Mobile Talks, the discussion forum on digital transformation focused on technologic trends and specific themes such as innovation and the impact of new solutions, held its second edition discussing Corporate Venturing: Growth strategies through startups. Driven by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, in collaboration with the Iberoamerican Forum El País Retina, the event took place at Espacio Telefonica, in Madrid.

The meeting analysed the potential of Corporate Venturing, as an innovation tool for large corporations. Mobile Talks featured presentations by Gregor Gimmy, Founder and Head of BMW Startup Garage, Katherine Grass, Director of Innovation and Projects at Amadeus IT Group, Claudia de Antoni, London Investment Manager at Virgin Management Group, and Javier Placer, CEO Of Telefónica Open Future.

The benefits of working with startups, the impact of defining goals to participate on incubation programs and the need of drawing a solid strategy before creating an acceleration programme, were the main issues discussed in the second of Mobile Talks.

After their introdury pitches from each budding startups the speakers discussed on how companies can collaborate with these types of businesses. Their conclusion was that there are so many ways to drive innovation such as competitions, hackathons, accelerators, incubators and labs, among others. Corporations can adopt different strategies to their own needs, but all of them agreed with Katherine Grass’s affirmation, “the collaboration among corporations and startups is necessary to improve the processes of innovation”.

Mobile Talks helps companies understanding the process of digital transformation and how they can develop and adopt new methods of innovation through collaboration with startups. Claudia de Antoni, Investment Manager at Virgin Management Group, explained how her company is living a transition. They depart from a venture capital’s model towards an innovation model based on attracting new ways of technology for the company.

Gregor Gimmy added that the BMW Group is betting for a new model: client venturing. His corporation attracts entrepreneurs and startups to work with them and develop new technologies, “these model are only successful if startups have a better solution than anyone else, if not then they should quit”, he clarified. He defended his strategy because overall it was a way of increasing innovation.

In a world constantly changing, traditional innovation methods are insufficient for large corporations to face. Companies need guidelines to carry out these processes. Aleix Valls, CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, noted that 80% is transformation and 20% is digital.

According to Gregor Gimmy, at BMW, it is not about companies supporting startups, but startups helping companies”. In this context, collaboration with startups may be the answer to promote innovation and accelerate this process. Using innovation to define the definite aims will be the key to boosting the process of digital and corporate transformation.

After Mobile Talks, there are several ways of collaborating with startups, however it is necessary to discover which model adapts better to each corporation in order to follow this process succesfuly.