Corporate Startup Programs – How to design the optimal corporate accelerator?

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Lehrstuhl für Betriebswirtschaftslehre, insbesondere Technologie- und Innovationsmanagement


Together with the BMW Group, we at the TIM Institute research the collaboration between established firms and startups as an innovation source. In many fields, such as digitalization or IT, innovations are not developed at the firms or their traditional suppliers, but in young, agile and innovative companies – the startups. The collaboration with a startup, however, requires new capabilities of the established firms. To become more attractive for startups and to get a foothold in the ecosystem, currently many established firms found startup programs – so called corporate accelerators (e.g. BMW Startup Garage or Daimler’s Startup Autobahn). On the one side, such programs are designed to help startups getting their products market ready, while on the other hand, it should provide a new technology, business model or product to the corporate. The startups, however, have a wide range of needs depending on different factors (e.g. founder, financial situation, product type). A first collection of such needs was sampled through interviews with founders at the BMW Startup Garage and employees at BMW.
In the master thesis, these needs should be categorized and transformed into features of a startup program. With a conjoint analysis, an optimal startup program should be developed, matching the features to different startup groups. In addition to the startups of the BMW Startup Garage, startups outside the BMW ecosystem should be participating in the conjoint analysis. For this, an additional data set has to be created. Experience with data analysis and statistics will be helpful. High level of proficiency in German and English are required.

Keywords: Conjoint Analysis, Corporate Accelerator, Innovation Management, Startup Corporate Collaboration