Today, Europe boasts successful businesses and multinational corporations. The European economy is
growing faster than the US economy3 , and forecasts for the upcoming years are optimistic. The European innovation ecosystem is stronger than ever4 but still trails other markets in terms of available finance and collaboration.
In view of the scope and pace of change brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution5 , the European economy’s
continued success requires a better connection between both worlds: the traditional businesses and new market
players. Both benefit from collaboration to create markets they would struggle to create alone, and to ensure they
remain at their competitive edge.
The attitude of established European businesses is changing: a large majority of European companies today
see the importance to digitize, and to enter in contact with the start-up world. But more than half of the attempts to
collaborate still fail6 due to a clash of mind-sets between passionate, entrepreneurial start-ups, and more processoriented and risk-averse corporates.
This paper offers practical guidance to a better mutual understanding as basis for successful collaboration
between start-ups and corporates. Collaboration could become Europe’s strong point. It is a tremendous
opportunity to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness, and to allow its best start-ups to expand and create jobs in
Europe instead of leaving for the US and Asian markets.