Manifest van Delft: Corporates say ‘Yes!’ to start-ups

Large companies also want to invest in innovation in the coming ten years. This became clear during an intensive session with the top of managerial people in the Netherlands and several YES!Delft entrepreneurs. The result? The Manifest van Delft: a list with five joint ambitions which were handed Special Envoy for StartupDelta, Neelie Kroes, just before the kick-off of the Network Event.

Lead by KPMG, a select group of captains of industry and a same amount of YES!Delft entrepreneurs came together for about an hour. They discussed collaboration by using 4 major themes (culture, conditions, development of co-creating value propositions and finance) and thus created the list of five shared statements (one-liners).

Vision for the future
The Manifest van Delft is the starting point for more and an effective collaboration between large corporations and start-ups for in the near future. This way, they can optimally profit from each other’s opportunities, understand each other better and go for valuable innovations. Each of the five conditions have a whole unique approach and meaning:

1. Name a start-up champion with a clear mandate
The idea behind this is: large companies appoint a key figure within the organization. He/she works, within a clear paradigm, on a useful cooperation with start-ups.

2. Embrace and capitalize on the differences between start-ups and large companies
A solid corporation and a fresh newborn are miles apart on many different aspects. Instead of denying them, the starting point is to name these differences and utilize them where possible.

3. Look at a start-up as something more than an acquisition target
A start-up’s goal isn’t always to be acquired for a nice sum of money. As a large firm, you can play a way more valuable role, for instance, that of a launching customer or a gateway to the industry.

4. Think big, start small: customized conditions
Share great ambitions with each other, but take small steps to achieve them. With a clear demarcated pitch and conditions that fit within the reality of both parties (so without some of the conditions that go a bit too far) you’ll be making progress together.

5. Commit yourself to an understandable gazelle
A start-up which is better in many ways, usually also talks good business: it’s more attractive to both cling to an organization in which the goals and added value have been made clear right from the start.

Jeroen van der Veer, former Shell CEO about the last principle: “A gazelle is a beautiful, athletic, young deer. An animal who stands out in a positive way. We also look for a company with these qualities and can tell us what can be gained from this collaboration. And we want to commit ourselves to that, starting with a pitch.

Presented to Neelie Kroes
Right before the event where 10 years of YES!Delft were celebrated, the whole company of people promised to stay true to all the conditions in the manifest. Pieter Guldemond, YES!Delft’s managing director, said that this session is a good starting point for more industry changing innovations with impact in the next ten years to come. He presented the Manifest van Delft, on behalf of all the attendees, to Neelie Kroes, special envoy for StartupDelta.

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