Earlier this year, the ScaleUp Institute collaborated with NESTA and Start-Up Europe Partnership on the report Scaling Together. A subsequent search was held to identify the top performing corporates in their engagement with smaller growth firms. This culminated with the publication of Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars which was unveiled at the Startup Europe Summit in Berlin.
This new ranking reveals that more industries beyond the tech sector are tapping into the potential of collaboration. The corporates included on the list spanned banking, consultancy and advertising. They had diverse approaches towards these partnerships, including direct investment, mentoring, intrapreneurship programmes and competitions.
The top-ranked trio were Cisco, Rabobank and Unilever. Cisco’s investment arm, Cisco Investments, manages a portfolio valued at $2bn, while its corporate venturing programme Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence operates in London and across Europe. Rabobank has launched an online platform to connect 700 promising startups with entrepreneurs. Unilever can count 100 pilots with startups and has invested over €550m in promising businesses.