Dubai, March 23rd, 2021 – The official kick off of the 2021 edition of the “Corporate Startup Stars Awards” was announced today in Dubai as part of the MENA Digital Scaleup Summit hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation and UN-ESCWA and supported by the Dubai Chamber, in the presence of John WH Denton A.O., Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce, and Amy Neale, Senior Vice President, Mastercard (2020 Corporate Startup Star).

The celebration of Best Practices and Role Models in Open Innovation – taking place under the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative – was organized by Mind the Bridge in collaboration with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship.

For the second year running, Mind the Bridge and ICC will work together to identify the world’s top 50 Corporate Startup Stars, including the most active corporates in open innovation. The ultimate goal is to identify best practices worldwide in corporate-startup collaboration, whether through procurement, licensing, partnerships, accelerators, venture builders, CVCs, acquisitions, and other dedicated internal programs, such as intrapreneurship.

“Unfortunately there is no silver bullet in Open Innovation – said Alberto Onetti, Chairman Mind the Bridge – There are multiple approaches that are continuously evolving over time. That’s why it is important to continue to track best practices at international level. The ultimate goal of Corporate Startup Stars is to identify role models, and to incentivise others to follow suit.”

The Global Corporate Startup Stars (CSS) awards recognises and celebrates innovation across the world in all of its diverse forms – said Marco Marinucci, Mind the Bridge CEO – Whereas once, Silicon Valley was the bastion of “Open Innovation” and all countries wished to emulate and copy Silicon Valley, these days are foregone as each region and country across the world finds their own way to innovate and celebrate their successes. That’s why we decided to kick-off the 2021 Edition from the Middle East, also to recognize forward looking initiatives such as the Expo 2020 Dubai and the ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship in Beirut.”

Participation in the 2021 edition of the Awards is free of charge and open to companies from all industries and regions of the world. Applications should be submitted on the brand-new Corporate Startup Stars website no later than June 20th.

Winners will be announced in December in Paris. Categories and Special Awards include:

  • World’s Corporate Startup Stars
  • World’s Open Innovation Challengers
  • Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars
  • North America’s Corporate Startup Stars
  • LATAM Corporate Startup Stars
  • Africa Corporate Startup Stars
  • Asia Corporate Startup Stars
  • World’s Midcap Startup Stars
  • Category Awards ( Accelerator, Venture Builder, Intrapreneurship, Venture Client, Investment M&A)

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said, “We are delighted to announce the launch of the 2021 Corporate Startup Stars Awards. Over the past year, businesses of all sizes – especially startups and SMEs – have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with innovation and resilience. It’s important that we fully recognise these startups for their ambition and ingenuity through the Corporate Startup Stars Awards, so that they can inspire others and lead the global recovery.”

The evaluation process is coordinated by a judging committee, composed of the following exceptional professionals:

  • Candace Johnson, Serial Entrepreneur, President Emeritus EBAN, ICC Executive Board member
  • Bindi Karia, Member of the High Level Group of Innovators, EU European Innovation Council, Former Vice President at Silicon Valley Bank
  • Marième Diop, Founder of Dakar Network Angels, Manager Orange Digital Ventures Africa, Fellow of the President’s Obama Young African Leaders Initiative
  • Linda Smith, Co-Chair of the Global Business Angel Network (GBAN) and Chairman Emeritus of the Angel Capital Association
  • Fernando Spnola, Managing General Partner, Base Partners
  • Timothy Tong, CEO of the AMTD Foundation, President Emeritus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, former Dean of George Washington University
  • Alberto Onetti, Serial entrepreneur and coordinator of the Startup Europe Partnership

The evaluation is based on information submitted by the participating companies and external dedicated research. Startups’ nominations complement the evaluation process.