Why should we embrace the culture of open innovation?

100 Open Startups
6 min readJul 27, 2023

Adherence to the culture of open innovation is a key item for companies to remain relevant in the long term.

The innovation ecosystem is constantly evolving . Driven by the exponential growth of startups and the search by large companies for new disruptive solutions, this new approach has been gaining strength in the market.

In this context, open innovation, a business model that explores the relationship between companies and startups, assumes an important role.

Therefore, it is essential to understand the current dynamics and obstacles faced both by these innovative initiatives and by large companies.

Currently, it is at an early stage in the development of an open innovation culture.

Although the Open Innovation has witnessed remarkable growth in the startup ecosystem and greater awareness of the importance of innovation, the widespread adoption of the open innovation culture is still taking hold.

In this context, it is very important to create efficient channels for dialogue and collaboration, fostering strategic partnerships and promoting a relationship of trust between the actors in the ecosystem.

Another point to be considered is the need to strengthen the connection between large companies and startups.

Even if there are open innovation initiatives and acceleration programs, there is still room to improve interaction and mutual development.

Check out the article below to better understand this conversation .

How the pandemic has changed our perception of innovation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on work dynamics around the world , driving accelerated transformation and increasing demands for innovation in all areas.

The emergence of the virus and social distancing measures imposed challenges never before imagined by organizations, leading them to rethink their strategies and adopt new approaches to adapt to this new reality.

One of the most notable changes has been the mass adoption of remote work . Companies that were previously reluctant to allow work from home were forced to implement this modality to maintain their operations.

Furthermore, the health crisis has brought to the fore the importance of innovation in diverse areas such as health, science, technology and logistics.

The pandemic, despite all the challenges, has created a mindset of urgency towards innovation.

In this context, companies have realized that the ability to adapt quickly and offer innovative solutions has become essential to survive and thrive in an environment of constant change.

The quest for efficiency, flexibility and resilience has driven innovation in processes , business models and products.

Amid these questions, 100 Open Startups saw an opportunity to evaluate the performance of open innovation in the corporate world and generate insights capable of bringing this business model to the center of companies in all sectors.

The search

Through meetings with the best positioned companies in the 100–10 -1 program, ranking of the 100 Open Startups that evaluates open innovation, the corporation was able to make important surveys.

According to the study carried out at the time, there were 2 million management positions in the main corporations.

Of these, only 90,000 had any kind of contact with the startup ecosystem, which represents approximately 4.5 % of these leaders.

The number of executives who had contracts signed is even smaller, reaching only 11,000, and those who collaborated with 3 or more startups were only 1000.


Despite the growth seen in recent years, still at the beginning of developing an open innovation culture .

Although the country has a vibrant entrepreneurial environment and a significant amount of startups, the mindset of collaboration and openness to strategic partnerships between companies and entrepreneurs is in the early stages.

One of the main challenges is to overcome the traditional work culture, which is more closed and inflexible.

After all, open innovation involves sharing knowledge, resources and experiences with other organizations, which is not always a common practice .

This mentality needs to be transformed to allow for an environment of collaboration and exchange of ideas between different actors in the ecosystem.

Another point to be considered is the lack of effective connection between large companies and startups .

Large companies often have difficulty identifying and relating to the most innovative startups, while startups face challenges in accessing the resources and market that established companies can offer.

Therefore , it is necessary to strengthen connection networks and create efficient channels for dialogue and collaboration.

Furthermore, the development of a culture of universal innovation requires investments in education and training.

It is essential to promote an entrepreneurial mindset from basic education and provide adequate training in entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the professional life.

This includes encouraging creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, as well as encouraging experimentation and learning from mistakes.

How to introduce the culture of open innovation in companies?

With the growth of the startup ecosystem, finding startups and entrepreneurs with innovative ideas is no longer a challenge.

Nowadays, it is relatively easy to identify dozens of such initiatives, in different sectors and stages of development.

However, the real challenge lies in consistently generating value with this innovation ecosystem.

For large companies, the challenge is to identify how they can harness the potential of startups to drive their own innovation and growth .

Nowadays, the simple acquisition of startups or the establishment of specific partnerships may not be enough to guarantee consistent results.

It is necessary to create a comprehensive strategy that involves continuous collaboration, resource sharing and knowledge transfer between the parties involved.

In addition, it is important for large companies to create an internal environment conducive to innovation , flexible and agile enough to work together with startups effectively.

On the other hand, for startups, the challenge is to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market and transform their ideas into sustainable businesses.

Having a good idea is no longer enough; it is necessary to develop a viable business model , find the right market and offer a product or service of value.

In addition, startups need to strategically position themselves in the innovation ecosystem , establishing strategic partnerships with large companies, investors and mentors who can add knowledge, experience and resources to drive their growth.

Consistently delivering value requires a long-term mindset and an ongoing commitment to innovation.

That goal involves being open to experimentation , learning from mistakes, and quickly adapting to market changes.

It also requires a deep understanding of customer needs and the ability to deliver solutions that meet those needs effectively.

See some of the reasons why.

  • Stimulating a mindset shift: Fostering a culture of sharing and collaboration, overcoming the mindset of secrecy and overprotection of ideas.
  • Strengthen connections between large companies and startups: Create efficient channels for dialogue and collaboration, establishing strategic partnerships and fostering trust between ecosystem actors.
  • Invest in education and training: Promote entrepreneurship and innovation from basic education, developing creativity, critical thinking and problem solving skills. Offer training programs in entrepreneurship and innovation throughout professional life.
  • Foster open innovation initiatives: Support and strengthen acceleration programs, coworking spaces, hackathons and networking events, stimulating interaction between startups, large companies and other players in the ecosystem.
  • Create an enabling regulatory environment: Develop policies and regulations that encourage open innovation, facilitating strategic partnerships and resource sharing between startups and large companies.
  • Encourage a culture of experimentation and learning: Encourage the search for innovative solutions through experimentation, allowing mistakes to be learned and drive development.

How to resolve this issue?

Understanding the challenges of generating consistent value in the innovation ecosystem was the starting point for creating the 100 Open Startups 100–10–1 program.

Recognizing the importance of establishing strategic partnerships and fostering ongoing collaboration between large companies and startups, this program aims to effectively drive innovation.

The 100 Open Startups 100–10–1 program therefore seeks to promote an open innovation culture and generate consistent value in the innovation ecosystem.

By connecting startups and large companies in a structured way and facilitating their collaboration, the program encourages the exchange of knowledge, the sharing of resources and the creation of strategic partnerships that drive the development of innovative solutions and sustainable growth for both parties involved.

Discover the 100–10–1 Startups Program, in which you and your team will have access to several startups, learn to evaluate them, provide feedback and mentoring, as well as develop open innovation projects.