Corporate Innovation Accelerated: Embracing Startup Agility with Venture Builder Partnerships in 2024

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Just as evolution is essential for the survival and thriving of species in the natural world, innovation plays a parallel role in the business ecosystem. The necessity of innovation mirrors the relentless force of evolution—both processes are inevitable, driven by the need to adapt to changing environments. 

The current landscape is evolving fast, driven by rapid technological advancements and shifting market demands. 

In this new world, it’s not just startups that are poised to be the vanguards of change but also established corporations, provided they harness the right strategies and successfully implement flexibility.

Okay, but how can big corporations embrace startup agility? What’s the secret?

One main catalyst for such transformation is engaging with venture builders. Why? Because they’re able to foster innovation with startup speed and flexibility. Corporate Venture Building combines the best of two worlds – the venture builder’s agility and the corporation’s scalability. This dynamic duo is the key to unlocking unparalleled innovation.

Now, let’s explore how corporations can turn this concept into their competitive edge.

The Imperative for Corporate Innovation

Imagine you’re a big corporation, cruising along with your tried-and-tested methods. Suddenly, you look around and realize it’s not just about having side projects anymore; it’s about survival.

Why the shift? In the fast-paced arena of modern business, large corporations face a stark ultimatum: innovate or fade into obscurity. 

And this is when the heroes of transformation step in —the venture builders. These dynamic forces don’t just catalyze innovation; they roll up their sleeves, invest sweat and blood, and actively engage in the process. Acting as more than mere puppeteers, they provide the launchpad for corporations to soar into the realm of cutting-edge transformation. 

But let’s see their input in practice:

Venture Builder

Enter Rainmaking, a venture building titan. Their venture building approach is a game-changer, raising the stakes and the success rates. 

Jordan Schlipf, co-founder of Rainmaking Venture Studio, delivered some jaw-dropping numbers in an interview. He noted that corporations attempting to build startups internally have a meagre 8% success rate. And brace yourselves; it takes them twice as long and sucks up four times more investment than their market counterparts. 

That’s a tough pill to swallow. But here’s the kicker – Rainmaking has touted an 81% success rate of pilots between corporates and startups. The message is crystal clear: in this high-stakes innovation race, corporations don’t just need partners; they need the right partners.

So, why should corporations care about all this? Because nowadays standing still is the fastest way to get left behind. 

By embracing startup agility through well-informed and funded approaches like venture builders, corporations can stay ahead of the curve and write their own success stories in the ever-changing business saga.

The Cooperative Venture Builder Model

You’re certainly wondering “Okay, but how can I smoothly embrace startup agility?”. Don’t worry, we’re here to give you the answer and it is the Cooperative Venture Builder Model.

The cooperative approach is one where members share a common vision and collectively own the venture, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment among participants.

A key advantage is leveraging collective expertise from a diverse team, bringing together professionals with varied backgrounds and skill sets. This ensures comprehensive solutions across different domains, from software development to marketing and beyond.

With everyone invested in the venture’s success, the Cooperative Venture Builder Model creates a fertile ground for creativity, efficiency, and sustainable growth. And that’s exactly the level of flexibility you need to tackle the uncertainties around the market.

Strategies for Accelerating Innovation

Design Thinking and Design Sprints: The Seeds of Innovation

Design Thinking provides a user-centric framework that fosters innovation. By focusing on empathizing with the user, defining the problem, ideating solutions, creating prototypes, and testing, startups can iterate fast and uncover groundbreaking products or services. 

Coupled with Design Sprints, a condensed version of this cycle, startups can rapidly validate ideas and spur on corporate innovation with precision and agility.

Fast Prototyping: Bringing Ideas to Life Swiftly

The value of an idea lies in its execution, and that’s where Fast Prototyping takes center stage. This approach allows startups to create workable versions of their products quickly, obtaining valuable feedback to refine and perfect their offerings. The main idea here is ‘fail fast, learn fast‘. 

CTO and Product Management as a Service: Guided Technological Expertise

In the current climate of rapid technological change, expert guidance is invaluable. Offering CTO and Product Management as a Service provides startups with the knowledge and support necessary to drive their tech applications forward effectively, bridging the gap between concept and market-ready innovation.

What are the advantages of partnering with a Venture Builder?

We made a list of the most important ones:

  • Access to Resources: The wide range of resources, including funding, expertise, and infrastructure enables startups to scale their operations more rapidly and efficiently than they could on their own.
  • Accelerated Growth: Venture Builders often have established relationships with investors, clients, and partners, which can open doors to new opportunities and markets.
  • Mitigated Risk: Since Venture Builders typically invest their resources into the ventures they support, they have a vested interest in ensuring their success and are motivated to provide ongoing support and guidance.
  • Operational Support: Operational support in areas such as product development, marketing, and sales can help startups navigate challenges and make informed decisions.
  • Access to Talent: Venture Builders typically have access to a pool of talented individuals with diverse skill sets. This helps startups quickly build out their teams and access the expertise needed to execute their vision effectively.

Incorporating Startup Principles into Corporate Innovation

We chose the following analogy to explain it all as well as we can:

Imagine the world of corporate innovation like some rough waters demanding the adoption of a dual mindset, akin to the contrasting methodologies of pirates and the navy. 


Think of traditional corporations as the navy – structured, reliable, and powerful, yet sometimes encumbered by their own size when it comes to rapid maneuvering. Conversely, startups act as agile pirates, swiftly exploring uncharted territories without the weight of extensive bureaucracy. The role of explorers within a corporation is to blend these worlds — leveraging the formidable resources and stability of the navy, while embodying the pirate’s fearless agility to venture into new horizons. 

Balance is everything. By fostering teams that operate on this hybrid model, corporations get the best of both worlds and can effectively sail the vast oceans of innovation, capturing the winds of change to propel themselves forward. 

The Ambidextrous Organization and the Three Horizons of Innovation

Now, let’s take a look at how our pirates and the navy interact. 

We’d like to introduce two groundbreaking concepts. Understanding and implementing these principles can mark the difference between merely surviving and truly flourishing in the competitive business environment.

  • The Three Horizons of Innovation framework – It sorts innovations into three categories: Horizon 1 is about improving the current business, Horizon 2 looks at new opportunities that could become big in the future, and Horizon 3 is all about creating new possibilities. The navy operates on Horizon 1, with all its bureaucracy and heavy structures, but also… certainty. Our explorers and pirates play on Horizon 3, focusing on finding a new market fit. This comes with the expected level of uncertainty and risk. 
  • The Ambidextrous Organization concept – It is all about balancing what a business already does well (exploitation) with exploring new opportunities (exploration). This balance is super important for a company’s long-term success because it means they’re not just focusing on what works now, but also looking ahead to what might work in the future. 

 These concepts help businesses stay flexible and ready for whatever comes their way.

Key Takeaways

Navigating the seas of innovation requires both the structured approach of Horizon 1 and the adventurous spirit of Horizon 3 explorations. 

The Ambidextrous Organization concept guides corporations towards this delicate balance, leveraging existing capabilities while exploring new opportunities. Partnering with a venture builder offers a unique advantage—an agile crew equipped with cutting-edge technology to navigate uncharted waters. 

We urge corporations to see this partnership not as an option but as an essential strategy for thriving in tomorrow’s landscape. The future belongs to those bold enough to reinvent, innovate, and collaborate. Join us in this exciting voyage of discovery and growth, embracing the model of partnering with a software development cooperative.