Pairing up startups with large local corporates for greater success

@ShridharShukla points us to an interesting Chicago Tribune, with example of how large companies in Illinois, USA are connecting with local startups to tap the “innovation pipeline”, and at the same time improve the chances of the startup succeeding.

This news item should be especially interesting to the Pune tech and startup ecosystem because PuneConnect, a local initiative of Software Exporters Association of Pune (SEAP), PuneTech, Pune Open Coffee Club, and a bunch of other organizations has been trying to do something similar in Pune for the last 3 years.

The folks in Illinois have slightly different methods, which we should study and implement locally.


When Cheryl Harris sought to bring fresh ideas in analytics, data crunching and cyber security to top brass at Allstate Corp., she tapped a startup pipeline engineered to save Illinois companies time and money.

Harris and others at Allstate, who were accustomed to an eight-step procurement process that resulted in months of waiting, were skeptical they could learn most of what they needed in a 10-minute pitch from people they’d never met in the Illinois Corporate/Startup Challenge.


Equal parts shark tank pitch competition, and “American Idol,” the program solicits the interests of big companies, gathers suggestions for prospective matches from the portfolios of local incubators and venture firms, and allows the companies to select which will present their solutions to corporate brass.

and finally:

By pairing scale-up companies with corporate mentors, however, the odds of success improve. At the same time, firms eager to stay abreast of fast-paced innovation outside corporate walls can engage with firms earlier, experts say.

Read the full article