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Unilever suggest start-ups are the key to growth for big business

A new report by Unilever Foundry has found that 80% of executives believe that start-ups can have a positive impact on a large company’s approach to innovation.

The State of Innovation report also found that 90% of corporates already working with a start-up expected to continue to do so in the future.

Aline Santos, Unilever’s EVP for Global Marketing, comments: 

“Collaboration can no longer be viewed as an optional extra, it’s a strategic imperative. Start-ups are now widely recognised as invaluable sources of innovation, fuelling growth and providing pioneering business solutions”.

“The State of Innovation report reveals the appetite for collaboration between corporates and start-ups and signals a shift in the models adopted for future partnerships. As the Unilever Foundry continues its journey looking for exciting new partnerships, we are continually learning to ensure our future collaborations are effective as possible.”

A business critical investment in the next five years

The report suggests that start-up and corporate collaboration will evolve from an optional extra, to a business-critical investment in the next five years.

Collaboration is advancing with a rise of shared working spaces. Unilever, which has launched co-working spaces in Singapore and Dublin this year, believe that this way of working will be commonplace by 2025. They believe this model enables a collaborative way of working and creates confidence to experiment and take calculated risks.

“Structured programmes are very focused on solving business challenges. Going to the global start-up ecosystem and tapping into it in a systematic way to find solutions to business challenges delivers transformational change.”

Head of Innovation

The global study was conducted by interviewing almost 400 people from industry and start-ups as well as brand managers and VCs in India, Singapore, UK and the USA. 

The full report is available here

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