Unlocking Corporate Venture Capital

500 Startups recently announced the results of the largest corporate venture capital survey of its kind to date.

Based on insights from more than 100 unique CVC units worldwide, we're unveiling our findings and helping corporations, startups, and others understand the challenges and opportunities within the space.

Today, we’re excited to share the story behind that transformation.

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How quick are you learning?

Time matters to CVC units, with ~40% of our respondents having mandates of ≤5 years, or half of a typical VC fund. New firms should find the right partner to share their expertise, network, and best practices in venture investment and deal flow. This can be particularly valuable in the first year of operation before flying solo.

Hunting vs. exploring

Instead of prescribing a one-size-fits-all approach, we identified two particularly successful profiles of CVC personas navigating the startup ecosystem: The “Hunter” persona who operates as a financially-driven investor with an entrepreneurial culture, and the “Explorer” who is more strategically-focused and embraces a more corporate culture.

Financial or strategic?

This is a key principle to establishing a CVC unit.  55% of our respondents say they are strategically inclined, versus 28% who claim to be financially motivated. After this is decided, all other aspects can be optimized (organizational structure, incentive scheme, investment thesis).

Finding success in the startup ecosystem

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