How the World’s Biggest Companies are Working with Startups

Updated on 8 February 2016

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Today's top entrepreneurship and business stories (8 February)


This is how the world’s biggest companies are working with startups
INSEAD, a business school and 500 Startups, a global venture capital seed fund and startup accelerator based in Silicon Valley, last week announced the release of a new report, ‘#500 Corporations: How do the World’s Biggest Companies Deal with the Startup Revolution?’. The study, co-authored by INSEAD Professor of Global Technology and Innovation Serguei Netessine and Arnaud Bonzom, director of Corporate Innovation at 500 Startups, focuses on corporate innovation by investigating 500 of the world’s biggest public companies and their practices in terms of Corporate Startup Engagement (CSE).

Some key findings from the report are: 68% of the top 100 companies from the Forbes Global 500 are engaging with startups. The majority (61.7%) of the Unicorns (private companies valued at US$1 billion or more) mentioned by The Wall Street Journal under The Billion Dollar Startups Club have raised funds from at least one corporate (not including investment firms and banks). The top 100 companies are working with startups two times more intensely than the last 100 companies of the Forbes Global 500. (INSEAD)

Mercantile Bank introduces rewards for entrepreneurs 
Business and commercial bank, Mercantile Bank has partnered with mobile transaction solutions provider, wiGroup, to develop an app that will enable entrepreneurs to earn and redeem points at till points of most major retailers using QR code technology.

Tom Stilwell, head of Mercantile Bank Private Bank, says that the Bank is happy to be able to reward entrepreneurs and make it easier for them to get something more out of their daily purchases.

“As a bank that works closely with entrepreneurs, we had numerous discussions with our clients to understand what they wanted from a rewards programme. Two things came out strongly. Rewards must be easy to redeem – many clients complained that they had often struggled to use their rewards with other institutions – and the programme must also offer clients considerable choice in what they can buy with their rewards. With our new loyalty app, redemption could not be easier and we are constantly increasing our list of merchants, giving clients even more choice.”

Linkedin shares plummets to a three year low
LinkedIn‘s shares plunged as much as 43% last week with the company losing nearly $11bn of market value. This follows the social network for professionals’ revenue forecast falling far short of expectations.

The stock sank to a three-year low of $110.01 in early trading, registering its sharpest decline since the company’s high-profile public listing in 2011.

LinkedIn forecast full-year revenue of $3.60-$3.65bn, missing the average analyst estimate of $3.91bn, according to Thomson Reuters.

LinkedIn reported that online ad revenue growth slowed to 20% in the fourth quarter from 56% a year earlier. (The Guardian)

Gartner seeking IT startups to showcase at its symposium 

Gartner will for a second year host the Aspiring Innovators Programme at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa 2016. The programme highlights innovative African startup technology companies who have something unique to offer enterprise organisations.

The goal of this programme, according to the company, is to both support the African startup technology scene, and provide delegates access to innovative local technology providers.

Selected by Gartner research analysts, the startup companies have the opportunity to describe what they are doing in front of an audience who are looking for solutions and they are able to talk with senior IT decision-makers who visit their stands. At last year’s event, the six selected South African companies (Build, Clevva, Encentivize, Mapzania, Nandie, Wyzetalk) took advantage of the opportunity to build their brand and expand their early customer base. (Techsmart)

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