Corporate Venturing: A driver for Innovation

Swisscom supports open innovation initiatives to support the innovative strength of Swisscom, for example through cooperation with startups. Swisscom Ventures' Digital Transformation Fund was named 'Fund of the year 2018' last week at the Corporate Venturing & Innovation Summit.

Swisscom actively promotes innovation initiatives in the Enterprise segment through their Partner and Alliances team that supports a close collaboration with key technology partners. In close collaboration with various business units, products from key technology partners are further developed into new market-oriented product and service offerings of Swisscom.

Strategic collaboration between Swisscom and startups is another important source for the early identification of emerging market needs and for reinforcing Swisscom’s innovation capabilities. Start-ups have a high pace in their product development, a high reactivity to new market needs and very often interesting new technologies and/or solutions.

An increasing number of companies from a broad range of sectors engages – just as Swisscom – into corporate venturing. Corporate Venturing enables established companies to keep pace with rapid market developments. At the same time, startups can benefit from the customer base and the ecosystem of a large company. In combination this can result in a powerful win-win situation for both.

Swisscom recognized the potential of strategic corporate venturing already a long time ago. Through Swisscom Ventures,  for more than 10 years Swisscom has successfully invested in startups that advance digital technologies. As an innovative early adopter of corporate venturing, the Swisscom Ventures team cooperates with startups, for example by piloting their technologies.

Swisscom Ventures has set up its own funds to finance investments in startups. Last week their “Digital Transformation Fund” was awarded with the ‘Fund of the year 2018’ award at the Global Corporate Venturing & Innovation Summit. With its maximum volume of 200 Mio CHF, to which Swisscom is contributing CHF 50 Mio CHF, the fund is not the largest launched in 2018 but it was perceived as the most innovative with its hybrid model bringing together strategic and financial investors. The investment focus of the fund is on IT, cloud and telco infrastructure, cybersecurity as well as enterprise software solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI).

Dominique Mégret, head of Swisscom Ventures, accepted the award in Monterey, CA, on behalf of his entire team in front of more than 800 global corporate venture executives. Asked about his further goals, Dominique Mégret emphasized the growth of value creation resulting from the close cooperation between Swisscom and their startup companies.