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Introducing the HCLI Trailblazer Series

Part 1 - Why Multinationals and Startups Gain More by Working Together

In a new video series entitled HCLI Trailblazers, which launched at the Singapore Business Leaders Programme (SBLP) in May 2018, some of Asia's foremost thinkers, leaders, and innovators shared their views on trending topics which relate to Asia, including how the broader ecosystem can support and work with startups.

According to a Boston Consulting Group study, 95% of startups wish to develop long-term partnerships with corporations. A recent Bain & Company report shows that a relationship with a large company positively impacts the growth of young companies in 93% of cases. On the flip side, a 2016 MassChallenge & Imaginatik report revealed that 82% of large companies now view interactions with startups as important, and 23% say it is "mission critical" to their business.

Even though the relationship between big multinationals and startups is not always straightforward, the enormous benefits of working collaboratively should not be underestimated, especially since doing so often results in a win-win for all concerned. While multinationals are typically considered financially stable, they are often slow to innovate and generally risk-averse. On the other hand, while startups tend to operate in relative chaos and depend heavily on funding, they are far more adept at enduring and thriving in digitally disruptive environments.

In order to have the best of both worlds, there is some mutual reflection and learning to be done, with big business adopting innovative approaches such as lean methodologies, and startups benefiting from hiring talent with large multinational corporate experience.

Another practical benefit involves collaborative partnerships. Indeed, from the perspective of the entrepreneur, multinationals are attractive sources of capital, early customers, and market access while in return, multinationals get exposed to innovative products and services and lower investment risks, as venture-funded startups establish new markets and are acquired when mature.

There are many different examples of this. Take, for example, AOL's startup incubator Fishbowl Labs: their model is simple – to support startups with the resources necessary to operate, from everyday workspace to auditoriums for hosting big events. Or, Samsung's Strategy and Innovation Center, which invests its capital and expertise to help innovators find solutions within the world of connected devices. Or even Unilever Foundry - another platform for partnering with the world's best startups to accelerate business innovation on a global scale.

Some excerpts from the HCLI Trailblazer series:

Magnus Grimeland, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Antler - a startup generator with a global mentor network – shares some deciding factors when it comes to supporting startups

Venture Capitalist and Founder of K2 Global, OziAmanat, talks about what investors look for in tech startups:

About the HCLI Trailblazer videos:

These short video interviews, which are produced by the Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI), a subsidiary of Temasek Management Services, are designed to showcase trending topics as they relate to Asia. They explore subjects such as the impact of digital on the future of work and education, whether a different approach to leadership, human capital and talent development is required, and how multinationals and startups can gain more by working together - as seen in the first two videos in the series. Designed for business leaders throughout Asia, it supports HCLI's mission to build global leaders from Asia.

To watch other HCLI Trailblazer videos please visit our HCLI YouTube channel here.