Corporate VC is not the ideal tool for bringing innovation into the mothership, says Stryber's managing partner.

Alex Mahr – Stryber

For the final episode of the year, we look inward: is corporate VC really the best tool available to bring innovation into a larger organisation?

According to this week’s guest, Alex Mahr, co-founder and managing partner of venture-building firm Stryber, the answer is no – or at least not necessarily. Having worked in corporate innovation for many years in a number of roles including consultant, CVC, and now venture building, he sees CVC as perhaps a suboptimal tool to rely on, at least in isolation.

The problem with CVC, according to Mahr, boils down to one of its defining characteristics, namely the lack of control. Corporate VC is by definition a game of minority ownership, but without a majority stake, he argues, the innovation won’t show up, as shareholders expect, on the operational P&L.

We talk about the shortcomings of CVC as he sees them, whether taking a shareholder-centric approach to evaluating innovation is the right way to go, and how to best define what innovation looks like in this context.

We also touch on how to manage risk in venture building, where you are the majority shareholder, what the most effective KPIs are, what best practice for corporates looking to set up their own venture builders, and more.

Take a listen here:

Fernando Moncada Rivera

Fernando Moncada Rivera is a reporter at Global Corporate Venturing and also host of the CVC Unplugged podcast.