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Associate Professor of Strategy
Furr N., O'Keeffe K. (2023). The Hybrid Start-up Harvard Business Review, 101(2), pp. 86-95.
Compared with start-ups, established corporations have many resources and capabilities that ought to give them a head start: customers, products, operations, licenses, distribution, marketing, and capital. But corporations lack one critical capability: the entrepreneurial muscle to take an idea from small to big, from zero to one.The authors describe a new model - the hybrid start-up - which differs from typical internal corporate ventures. It combines the best of people, processes, and resources from both inside and outside the company. They show how many big companies are creating their own hybrid start-ups to unlock the value of their assets and defend their markets while becoming digital leaders.They draw on lessons from more than 190 such ventures launched over the past eight years with the help of BCG Digital Ventures, including those created by companies such as UPS (Ware2Go), Mercedes-Benz (RepairSmith), Volkswagen (Heycar), First American (Endpoint), AIA (Snackbox), Airbus (UP42), and others.The data provides strong evidence both that the model works and that hybrid start-ups are two or three times as likely to succeed as independent start-ups.