Praise for our
Venture Client units

We invented the Venture Client model, and we created and are operating Venture Client units at some of the most demanding organisations such as the BMW Group. Here is a selection of publications that praise our Venture Client units.

Harvard Business Review | 27.07.2017

What BMW’s Corporate VC Offers That Regular Investors Can’t

“... We believe that the venture client approach is unique and has enormous potential, not just at BMW but also at other companies. Perhaps the most important reason for its success is that all stakeholders — startups, private venture capitalists and corporate — focus on what they do best while minimizing risk. ...”

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Capgemini invent | 22.12.2020

The next big thing to boost your innovation – the venture client model

"... The concept of the venture client model is new, yet simple. Instead of acquiring non-controlling equity stake, the company buys the startup product (see Figure 2). The corporate becomes, hence, a venture client rather than a venture investor with the objective to harness a strategic benefit. The strategic benefit emerges from applying the startup product to improve an existing or create a new product/service, process, business model, or even entire business. The startup solution is applied in a real business environment immediately, without being incubated or accelerated. ..."

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PR Newswire | 15.09.2020

Tactile Mobility Signs Landmark Deal with Leading OEM to Equip Vehicles with Tactile Sensing Technology

"We are thrilled to partner with the BMW Group to equip their smart and future automated vehicles with the sense of 'touch' and show the commercial viability of tactile sensing technology," said Boaz Mizrachi, Tactile Mobility's Co-founder and CTO.

The long-term cooperation between the BMW Group and Tactile Mobility began through the BMW Startup Garage, the Venture Client unit of the BMW Group."

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INSEAD | 10.04.2020

How Corporates Can Leverage Start-ups Against COVID-19

"... To facilitate the quick identification and adoption of mission-critical start-up technologies, 27pilots launched the platform Startups Against Corona in early March. On the platform, 27pilots collects all inquiries from incumbents and solutions submitted by start-ups, evaluates them and makes auspicious matches between them. "With the platform, we want to contribute to alleviating the impact of the pandemic on the economy, normalising everyday work and paving the way for start-ups to bring solutions to the large corporations employing millions of people quickly and effectively," says 27pilots co-founder Gregor Gimmy. ..."

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Medium | 27.02.2020

In search of systematic innovation: How corporations are failing at scaling startup innovation (and how those who succeed are doing it)

"Buying startup products brings the transaction back to its core. It does not treat innovation like an abstract concept, like a problem that you can solve with pure intellect and models on slides. It treats startup innovation as what it is: products and technologies that can be deployed and integrated profitably."

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Ideanote | 10.12.2019

From BMW Startup Garage to 27pilots: Venture Client Model Is Reinventing Innovation

Nike does it, Microsoft does it, even American Express and PepsiCo do it. Corporate innovation programs directed at startups is old news. However, is the traditional Venture Capital model truly the best strategy to achieve it? BMW Startup Garage and 27pilots is a living proof that innovation can be reinvented.

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Consulate General of Denmark, Silicon Valley | 16.10.2019


Don’t invest unless you have to. Much better for big companies to buy products or services from the startup, conduct short-term pilots, license technologies, or co-create new markets or business models. Top startup founders prefer to avoid corporate investment too, at least until the later stages, given the heavy due diligence process and typical limitations on further fundraising.

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Trends Mena | 01.10.2019

Open Innovation: Bring Change from the Outside

"... Gregor Gimmy, Managing Director at 27pilots, a company that helps organizations benefit strategically from startups through the Venture Client model (VC), said: “Competitiveness has always depended on your ability to bring externally technology into your company. You’re only as good as the external technology you bring in. So, in that sense, open innovation was always relevant.” ... More and more, startup companies are becoming the primary source for external innovation, and with good reason. As Gimmy explained, “Startup companies have two advantages over the incumbents: they have significantly more capital than the big corporations to solve a specific problem; and they have intellectual property nobody has.” ..."

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Wallstreet Online | 25.09.2019

Rapid Tampere beschleunigt gemeinsame industrielle Innovationen

Die erstklassigen internationalen Industrieunternehmen Sandvik, Kalmar, Caruna und Valmet haben sich Rapid Tampere angeschlossen, dem ersten Kooperations-Venture Client in der finnischen Region Tampere. Rapid Tampere stützt sich bei seinen Tätigkeiten auf das Venture-Client-Modell, bei dem die Zusammenarbeit auf wirklichen Bedürfnissen basiert, das für eine schnelle Durchführung von Pilotprojekten sorgt und auf eine tiefer gehende Kooperation abzielt.

