Original Research

Startups’ innovation programmes: A food industry versus university cases

Elisha A. Govender, Elma van der Lingen
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 16, No 1 | a775 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v16i1.775 | © 2024 Elisha A. Govender, Elma van der Lingen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 June 2023 | Published: 14 March 2024

About the author(s)

Elisha A. Govender, Department of Engineering and Technology Management, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Elma van der Lingen, Department of Engineering and Technology Management, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Collaborations with external partners such as startups have been shown to bring agile and consumer-centric advantages to businesses to allow for future-proofing benefits as well as improve the rankings of universities. This type of collaboration can occur through innovation programmes with businesses and universities.

Aim: This study aims to compare the innovation programmes of industry and university that are offered to collaborating startups.

Setting: This study was conducted in South Africa and included two case studies, respectively, from a local university-based incubator and a multinational industry.

Methods: The research methodology follows an exploratory approach, allowing for theory-building research through case studies from industry and a university incubator. The research is qualitative and makes use of interviews from industry, the university incubator and startups to draw comparisons on each innovation programme.

Results: The study’s findings confirmed the prominent differences that occur in the communication method, use of third parties in the screening and selection phase, resources offered and onboarding process of the startups. Key benefits and challenges were also identified throughout the collaboration process.

Conclusion: The research has provided insight into the innovation programmes of both industry and university and how each entity can cross-pollinate learnings by reflecting on the challenges, benefits and recommendations highlighted by the study.

Contribution: The study has practical implications that academics and practitioners can use to gain knowledge and further improve their innovation programmes with startups.


Keywords

innovation programmes; open innovation; startups; industry collaborations; university incubators

JEL Codes

D22: Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis; E20: General; E23: Production

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Metrics

Total abstract views: 239
Total article views: 202


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.