Venture Investors and Corporate Growth
We are obsessed with the relationship between venture investors and corporate growth, and so many programs and service offerings at Cintrifuse are dedicated to this synergy. We know innovation comes in many forms, shapes, and sizes. It can be both inside out (developed internally) and outside in (sourced from the market). Venture investors are an essential part of both of these innovation mechanisms and help corporations supercharge their efforts. Here are a few things you should know going into today's conversation. And feel free to share with anyone in your organization.
“We are obsessed with the relationship between venture investors and corporate growth, and so many programs and service offerings at Cintrifuse are dedicated to this synergy.”
Venture investors may make 20-25 investments over the course of a 3 year investment period. To realize these investments, venture investors usually see 1,000+ deals at the top of their funnel. What they actually invest in is just the tip of the iceberg. Their knowledge of markets extends much deeper than just those companies in their portfolio. When we reach out to a venture investor for help with a particular innovation challenge, it is often not influenced by an existing portfolio company, but instead by what they are learning or seeing in their pipeline. So often, VC’s are viewed by their portfolio, when it is the pipeline that informs future solutions.
Network of Talent
This VC pipeline also leads to a strong network of talent. Budding founders that can lend their smarts to bigco challenges and help co-develop solutions while they build out new technologies. It can create a natural beta-testing environment and a win-win for both parties. Venture investors typically have a very deep bench of talent they pull from both for founders that they back and to launch newco's that may not exist in the market; their networks are both wide and deep. Having this asset in their back pocket is a huge advantage to corporations who are often looking for multiple skillsets. Especially in today’s business climate, many companies live and die by the talent they have access to.
in today’s business climate, many companies live and die by the talent they have access to.
Realtime Trend Insights
A large body of our work with corporations is focused on education. For instance, with the rise of Direct to Consumer business models, the expertise of Lerer Hippeau, many companies are losing market share to up and coming new products that are appealing directly to consumers. In order for them to develop the right internal capabilities and the right muscle for providing direct to consumer products, we spend a lot of time helping them gain a stronger understanding of these markets, their benefits and challenges, and what would make sense within internal corporate portfolios to add to the mix. Venture investors are one of the best sources of information for challenges like emerging business models and industry disruption because they see the highest growth and adoption among early-stage startups. They hold a macro view of the industry and are trained to see the opportunities as they arise.
“Venture investors are one of the best sources of information for challenges…they hold a macro view of the industry and are trained to see the opportunities as they arise.”
Venture investors provide the best ongoing education available for large corporations and having them in the CEO or CSO’s back pocket is critical for getting real-time feedback on challenges and being able to quickly pilot, develop capabilities, and get updated insights before making a critical decision. This is true for many sources of information and includes other industry experts, competitive insights, and board members, but to stay close to the venture community is paramount as the pace of disruption continues to increase and comes more and more from newco’s.