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Startupvalley | 18.07.2019

Wie Corporates von Start-ups profitieren, ohne sich dabei selbst zu sehr im Weg zu stehen

“... sollten im Rahmen der Förderung ernsthafte und belastbare Kundenbeziehungen aufgebaut werden. [...] Anstatt beide Welten gewaltsam miteinander verbinden zu wollen, braucht es einen Übersetzer, damit beide ihre Stärken ausspielen können. Dies ist der eigentliche Zweck von Innovations vehikeln. [...] In einem konkreten, bezahlten Projekt wird das fördernde Unternehmen mit dem Start-up zusammengebracht und bei der weiteren Skalierung unterstützt. Vom Ergebnis profitieren dann auch wirklich beide Parteien: funktionierende Innovationen für das Unternehmen und eine solide Basis für das weitere Wachstum aufseiten des Start-ups.”

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BMW Press Club | 09.05.2019

BMW Startup Garage sichert frühen Zugang zu wegweisenden Innovationen.

Seit nunmehr vier Jahren macht die im Unternehmensbereich für Forschung, Neue Technologien und Innovationen beheimatete BMW Startup Garage das Potenzial besonders innovativer Startups für die BMW Group schnell und direkt nutzbar. Über 50 junge Technologie-Unternehmen haben das Programm bis heute durchlaufen... Im Gegensatz zum „Venture Capital“ Ansatz setzt die BMW Startup Garage auf das „Venture Client“ Modell.

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The Next Web | 26.04.2019

How BMW is innovating for the next generation of drivers

"... Venture capital is out, venture clients are in ..."

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Harvard Business Review | 30.01.2019

The Two Ways for Startups and Corporations to Partner

"... BMW’s Startup Garage which offers startups the opportunity to work with it as a “venture client” ..."

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DIA Amsterdam | 12.08.2018

DIA Amsterdam 2017 – DIA Thought Leadership – BMW

“... Why would startups make an impact on innovation in your company? Let's put that down to two very impressive numbers. There are 1.2 billion startups out there, worldwide. In China each day 3000 startups are founded.

So that are 1.2 billion innovations outside your company. The other interesting number is the somewhat $150 billion Venture Capital flowing into these companies. Don`t think about Venture Capital as a financing tool. Think about these $150billion as innovation budget you don`t have to spend. ...”

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Maize. Tech Food For Thought | 22.01.2018

The Venture Client Model

"... Since starting the BMW Startup Garage in Q1 2015, this approach has delivered great results. On one hand, startups provide key technologies that allow us to accomplish strategic innovation goals fast. For example, some of our startups provide critical autonomous driving technology. Other startups help us innovate cost critical processes. Already some are radically innovating our logistics procedures, with the potential of saving us millions per year. ..."

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The Economist | 29.09.2017

Lessons from Bayer & BMW on partnering with startups

Another interesting example is BMW's Startup Garage program, which seeks to implement a new model of engagement which it terms the "venture client" model. Basically, the Startup Garage offers the startup to gain BMW as an early client...Although BMW does not publish the numbers or identities of the startups, discussions with industry experts suggests that the Startup Garage's client vendor model stands out as a new model for startup engagement.

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Bloomium | 18.09.2017

Venture Client, the improved version of Venture Capital

"... After considering the effects of Venture Capital, a new strategy of investing in startups is now gaining a lot of supporters, and it’s called Corporate Venture Client. This new strategy is seeking to improve the model of CVC&A, with the challenge of make startups become a supplier of the company. By making startups become suppliers of companies, it is agreed to give startups one of the things they are most looking for: customers. ..."

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Munich Startup | 26.07.2017

“We Are Not an Accelerator, We Are a Venture Client” – A talk with the BMW Startup Garage

“... You call your approach venture client. Is this model superior to the classic venture capital?

Both approaches complement one another: Venture client is suited for working with startups at a very early stage and integrating them into a real innovation project. That allows us to quickly assess how well the technology meshes with BMW, and the startup learns how to work with us.

As soon as I see that it is working, then it is possible for BMW i Ventures to invest venture capital as a subsequent step. That being said, this step is not a must and is also not our objective. Our objective is to quickly integrate startup innovations. ...”

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Handelsblatt Global | 10.03.2017

When Start-Up Brain Meets Corporate Brawn

"... But perhaps no one is as aggressively reinventing the way corporates engage with start-ups as Gregor Gimmy, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of the BMW Startup Garage. .... The way the Startup Garage works is brilliantly simple. ...."

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China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) | 23.03.2017

The making of BMW's Startup Garage

CEIBS Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy Shameen Prashantham met Gregor Gimmy in Munich in the BMW Startup Garage. In the video, Gregor explains how he pulled off a “startup” inside such a huge and very traditional corporation and how he invented the Venture Client model.

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Handelsblatt | 02.03.2017

Start-ups sollen die Technik, nicht die Kultur verbessern

“... Wir wollen sehen, wie gut ein Start-up ist, muss man ihr Produkt in einer sehr realen Umgebung ausprobieren. Das ist anders, als in einem klassischen Accelerator, da geht das nicht so gut. Dort ist auch die Betreuung anders. Bei uns arbeiten die Start-ups in einem Pilotprojekt mit den Fachbereichen zusammen ...”

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