Friday 27 October 2017

Thoughts from Paris - CLVF 1.2

Wow! What an adventure in Paris.

 A capacity crowd of corporate venturers, lab leaders and innovators came together in Paris to talk about all things ‘working with/partnering with small companies and start-ups.

Nissan Innovation lab being perfect hosts and kindly offering us all a chance to interact with their latest incubatees.

With the calibre of attendees we had, it is easy to see why Jean-Francois from NUMA told us that corporate venturing has doubled in the last 3 years, with over $83.5bn invested and now accounts for 20% of all Venture Capital invested.

It was a packed schedule of:

  • Case studies:
  • Key Speakers & Academics: 
    • Jean-Francois Caillard, NUMA and one of France's leading CV do-ers
    • Prof. Anna Glaser ESCP Europe management school
  • Workshop - creating a ‘Curious Company’.
 Quite amazed at the ground we covered (and still finished on time!). I certainly left with my brain on fire… 


For me, there were some key areas that resonated throughout the day - I am not sure there were answers but we heard a lot from both sides…

  • How to ...survive the corporate Tsunami
  • Co-location of internal teams and start-ups. 
  • The longer term thinking allowed by remaining on a salary with a safe job to go back to vs. the entrepreneurial creativity caused by having to pay the rent this month 
  • Is the CV department the correct point of contact or do you allow other areas of your business to undertake this type of activity?
  • ‘Options’ are they the easiest way forward for investments - Afterall the only time you will need to get senior sign-off is when it is a success! 
  • Conflicts of interest: Your company as a shareholder AND as a client Your business lines may prefer to work with a competitor 
And of course my favorite: Write and keep the “investment thesis” - since management evolves faster than portfolio

I am looking forward to arranging the content for 23/4 January in London. There are a few places available - let me know if you would like to find out how to attend.

Monday 9 October 2017

Corporate Venturing Leadership Forum goes to Paris.

Hosted by Nissan Innovation Lab in Paris, on 17/18th October we are welcoming a select group of corporates who are innovating in partnership with SMEs and Start-ups - Incubators, Accelerators, Partnerships and Equity Investments.

Attendance has doubled since our July event, with Nissan, NXP, Telefonica, Geovation, Belron being joined by BASF, Veissmann, Lloyds Bank, Eurapco and Societe Generale.

Our key focus is creating content that adds value to our members  - though our main job is usually keeping the meeting to time!

We are proud to say this event looks like a doozy:
  • Two workshops on the key themes: Cultural Clashes and Impacts of Investment, being supported by:
  • Case Studies: Nissan Innovation Lab, Societe Generale Moonshot-Internet, Oxsensis, and
  • International Experts: Asst Prof. Anna Glaser, ESCP Europe and Jean-Francois Caillard, COO Numa
Looking forward to welcoming everyone for the first glass of vin rouge at the Ambassade d'Auvergne.

Get in touch if you want to join us.

Sunday 1 October 2017

Social Media for Business Consortium hosted by Boots

Walgreens Boots Alliance will be hosting the Social Media for Business Consortium at its marketing HQ near Kings Cross London on Oct 25/26.

This consortium works on best practise leveraging social and adjacent media in new ways. It funds research by the Department of Psychometrics at the Judge Business School in return for access to social profiling tools which members test and compare experiences with.

The consortium also has interests in : healthcare applications, new technology for UX and China

Other members of the consortium include: Siemens, Swiss Re, ghd, NHS ++

Details from Peter Hewkin

Corporate Venturing Leadership Forum hosted by Nissan in Paris

The Corporate Venturing Leadership Forum will be hosted by Nissan at their Paris Innovation Centre on Oct 17 and 18.

This group of blue chips is working on best practises in outreach to innovation. It is particularly interested in accelerators, incubators and competitions at outreach processes. Its focus in Europe and Far East.

The Consortium which includes Nissan (F/UK), Jaguar Land Rover(UK,I), Valeo(F), NXP(NL/D), BASF(D), Viessmann(D), Belron(UK), Ordnance Survey(UK)  is now starting to expand beyond its 'automotive' roots into adjacent verticals.

For details, contact

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Microfluidics Consortium hosted by University of Cambridge with Open Day Oct 12th

Having visited ETH Zurich, MIT and Stanford in the last year, the MF8 Microfluidics consortium will be hosted by the Knowles Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Oct 11 and 12.

The Mission of the Microfluidics Consortium is to grow the market for Microfluidics enabled products and services. We do this by promoting good practises and design guidelines, by exploring new applications and by catalysing new opportunities and deals. Find out more about us at

Twice per year (once in the USA and once in Europe) we invite non-member organisations to get to know us at one of our Open Days. The next such opportunities is in Cambridge UK on Oct 12th. Find out more and register to attend here

New CfBI website

We are Beta-testing a new SEO and Mobile friendly front end for the CfBI site. Visit to give it a try. If you spot and problems, please let me know. The 'old' dense text site is still at .

Wednesday 5 July 2017

Nano-Carbon; Medical Adherence & Corporate Venturing Consortia July 12 in Cambridge

Its triple witching in Cambridge on July 12th as members of 3 of CfBIs consortia take advantage of on July 11 to run meetings the following day.

