Informations and abstract
Keywords: Innovation; Open Innovation; Alliances; Startup; Corporate Venture Capital.
This paper has been inspired by the reading of the book by Varaldo, Scarrà and Remondino dedicated to the collaborative relationships between large companies and technological startups. The benefits of collaborative innovation strategies are undeniable. Large companies can access to breakthrough innovation and acquire new knowledge and skills that are not possessed, and explore emerging and high-risk areas of technology. For small businesses, collaborating with a large company may mean having financial resources that are essential to sustain a growth strategy, as well as managerial capabilities that are fundamental to strengthening the organisational structure. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of ways in which big business can cooperate with small science-based startups, for instance Corporate Venture Capital and Corporate Venture Accelerator. Nevertheless, it is not easy to turn an initially asymmetric relationship into a more balanced win-win situation. Startups and big companies have different organizational culture: management styles, market approaches, strategic goals could be very different, sometimes divergent. How to integrate entrepreneurship and organizational capabilities? How to exploit a competitive advantage without losing an explorative orientation? Open innovation could be the right answer to these questions. The analysis of Varaldo and his colleagues is also useful to reflect on the role that small startups and open innovation processes can play for the Southern Italy's catching-up. Nowadays, some indicators leave room for optimism, such as entrepreneurial turmoil in Universities, the quality of academic research, the large number of young well-educated talents, the presence of a small group of medium-sized high-tech companies. Nevertheless, weaknesses and delays in the Mezzogiorno's innovation ecosystem cannot be overlooked.