Gold Standards for the World’s Companies to Incorporate Open Innovation and Corporate-Startup Collaboration – Best practices for worldwide companies and SMEs emerging from Corporate Startup Stars Awards

Open Innovation is the de facto new way companies of all sizes and industries innovate. And yet today, as the global community shifts towards building a sustainable, inclusive economy, we are only just beginning to understand what that means for business globally.
Without question, Open Innovation must transform into an engine for sustainable growth. That said, there is no silver bullet, rather multiple complementary approaches and models targeting different goals and innovation horizons. In light of that, ICC and Mind the Bridge established in 2020 an initiative called Corporate Startup Stars, to gather best practices and begin defining and setting the standards for Corporate-Startup Collaboration in a manner that is
practical, comprehensive, and able to capture the new approaches that are constantly emerging.

Thanks to such an initiative we have been able to prepare a first set of Gold Standards to be used by companies from all over the world. In the longer-term, we expect these to shape widely adopted standards that work to increase the diffusion and implementation of Open Innovation. This position paper is conceived as a live document, to be continually updated based on trends and learning emerging from the annual Corporate Startup Stars awards.
Most particularly, this document sets out a set of criteria which corporations should follow in integrating Open Innovation into their organisations by working with Startups and ultimately Scaleups.
These “Must Haves” are the result of long years of study of best practices by Mind the Bridge and now in the past two years with ICC of what corporates need to do in order to truly gain the benefit of working with startups and scaleups. The Must Haves are summarized in Exhibit 1, while the full underlying “Check List” is included in the Appendix. They represent at once a “guide” to Corporations to show them what they need to instigate in their corporations in order to truly adopt
Open Innovation and integrate it into their organisations as it is a guide to entrepreneurial startups to tell them what they need to request when looking at working with corporations. Only when these criteria are met can a Startup and a Corporation really expect a “return on investment”.

Additionally, Mind the Bridge in partnership ICC has developed a self — assessment tool to be used by companies. Companies can receive a personalised assessment to benchmark and compare with innovation leaders and identify potential areas for improvement. More details in Appendix.