Start-ups and Innovation: Let’s strike the right balance between risk and reward

18 Jan 2022

Last week I joined Capgemini Ventures to lead the operation of our start-up catalyst services amongst other things.

These services proactively market scan, identify, risk assess, and create collaborative relationships with tech start-ups. The services provided by these start-ups are then incorporated into Capgemini offers and go-to-market propositions so we can provide even greater value to our clients.

I agreed to take this role because I strongly believe that collaborating with tech start-ups needs to become the norm for any organisation who wants to innovate and flourish in today’s digitally led world. According to the MIT/Capgemini Invent report, 44% of companies have stated that start-ups will be one of their top-3 innovation sources by 2025. This is up from 10% in 2020 and this role is my opportunity to play a part in helping Capgemini’s clients exploit some of this!

I know that the idea of working with start-ups is a daunting proposition for some. They are quite often unknown entities, sometimes perceived as being led by maverick Tech “Genius’s”, and can vary wildly in terms of business model maturity. At Capgemini we aim to reduce such concerns by leveraging our well-defined services to assess potential tech start-ups partners against key risk dimensions: Management, Business, Technology and Financial maturity. Making informed decisions about which start-ups to include in partner ecosystems is best achieved by understanding the level of risk involved, whilst adopting a changed mindset that has a higher tolerance for some of these.

We need to appreciate that start-ups operate in a very different way to established tech giants; and try to strike the right balance of risk versus reward when considering them! These are key ingredients if we truly want to unleash the power of start-ups to drive the ambition of sustainable innovation! Vasuja Kishore Salikineedy from my new team and Early Metrics, our Startup Rating Agency partner, have co-authored a blog post which gives some insightful perspectives on how to reduce risk exposure when working with start-ups.

I really look forward to sharing more thoughts and engaging with you on the fascinating topic of start-ups! And do continue to look out for future blogs and vlogs that we will be publishing as part of our series.