For the 7th year running, the world’s most active corporates working with startups and worldwide best practices in corporate-startup collaboration have been recognized and identified at the prestigious annual Corporate Startup Stars Awards

Launched by Mind the Bridge under the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative in 2016, the Awards have been scaled at global level thanks to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).  

“Open Innovation is no longer a black box, it’s fast becoming ubiquitous. – commented Alberto Onetti, Chairman of Mind the Bridge – Back in 2016, when we first launched the Corporate Startup Stars Awards, the goal was to shed light on a fast emerging phenomenon. Today, six years later, companies have gathered experience and focus on results. Although the modes of collaboration are in continuous evolution, there are best practices  that are arising as well as KPIs for measuring impact.”

Siemens was named the overall best in class of the 2022 edition, among a cohort of 100 selected companies. The official Award Ceremony, opened by recently appointed ICC President Maria Fernanda Garza, has been held today in London at the iconic Gherkin building and closed with a top notch panel about open innovation and startup-corporate collaboration organized by Economist Impact.

Commenting on the launch of the ‘Gold Standards for the World’s Companies to Incorporate Open Innovation and Corporate StartUp Collaboration’ Policy, ICC Chair Maria Fernanda Garza said: “As the voice of businesses large and small, we hope our new report with Mind the Bridge will become an industry standard roadmap for major companies to embed open innovation and partnership with startups into their strategy and operations. ICC will be working through our regional Centres of Entrepreneurship and global network of over 45 million companies worldwide, to extend the valuable insight and best practices accumulated from the CCS Awards to enable more open innovation and collaboration.”

In total, 100 companies, located in every region of the world, have been recognised for their work: 50 as Global Corporate Startup Stars and 50 as Global Open Innovation Challengers. 

The Open Innovation paradigm has evolved in time to become a multi-faceted play. On the one hand, from the outside, it is possible to see the tools and initiatives that corporates put in action to engage with the world of startups and scaleups, from corporate innovation outposts in global tech hotspots to accelerators, venture builders and intrapreneurship programs up to partnerships, investments, and M&A transactions. On the other hand, internal enabling-conditions are equally relevant to produce sustainable innovation results – added Marco Marinucci, CEO & Founder of Mind the BridgeModels and processes are constantly evolving over time. Here the Corporate Startup Stars provide invaluable benchmarks.”

Corporate Startup Stars

Along with Siemens, companies named in the 2022 Top50 Corporate Startup Stars –  i.e. companies that are fostering best-in-class Open Innovation practices and promoting corporate-startup collaborations globally – are: AB InBev, Airbus, Allianz, AXA, Bayer, BNP Paribas , BMW Group, Bosch Group, BP, Cisco Systems, Citigroup, Coca Cola, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), Deutsche Telekom, Enel, Engie, EQT Partners, Philip Morris, Visa, Huawei , Hyundai Motor, Iberdrola, IBM, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, LG Electronics, Merck KGaA, Mitsubishi Chemical Group, Munich Re, National Grid, Nestlé, Novartis, Orange, Ping An Insurance, GSK, Samsung, SAP, Saudi Aramco, Schneider Electric, Shell, Siemens, Société Générale, Sumitomo, Telefónica, Toyota Motor, Unilever, Volkswagen, Walmart, Xiaomi, SoftBank Group.

Open Innovation Challengers

The 50 companies awarded in the “Open Innovation Challengers” category – i.e. c​​ompanies that are challenging the status quo and bringing forward novel approaches in the space of corporate Open Innovationare: ACCIONA, Aviva, Banco Bradesco, Banco Santander, BBVA, Boeing, Barclays, Capital One, Carrefour, Comcast, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Enagás, Eni, Ericsson, Etisalat, Goldman Sachs, Grupo Bolívar, GT Bank, Haier, Honda Motor, Industrial Bank of Korea Adobe, Itaú Unibanco, KDDI, Lockheed Martin, L’Oréal, AP Moller Maersk, Mahindra Group, MTN, Naspers, Nissan, OCP Group, PepsiCo, POSCO, Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm, Rabobank, Rakuten, Reliance Industries, Saudi Telecom Company, Sodexo, KPN, Sony, Standard Bank, Suzano, Tata Group, TotalEnergies, Verizon Communications, Volvo, Walt Disney.

