Upside Partners
Startup DNA at Corporate Scale


How we work with clients

Experience Upside

At Upside Partners, our philosophy is to amplify our clients’ own capabilities, whether by introducing new skill-sets or by helping innovation efforts scale. Given the varied needs of our clients, we customize the delivery of our services to suit the client organization’s innovation maturity, internal capabilities, and appetite for experimentation and risk.

Upside Program is an end-to-end solution designed to support corporate teams committed to delivering innovative solutions in partnership with startups. By making the program modular, we are able to support an organization about to pursue their first partnership with a startup just as well as innovation veterans simply looking to scale their efforts to supporting hundreds of PoCs per year.

On the compact end, teams of executives passing through Silicon Valley and San Francisco on corporate innovation tours typically find our Executive Immersion a helpful step in contextualizing their journey and giving them a strategic framework for innovation efforts.

For all other innovation conundrums, whether supporting newly incubated businesses, or advising on the formation and strategic deployment of corporate venture capital funds, our Innovation Advisory offering provides the flexibility to meet the rapidly changing needs inherent in such projects.



Upside Program is our flagship product providing end-to-end support for innovation initiatives. Typically supported by an in-house Innovation function, this program delivers hands-on experience for business line owners in implementing a disciplined, methodical approach to funding and evaluation of innovation initiatives. It further delivers proof-points and early wins in addressing near-term business objectives, thereby demonstrating relevance for line of business owners, earning buy-in within the organization, and accelerating cultural change.

Upside Program is a fully modular 6-9 month program designed to take one or more business units through the entire four-step innovation partnership journey:

  1. Educational Immersion & Business Challenge Selection

  2. Startup Sourcing & Selection

  3. Proof of Concept

  4. Decision & Next Steps

The clarity derived from making data-driven incremental investment decisions enables organizations to meaningfully articulate and manage innovation ROI, and therefore innovation spend. As a result, teams and organizations are empowered to move away from “betting” large budgets and hard-earned reputations on fuzzy initiatives with uncertain outcomes and poor likelihood of success, to adopting a disciplined, rapid, and capital-efficient incremental spend model based on unlocking incremental funding by de-risking specific aspects of projects and thereby generating valuable learnings and data.

Partnership with Deloitte Digital

Upside Partners is proud to present our clients with an option to collaborate with Deloitte Digital to enhance the delivery of Upside Program. By working together, we are able to significantly streamline and accelerate a few key stages of the program, most notably allowing us to streamline procurement during the Startup Selection and Proof of Concept modules, and providing support with scaling successful partnerships across geographies and business units.


Executive Immersion gives senior executive teams a foundation in the disciplined innovation management principles and practices that underlie the Upside methodology. Delivered to corporate teams consisting of C-level executives, line of business owners, and internal innovation program managers, this program is organized in two integrated segments, an overview and training component, followed by a short Business Challenge Workshop.

The curriculum promotes interactive discussion, deep insights, and accelerated learning, and covers topics such as:

  • Startup and venture ecosystem overview to help corporates better identify and engage with the right startups and partners,

  • Mindset and skill gap between entrepreneurs and incumbents, and an ability to identify any such gaps in corporations, and

  • Startup & VC-inspired managerial, financial, and training tools and best practices for achieving operational excellence in innovation.

Business Challenge Workshop is a 1.5-hour interactive session dedicated to defining and right-sizing business challenges that can be addressed by line of business managers in partnership with external (startup) partners. This step is critical for:

  • Helping position the corporate as an attractive partner for startups (or internal development teams)

  • Creating a shared, measurable way to assess the success of a collaboration and to iteratively drive towards common goals,

  • Framing short, inexpensive experiments to increase the capital efficiency of learning, and

  • Reducing the risk that promising innovations don’t receive the stakeholder support required to achieve deployment and scaling.


INNOVATION ADVISORY (monthly, ongoing)

Innovation Advisory, our most flexible offering, is designed to support agents of change within incumbent organizations in:

    • Rapidly growing their newly launched initiatives or businesses

    • Setting up and running internal incubation teams

    • Operationalizing and scaling innovative partnerships with external teams of entrepreneurs

    • Setting up and allocating innovation investment funds

Typical engagement consists of:

  1. Kick-off & Alignment Workshop (2-5 days onsite at client office)

  2. Monthly Advisory Relationship (remote, ensures ad-hoc input and support given client’s rapidly evolving needs and developing expertise)

  3. Quarterly Check-ins (1-2 days onsite at client office)

Typical topics of interest include:

    • Startup best practices

    • VC / corporate backer perspective and managing pre-revenue initiatives

    • Defining the right key metrics at the right time to align the team

    • Buy/build/partner/acquire decisions

    • Organization design for rapid growth and changes over time

    • Establishing incentives that adequately trade off risk and reward

    • Additional high-impact services, such as executive training, moderating board meetings or planning conferences, market-mapping global startups of interest, etc.

Interested in working with us? Drop us a note and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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