Venture Client Track

Venture Client Track at Slush 2023 hosted by 27pilots (Image by Michael Wittwer)

Definition of a Venture Client Track

A Venture Client Track is a dedicated section at a Startup Conference designed for Venture Client Units to engage with startups, venture capitalists (VCs), and other corporate venture clients. This track includes a curated agenda aimed at enhancing networking and cultivating business relationships among corporate venture clients, startups, and VCs.

The idea for Venture Client Tracks originated at 27pilots. In 2021, 27pilots organised the first Venture Client Track at Slush. (See video below.)

Who participates?

Only corporations with established Venture Client capabilities are invited to participate in Venture Client Tracks. These corporations must have a dedicated Venture Client Unit team and program, along with a proven track record of successfully adopting startup solutions through commercial partnerships and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Examples of such Venture Clients include BMW, Bosch, and Holcim.

Corporations that primarily aim to sell their products to startups do not qualify as Venture Clients and are therefore not eligible to participate in Venture Client Tracks. This distinction ensures that the focus remains on fostering genuine collaboration and strategic partnerships between established corporations and innovative startups.

What is the mission?

The mission of a Venture Client Track is to foster meaningful business relationships of corporate Venture Clients with startups, VCs and other corporate Venture Clients at startup conferences such as Slush.

Venture Client Corporations + Startups: In the past, founders lacked a dedicated conference area where they could directly connect with selected corporations interested in purchasing from or acquiring startups. Startups were reliant on corporate managers visiting their stands or initiating contact through matchmaking tools to arrange meetings. However, at startup conferences featuring a Venture Client Track, startups now have the opportunity to proactively engage with potential customers and acquirers. This shift empowers startups to actively pursue and establish connections with major corporations, facilitating more direct and impactful business interactions.

Venture Client Corporations + VCs: A Venture Client Track also provides an excellent platform for venture capitalists (VCs) to engage with selected corporations and gain insights into their specific challenges. This interaction helps VCs refine their investment strategies, allowing them to select investment targets with greater precision. Additionally, it offers VCs the opportunity to promote startups in their portfolios to potential clients and acquirers, enhancing the visibility and market reach of these startups.

Venture Client Corporations + Corporate Venture Clients: Corporate Venture Clients can amplify their impact through collaboration with other Venture Client Units. The success of a startup solution often depends on its widespread adoption across multiple corporations. For example, a startup that provides an enabling technology for an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) typically needs adoption by the OEM as well as its tier 1 suppliers to truly succeed. The Venture Client Track serves as an invaluable platform where Venture Client Units can explore and learn about the startups that their peers are considering. This exchange of insights promotes strategic and aligned decision-making throughout the corporate ecosystem, which can enhance the adoption rates and overall impact of cutting-edge startup solutions. Additionally, the sharing of best practices among Venture Client Units is crucial for the continuous refinement and enhancement of their operations. A Venture Client Track greatly supports both types of synergies.

Example: Slush Venture Client Track, by 27pilots

In 2021, 27pilots, the originator of the concept, organized the inaugural Venture Client Track at Slush. The video below provides a concise overview of the activities and participants involved in this pioneering event.

Here the Slush Press Release of the 2023 Venture Client Track, also organised by 27pilots.

Venture Client Track, Slush 2021, by 27pilots

Learn more about Venture Clienting

Check out the 27pilots Knowledge section to learn more about Venture Clienting and leading corporate Venture Client Units.