add value.

Co-create multiple POC proposals with multiple startups in parallel to accelerate your teams’ learning and select the right startup.

Leverage Deloitte’s expertise to identify the right resources, compress procurement and kickoff the project in days, not weeks or months.


Generate stakeholder support and transparent business cases
Execute phase-gated PoCs generating data to support a business case or kill off unproductive experiments quickly and inexpensively.

Our team coaches yours in best practices of managing lateral stakeholders and startups.


Short-circuit the traditional RFP process
A transparent business case to address a measurable business challenge, supported by experimental POC data facilitates quick, clear decisions to implement, kill or conduct POCs with other startups.


Accelerate deployment of a validated solution
Including line of business managers and lateral stakeholders throughout the process, streamlines planning of a wider deployment of the POC.

Cooperation during the POC process creates clarity, alignment and trust between corporate and startup, expediting planning, negotiations and deployment.


Training the trainers evolves capabilities and culture
As the corporate develops proficiency within one business unit, internal innovation teams(s) grow increasingly capable of scaling the Upside methodology across other business units and/or geographies.

Who needs to be involved?

Your all-star group that will acquire the capability and continue building it into your business after the programme. The ideal team includes a sponsoring CxO (a few days of involvement) and a core team of about 3-5 people (part-time involvement): line of business manager, innovation leader, and future stars / technologists. The ideal team would include:

Sponsors (CxOs)
Seeking scalable approaches to driving returns from digital and talent transformation

Business Leader / Manager
Business owners or managers mandated to deploy solutions or improve their team’s performance

Digital or Innovation Leader
Tasked with executing on digital and innovation strategies

Future Stars / Technologists
Execution-focused individuals from technology and lateral departments that seek to take on new challenges and make an impact

The best of both worlds – Deloitte and Upside Partners

Successfully bridging corporate and startup worlds requires expertise and perspectives from many different fields, which is why Deloitte and Upside Partners have partnered to bring you the Upside programme.

Based in Silicon Valley, Upside Partners helps corporate teams accelerate cultural change and achieve operational excellence in innovation through the application of startup and venture investor best practices. Mike Sigal and Jelena Ewart, Upside Partners co-founders, bring to the table years of experience as corporate innovators, startup executives and venture capital investors.

The Team at Deloitte Digital, led by our Head of FinTech UK and North West Europe, Louise Brett, brings their breadth of experience in helping large business’ scale and transform their business to catch up to the digital era we are now in. They will also ensure a smooth procurement experience for the duration of the project.

The combination of Upside Partners’ background as investors and entrepreneurs, combined with Deloitte’s global reach, scalability and experience, is what makes Upside different from other accelerators and incubators global startup scouting offering or skills development programme.

To find out more about the Upside programme, please contact one of the team listed below.

Key contacts

Louise Brett

Louise Brett


Louise leads the UK FinTech response for Deloitte, working across the ecosystem with Financial Services clients, government bodies, regulators, advisors and the broader FinTech community. Formerly a b... More

Sam Kullar

Sam Kullar


Sam Kullar sits in Deloitte Ventures and the core UK FinTech team. Sam has a breadth of experience, which includes, but not limited to: building and scaling startups personally, pitching on Dragon’s D... More

Michel de la Bellière

Michel de la Bellière

Partner, Deloitte France

Michel de La Bellière is the EMEA Solvency II Lead and Deloitte France’s Insurance Leader. He has more than 18 years of experience in Europe and in the US. He has advised some of the leading European ... More