Startup influence to only grow further, according to Unilever study

By Johan De Mulder

A global study by Unilever's innovation platform, Unilever Foundry, says there will be no slowing down in the influence of startups and innovators.

The State of Innovation report, conducted worldwide with brand managers, startup founders and directors, identified three predictions for the industry over the next ten years.

Its primary conclusion was that startups and corporates will be working side-by-side by 2025, a consequence of the ever-evolving needs of consumers forcing corporations to be on top of developing trends.

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Secondly, it predicts a short-term boom in 'tech tourism' - shorter term activity such as trips to tech HQs to less formal partnerships - before structured programmes winning in the long run.

Finally, it says investment in startups will become 'business-critical' rather than just an optional extra in five years time, with four out of five corporates envisaging more collaboration in the future.

"Collaboration can no longer be viewed as an optional extra, it’s a strategic imperative. Startups are now widely recognised as invaluable sources of innovation, fueling growth and providing pioneering business solutions," said Unilever EVP Global Marketing, Aline Santos.

"The State of Innovation report reveals the appetite for collaboration between corporates and startups and signals a shift in the models adopted for future partnerships.

"As the Unilever Foundry continues its journey looking for exciting new partnerships, we are continually learning to ensure our future collaborations are effective as possible."

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