Corporate Venture Building Is Out to Save the World. No, really.

Opening picture for the article named: Corporate Venture Building Is Out to Save the World. No, really.
Are we joking that Corporate Venture Building can save the world? No, not really. Photo: Rod Long

A powerful solution: Corporate Venture Building

The best solution would leverage corporate strengths — their reach and resources — and mitigate some of the challenges inherent in such large organizations. After all, big, bold moves aren’t necessarily the first qualities associated with complex and established companies. And on the other end of the spectrum, the upstarts and disruptors of this world aren’t numerous enough to have that same level of impact. But what if there was a way to effectively merge the innovative ethos and quick-to-launch-and-scale successes of more agile startups with the resources of an established, global company?

“Corporate Venture Building is designed to do exactly this. This option — externalizing the conception, building, and scaling of new business models, products, and services — is a way to launch disruptive products within a traditional system quickly.”

With its corporate clients, Creative Dock Group combines an innovator’s daring, paradigm-busting approach, plus the fearlessness and zeal of entrepreneurs, and finally the resources — financial, operational, and strategic — of a corporation to bring much-needed impactful businesses to market.

More than 500 people are already “Together in one Dock”. A picture from the auditorium of the Prague event. An article is named: Corporate Venture Building Is Out to Save the World. No, really.
More than 500 people are already “Together in one Dock”.

A call to courage

Until now, one common corporate innovation approach has been to build in-house teams to develop new business models and launch breakthrough products and services. As many of these teams approach a decade since their establishment, the consensus is that in-house corporate innovation doesn’t always work as hoped. “Despite all the thought leadership and all the good people…the solutions that corporate came up with…didn’t move the needle,” explained Manuel Hörl, Head of International Ventures at Creative Dock. Many corporate innovation teams are re-evaluating, looking to find ways to generate more impact, despite structural issues that get in the way.

“By adopting an external approach with Corporate Venture Builders, corporations enable heightened creativity and empower diverse approaches that are executed with a different mindset.”

As Linda Ambruster, Director of Innovations at Creative Dock, says: „Things can change in an instant. If you’re sitting pretty and assume that the world won’t change or evolve — especially when peoples’ livelihoods and safety are on the line — this is just irresponsible leadership. And besides the imminent fact that consumers and conditions change, incumbents find themselves challenged by unforeseen competitors.” Her message is pretty clear. “If you don’t disrupt yourself, someone else eventually will.“

A picture from the art-ish opening of the Prague event. An article is named: Corporate Venture Building Is Out to Save the World. No, really.
The day-long event kicked off with an artistic performance by international theatre artists.

Taming the chaos

While corporations may be criticized for their unwieldy size, processes that slow things down, and structures that hinder more innovative approaches, startups are often scrappier, smaller, more chaotic and thus, admittedly more of a risk to work with.

“Well-established, traditional companies may shy from embracing the chaos. Which begs the question: how much chaos is necessary for the effective development and launch of innovative products?”

Heinrich Arnold, Innovation & Technology Business Leader at Creative Dock thinks that there needs to be more chaos baked into the current corporate innovation system. Baby boomers, the generation that currently leads the private sector, “know how to achieve goals. And the focus is one of their favorite words. This is what has dominated the economy these past 25 years…optimization. And innovation was cut off.” Felix Staeritz, Co-Founder and CEO of FoundersLane and Board Member at Creative Dock Group agreed, and, like Arnold, stressed that this chaos, though necessary, must still be managed. “I’m a big believer that in order to do it to scale, and keep things professional, you need to have structures in place. That’s what we (aim) to bring — clear phases for design, testing, MVP development and scaling.”

Felix Staeritz, Co-Founder and CEO of FoundersLane and Board Member at Creative Dock Group. Corporate Venture Building Is Out to Save the World. No, really.
Felix Staeritz judged the innovation battle re-thinking use of everyday objects.

Solutions at scale, or: The Unicorns Are Not Coming to Save Us

The challenges facing us touch all aspects of our lives, explained Staeritz: from our buildings to our shoes, “whatever we have, we need to reinvent (it). (Waiting) for startups (to solve problems) is wrong…all of those assets are already there, so let’s use them smartly, and change the business models.” Arnold echoed this sentiment — the bold solutions we need are so many, and so pressing, that waiting around for unicorns to save us is foolish. We cannot wait for startups, he emphasized: “In Europe, 1% of new jobs are created each year. At this rate, it will take us 100 years to renew the European economy. That’s too long. We need to mobilize the 99% of the existing economy.”

“This combines the best of both established corporations and startups in order to develop bold, innovative products and services, fast.”

Business as a force for good

“When I was 16, I started my first company,” Staeritz explained, “and in the last 23 years, I never stopped…because I believe it is about human beings actually solving problems.” The big, complex problems we face call for bold, innovative solutions. And time is of the essence — we are called to navigate this brave new world with speed and smarts.

About Creative Dock Group — joining forces to lead a new category

2022 has been a year of exciting developments for Creative Dock Group, not least of which have been the acquisition of four companies on its onward march to become Europe’s leading Corporate Venture Builder. The four include Zurich-based Spark Works and Prague-based IdeaSense, two teams specialized in cutting-edge innovation practice, as well as the Berlin-based Rohrbeck Heger, with its unique expertise in strategic foresight, and leading venture builder FoundersLane.

Martin Pejsa talking onstage about future of merged companies and corporate venture building itself. An article is named: Corporate Venture Building Is Out to Save the World. No, really.
Martin Pejsa talking onstage about the future of the integrated company.

“With the four acquisitions now merged into Creative Dock Group, the stage is set for realizing ambitious goals: both to build and lead a new breed of innovation power, Corporate Venture Building.”

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Creative Dock Corporate Venture Builder

Creative Dock Corporate Venture Builder

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We create new products by building & scaling them on top of big companies' existing assets. With the aim to increase the value of clients. Creativedock.com