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Corporations and Startups.

Are corporations in Poland really ready for cooperation with startups?

Observing the work of startups and corporations on a daily basis and comparing it with the messages that appear in the media and during industry events, we decided to check how it really is.

  • What factors have the greatest impact on the success of such a relationship?
  • What impact do interpersonal relationships have on success?
  • Who in the corporation (directly or indirectly) deals with the implementation of innovative projects and what is the role of the board in this?
  • To what extent are corporations operating in Poland ready locally * to undertake – often risky – cooperation with startups?
  • What if it doesn’t work out?

Following this lead, we asked representatives of selected innovation companies about their opinion and ways of operating. The result of these conversations is this report.


This report is slightly different from the standard reports in circulation. As we read in the introduction – we realize that business is much more than numbers. Common goals are not built-in charts or bars but in relationships. Therefore, instead of massive surveys and numerical analyses, we focused on the honest conversation. This report is the result of several dozen hours spent together with representatives of corporations from various industries in Poland. In total, we conducted over twenty conversations. * The research was conducted among persons involved in units dedicated to the organization’s broadly understood work with innovation.

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For Who is Our Report?

For companies that want to start cooperation with startups, but do not know how to go about it. For companies that already cooperate with startups, but they feel that this cooperation is not quite right. For startups who would like to learn more about the internal challenges their business partners or clients are facing. For all those who are interested in today’s dynamics of cooperation between corporations and startups.


What did we find out? Many interesting things. Among others that:

  • Corporations in Poland are focused on implementing organization solutions. For this reason, and due to various internal obstacles, startups that are after the first financing round and have already had their first market successes have the best chance of initially establishing cooperation between a startup and a corporation.
  • In a corporation, the biggest internal obstacles in cooperation with a corporation include: an inadequate system of procedures hindering efficient operation, a lack of work with innovation as part of employee assessment (KPI), and a high workload for IT departments.
  • One of the key challenges of the corporation to develop fully innovative activities is the existing work culture and a change in the mindset of the entire organization at various levels.


The report was made thanks to support PFR Ventures – an entity that operates in the fund of funds formula, offering financing for innovative SMEs via selected financial intermediaries, e.g. venture capital or business angels. Funds dedicated to innovative projects come from European funds, i.e. the “Smart Growth Operational Programme 2014 – 2020” and private funds from selected financial agents.

Do you have any question?

We’ll be more than happy, to answer you!