Success factors in corporate startup accelerators

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School of Business | Master's thesis
MSc program in Entrepreneurship
MSc program in Entrepreneurship
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This study explores the key factors of successful collaboration project between a startup and a big company. Due to the recent changes in digitalizing business environment and customer's buying behavior, several companies have showed interest to collaborate with startups that are operating in the same business field. By collaborating with small and innovative startup companies the big companies are usually willing to improve their own product development processes, test new ideas and eliminate their possible competitors as early as possible. This research is based on one case study, Media Startup Accelerator Program where Yle collaborated with eight early-stage startups. The program was executed in the autumn of 2014 by startup accelerator Nestholma in partnership with Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company. The goal of the study is to find out which were the key elements of successful collaboration in this case and which factors could be improved in upcoming accelerator projects. I'm trying to identify the benefits for a big company of participating in an accelerator program, and to evaluate when an accelerator program is not the best way to start the startup collaboration. In the end, I provide a toolkit based on the case, which might help big companies planning to get started with startup collaboration. The research approach in this study is qualitative and case study is used as a research method. I interviewed six key persons who were involved in the accelerator project. As result of this research, the most relevant factors that a big company should consider before getting started with a startup accelerator are identifying their own weaknesses and possibilities, involving the right people in the project, setting relevant goals for the project and having an effective and an open communication during the project.
startups, collaboration projects, corporations, innovation management, product development, product innovation, accelerator, Yle, Nestholma
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