What is startup scouting?

As an innovation manager or employee in a corporate development environment, finding innovative ideas or startups for your company is always part of your agenda. A great way to innovate is to make sure you add startup scouting activities to your global innovation strategy.

Startup scouting is part of the corporate venture engagement. More specifically, it is the process of identifying, evaluating and selecting the best startups to work with. The purpose of it is to make sure that the right startups will enter your radar in due time. 

Sometimes it is just to know they exist and watch how your market is evolving. Often, it is also to establish a relationship with them. Purchase or sell a product or services, invest equity stake or even acquire them. Possibilities are –almost– endless. In case you are asking yourself, “what is startup scouting?”, let us tell you what we know about it.

How do you scout for startups?

There are many ways of scouting for promising startups, at Novable we organize them into 4 categories;

1. Search in directories and databases

Startup databases like Crunchbase or Pitchbook are genuine goldmines to find lots of financial data on innovative companies. When you know what to look for or if you want to get information on a given startup, they are super useful. There are hundreds of thousands of companies registered in these directories. Therefore, it’s often painful to search for a needle in a haystack. 

2. Networking

Companies also attend or host startup events (trade fairs and shows, hackathons, corporate labs, contests, etc.) This is a great way to meet entrepreneurs in person and get a lot of insights in a short period of time. Of course the sanitary crisis put a stop to this kind of events, and their reach is also limited to the startups attending.

3. Consultants

You have consultants at your disposal, who are specialized in innovation and startup scouting, ranging from large international consulting firms to smaller innovation boutiques.

4. Startup scouting platforms

You also have startup scouting platforms that combine database search models with the consultant service thanks to artificial intelligence, and this is exactly what we do at Novable.

In order to be efficient in a startup scouting activity, innovation managers and corporate venturing professionals usually rely on a startup scouting stack. It is a combination of the above-mentioned methods.

How does startup scouting benefit from human interactions with AI?

The most recent startup scouting platforms leverage artificial intelligence and human expertise to deliver full-scope professional solutions. It acts as an extension of your team. The benefits are really tangible. While technology delivers light-speed results on a much broader reach, the consultants’ expertise complements it with innovation and startup literacy. It leaves you the final cut. Think of it as a Pareto-rule: 80% of tedious searching tasks are delegated to the machine in a matter of seconds and, at the end of the day, you get better and faster results. Here are some examples of companies using AI to offer efficient solutions to our planet’s environmental issues as well as companies using AI to lead the industry 4.0 race.


How do others view startup scouting?

According to one of our client’s, “startup scouting is similar to a radar”. She further explained that, as an innovation manager, this radar needs to be good to identify a new blip. It then helps you understand if it is an enemy or a friend and lastly, decides whether it’s worth following or engaging with that blip on the radar. You may also read how other companies use our services here.

Novable platform overview

Over the next 10 years, around 50% of Fortune 500 companies will be replaced. Also, at least 40% of all businesses will die if they can’t figure out how to accommodate new technologies, as well as innovation.

Therefore, Novable has created the fastest corporate venturing platform on earth. It enables companies to scout in a matter of seconds with the help of AI-powered technology.


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3 Responses
    1. Marta

      Dear Donette, for more information you can always check our website [novable.com] or book a call with us! Happy to help!

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