Workshops: Corporate-Startup Partnering for Success


2 days




Twice a year

Next Start

TBD 2020/2021

Workshop series

Corporate-Startup Partnering for Success

NEXT SESSION (planned June 25-25) IS CANCELLED

2-day workshops by EPFL Innovation Park

Given the speed of innovation and the shorter technology lifecycles, both large companies and startups have a vested interest in partnering. Successful alliances can significantly speed up time to market and scaling up, amongst others. However, there are many reasons why such partnerships could go wrong.

EPFL Innovation Park created a 2-day workshops with dozens of company executives as speakers, to talk about their best practices and lessons learned from their own experiences. There will be case studies as well as group discussions. Startup CEO/CTOs and Corporate innovation managers will have the possibility to work side by side to help each other, to achieve better understanding and to build a powerful business and personal network.

The program consists of 2 days from 8h30-12h30 and 14h00-18h00 at at an exceptional off-site location in Chexbres overlooking the lake, to easily fit into your schedule. Participants who can not attend the 2 consequent workshop days can invite a colleague from his team to attend, in order to ensure the continuity and the quality of exchange with other participating companies.


Day 1 (morning) – Why  — Key benefits & challenges

  • State of the art: overview of various forms of partnering between startups and corporates
  • Key benefits & challenges: real examples of success and failures
  • Understanding each other: comparison of organisations, operating modes and decision processes between startups and corporates

Day 1 (afternoon) How — Business partnership & R&D co-development

  • Building relationship supplier <=> customer: how to approach each other
  • Business partnership: leveraging each other’s commercial network
  • R&D co-development: case studies, key issues, tips and limit

In the evening we all have a small walk in the surrounding vineyards, followed by a tasty networking dinner!

Day 2 (morning) – How  — Corporate venture funds, startup acquisition & other forms

  • Corporate venture fund: why and how
  • Startup acquisition by corporates: key issues and tips
  • Other forms of partnerships: startup incubator, acceleration programs and startup competitions
  • Testimonials from leaders of corporates and startups

Day 2 (afternoon) – Necessary conditions  — Rules of the game & action plan

  • Rules of the game for startups and for corporates
  • Group work: peer-to-peer discussion to improve respective plan of partnering
  • Presentation of your roadmap, get direct feedback from trainers and peers

Startups (< 7 years) are entitled a financial support from EPFL Innovation Park and benefit from a large discount.

*Fast Track reserves the right to modify the program dates, location, and fee at any time.

Seats are limited on a first come and first served basis.


Testimonials - Corporate Workshop

  • The Coporate-Start-up program was a great opportunity to get an in-depth perspective from corporate executives on what they look for when partnering with startups, the process (and time) it takes to put a partnership in place, and get input from participants on our personal initiatives.
    Itamar Ahrenbeck, YourExternalCFO Ventures SàRL
  • This training helps to understand the various forms of partnership between startups and corporates (Incubators, Acquisitions, Competitions, etc) through a clear framework. For each of them, we get a testimonial from a corporate and a startup. I've been impressed by the variety of profiles involved by different approaches. As the atmosphere of this training is not about showcasing but SHARING, we get real, precious and practical information on this field that is far away from an exact science (e.g.: how to evaluate an incubator, how to recruit and maintain "innovation agents" within the company, etc.). I'll also highly recommend this training to anyone who wants to develop his network with actives players in this field, corporates or startups.
    Hamidul Huq, Genève Aéroport
  • Meeting experienced entrepreneurs of such caliber, with a wide variety of stories and contexts and in the same workshop, have a straight to the point view of corporate investors and alliance managers, is extremely valuable. Furthermore the workshop was a perfect place to contribute, share, give back and enrich my network. Great organisation and work environment.  
    Francois D'Haegeleer, Beqom
  • Hard to imagine a better match between my need for info and the practical knowledge and guidance the workshop provides on how to approach and engage potential corporate partners. Excellent networking opportunity besides.
    Michael Helke, Design Research


Logitech and start-up

How to enter a business relation with Logitech

Jean-Michel Chardon



Ata Tuna Ciftik



Frederik Decouttere



Mathilde Durvy



Dan Ebbinghaus



Monica Gille

Park Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Jan Honoré

PM Equity Partner


Jean-Phillipe Lallement

EPFL Innovation Park


Nicolas Loeillot

Groupe Mutuel


Massimo Lucchina



Benoit Mariani

Gait Up


Rodney Reis



Grégoire Ribordy

Id Quantique


Raphael Rollier



Alexandre Schlaepfer

Swisscom Ventures


Lan Zuo Gillet

EPFL Innovation Park

program leader/speaker