Corporate venturing describes various organizational approaches that larger companies choose with the aim of securing growth through innovation. A distinction is often made between two ideal types of internal corporate venturing and external corporate venture capital.
Internal corporate venturing describes entrepreneurial activity within existing organizations with explicit organizational support and special resources for the development of new products, methods or processes or their improvement and implementation in new business areas.
Corporate venture capital describes the relationship, which is similar to traditional venture capital and based on financial participation, between an established company that does not primarily offer investment services on the one hand and a smaller, private and innovation-oriented company on the other.
The design of such programs differs considerably. Due to the gradual differences in relation to the existing business and the strategic importance, various optimal organizational forms can be derived in the tradition of BURGELMAN (1984): Independent of the structure of the organization, the main tasks of such units consist of
1. exploring new business ideas,
2. the development of business plans for new business areas and
3. early marketing. The target spectrum is broad. Furthermore, there is often an improved utilization of existing resources or ideas in the background. In addition, some companies refer to their corporate venturing activities as windows of new technologies with the intention of more competitive adaptation in rapidly changing industries.
On the one hand, advantages of large companies (resource advantages, especially financial ones and economies of scale) should be combined with advantages of smaller units (flexibility, greater identification and motivation of employees). Demand promotion for core products is an intention behind another group. Some companies pursue purely financial goals with corporate venture capital.
Corporate-Venturing Programme werden oft zur Förderung einer unternehmerischen Kultur innerhalb von Großunternehmen initiiert. Verschiedene Analysen der Entwicklung sogenannter New Venture Divisions als Beispiel eines Internen Venturings zeigen, daß deren Erfolg vor allem von den gesamtunternehmenspolitischen Rahmenbedingungen abhängt. Die ausschlaggebenden Faktoren sind zum einen die Geschäftsfeldstrategie (Diversifizierung oder Konsolidierung) und zum anderen die politische Unterstützung innerhalb der Parent company.75 Ansatzpunkte für eine Steuerung der Internen Venturing Aktivitäten fmden sich in der folgenden Darstellung eines Venturing Systems:
Correspondingly, there are possible stumbling blocks in corporate venturing
1. the lack of a clear objective,
2. Insufficient support from the parent company and
3. Insufficient profit-sharing.
In practice, corporate venturing activities can be observed at large US companies as early as the 1960s and 1970s. According to a survey in 1970, forty of the Fortune 100 companies operated some form of “corporate venture management”. A particular cyclicality in the development of corporate venturing can be observed empirically. Three larger waves (late 60s / early 70s, first half of the 80s and second half of the 90s) can be distinguished.
A comparative study found no performance differences between corporate venture capital programs and companies financed by independent venture capital companies.