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You say you’ve got an award-winning program, what awards have you won?

We have won:

  • LexisNexis ALPMA Award for Mills Oakley | Link
  • CIO #3 gong for Aidan Coleman, Charter Hall | Link
  • Australian Financial Review Fast Starters award | Link
Who else have you worked with?

Our clients include the likes of Bank of New Zealand, Microsoft, Village Roadshow, NTUC Income and Charter Hall, among others.

What regions do you focus on?

We are a global company and have delivered work everywhere from Sydney to Singapore, London to New York, and Shanghai to Dubai.

What kind of industries do you target?

In 2018, over US$300 billion was plowed into startups and scale-ups across the globe. These run the gamut of industries, and with technology-enabled barriers to entry getting lower and lower, and the nature of the firm quickly shifting, there are startups and scaleups working across all industries. Rather than try to beat them, join them.

What is your approach?

Our programs are different to the norm because we understand that finding and working with quality startups is a numbers game.

The best team in the world with the best idea in the world still faces an uphill battle. If you rely on a list to access startups, you’re running the risk of accessing a limited talent pool. There are hundreds of thousands of active startups around the world.

When you consider that 96% of startups fail and that venture capitalists, whose sole job it is to invest in early stage innovation, get it right just 10% of the time, it makes no sense to limit your exposure to a dozen or so startups at a pitch night or a couple of hundred on an online platform.

Before we kick off a program, we invest the time to understand your business model and strategic objectives. We then work with you to define challenge statements that are big enough, and are conducive to startups adding value. We’ll then build a website, reflecting these challenges, and use this to collect applications.

Recruitment is done through a combination of our proprietary machine learning tool, a PR campaign, social media, our global network of partners and scouts, and direct outreach.

We tend to target between 500 and 1,000 startups, shortlist 20-50 and help you select the pick of the bunch.

We’ll help you evaluate these startups across more than 30 variables, help you determine who to work with and a meaningful engagement model, so that you can get the absolute most out of your partnerships.

What are some examples of startups/scaleups that have been shortlisted from previous programs?
We are in a hurry - how quickly can you start a program?

If you are ready to start today, we can start today.

We are big and slow, can we work with startups?

We help you to effectively partner with startups while better navigating the corporate pitfalls that often plague startup partnerships. We’ve partnered conservative law firms, insurance providers, local government councils and listed banks with startups, so we’re comfortable we can work with yours too.

If we’re not happy with the shortlist, what happens?

We prefer to invoice our clients based on performance. So in the event that you’re not happy with the shortlist, we can either continue our search, or cut the program short. In this case, you pay for only 50% of the program cost. However, we only take on client challenges where we’re almost certain to develop a quality shortlist. As such, we’re confident that, should you choose to work with us, that you’ll be happy with the shortlist. We’ve never cut a program short before, and don’t intend to start anytime soon.

How much does a program cost?

Depending on the number and nature of challenges, programs cost between US$50,000 and $100,000 dollars. This is a fraction of what you would pay for a similar program, or an accelerator program.

How many startups will we partner with in response to a challenge?

Organisations typically partner with 1-2, however some organizations have partnered with more than this on the back of a successful program.

How long does it take to run a program?

The fastest we can get from kicking off an engagement, to having you work with startups is three months. This provides ample time to promote, connect with, evaluate, interview, shortlist and select the best, challenge-aligned companies.

How is this different to an accelerator program?

Most accelerator programs focus purely on early-stage startups. Such startups tend to be quite immature, and are working on solutions they can take to market. These companies are often not ready to work with a large organization like yours. And the problem with running an accelerator program where startups go through 13 weeks of education and mentorship, is that it will self-select out more mature companies that can deliver real value for your company this year.

Our programs cast a much wider net, and without the typical equity terms or 13-week education programs of an accelerator, we attract a lot of interest from mature scale-ups.

Oh, and our programs also cost about 20% of your typical accelerator program.

How do your startups typically engage with large organizations?

Several engagement models exist, including fee-for-service, developing a proof-of-concept (POC), white-labeling the startup’s product, investing in or acquiring a startup, among others.

How do you measure success?

We measure success based on the number of:

  • Companies contacted
  • Applications received
  • Companies shortlisted
  • Companies selected to work with
  • Most importantly, the outcome of engaging with said companies.
How do you find startups?

We use a proprietary machine learning tool that we’ve developed to find challenge-aligned startups. We also complement this with our global partners, our network of scouts, the program website, a PR campaign, social media and direct outreach.

How do you evaluate startups?

We have identified more than 30 variables that we evaluate startups on. Most importantly, it’s critical that what they do aligns with the challenge statement and that the company can effectively work with a large organization. Other variables include the uniqueness of their value proposition, years in business, size of team, capital raised, revenue generated and growth rates.

How big is your team?

We have a core team of eight, an extended network of fifty facilitators and consultants around the world, and a global network of hundreds of scouts.

We leverage technology and networks so we don’t need to be big. This keeps us nimble, which incidentally, is one of the main reasons corporations partner with startups to begin with.

For more on why we love this question, check out this blog.

How are you different to other providers, and startup directories?

Most companies purporting to match you with startups are simply connecting you with lists. Like great jobs, most of them aren’t listed on job directories. Quality startups, like a quality life partner, isn’t just waiting around on some list - they’re getting busy. You’ve got to chase them.

Timing, locality, appetite, funding, alignment, skillset - all of these factors matter, and finding the best companies requires the proverbial stars to align.

When VCs seek out startups, they don’t invest in the first 20 deals that come by their desk. They track thousands of startups each year, investing in just 20. We extend the same thinking to our corporate startup partnership programs.

The value of our programs comes from:

  • The wide net we cast
  • The analysis and evaluation we perform
  • The interviews we conduct
  • The selection in business, as in life, the quality of your outcomes reflects the quality of your decisions.
Do you also target scale-ups?

Yes. When we say ‘startup’, we are effectively talking about startups and scale-ups. Oftentimes, the companies that make it through to the bottom of our funnel are scale-ups, as they are more established and in a position to deliver value today

Do we have input into the final list of startups?

Yes. You will be presented with a shortlist of startups and recommendations, based on our initial evaluation and interviews, of between 20 and 50 startups. This saves you the time of looking through potentially hundreds of applicants. The final choice is ultimately yours, but given our experience working at the intersection of corporate innovation and startups, we’ll give you some very important pointers, and make sure you don’t make any foolish mistakes!

Can you help us define our challenge statements?

Yes, Collective Campus, is in the business of running design sprints to identifying and prioritising problems and/or opportunity areas worth exploring. If you’re going to do this, you’re best doing it for the biggest opportunity areas, where startups are best positioned to help.

Can I speak to your past clients to find out more?

We’d love it if you did! Our clients love us.

In fact, you can listen to a podcast episode that we did on the Bank of New Zealand’s GoSMEGrow startup partnership program right here!


Contact us today and be working with awesome, fit-for-purpose startups and scale-ups within months.