Bitkom: 8 out of 10 startups cooperate with established companies

July 13, 2023 Tech startups have fresh ideas and usually rely on innovative technologies, while medium-sized companies or global players know their way around the market and have a large customer base – both sides can benefit from collaborations. 8 out of 10 tech startups (83 percent) in Germany work together with established companies. 60 percent jointly develop products or services, and established companies have a financial stake in the startup in 21 percent of cases. And just over half (55 percent) report other forms of cooperation, such as startup competitions. Only 14 percent say they have no collaboration at all. These are the results of a survey of 203 tech startups commissioned by the digital association Bitkom.

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“Germany has the potential to become a leader in the digital economy. To do so, we need to pool our strengths much better than we have in the past. When our world-leading SMEs and companies in traditional industries cooperate with the many German tech startups, there are only winners,” says Bitkom President Ralf Wintergerst.

The majority of startups that cooperate with established companies (53 percent) say that they have been able to gain new customers and open up markets as a result. Forty-seven percent have improved their product, and 43 percent have improved their technical and technological expertise. 40 percent say that different strengths and weaknesses have made the partners complement each other well. For half (51 percent), therefore, the bottom line is that the experience of working together has been largely positive. However, 54 percent complain that their partners’ processes are far too slow and time-consuming. 27 percent think that their partners have benefited more from the cooperation than they themselves have, and around a quarter (23 percent) have even experienced the established companies as arrogant towards startups.

The startups without cooperation partners explain this primarily with a lack of a concrete project (35 percent) and a lack of contacts with established companies (28 percent). In each case, around a quarter (24 percent) want to remain independent or see no added value in a cooperation. Twenty-one percent say that established companies are not interested in cooperation and 17 percent of the startups do not have time for cooperation. Only 3 percent cite a lack of budget as an obstacle.

Note on methodology

The data is based on a survey conducted by Bitkom Research. In the process, 203 tech startups from Germany were surveyed. The survey is not representative, but gives a meaningful mood picture for startups in Germany. The questions asked were “How would you describe your relationship with established companies?”, “Which of the following experiences have you had when working with established companies?”   and “Why doesn’t your startup collaborate with established companies?”

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Further links

👉 www.bitkom.org

Photo: pixabay

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