Engaging with Startups 2.0: Involving Competitors—A Telefónica Perspective

by Henry Chesbrough, Sea Matilda Bez, and Augustín Moro

Telefónica, a large multinational telecommunication company, spends billions of dollars on internal R&D and engages with startups to accelerate its digital transformation. In 2011, Telefónica created Wayra, one of the first corporate startup accelerators and an example of “outside-in” open innovation. This case follows Agustín Moro, Head of Partnerships at Wayra. First, he navigates the challenges of integrating technologies from Wayra-sponsored startups into Telefónica. Next, in 2015, he wrestles with whether Telefónica should join a joint startup accelerator created by some of Wayra’s competitors. Finally, Moro faces complex questions about this decision as well as Wayra’s future.

Learning Objectives

1) Show the difficulties corporations often encounter when trying to leverage startup companies in their own business strategies.
2) Discuss the pros and cons facing corporations when they collaborate with competitors to pursue new opportunities and challenges in digital transformation.
3) To expand the model of how corporations engage with startups.


Pub Date: October 1, 2023

Discipline: Innovation

Business units, Collaboration, Competition response strategies, Corporate venture capital , Employee beliefs, Growth strategy, Innovation, Innovation management, Innovation sources, Interorganizational collaboration, Joint ventures, Open innovation, Partnerships, Startup financing, Startups

Product #: B6045-PDF-ENG

Industry: Telecommunication, Wireless telecommunications carriers

Geography: Europe, Spain

Length: 9 page(s)

Berkeley Haas Case Series
Berkeley Haas Case Series The Berkeley Haas Case Series is a collection of business case studies written by faculty members at the Haas School of Business. Cases are conceived, developed, written, and published throughout the year, on subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and strategy to finance and marketing. Each case includes a teaching note for use in the classroom.


Berkeley Haas Case Series

A new collection of business case studies from Berkeley Haas

The aim of the Berkeley Haas Case Series is to incite business innovation by clarifying disruptive trends and questioning the status quo.

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