MANAGING in the

NEW WORLD

Amidst the pressures of running gargantuan operations, innovation often takes a backseat amongst big firms. One of the ways to break this ennui is to constantly engage with startups as they possess certain vitality. There are some typical ways in which large firms have teamed up fruitfully with startups. One of the ways, though inorganic is through acquisitions. Then there are accelerator programmes where big firms adopt startups on term basis and provide them training and development platforms. Further there are third party collaborations with startups where certain verticals or projects are leased out to them. There is the concept ofhackathonswhere creative minds are put to test on business, technological or societal issues. Sometimes even competitions are specifically designed for startups to compete in. Conferences and networking meets have been all time favourites for such engagement practices. Beyond such forums, specific meetings are often organized at entrepreneurship hotspots like Bangalore or Silicon Valley. Some large firms have specific programmes aimed at attracting startups as their customers. Some media are specifically designed to organize thought leadership aimed at startups. Special interest groups where members have particular interest areas bring similar minds together. They often eventually merge or collaborate with entrepreneurship networks. There are even informal groups based around coffee clubs or weekend hobby societies. Company sponsored incubator programmes are increasing in span. There are certain universities dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and these universities get large firm grants especially for R & D purposes. The most unique initiative however is where entrepreneurs set up space within confines of the large firm’s office and develop their innovation. This culture rubs off on the employees who are encouraged to be more innovative.

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