Welcome!

Symbian Authors: Jack Newton, Kevin Benedict, Matthew Lobas, Shelly Palmer, RealWire News Distribution

News Feed Item

Racing to Innovate, Corporations Embrace Venture Capital

With Traditional R&D Yielding Diminishing Returns, a Growing Number of Companies Are Turning to Venturing for Game-Changing Ideas as Well as Financial Gains, According to a New Report by The Boston Consulting Group

BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 10/31/12 -- Corporate venture capital (CVC) investing is back in style, and this time it's here to stay. A host of new industries are rushing to join the game, and CVC veterans and newcomers alike are forming cross-industry networks to fund promising start-ups, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The report, "Corporate Venture Capital: Avoid the Risk, Miss the Rewards," is being released today.

Corporate venture activity has accelerated in recent years, the report says. Once almost exclusively the stronghold of innovation-intensive industries such as technology, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, and media and publishing, CVC is being embraced by industries that once shunned the activity. Senior executives in several industries have told BCG that they regard venturing as an indispensable tool for innovation and development -- an assertion borne out by comparing their internal R&D spending with their venture investing. Across the board, corporate R&D spending as a percentage of sales is declining even as companies intensify their venture activities.

"Venture investing is, of course, an inherently risky activity," said Alexander Roos, a BCG partner and coauthor of the report. "But considering the disruptive potential of the innovations emerging from start-ups, the greater risk is not to invest at all."

Since the 1960s, CVC has cycled through three distinct boom-and-bust periods, with the bust coming each time as a result of financial-market or macroeconomic downturns. Now a fourth growth phase is under way, leading some observers to suggest that history is repeating itself. BCG argues otherwise, citing compelling evidence that CVC, once an experiment, has entered a new, more mature phase. Not only are new industries entering the arena, but the life spans of corporate venture units have increased steadily in the past ten years. For example, the length of time that CVC units in the pharmaceutical industry have been in continuous existence increased by 50 percent from 2002 to 2012, while the average lifetime of consumer industry CVC units has lengthened to 4.9 years in 2012 from 1.5 in 2002.

What's more, corporate venture investing has spread geographically beyond the U.S. and Europe to vibrant, fast-growing emerging markets. In the first half of 2012, for example, the dollar value of consumer industry venture investments in China rose 18 percentage points, to 63 percent, from the second half of 2010, while U.S.-focused investments shrank by 14 percentage points, to 20 percent.

The report takes a comprehensive view of the CVC landscape, analyzing the industries and companies engaging in venture investing as well as the industries and regions where they are focusing their capital.

New Players Are Joining the Game

Today, more than 750 corporations around the world have CVC units in operation, according to the report, citing the definitive database of Global Corporate Venturing, a leading industry publication. Between July 2010 and June 2012, these corporations engaged in more than 1,300 transactions. Analysis of the data reveals that corporations and industries with a long history of venturing are stepping up their presence in the field, while sectors that went largely unrepresented in earlier decades are also entering the arena. To gain a sense of the evolution of corporate venturing, BCG compared the venturing activities of four of the traditional industries (technology, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, and media and publishing) with those of four relative newcomers (machinery, power and gas production, consumer, and construction).

The Pressure to Innovate Is Fueling the Surge

The comparison shows that venture investing is taking root across a broad range of industries. Within the traditional sectors, the percentage of the 30 largest companies with dedicated CVC units has been climbing steadily since at least 2007. In three of four sectors (pharmaceutical, telecommunications, and technology) more than half of the 30 largest companies have such units in place -- a sign of the growing recognition of CVC's value as a tool for innovation, corporate development, and competitive advantage.

The same pattern holds, on a smaller scale, in those industries that have traditionally been less reliant on pure innovation to drive growth. "In recent years, these industries have come under growing pressure to innovate in response to demands for cleaner technology, more sustainable operations, and an improved user experience," said Dinesh Khanna, a BCG partner and coauthor of the report. "As a result, they are looking past internal R&D toward other innovation channels." Starting from a very low level, CVC concentration in all four newcomer industries in the comparison increased markedly from 2007 to 2012.

The Search for Disruptive Technologies Is On

As CVC expands beyond its traditional strongholds, the investment focus is widening as well. Corporate investors are looking beyond their core businesses toward sectors such as clean technology, which has the potential to disrupt industries ranging from power generation to building materials to transportation. Industrial companies, for example, are spreading their investments widely but maintaining a focus on related sectors; they invested in clean technology (the target of more than half of industrial CVC investment), information technology, health care, and transportation. CVC units in the chemical sector, meanwhile, diversified away from the core toward targets in the clean technology, health care, and industrial sectors, where they are seeking, for example, to exploit the potential for biochemical processes to supplant petrochemical ones. Overall, the most popular investment targets, measured by total number of transactions, were in IT, health care, media and publishing, and clean technology.

In addition to seeking opportunities outside their industry, corporate investors are deploying their capital outside the U.S. The data reveal that while the geographical investment focus varies widely by industry, corporate investors in most sectors are, in one fashion or another, directing much of their capital toward emerging markets. CVC investors are also increasingly willing to co-invest with other companies.

One of the most active networkers is General Electric. In clean technology, for example, GE is partnering with 13 corporate investors, 7 of them representing other industrial sectors. It is connected with Google through the two companies' investments in CoolPlanetBioFuels, for instance, and with Asahi Glass through common investments in Envia Systems.

The Old Rules Still Apply

The most successful CVC units are guided by distinct ground rules that dictate how those units define both their operating principles and their strategy, how knowledge is captured and transferred, how corporate assets are leveraged, and how venturing teams are staffed:

  • Operating Principles. Leading CVC units have clearly defined investing parameters. Corporate leadership has committed to venturing for the long term, with the understanding that venture investors, by definition, take risks and that the occasional failure is the cost of doing business.

  • Strategy. Befitting their key role in the innovation management effort, successful CVC units are tightly aligned with their corporate parents' overall business and innovation strategies.

  • Knowledge Transfer. Companies with high-performing venture units often designate specific business units to serve as "guardians" of individual investment targets. "The guardians are responsible for ensuring that the knowledge gathered from target investments feeds directly and reliably into the larger corporation-wide innovation pipeline," said Michael Brigl, a BCG principal and coauthor of the report.

  • Leverage of Existing Assets. Successful CVC units also make the most of their corporate resources. Some corporations, for example, give researchers from target companies access to their laboratories, while others contribute manufacturing expertise, offer broader distribution of the target company's products, or provide administrative support for patent applications.

  • Staffing. Finally, proven venturing performers pay close attention to staffing issues, choosing team leaders who combine broad familiarity with the VC landscape with deep understanding of the corporation's strategy and processes.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.bcgperspectives.com.

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or [email protected].

About The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients in all sectors and regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their businesses. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 77 offices in 42 countries. For more information, please visit www.bcg.com.

About bcgperspectives.com

Bcgperspectives.com is a new website -- available on PC, mobile phone, and iPad -- that features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management's agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG's extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back almost 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm's founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content -- including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports -- can be accessed via PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Akana has announced the availability of version 8 of its API Management solution. The Akana Platform provides an end-to-end API Management solution for designing, implementing, securing, managing, monitoring, and publishing APIs. It is available as a SaaS platform, on-premises, and as a hybrid deployment. Version 8 introduces a lot of new functionality, all aimed at offering customers the richest API Management capabilities in a way that is easier than ever for API and app developers to use.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...