Do you know what are the corporate ventures?

Date: 05/04

In the journey towards competitiveness based on innovation, businesses of all segments and sizes are looking for ways to generate new business, which will not only baked goods from ovens of research laboratories.

A segment of corporate innovation that has grown considerably, although many still call simply new business, are the corporate ventures. In a very simplified way, we can define corporate ventures (CV) as new business units in existing companies.

Of the various ways to sort the CVs, the most classic is the internal / external. An internal CV is when the company creates, in its innovation division, an internal incubator in which new business ideas, including the products that come out of laboratories, are initiated with lean and simple structures. They develop isolated organization shape and earn a living in that the product becomes mature, the market is defined as the start and initial sales. When this new business gains enough size, happens "spin-off" ie, that small business division becomes a new company. She leaves the incubator and win a larger structure to move independently, but still within the same corporate group.

In the external CV, the movement is reversed. A small business is born anywhere in the hands of an entrepreneur and own resources. In that it begins to thrive and gain visibility, enters the radar of large organizations. Companies are associated with small business, investing in their growth with the structure, management and capital. The large company becomes a partner and help this small business to grow rapidly. When it is ripe and ready, it takes place the so-called "spin-in" that is, the acquisition of the company, which is then is incorporated into the corporate group.

In both cases, the principle is the same, the creation of new business organization isolated from ideas based on identified opportunities. The great advantage of creating a nascent business outside the company structure is to keep it free from bureaucratic controls and processes that are required for large organizations, but take the flexibility and dynamism of the emerging business.

In these small companies, there is less hierarchy, less structured processes and waist game to allow the business model configuration to the extent that it will constitute. The higher the degree of innovation of the product or business model, the greater the need to keep away from existing structures of corporations.

Unlike traditional venture capital models in which investors finance the emergence and growth of new businesses, since they have high growth potential, with a view in business valuation and sale in the future, the CVs have more strategic interest than financial. For CVs, more important than remunerate the investment is to gain competitive advantage, generate innovation and put them to market quickly. Therefore, the CVs enter with more than capital, they bring qualified professionals, market knowledge, operational structure, distribution channels, established brand and technology. In short, the best of both worlds, the agility of a small structure with a large.

Usually, which features a new business in this model are the following:

- This is a new business, not a process, technology, product or service;

- There are risks involved in the new project that would not normally be tolerated if it were released in the parent company;

- The high risk is associated with the high degree of uncertainty about the results of the challenge and the failure of the project is an expected result;

- It is managed separately from the parent company for an indefinite period;

In Brazil, we have many examples of companies that are divisions with new business focused on the concept of CV: Braskem, Cemig, Dow, IBM, Intel, Telefonica, Google, Promon, Votorantim, Porto Seguro, 3M and Grupo Bandeirantes. Each has different ways of creating new businesses, because the nature of the activity of each business is different and requires different approach prospects. While technology companies tend to see new business out of its technical experts initiatives, service companies looking to explore new businesses to diversify their operations and anticipate the competition. So they are more than eye on external sources business.