Employee Profile

Sujith Nair

Associate Professor - Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship


Garcia Martin, Patricia Carolina; Sjödin, David, Nair, Sujith & Parida, Vinit (2023)

Managing start-up–incumbent digital solution co-creation: a four-phase process for intermediation in innovative contexts

Industry and Innovation Doi: 10.1080/13662716.2023.2189091

As incumbents strive to collaborate with start-ups in the pursuit of cutting-edge digital solutions, the complexities posed by disparate partners and their innovative endeavours often lead to intricate tensions. Our research underscores the critical role of innovation intermediaries in enabling a successful digital co-creation, yet a deeper understanding of this novel and evolving context is required. Through a comprehensive study of two innovation intermediaries, five incumbent companies, and eleven start-ups, we shed light on how intermediaries can effectively mitigate the hard-to-manage tensions that emerge. Our analysis uncovers three primary tensions: incompatible digital co-creation cultures, divergent digital innovation operations, and misaligned technical capabilities. We further propose a four-phase process for innovation intermediation, including the establishment of digital co-creation foundations, catalysing digital innovation projects, orchestrating the co-creation process, and scaling the resulting outcomes.

Nair, Sujith & Gaim, Medhanie (2023)

How Startups Can Land a Second Meeting with a Corporate Partner

[Popular scientific article]. Harvard Business Review

For start-ups, even securing an initial meeting with a corporation can be tough — let alone establishing a partnership. To understand what works, the authors attended 150 one-on-one meetings between start-ups and corporations such as IBM, Sony, SAAB, L’Oréal, Scania, Toyota, and AstraZeneca. Our observations helped identify five best practices to help start-ups generate corporate interest in collaborating after the meeting: 1) Have clear but flexible goals; 2) Address existing problems and needs; 3) Address ease of integration and collaboration; 4) Present use cases and new value propositions; and 5) Assemble the right team.

Academic Degrees
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