“Our corporate services have a strong focus on open innovation”

Stefan Kyora

14.07.2017 13:26

Last week Baloise announced first results of the collaboration with Go Beyond’s Corporate Venturing group. We asked Klaus Kummermehr, Partner at Go Beyond, about this group and its collaboration with Baloise and other corporates.

With how many corporates does the Go Beyond Corporate Venturing group work?
Klaus Kummermer: Over the last years, we worked with over 10 corporates.

Is Go Beyond collaborating with other Swiss corporates other than Baloise?
Yes, we do currently working with a couple of Swiss corporates.

I heard that Go Beyond is collaborating with at least one well known company from the Silicon Valley. In which countries are the other customers of your Corporate Venturing group based?
It is right we are delivering since one year a special service to one of the top known Silicon Valley corporates. They selected us, because of the authentic profile of our Deal Leaders.

Most of our customers are based in Switzerland in the moment, but this might change as we get more requests from other European countries.

Is the Corporate venturing team an important driver of revenues for Go Beyond?
As Go Beyond is still in an expansion phase, any revenue is important. The business of our corporate services is an interesting model, which allows our certified deal leaders - experienced business angels - to take a mandate with corporates and do what they most like to do: supporting startups on the path to success.

In the case of Baloise I find it remarkable that the result was a collaboration between Baloise and the start-ups and not an investment. Is it often the case that Go Beyond identifies possible collaboration partners and not possible investment targets?
Our service offering has a strong focus on an open innovation approach, with the aim to build successful collaboration between startups and established corporates. We do not have a prerequisite for corporates to invest in the startups. Corporates pay similar to a subscription for our service and we deliver relevant technologies / business models or new markets to them.

If corporates would like to invest in a startup from our deal flow, we first check whether this is the right strategic fit and really a win-win for all stakeholders. Even founders might be attracted to have a big corporate as an investor. We have seen a couple of cases where the conflict between other shareholders caused mid to long-term disadvantages for the startup. We share our thinking as business angels with all involved parties.

What is usually the task of the Corporate Venturing group: identifying and selecting startups? Or do the tasks go beyond this?
Our service model has 3 parts:

  1. We do workshops / training on early stage investing, entrepreneurship and innovation strategy (external sources for innovation).
  2. We run monthly / bi-monthly or quarterly workshops where we present a couple of relevant startups and support a customer team on their decision
  3. If a customer would like to invest in a startup, we offer due diligence, term sheet negotiation, closing and on-going monitoring of the investment. Our customers can always decide what services they need.

This service model has a big advantage in providing insights into the startup sector and strategic collaborations without the hurdle of building their own corporate venture unit. Our Deal leaders are experienced early stage investors with a track record and enjoy sharing their experiences either with startups or intrapreneurs / open minded corporate teams.

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