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 together established in 2020 the Corporate Startup Stars initiative 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.” The publication of the Gold Standards for the World’s Companies to Incorporate Open Innovation and Corporate StartUp Collaboration’ Policy is an important step in giving guidelines to the World’s Business Community,” said Candace Johnson, ICC Executive Board Member, Vice Chair of the ICC Policy Commission and Chair of the Corporate Startup Stars Judging Committee.

Rising Stars Award

Furthermore, a “Rising Stars Award” category has also been created in order to award those Open Innovation best practices put in place by companies outside of the Fortune 500/ Forbes 2000 lists. The 2022 Award  goes to ARM, Daewoong Pharmaceutical, and Körber.

Regional Awards

Regional Awards – recognizing the best performers across different geographies – go to AXA (Europe), Intel (North America), Banco Bradesco (South America), Standard Bank (Africa), Saudi Aramco (Middle East), LG Electronics (East Asia), Huawei (China). 

Special Awards

Special Awards for 8 categories single out approaches and best practices that merit recognition:

  • Intrapreneurship Program Award: Engie, Ericsson, SAP
    This award takes into account the following parameters: 
  1. Presence of one or more programmes dedicated to stimulating entrepreneurial attitude of employees;
  2. Structure of the program;
  3. Success stories reported and overall impact of the program.
  • Corporate Startup Accelerator Award: Barclays, Honda, Mastercard 

This award takes into account the following parameters: 

  1. Number of startups accelerated per year;
  2. Geographic reach of the accelerator’s portfolio;
  3. Impact of the accelerated startups on the corporate business;
  4. Estimated financial return of the accelerator;
  5. Total package offered by the corporate to accelerated startups.
  • Startup M&A Award: Adobe, Visa, Walmart

This award takes into account the following parameters: 

  1. Number of acquisitions done;
  2. Total dollar amount of the acquisitions;
  3. Impact of the acquired startups on the corporate business;
  4. Size and perceived relevance of the acquired startups.
  • Venture Builder Award: 1886 Ventures, Hyundai Motor, Telefónica

This award takes into account the following parameters: 

  1. Structure and goals of the Venture Builder;
  2. Number, growth and perceived relevance of new ventures;
  3. Impact of new ventures on the company’s core business.
  4. Innovativeness and novelty of the adopted approach to corporate venture building.
  • Corporate Venture Client Award: BMW Group, Bosch, Enel
    This award takes into account the following parameters: 
  1. Number of startup collaborations;
  2. Geographic reach of procurement activities;
  3. Scale and impact of such procurement collaborations on the overall corporate business.
  • Corporate Venture Capital Award: Allianz, EQT Partners, POSCO

This award takes into account the following parameters: 

  1. Number of investments;
  2. Estimated return on investment;
  3. Size of the fund/Capital invested;
  4. Size and perceived relevance of the invested startups, and overall impact on the corporate business.
  5. Process put in place for investments: presence of a dedicated fund/CVC, a ventures team, etc.
  • Innovation Organization Award: Eni, Volkswagen, Xiaomi

The Innovation Organization Award takes into account an organizational setup that enables and promotes non-incremental innovation reaching beyond their current core business scope.

  • Winner Orbit: Mastercard, Pfizer

The Winner Orbit includes companies that have been nominated TOP 1 in the ranking in the previous 2 years, in order to recognize their prominence in the Open Innovation arena. During the tenure of a company in the Winner Orbit, that company is excluded from the top 100 ranking, nonetheless, they might be considered for special categories awards.