Bitkom: Those who cooperate with startups benefit

June 28, 2023. Companies that cooperate with startups draw a positive balance of their collaboration. Although only 3 in 10 companies in Germany (29 percent) cooperate with tech startups, 91 percent of them say that their expectations of the cooperation have been met: For 42 percent, they were somewhat fulfilled, for 39 percent fully fulfilled and for 10 percent they were even exceeded. Only 2 percent say that their expectations were not met at all. These are the results of a survey of 602 companies with 20 or more employees in Germany commissioned by the digital association Bitkom.

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Companies that cooperate with startups draw a positive balance of their collaboration. (Graphic: Bitkom)





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94 percent found the startups’ corporate culture inspiring, 84 percent were able to improve their technological expertise, 55 percent gained new customers and opened up markets, 34 percent were able to improve their product and 24 percent poached employees from the startup. Even widespread preconceptions about startups have not proven true in practice: 70 percent call the startups reliable in their collaboration, and 63 percent think that the partners complemented each other very well due to their different strengths and weaknesses. Only 3 in 10 companies (29 percent) would not want to cooperate with startups again. “Global players, our strong SMEs and innovative startups: if we can bring these three together, then the digital transformation of the German economy will succeed,” says Bitkom CEO Dr. Bernhard Rohleder at the start of the two-day tech festival hub.berlin.

Those two-thirds of companies (67 percent) that have not yet cooperated with startups give as their main reasons that they lack contact with startups (51 percent) or the budget (47 percent) to do so, or that they do not have the time (44 percent). In each case, around a third have no concrete project (35 percent) or see startups as competitors rather than partners (32 percent). A quarter (23 percent) see no added value in cooperation in general. Rohleder: “Cooperations between startups and established companies can bring great benefits to all parties involved.”

Note on methodology
The data is based on a survey conducted by Bitkom Research on behalf of the digital association Bitkom. In the process, 602 companies with 20 or more employees in Germany were surveyed by telephone. The survey is representative. The questions were “How would you describe your company’s relationship with startups in the Internet and digital industry?”, “How do you rate the collaboration overall?”, “To what extent do the following statements apply or not apply to your experience in collaborating with startups?” and “Why doesn’t your company collaborate with startups?”

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Graphic: Bitkom

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