Scott Lenet, President of Touchdown Ventures, takes a different approach to investing. With a tagline of VC as a Service, Scott helps companies set up and run their funds. Scott talks with Brian Ardinger, Inside Outside Innovation Founder, about corporate venture. Corporates can be some of the best investors on the Cap table and achieve multiple objectives, from financial to strategic. They can also help themselves while helping the startup.
How have corporates changed their startup investing?
- There’s a correlation between corporate venture success and longevity/experience of managers. Touchdown works hand-in-hand with corporations.
- Companies should set themselves up for learning, but not as a tire kicker.
- Touchdown is seeing demand from every industry. It’s not only from large corporations, but also from mid-market and startups in SF.
- How do we stay innovative? All companies can see disruption. Can I do learning without investing? No. Startups won’t share info.
How do you help companies think beyond their existing industries?
- Corporate venture capital helps you do this
- Companies should be investing, differently = Core, adjacent, or disruption. Where do we want to focus our investments?
- VC investing in 1% of what you see.
- Intel capital or M12 ventures – Commitment to the program and helping startups. Good financial fiduciaries. Provide strategic value for startup and corporation. Relevant to businesses. Intel backs disruptive innovators.
What should startups think about for corporate venture? What should corporate venture think about for startups?
- Need to recognize corporations are large — many decision-makers. VCs can help you work with corporates.
- Can deliver strategic benefits for startups. Engage in market. How do we maintain dominant positions and partners?
- Need a change of mindset to reap benefits in this space.
For more information, on Scott Lenet or Touchdown Ventures check out touchdownvc.com
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