Co-Creation to Innovate — A Case Study

PropTech Cases —Case Study Library. Issue no. 2022–08

2 min readAug 16, 2022

Why Co-creation between big Corporates and Startups Is A Good Way To Innovate?

Innovation is the key to success in PropTech. However, whether a startup or big corporate is better in innovation has been debated for decades, until recently when big corporates tried piloting co-creation projects with startups to drive innovations. In this discussion forum, we will investigate by case study method why co-creations between big corporates and startups are a good way to innovate. An article by Highline BETA (2020) is provided for reference.

Highline BETA Inc. (2020) How big companies are using startup innovation to disrupt themselves

Kelly Lorth: ‘by giving companies access to all the tools and technologies they need, the partnership will be another step toward their grand goal of “democratising” antibody discovery’

Caitlyn Khoo: ‘Co-creation allows both parties to use both sides to productively utilise others’ knowledge’

From the over-100 submissions, there are basically four arguments:

  1. startups are more flexible to change. Big corporates are more structured and resistant to change.
  2. startups are more bearable to the consequences of failure, but the same failure can ruin the brand name and good will of big corporates.
  3. startups lack resources, funding, technical support, networks, experience, etc. Big corporates in general have much more resources, funding, technical support and networks, experience, etc.
  4. Any people with innovative ideas can set up their own startups, as the entry barrier is low. In contrast, staff and management in big corporates have little incentives to innovate or to take risk, if they are receiving good pays.

With these four arguments, there are basically four main types of collaborations (or acquisitions):

  1. Collaborations between big corporates and startups to innovate.
  2. Acquisitions — big corporates acquire startups with potential innovative ideas. It sounds like buying unicorns in the stock markets.
  3. Competitions — big corporates invite innovations from the public by means of competitions or games. It expands the pool of creative ideas to all people.
  4. Subsidiaries — big corporates set up small startups to be responsible for a new product line. It sounds like a firewall in case of any failures.

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