The Age of Collaboration II

Startups + corporates = pain or gain?

Executive summary

The Age of Collaboration is back! 3 years after our first edition of the Age of Collaboration, collaboration between startups and corporates has come a long way. The topic in itself is not niche any longer, with 98% of corporates stating to have collaborated with startups before. In addition, while corporates state that today 12% of their top-line revenues are impacted by startups, this number is expected to increase to 19% in only three years.

On this new study, conducted jointly with Match-Maker Ventures, and with the support of 8 international contribution partners, we managed to exceed the number of participants from the first publication and build an even more representative sample. Over the past months, we surveyed 340 corporate and 203 startup participants from more than 70 countries. In addition, to gather further in-depth insights, we discussed the topic of collaboration in 1:1 interviews with a total of 50 successful entrepreneurs and corporate innovation experts.

What can you expect from the study? 

  1. More collaboration, more focus, more impact: startup-corporate collaboration is now a “mass market” phenomenon. Not only are there more corporates trying to collaborate with startups, but also each one of them is building higher expectations regarding the impact of startups on their top-line. We present how corporates and startups are approaching collaboration in 2019, including preferred engagement vehicles, the goals driving each side and the key concerns still holding them back.
  2. The rise of Corp-Up: commercially focused partnerships (Corp-Up) emerge as the most common and the least stopped engagement approach, with 70% of corporates already using it and only 5% having stopped once started. We explore how both sides can choose the most suitable Corp-Up collaboration setup, what are the key success factors to make it work and how the capability to drive more Corp-Up from initial approach to contract signed has evolved over the last 3 years.
  3. The way forward: the majority of corporates still shows an underwhelming level of collaboration activity and quality. We share our outlook for the next 3 years and outline recommendations for startups and corporates to get closer to the ‘perfect collaborator’.

The full version of the study can be downloaded via the following link:

As part of this report, 258 corporates will be receiving a personalized benchmark report assessing their collaboration capabilities against peers. Corporates interested in receiving a similar evaluation only need 5 minutes to fill in the following survey:

On the 9th of October, we invite you to an Executive Event in Vienna, where we will present in-depth the insights from The Age of Collaboration II. Find more information here: