05 March 2007

Financial Times Article

Big business taps into expertise of smaller neighbours
By Sarah Murray, Financial Times
Published: Feb 28, 2007

Here are some excerpts from the article . . .


At the same time, small, young companies are less wedded to ways of operating that in larger organisations, may be embedded in the culture and hard to change.

"It's a difficult proposition to find new business models when you have a current one that's working," says Eric Mathews, co-founder of Mercury Technology Labs, a venture creation company that is working with FedEx's IT Innovation group. "Small companies without bureaucracy and inertia have the flexibility to change and adapt quickly to technological opportunities."

. . . .

If venture capitalists can provide a role as middlemen between IT entrepreneurs and multinational corporations, this is something Mercury Technology Labs aims to do by developing a role as what it calls an "innovation connector". Mercury builds relationships not only with small companies but also with university research and development teams.

As companies continue to look on small companies as sources of innovation, intermediaries - whether they are business incubators, venture capitalists or organisations such as Mercury Technology Labs - are likely to become an important part of the process.

Mercury's Mr. Mathews says: "Large companies have a hard time keeping up with it all. They'll have an R&D group, but there's only so much that group can cover. So we are a force multiplier for them. We're scouts for new technologies."

Article can be seen here

As well as here http://search.ft.com/ftArticle?id=070228000899