Managing corporate-startup relationships: What matters for entrepreneurs?

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Startups have become an important part of corporations' external technology sourcing portfolio. Nonetheless, startups may be reluctant to enter in a relationship with a corporation. Prior research on corporate-startup relationships has primarily focused on the benefits for corporations and neglected the perspective of startups. In a multiple case study, we analyse the collaborations of 12 startups to 30 different corporations to address this gap. The findings show that complementary assets, risks as well as relational characteristics, influence the willingness of startups to enter such collaborations. We deduct nine propositions concerning, e.g., reputation and market access, misappropriation and the commitment of corporations. Further, our analysis highlights differences and similarities according to the maturity of startups. The study contributes to external technology sourcing literature and allows corporate managers to better understand the perspective of entrepreneurs in terms of engaging in strategic partnerships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-186
Number of pages23
JournalInternational journal of entrepreneurial venturing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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