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The impact of collaboration with big companies on entrepreneurial technology innovation

: Grochowski, Eva Maria; Warschat, Joachim; Dasher, Richard


Kocaoglu, Dundar F. (Ed.) ; Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology -PICMET-; Portland State University, Dept. of Engineering and Technology Management:
Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology, PICMET 2016 : Proceedings; Technology Management for Social Innovation; September 4 - 8, 2016, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Portland/Or.: Portland State University, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5090-3595-3
Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET) <2016, Honolulu/Hawaii>
Fraunhofer IAO ()

Startups and small and medium sized companies are an important source for technology innovation. Cooperation with big companies reinforces technological innovation but it can also hamper entrepreneurial undertakings. This research considers the impact of cooperative activities of startups or small and medium sized companies with big companies in regard to technology innovation in the automotive industry. The analysis of 16 cases gives a first overview about the particular characteristics of cooperative activities in an industry that suffers from disruptive innovation and new players. The analysis covers the reasons for cooperation, the desired partner characteristics, and the benefits and sacrifices caused by the cooperative activities. Risk and cost reduction are not seen as critical by big companies regarding the decision for or against the collaboration. Their focus is on knowledge gain and new ideas. Startups or small and medium sized companies on the other hand seek for market entry and public relation. Cooperation is not primarily considered as a source for venture capital. Public funding as a financial source for innovative work is underestimated except for university cooperation. The study bases on eight expert interviews with CEOs, founders and technical directors with wide experience in research and development cooperation.