Invitation: CORPORATE VENTURING

We will be having our next event on June 20thcentered on Corporate Venturing. We had surveyed members to see which corporate strategy topics were of most interest to them and Corporate Venturing came to the top of the list. There has been a resurgence of Corporate Venture Capital, and this time it is not just isolated with Tech and Pharma companies (Automotive, Consumer Products, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas companies are all entering) and there has been significant growth in cross-industry investments (somewhat driven by multi-industry sweeping innovations such as clean-tech). Many of our members are seeking CVC funding, while others are contemplating forming a fund within their corporations. The discussion will seek to understand how Expansion-Stage companies should engage with corporate venture capital funds. What’s the best way to secure funding and build a long-lasting strategic relationship, go to the corporate venture group or try and find the right business unit/division manager to be your “champion”? We will also examine what it takes to set up a successful corporate venture fund. How do you create a culture that embraces external innovation as opposed to viewing it as a threat to internal R&D? How do you maintain post-investment support from the organization to ensure you are creating value? How do you measure the success of a corporate venture? Oftentimes the strategic value can be as much, if not more, important than the financial returns of the investment. We will also examine some emerging trends in Corporate Venture, such as the move to earlier stage investments as seen by the growth of corporate incubators. To ensure that we have as engaging and thought-provoking of a discussion as possible we will be doing something new this time around. We will be conducting primary research by interviewing experts in the field beforehand. We want to talk to both corporate venture capital professionals and members of startups that have received corporate funding. If you or anyone that you know fits the bill, please reach out to Raj (araj14@gsb.columbia.edu) and we will schedule a 30 minute interview over the next 1-2 weeks. We will also post a summary of our discussion after the event.