Thesis

Corporate Venturing for Innovation

Key Info

Basic Information

Group:
Lehrstuhl für Innovation, Strategie und Organisation
Level:
Bachelor; Master

Supervisor

BACKGROUND

As new technologies emerge and disrupt traditional business models, companies are under pressure to stay competitive. Corporate venture capital (CVC) provides one way for companies to keep the pace of innovation by accessing cutting-edge technologies and ideas through investments in startups and small businesses.

However, CVC is a complex and dynamic process which creates many strategic and operational challenges. One of the key issues is how companies can effectively manage and structure their CVC activities. On the one hand, they have to align their efforts with their broader strategic goals and innovation objectives. On the other hand, they need to consider their impact on the innovation ecosystem as their investments play a crucial role in fostering innovation, but they can also create challenges and tensions for startups and small businesses.

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RESEARCH FOCUS

Given these issues, thorough research is required to create further insights on the implications of CVC for strategy and innovation. There are many potential research questions that could be explored in a thesis in this regard, including:
1. What are the most common motivations for companies to engage in CVC, and how do these motivations align with their strategic goals and innovation objectives? When is CVC an appropriate incumbent strategy?
2. What are the key factors that determine the success or failure of CVC initiatives, and how can companies best mitigate the risks and maximize the benefits of CVC?
3. How does CVC differ from traditional venture capital and what are the implications for start-ups and small businesses? How do different CVC strategies and approaches impact the performance and competitiveness of the portfolio companies?
4. What is the impact of CVC on the innovation ecosystem and how does it compare to other forms of corporate innovation?
5. What are the most effective ways for companies to manage and structure their CVC activities in order to achieve their strategic goals and innovation objectives, including methods for determining and selecting suitable start-ups?
6. How do different forms of collaboration (independent vs. tight integration into incumbent processes) ex-post the investment affect innovation and investment performance?

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YOUR BENEFITS

When writing this thesis, you will have the opportunity to learn about a wide range of topics, including:
1. The basics of venture capital and the role of CVC in the broader ecosystem
2. The motivations and strategies behind CVC, and how they differ from traditional VCs
3. The impact of CVC on innovation, performance, and competitiveness
4. The methods and tools used to study CVC, including both qualitative and quantitative approaches

Overall, this thesis offers you a great opportunity to explore the fascinating and important topic, of Corporate Venture Capital. It will be a valuable and rewarding experience for anyone who is interested in strategy, innovation management, or entrepreneurship.
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ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS & APPLICATION

This thesis will be supervised by Georg Schiffner. He is a doctoral researcher at the TIM Institute with professional and academic experience in Finance/ the Financial industry. One of his major reserach fields is Corporate Venturing for Innovation. He will support you along the way in any matters of the thesis (theory ram-up, research design, data access, quant./ qual. analysis).
Applications from any backgrounds (WiWi, WIng,..) and academic levels (Bachelor, Master) are welcome. If interested, please contact Mr. Schiffner directly (schiffner@time.rwth-aachen.de), providing your CV or LinkedIn profile link and a transcript of records.

Keywords: Corporate Venture Capital, Corporate Start-up, Incubation, Incubator, Acceleration, Accelerator