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Search begins to find Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars of 2017

The hunt is on to find Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars of 2017 with nominations opening on  Wednesday 22nd March. The ranking, run by advisory firm Mind the Bridge and innovation foundation Nesta, will recognise Europe’s top “startup-friendly” corporates. The scheme takes place under the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative.

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Judges will award companies that have gone the extra mile to establish mutually-beneficial partnerships with startups – whether through favorable procurement terms, partnerships, accelerators, direct investment, mentoring, intrapreneurship schemes, competitions or other dedicated internal programmes. Nominations will be judged by an expert panel that is chaired by Sherry Coutu, author of The Scale-up Report and angel investor.

In 2016 Cisco was crowned as the most startup friendly corporate in Europe at the Startup Europe Summit in Berlin as a result of its unique approach to partnerships and investments through its Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (Cisco EIR) corporate venturing programme. Runners up included Rabobank and Unilever.

Nominations close on Wednesday 12th April 2017 with the 25 stars and final ranking revealed in Autumn. Startups, scale-ups, startup supporting organisations, mentors, and those who have witnessed examples of good corporate-startup collaboration will be asked to nominate the corporates that are offering the most effective support. Self-nominations are not considered, but corporates are encouraged to ask their startup network to nominate them. Last year nominations were crowdsourced in a similar way and over 100 nominations were received.

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, European Commission, says: “Cooperation between corporates and startups speeds up new business models and innovation. It is a key action to strengthen our ecosystem. Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars is an inspiring European step forward. Celebrate successes, embrace failures; let’s speed up the learning curve on a bigger scale.”

Alberto Onetti, Chairman of  Mind the Bridge, comments: “Starting new innovative businesses is not enough. We need European startups that are able to scale up in Europe. Corporations are front and central in this process. They can provide business opportunities as well as capital and exits. SEP 25 Corporate Startup Stars is aimed at showcasing best practices and role model how the corporate-startup collaboration might benefit both sides.”

Chris Haley, Head of Startups and New Technology Research at Nesta, comments: “Collaboration between corporates and startups, if done right, can bring tremendous benefit to both. Startups can access invaluable resources and market insight which can help them scale, whilst for established companies, such collaborations offer an important mode of innovation – as well as subtler benefits like cultural change. However, it is hard to get it right. We believe that the organisations doing this well should be recognised as trailblazers, and hope that they inspire others to follow suit.”

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