The Corporate Startup

How established companies can develop successful innovation ecosystems

Winner of the 2019 Golden Axiom Business Book Award and the 2018 Management Book Of The Year Award.

There is now more pressure on established companies to innovate. The challenge most companies face is how to develop new products for new markets, while managing their core business at the same time. Our approach will help companies to innovate like startups, without having to act like startups. We go beyond running just another internal accelerator. We help you build successful internal innovation programs that leave lasting value.

The Corporate Startup won the Golden Axiom Business Book Award 2019, category Business Theory and the CMI Management Book of the Year Award 2018, category Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  

5 components of an innovation ecosystem

“Big companies need to innovate or die. The question is how. Companies need a playbook; a process by which they can start the process of transforming their organizations into innovation engines. The Corporate Startup is that playbook. It provides a proven methodology — applying Lean Startup principles and more — for building a culture of innovation.”
— Ben Yoskovitz, Co-Author of Lean Analytics and Founding Partner at Highline BETA.

“In this wonderful book, we have found frameworks and methods that are extremely relevant and helpful in our efforts to structure our open innovation. We are beginning to use Corporate Startup tools and methods to better qualify investment decisions, as well as secure continued board-level understanding and buy-in to the strategy.”
— Ole Madsen, Senior Vice President at Spar Nord Bank.

“In a world full of innovation hype and clichés, The Corporate Startup manages to provide useful answers and solutions to a complex question — how can corporations innovate faster and better? The book delivers a clear roadmap for creating a strategy, governance structures and implementing an innovation practice. This makes it an absolute must-read for all corporate strategists and innovators and has become “the way we think and talk” about corporate innovation in Copenhagen Fintech”
— Thomas Krogh Jensen, CEO at Copenhagen Fintech.

“Nothing’s harder than creating innovation, and the most valuable creations are exactly those which shrivel under typical corporate management. The authors’ approach is to focus on creating an ecosystem that allows innovation to flourish on its own; addressing health of the soil rather than micro-managing the plants. If you want to avoid some of the common traps and give your internal entrepreneurship the best shot, this book will help.”
— Rob Fitzpatrick, Author of The Mom Test.

About the authors

Esther Gons is Managing Partner at NEXT Amsterdam, helping corporates find new profitable business models while improving their core business at the same time. Esther is also author of Innovation Accounting and The NEXT Canvas. She has mentored hundreds of startups and still acts as an advisor for many of them. As an investor, she helps startups from a good idea to finding a working business model.

Dr. Tendayi Viki is the founder and principal consultant at Benneli Jacobs, a strategy and innovation consultancy firm that helps companies develop internal ecosystems so they can innovate like startups. He holds a PhD in Psychology and an MBA. He has worked as a consultant for several companies including Pearson, Standard Bank, The British Museum, The World Bank, General Electric and Whirlpool. He is also a Contributor at Forbes Magazine. Dr Viki co-designed and helped implement Pearson’s Product Lifecycle which is an innovation framework that won Best Innovation Program 2015 at the Corporate Entrepreneur Awards in New York.
Coming from an entrepreneurial background – having been involved with Hi-Tech & Internet start-ups across the world and being a entrepreneurship community leader in Europe – Dan Toma has a clear understanding of the challenges involved in building sustainable businesses from the ground up. In the years following his graduation from a top MBA program, he started focusing more on enterprise innovation management, specifically on how disruptive new ventures can be build in a corporate setting.

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