Mar 2014

Intramezzo at CVIP in California

Intramezzo recently attended the Corporate Venturing and Innovation Partnership conference in Newport Beach, California, represented by Client Director, Georgina Worden.

The event was extremely well attended with representatives from many global brands including GE, Robert Bosch, Samsung and Nissan. It is clear that the steady growth that has been seen in corporate venturing is here to stay.

According to a recent PWC CEO survey, innovation is seen as the best growth opportunity over the next 12 months, however, 81% of executives do not believe their organisation knows how to lead this kind of initiative. Instead, entrepreneurs are seen as the new innovation partners.

This has prompted a growing trend towards corporates accessing innovation through investment – indeed, corporate investments saw a rise of 39% in 2013, according to NVCA.

There is an understanding that money is a commodity and, as such, corporates need to offer added value in order to attract good companies. Sue Siegel, the CEO of GE Ventures, delivered a fascinating talk – highlighting that corporate venturing is moving away from transactions and more towards a partnership approach, citing Google Ventures and Citi as examples. A model which they are adopting by creating a value-add ecosystem for their ventures.

Of course, this comes with its own set of challenges. Corporate venturing is still a “square peg in a round hole” with the typical investment cycle of 7 years versus the quarterly driven targets of the corporate. Whilst strategic goals are paramount, corporate venture capital cannot turn into a cost centre otherwise it becomes an unsustainable model.

In any successful corporate venturing unit, people are considered to be an important building block. Whether it be the individuals making the investments and managing the portfolio, or the entrepreneurs delivering financial and strategic returns for the corporates. Will this drive a new breed of entrepreneur?

Intramezzo will be exploring this as well as how to build a sustainable corporate venturing unit through talent when we lead a panel at the Global Corporate Venturing Symposium in May. For more information, please see the press release.

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