The 10 corporate startups transforming their industries.

Corporate startups have rapidly proven themselves as a powerful tool for companies to experiment with new technologies, expand beyond their core offerings, and reach new target audiences. In today’s corporate landscape, it’s a crucial part of most innovation strategies, giving companies a new type of competitive edge they need to succeed. 

Corporate leaders from all over the world are changing entire industries and tapping into new revenue streams by building their own corporate startups from scratch. In today’s uncertain and fast-moving landscape, it’s one of the most effective and low-risk ways to future-proof and innovate from the inside out.

To give you a better idea of how corporate startups look and feel in action, here’s a list of 10 that are changing entire industries. 

1. DNB's Vipps.

Vipps - Company

DNB is a Norwegian financial services group that offers savings, loans, insurance, pension, and advisory services to both individual and corporate customers.   

Meet the startup

Vipps, is a mobile banking application that gives users the possibility to make payments via the receiver’s telephone number instead of an account number. The corporate startup enables anyone with a Norwegian bank card to split bills, expenses, or make payments between friends, acquaintances, stores, and restaurants. Today, it’s one of the most downloaded apps in Norway. 

2. BP's VYVE.

BP is an oil and gas multinational that provides heat, light and mobility products and services to people all around the world. They are making great strides in transforming their business and help drive the transition to a lower carbon future.

Meet the startup

VYVE is a mobile app that was designed to help people understand, track, and reduce their carbon footprint. It’s the first offering from VYVE, a BP backed startup that was set up to help people take action against climate change.

3. Nike’s Adventure Club.

Nike is one of the best known brands for athletic footwear, equipment, apparel and accessories. They design, market and distribute their products for customers all over the world.

Meet the startup

In 2019, Nike decided to standout from competitors in the retail space by launching the Nike Adventure Club. The corporate startup provides a sneaker subscription program for kids aged 2-10 for a cost of $20, $30, or $50 per month (depending on the plan). Through this new business model Nike has created a new source of recurring revenue by reaching a whole new set of customers.

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4. ABN AMRO’s New10.

ABN Amro Bank primarily serves clients in retail, private and corporate banking in Northwest Europe. Their portfolio of products and services for clients in The Netherlands includes mobile banking apps and internet banking.

Meet the startup

New10 is a fintech startup that enables SMEs and entrepreneurs to get loans online. Loans range from EUR 5,000 to EUR 1 million and users can find out if they qualify within 15 minutes. The startup is a great example of how large banks can quickly respond to alternating market trends and create a truly user-centered service.

5. Shopify’s Shop.

Shopify Inc. is an all-in-one commerce platform that enables users to set up an online store and unify their online and offline sales through Shopify POS. It even enables the creation of third-party apps, which has boosted their online community and helped businesses better sell their products.

Meet the startup

The Shop app enables customers to discover local stores, get customised recommendations, track purchases in real-time, and make payments at lightning speed. It provides a more user-friendly and intuitive online shopping experience for Shopify customers.

6. Disney’s Disney Plus.

The Walt Disney Company, is an international family entertainment and media enterprise that is active in various segments, including media networks, recreational parks and studio entertainment.

Meet the startup

Through Disney+ the Walt Disney Company stepped into the D2C realm with its very own subscription video streaming service. The platform features original content as well as films and TV series produced by Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television.

7. Ford’s Find your Ford.

Ford is an American multinational car manufacturer that sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand. Its luxury cars are sold under the company’s Lincoln brand.

Meet the startup

FindYourFord.com provides a listing of used cars from multiple dealerships in one place. It was designed to help customers filter results based on mileage, color and engine type. Users can also filter based on features like heated steering wheels or driver-assist technologies. An OEM like Ford can create a profitable end-to-end used vehicle business by focusing on the customer and using a lean business model.

8. Comcast’s Peacock.

Comcast Corp. is a telecom conglomerate with three main subsections, Comcast Cable (Xfinity), Sky, and NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is a media and entertainment company whose vast portfolio includes NBC, Telemundo, Universal Pictures, Dreamworks Animation, and Universal Parks and resorts.

Meet the startup

The company joined the D2C space with its startup Peacock, an SVOD service with 3 subscription plans: free, premium, and premium ad-free. The offering features a variety of TV shows, movies, and original series, along with news updates and on-demand content.

9. Torfs’ Avail.

Founded in 1948, Torfs is a Belgian family business with over 70 department stores in Flanders, Wallonia and The Netherlands. Although their focus is mainly on shoes, they also sell apparel, handbags and accessories.

Meet the startup

Avail is a social shopping app that brings together individuals with a visionary sense of style. Users can curate items from a selection of fashion forward, independent brands featured on the platform. The app is currently available for android and iOS. Through the app, Torfs is reaching a whole new target audience and learning how to provide a more personalised and digital customer experience.

10. Samsung’s Welt.

Through its C-lab idea incubation programme, Samsung is successfully investing in employee-driven innovation and developing a cutting-edge startup ecosystem.

Meet the startup

Welt (as in “wellness belt”), is made of Italian leather and uses embedded sensors to count your steps and track changes in your waistline. It can also be used to monitor your eating habits, assess your fall risk, and reduce your sitting time. The app is both iOS and Android friendly. This is a great example of how corporations are experimenting with products and services beyond their core activities to accelerate growth.

Innovating from the inside out.

Building startups from scratch enables companies to leverage their corporate assets to create real value for their business. Aside from actively exploring and experimenting with new and promising technologies, and business models, corporate startups can help companies gain access to new talent, partnerships and expertise.

The process also fosters an environment of creativity and entrepreneurship that brings teams and stakeholders together across departments, with stellar results (e.g. new revenue streams, increased market shares).

If you want to develop your own corporate startup we have a range of services that cover every step of the journey– from discovery of growth areas all the way to scaling it into an industry disruptor.

Discover more corporations building their own incubators and startups on our blog.

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Leyash Pillay

Leyash Pillay

Content Lead