Five Time Entrepreneur. WIRED Top 100 Innovator. BRITS and BAFTA Winning Music & Media Executive. Professional Soccer Player. Proud Mama.
To better understand what I do, it’s important to get a grasp on what venture development is.
Through venture development, entrepreneurs collaborate with large corporations to co-create new solutions through collaborative innovation. These collaborations benefit both sides, allowing corporates to enter new markets, and for startups, they are able to develop their products and then scale.
Entrepreneurs provide a unique vision and when combined with the resources and deep domain expertise of large corporations, unique opportunities arise — the type of opportunities that can lead to great success for everyone involved.
However, the success of these collaborations will depend on each side understanding the true incentives, interests, culture, and expectations of the other. In turn, the best possible collaboration model can be selected and utilized.
Throughout the process of venture development, the corporation faces decisions, such as:
What is the problem (it’s not always what we think it is)?
What’s the best solution?
What’s the minimum viable proposition and how do you test it?
What is the likelihood of success?
What’s the size of the market opportunity?
Who are the customers?
What’s the business model?
Who is the best partner with whom to develop a new venture?
A good venture development partner knows that structure defines outcomes and in turn, implements the most appropriate framework.
Why Are Larger Companies Slower to Implement Change than Startups?
It’s long been taken for granted that larger companies can’t innovate as quickly as startups. They have access to more resources, so what exactly is it that makes larger companies slower when it comes to actionable, impactful change?
For one, startups tend to have fewer fixed assets and more capital liquidity. The result? Significantly more agile structures, cultures, and processes.
Yes, startups may have to answer to a board consisting of a handful of investors, but large corporations face an immense uphill battle when it comes to change. These large companies may have millions of shareholders, a board, thousands of employees, and decades of built-up processes, policies, and culture. As you can imagine, there are a lot more hoops to jump through.
Based on these challenges, there is a tipping point when it comes to the advantages and disadvantages of running a corporation. At this point, a corporation transitions from being a competitive advantage to a handicap. This can make change challenging — even when it is productive and in the best interest of the company.
That is why collaboration between corporations, startups, and the public sector has never been more critical. These types of partnerships can create immense value based on what each party brings to the table. By merging unique skill sets and resources, new business opportunities arise.
With that in mind...
I am the CEO of Alchemists Collective as well as a Partner at Prehype, a Partner at Co-Create (a spin-out of Prehype), and a Partner at Radicle (a spin-out of prehype). As venture development firms, we offer a range of services. Depending on the needs of our clients and partners, we: identify problems that need solving or opportunities that need to be seized.
We scan the market to determine whether there are any partnerships, investments, or acquisitions as a means of solving these problems. If the solution doesn’t exist within the market or there are no deals to be done, then we lean into our experience as seasoned entrepreneurs to develop the solution in partnership with major corporations. We have worked with some of the world's finest venture capitalists and corporations, including Coca-Cola, Nike, Kraft, LEGO, and dozens of others. We also create our own “home-grown” ventures such as BARK, ManagedbyQ, and ro.
We help corporations become more innovative, incubating new startups from within large companies and we create innovation programs to source new areas of value creation. At Prehype, we co-create startups, supporting entrepreneurs, and their winning business ideas. Our co-create platform provides corporate innovative teams with access to the highest quality resources for inventing new businesses, activating entrepreneurs, disseminating innovation.