Upside Partners
Startup DNA at Corporate Scale

Why Upside

Our philosophy

Our Philosophy

Over the last several years, the conversation about startups and incumbent financial institutions has shifted from competition to collaboration. Yet many institutions that have been investing aggressively into developing their innovation, digital transformation, and startup-partnering capabilities continue to experience common innovation challenges or have noted opportunities to improve returns on their innovation investments. Some common, persistent issues include:

  • Lack of clarity and alignment on digital transformation strategy,

  • No structured way to attract and select the right startups,

  • No relevant playbook for on-boarding or delivery,

  • Difficulty engaging lines of business or purchasing departments, and

  • Cultural & strategic disconnect between startups and corporates.

Like entrepreneurship and venture investing, corporate innovation initiatives have a high failure rate. A distinguishing best practice of both high-performing startups and corporate innovation initiatives is applying portfolio theory and a disciplined framework for running rapid, iterative experiments that enable making data-driven project investment decisions.

Anatomy of a Business Challenge, key tool for engaging line of business owners in innovation initiatives

Anatomy of a Business Challenge, key tool for engaging line of business owners in innovation initiatives

Based on decades of startup and venture capital best practices, Upside helps corporate teams develop core competencies for identifying, investing in, and managing innovation projects that consistently generate superior outcomes despite the high-risk nature of innovation projects. Upside emphasizes a challenge-driven approach to innovation partnerships that puts defining business problems ahead of finding solutions.