Many corporations support startups schemes for marketing purposes, not real appetite for innovation, Florin Grosu, Young Leaders Club president, argued during the first panel of Day 3 of Business Review’s Foreign Investors Summit. The panel discussion focused on examples and counter-examples in the interactions between the multinationals that have initiated programs that harness the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
According to Florin Grosu, many corporations involved in initiatives and events aimed to support the local entrepreneurial and startup scene are driven by market trends that favour those who propose themselves as innovation promoters. “60 percent of corporations, we believe, do marketing, not real innovation. It is a norm for everyone to say these days that they are doing innovation. But the truth is that everyone works with KPIs. And innovation managers are evaluated according to the number of startups they have met with. Of course, there are other corporations that do not do that.”
“There can be a gap that needs to be bridged,” he said. The way to do that is for companies to take their mission of innovation supporters seriously. “Innovation officers must become afterwards champions of innovation. But they must be seniors and have traction inside the company, ” he said.
“It is a beautiful thing to say you are doing innovation, but they need to find shortcuts in the decision-making process of the company in order to advance things. But the difficulty comes when you need to separate a marketing-driven initiative from an innovation-driven one,” he concluded.