The Nano-Carbon Enhanced Materials Consortium (with Rolls Royce, Airbus, Arcelor-Mittal, Whirlpool and Bose Corp) meets at Wolfson College

The Corporate Venturing Leadership Forum (with Valeo, Qualcomm, Telefonica, Belron, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Geovation) meets at Clare College

The Medical Adherence Consortium (with BUPA, Astra Zeneca, Boots/Walgreens, Vodafone and Earthworks) meets at Girton College

Details from

Monday 22 May 2017

CfBI Summer Innovation Summit July 11 Emmanuel College 
On July 11th we are inviting members of all our consortia and selected guests to join us in the spectacular surroundings of Emmanuel College Cambridge to help shape and participate in the Global Innovation Agenda.

With speakers and  delegates from six countries this is an opportunity to leverage the insight of some of the worlds leading thinkers on innovation - both from Cambridge and elsewhere.

Come and join: Amadeus Capital Partners, Amazon, BASF, Blacktrace, Danaher, GE, IBM, HP, Nissan, Owlstone,  Valeo, Walgreens and the Judge Business School in this professionally facilitated day of talks, workshops, demonstrations and networking - kindly sponsored by Astra Zeneca, Department of International Trade and Hewitsons.

The day concludes with a gala dinner in the Old Hall at Queens College
See agenda and earlybird delegate list here

To apply for a voucher code to participate please write to

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Open Innovation meets Big Data  Consortium hosted by Swiss Re in 'The Gherkin'

The Open Innovation meets Big Data  Consortium is a group of blue chips with the shared belief that data/analytics can be traded B2B in the spirit of Open Innovation to create net new value.

Now in its fifth year the consortium will be meeting in London on June 6th (dinner June 5th) to work on applying this paradigm to future mobility and connected car scenarios.

Members of the consortium include: Lloyds Bank, LV Insurance, Nissan, Ordnance Survey, Scottish Enterprise, and Swiss RE.

for details contact Peter Hewkin on

Friday 5 May 2017

Social Media for Business Consortium hosted by Swiss Re in 'The Gherkin'

The Social Media for Business Consortium is a group of blue chips working together to find new ways to leverage social (and adjacent) technologies. It works on applications across HR, Recruitment, Performance Enhancement, Risk Management - as well traditional Marketing and Selling.

Now in its third year the consortium funds cutting edge research and seeks out best practises where every they might be found.

On May 9/10 we will be hosted by Swiss Re taking a 'deep dive' into the future of Social 5-10 years out and the strategies which might be appropriate to thrive in these enviroments. Members include: Boots, GSK, Siemens, Swiss Re, Guardian, NESTA, NHS and University of Cambridge / Aberdeen.

for details contact Peter Hewkin on

Microfluidics Consortium hosted by MIT in Cambridge MA June 22/23

The MF8 consortium is returning to Boston for the fourth time. We are delighted on this occasion to be hosted by MIT's Tissue Chip Technology Center (working on Organ on a Chip) and have a packed programme of working sessions, presentations, table top demos and netoworking.

June 22 is in our usual format (Closed Day, Members Only) but June 23 is an Open Day where non-members can sign up for the day and get to know consortium members, their products and services and hear about our plans and how we are going to realize them

Details here

We look forward to meeting you in Boston

Wednesday 8 March 2017

The Microfluidics Consortium is entering its eighth year and goes from strength to strength!

We meet next on April 4 & 5 hosed by IBM Research (Emanuelle delaMarche  and by ETH Zurich (deMello Lab)

On this occasion we will be working with:

  • Roche, Qiagen, Trinean on industrial applications for microfluidics  in screening / single cell applications
  • Uni Milan, ETH on latest research
  • well as hearing from exciting ventures in our 'Microfluidics Hotseat'
For details contact Peter Hewkin on

Following this the next meeting of the consortium will be in Cambridge MA on June 22/23  hosted by Murat Cirit of MIT. On June 23 we have an open day where non-members can attend .. details here

Thursday 2 March 2017

CfBI Cambridge Summer Summit July 11 Save the Date

Building on the success of last years' event we have now committed to a full day on July 11th for the Cambridge Innovation Summer Summit.

This will take place at Emmanuel College Cambridge - with dinner in the Great Hall at Queens College afterwards

Enabled by generous sponsorship from : Hewitsons; Astra Zeneca and InnovateUK we have an expanded agenda covering:

- Global Innovation Best Practise : with keynotes from Viv Goldstein (Founder GE Fastworks)  and Ali Tinazli (HP Lifesciences Director)
- Innovation Made in Cambridge :  with keynote from Amazon and  exhibit/demo areas for :
            - Internet of (Locatable) Things
            - Health and Wellness
            - New Materials
- Show and Tells from current CfBI consortia - and discussion leading to new consortia. 

If your logo is here (ie your company is in a CfBI consortium already!) you have free access. Otherwise you will need to apply for an invitation. Details from 

For uptodate information click here

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Inclusive Design Consortium at the NEC March 1 & 2

The Inclusive Design Consortium has a stand at the 'Innovative Packaging Expo' March 1 & 2 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham this Year.

Come and meet us (P & G; GSK; Astra Zeneca, Reckitt Benkiser, Smith and Nephew, Transport for London, Stora Enso) and learn about the shared project we have delivered to create a way to measure how well UX of everyday items is matched to the needs of an increasingly aging population

Details from

Saturday 28 January 2017

Social Media for Business Consortium meets in Cambridge

The Social Media for Business Consortium is meeting on Friday Feb 2 at Downing College Cambridge (with Dinner at Christ's College the night before). We will be working together with David Stilwell and team from University of Cambridge. They have developed ground breaking profiling and precision marketing tools. Areas of focus include: Implications of GDPR, Social Media for Healthcare and Building better teams. 

Details from Peter Hewkin at