SAP, Telefónica and Virgin awarded as the corporates most actively supporting European startups

Yesterday, attended an event in Brussels organised by open innovation advisory firm Mind the Bridge and UK-based innovation foundation Nesta, meant to highlight and award the corporates that are doing the most to support startups across Europe.

During the event, which was attended by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for research, science and innovation, the firms also presented some research on the way corporates typically work with startups in Europe, and how those relationships are evolving.

As for the award ceremony, the three corporates that came out on top were SAP, Telefonica and Virgin, although there were a host of prizes given to the likes of BBVA, Cisco, Enel, KPN, Mastercard, Mercedes-Benz (Daimler), AB InBev, Orange, Rabobank, Google and Unilever Foundry.

Corporates play an increasingly important role in how ecosystems across Europe evolve, but that role is itself changing quite a lot as different strategies are tested, implemented and evaluated.

“We need to maximize the potential of linking established corporations and start-ups across Europe, which is a clear win-win. The more that start-ups can access invaluable resources and market insight, the more established corporations can benefit from the exciting new innovations of our most talented innovators. It is this win-win scenario that we would like to achieve with the European Innovation Council, starting with the €2.7 billion pilot phase that was launched just a few weeks ago that includes financial support for innovative SMEs and mentoring and coaching from experienced players,” commented Commissioner Moedas.

You can download the report on Open Innovation in Europe produced by Mind The Bridge and Nesta here, for some interesting insights based on data from some 30+ corporates actively working with and investing in startups across the region.

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