Why the Smartest Corporations Invest in Startups and VC Funds

Whether you like it or not, we are living in an innovation economy. Technology has proven it can improve lives and drive efficiencies.

While we are the biggest proponents of bootstrapped startups having started several ourselves, the reality is that the majority of companies advancing technology on an accelerated timeframe are venture capital backed.

For this reason, I’ve always been curious about why more companies don’t invest in venture funds or startups directly. Sure, many actually do. But the vast majority of companies aren’t thinking about meaningfully investing in innovation in this way, surprisingly.

The smartest corporations invest in startups and VC funds.

Investing in early-stage venture capital (VC) funds can be a strategic move for corporations for several reasons:

Innovation and Technology Access

By investing in early-stage startups and VCs, corporations can gain direct access to emerging technologies and innovative business models before they become mainstream. This early access can provide a competitive advantage and potentially integrate new technologies into their existing business lines.

Strategic Partnerships

Investment in startups and VCs allows corporations to form strategic partnerships. These partnerships can facilitate collaborations that are mutually beneficial, offering startups the mentorship and resources of an established company while the corporation gains insights into new markets or technologies.

Financial Returns

Although high-risk, early-stage investments can yield high returns if the startup succeeds. The potential for significant financial gain is a compelling reason for corporations to allocate a portion of their portfolio to venture capital.

Market Insights

Investing in a range of startups gives corporations a broader view of market trends and consumer behavior, particularly in niche or emerging markets. This can inform their strategic decisions and help anticipate shifts in consumer preferences and technological advancements.

Corporate Branding and Reputation

By supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, corporations can enhance their brand image and appeal to both customers and potential employees who value innovation and corporate support for entrepreneurship.


Venture capital investments can diversify a corporation’s investment portfolio, spreading risk across different types of investments, which can stabilize returns over time, especially when other segments of the business or market face downturns.

Talent Identification

Through interactions with startups, corporations can identify and potentially recruit top talent. Engaging with innovative entrepreneurs and engineers can help corporations address skill shortages and bring fresh perspectives into their teams.

By engaging with early-stage venture capital, corporations can thus not only potentially enhance their direct financial returns but also strategically position themselves in their industry and beyond.