Ben Yoskovitz is the Founding Partner at Highline BETA, a startup co-creation company. He is also Co-Author of Lean Analytics and a former VP of VarageSale and GoInstant, which sold to Salesforce. Brian Ardinger, Inside Outside innovation Founder, talks with Ben about corporate-startup collaboration.
Ben started his first company in 1996 during University, where he got into tech and entrepreneurship. Since that time, he founded several other companies, ran products, and started one of the first accelerators in Canada called Year 1 labs. Ben applied the Lean Startup methodology to the companies they invested in, then wrote the book Lean Analytics. Soon he began angel investing and finally launched Highline BETA.
Highline BETA believes by working with big companies, they can build better startups. Their service arm works with big companies to identify opportunities. Their fund arm finances them. This strategy can share risk. The corporate side realizes the big model is unlikely to survive. They must diversify. Outside the valley, startups think more about the business model and problems, which makes this collaboration an excellent fit. Highline BETA doesn’t assume they have all the ideas. Uses signals from inside of big companies of what they need, and has startups use this talent and resources from big companies.
Coming to IO Summit. Speaking on Startup + Corporate Collaboration. What are the trends?
Highline BETA is a commercial deal accelerator. Big companies with little companies in pilots. When they see pilots scaling, that’s a good sign. How do you navigate startups working with Corporates early? If startups need product and market and aren’t established, it’s tough to partner with corporates. Have to be ready for the relationship. Accelerators can provide the right interface with deal terms and expectations. Corporate Venture Capital – pros and cons. What’s the exchange of value becomes very important – Data, customers, co-marketing. Corporates work more slowly than startups.
Companies are starting to take a portfolio approach to everything they do. Building ventures organically – internal or external. Separating themselves from the core, or having an accelerator and investing in startups or co-creation. Not all will win but gives a nice balance. Difficult to disrupt when incentivized to keep core going. Must do everything, a balance. Don’t innovate on your own. Inorganic and organic. How do you streamline processes in working with startups?
For More Information
For more information or to connect with Ben Yoskovitz, check out Highline BETA.
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