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Venture Building

How to de-risk corporate innovation projects in last-mile delivery

Marian-Maximilian Martens
June 19, 2023
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1 - Find co-founders from within your own core-organisation.

Motivated domain advocates that are keen to move fast and build things. COMPLETELY free them up from their old daily duties but give them assurance to be able to return if they fail.

2 - Find a space for the team outside your core-organisation and brand, literally.

Make sure you're closely aligned on the desired outcome, yet loosely coupled on execution within governance with extensive degrees of freedom in time, place of work and tooling.

If your team needs approval from corporate to use Slack, Notion, GSuite, Make and Co. - just pack things up again, someone else is out-innovating you in that very moment.

3 - Provide funds large enough to be effective but restricted enough to train the team on building for efficiency.

Provide the funds necessary to launch operations fast and grow (smart). Cap the (initial) total and assist w/ budgeting Milestones while having the team making decisions < 10.000€ per transaction independently.

Trust their abilities and sense for responsibility for the funds - that's why you chose them.

4 - Support as much as needed, distract as little as possible.

Have your MDs, Domain Experts (i.e. Legal), Seniors (i.e. Accounting) or corporate buying leverage (i.e. Delivery Vehicles) help your Team whenever, and to the extend needed. This can be a significant competitive edge for your Corporate Venture.

Go HANDS-OFF again immediately after.

5 - Facilitate using proven technology that allows for custom extensions.

If there's no REAL benefit to build your tech-stack in-house from scratch (I have yet to get to know that company) just don't do it. Even if you get to that need at some point you can still do it but the invest and risk as well as unnecessary distraction is just so much higher and comes.

Chose downside protection at start with existing tools and software for standard processes and build your competitive edge around real benefits with custom features and extensions that your customers will love on-top of an already existing solution that may provides 80% of your needed requirements already.

Or do you also build your trucks yourself?


Take back in - You may decide to have your successful Corporate Venture continue as a completely independent organisation and not take it in under your brand.

Have your core-organisation benefit off the acquired skills, learnings and collaboration modes of your Corporate Venture in regular Workshops and inspire your workforce and next intrapreneurs.

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