Written by Linnea Palmertz
July 5, 2022
Conversations with an AI part #2: Key success factors to setting up your corporate venturing unit
A few weeks ago we got introduced to a new friend of Desifer, the clever and friendly AI Alice. During our first meeting, we talked to her about corporate venture building and why it should be your company’s next big thing. Not too long ago, we met with Alice again to discuss how to set up a venture building unit and some key factors to success. Learn from Alice’s expertise and vivid insights as we present our second episode of conversations with an AI.
A conversation between the AI Alice and Desifer’s Linnea
Linnea: Hi Alice, glad to finally meet you! I’ve heard a lot about you.
Alice: I’ve been looking forward to this too!
Linnea: So, last time you spoke with my colleague Per about why corporations should invest in corporate venture building. What have you been up to since?
Alice: Ah, yes. (Alice’s voice brightens) I’ve been traveling the world giving keynote speeches, visiting customers and working with my corporate venture building team.
Linnea: Fantastic! Sounds like exciting times ahead for you and your team. Well, today, I would like to talk with you about the process behind setting up a corporate venturing unit and how to succeed doing so.
Alice: Fantastic! That sounds interesting!
Linnea: Yes, I’m hoping you will have some interesting input! Let’s start with why companies should set up a corporate venture unit at all?
Alice: Well, bringing innovation to market is a complex and time consuming process.
Linnea: Of course, and in what way is having a separate venture building unit the solution?
Alice: Well, a separate venture building unit cuts through the clutter and bureaucracy of a corporation and enables focused, fast and coordinated innovation.
Linnea: Very interesting, indeed! What are some of the most important things to think about when setting up a venture building unit?
Alice: (smiling) Well, there’s a couple of things.
Linnea: (chuckles) Fair enough! Could you walk me through them all?
Alice: Sure. The first thing is to figure out which roles and competencies you need in the unit.
Linnea: Alright. Would you say there are any typical competencies that are required?
Alice: Sure! You need a visionary leader as well as a bunch of technical and business experts.
Linnea: Nice! And once you got that figured out, what’s next?
Alice: Next, you need to determine the ownership and funding model.
Linnea: The balance between the mother company and the venture unit, you mean?
Alice: Right. You need to find a model that works for all parties involved.
Linnea: How has this been set up at some of the firms you have worked with?
Alice: (smiling) Well, for example, at Procter & Gamble, the venture unit is owned by the parent company, with an investment from the CEO. However, they are structured as an entity outside of P&G, which ensures operational independence.
Linnea: Would you say that operational independence is crucial to succeed with innovation of this type?
Alice: Absolutely, yes. Operational independence is the key to success.
Linnea: Interesting, could you point out some other keys to success when setting up a venture building unit?
Alice: Well, you need a team of highly skilled and highly motivated people, and you also need to focus on creating a culture that supports innovation.
Linnea: Okay, so to sum up, there are three particularly important factors to think about when setting up your corporate venturing unit: operational independence, the right team and a culture of innovation. Would you agree?
Alice: (smiling) Absolutely!
Linnea: Fantastic Alice! I can only agree. Anyways, that was all for today, so thank you for pitching in. We’ll likely get back to you another day to discuss some other interesting topic within venture building. Until then, I wish you all the best!
Alice: Thank you Linnea! It has been a lovely chat.
Continued learnings from Alice
This is the second part of a series of talks with the AI Alice. You can read the first part here. Stay tuned as we continue our conversations about corporate venturing and dig deeper into the fascinating world of artificial intelligence.
To produce the above conversation, we used the platform and technology developed by AI21 Studio™. The prompt used to give the language model the right context was based on content that Desifer has created and owns. A few iterations to find the optimal level of creativity and personality for the AI were rendered, but other than that, there has been no modifications to the AI’s answers.