Collaboration between corporates and startups, if done right, can bring tremendous benefit to both. Startups can access invaluable resources and market insight which can help them scale, whilst for established companies, such collaborations offer an important mode of innovation – as well as subtler benefits like cultural change.

However, it is hard to get it right. We believe that the organisations doing this well should be recognised as trailblazers, and hope that they inspire others to follow suit. SEP Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars is aimed at annually showcasing best practices and role model how the corporate-startup collaboration might benefit both sides.


Mind the Bridge, together with Nesta, annually elaborates the “ SEP Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars” – a ranking of more ‘startup-friendly’ corporates in Europe. Awarded companies have gone the extra mile to establish mutually-beneficial partnerships with startups – whether through procurement/licensing/partnerships, accelerators,
direct investment, acquisitions or other dedicated internal programmes.

Specifically, the top 12 companies are awarded as SEP Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars, while 24 other companies are recognized as SEP Europe’s Open Innovation Challengers.
Additionally, special prizes are annually awarded by a top notch
judging committee.


  •        Corporate Startup Accelerator Award

  •        Corporate Startup Procurement Award

  •        Corporate Startup Investment Award

  •        Corporate Startup M&A Award

  •        Open Innovation Innovative Approach Award

  •        Best New Entrant

  •        Public Sector Innovation Award


The SEP Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars scheme takes place under the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative. SEP Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars 2018 Ranking has been announced in Brussels on November 22, 2018 during an Award Ceremony at the presence of EU Vice President Katainen.
2019 Award Ceremony will be hosted during the Scaleup Summit at the Bolsa de Madrid on December 10th.

Open Innovation Forum

High-level group discussion restricted to the Heads of Innovation/CIOs/CDOs to identify best practices and debate about priorities and challenges in open innovation. The discussions will be intellectually informed by “Open Innovation in Europe. A Snapshot of 2018 SEP Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars”, a brief prepared by Mind the Bridge and Nesta about the main outcomes from the data analysis. The interactive workshop will be facilitated by Mind the Bridge.

The event will continue with the announcement of the ranking and the special awards over the Gala Dinner. A group picture will close the event.

  • Top 12 Corporate Startup Stars (named one by one, no ranking, awarded the Top 3)
  •  24 Open Innovation Challengers (named one by one, no ranking)
  • Corporate Startup Accelerator Award (three awards, introduced one by one)
  • Corporate Startup Procurement Award (three awards, introduced one by one)
  • Corporate Startup Investment Award (three awards, introduced one by one)
  • Corporate Startup Acquisition Award (three awards, introduced one by one)
  • Open Innovation Innovative Approach Award (three awards, introduced one by one)
  • Best New Entrant Award (one company)
  • Public Sector Innovation Award (special mention, one company)


Agustin Delgado

Chief Innovation and Sustainability Officer at Iberdrola SA

Ingo Ramesohl

Managing Director, Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC)

Mariano de Beer

Chief Digital Officer, Telefónica

Paresh Modi

Group Head of Business Development and Innovation, Vodafone

Arantza Ezpeleta

Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Acciona

Federico Flórez

Chief Information and Innovation Officer, Ferrovial

Stefan Maurer

Director and Head of Future Transportation, Vans Daimler

Nicolas Verschelden

Head of Digital Innovation, AB InBev

Herman Kienhuis

Executive Vice President and Managing Director, KPN Ventures

José Bogas

Chief Executive Officer, Enel Endesa

Marcelino Oreja

Chief Executive Officer, Enágas

Belen Moscoso del Prado

Group Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, Sodexo

Suzanna Chiu

Head of Amadeus Ventures, Amadeus IT Group

Rikesh Shah

Head of Commercial Innovation, Transport for London

Sofía Benjumea

Head of Google for Startups in Spain

Ernesto Ciorra

Chief Innovability Officer, Enel

Michiel van Haersma Buma

Senior Implementation Manager for Shell Ventures

Ainhoa Miren Campo Nieto

Global Head of Open Innovation, BBVA

Patricia Pastor Garrido

Managing Director GoHub, GlobalOmnium

Yolanda Pérez

Director of BStartup, Banc Sabadell

Francois Dufour

Development Director, Orange Technocentre

Sabrina Jones

Strategic Partnerships and Open Innovation at Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC)

Telmo Pérez Luaces

Chief Innovation and New Business, ACCIONA Group

Alexa Gorman

Senior Vice President and Head at SAP.iO Foundries for EMEA, SAP

Salvatore Bernabei

Head of Global Procurement, Enel

Marie José Van Den Boomgaard

Liaison Management Startups & Scaleups, KPN New Business

Miguel Arias Bermúdez

Global Entrepreneurship Director, Telefónica

Cilia Kanellopoulos

Global Innovation Lead, Vodafone Group

David Newman

Group Senior Vice President Corporate Finance and member of Sodexo Ventures Investment Committee, Sodexo

Fernando Impuesto Nogueras

General Manager, Enagás Emprende

Jérôme Boulet

Director, Mobilty Solutions and Digital Business Model, Bridgestone

Fabio Tentori

CEO of Enel Innovation Hubs

Roberto Mauro

Managing Director Europe, Strategy and Innovation Center, Samsung Electronics

Matthias Friese

Head of Company Building, Fiege

Mathieu Willems

Head Digital Strategy, Rabobank

Xavier Azemar

Head of Barcelona Co-Innovation Center, Cisco

Eric Tartanson

Vice President BOT Ecosystems, Orange

Giacomo Lovati

Director of Business Services, Unipol Sai

John Gordon

Global Head of Digital Marketing & Digital Health CoE, Pfizer

Jean-Sebastien Beaucamps

Vice President Digital Partnerships, Sodexo

Agustín Moro

Global Head of Partnerships Telefónica Open Innovation

Gonzalo Galindo Gout

Head, Cemex Ventures

Michael Hurwitz

Director of Transport Innovation, Transport for London

Miguel Angel Gonzalez

Head of Digital Transformation Strategy and Ventures, Cepsa

Isidro Laso Ballesteros

Deputy Head of Unit, Innovation Ecosystems Unit European Innovation Council Task Force (EIC),
DG Research and Innovation, European Commission

Roberto Fraile

Councilor for Innovation, Digital Transformation and Economic Development, Ayuntamiento de Alcobendas

Cristina Aparicio

EMBA │ Insight and Business Development Director, Cemex Ventures

Niclas Holmberg

Managing Director-Global Listing Services, NASDAQ

Josep Celaya González

Global Head of Transformation, MAPFRE

Gloria Vidal Torrado

Entrepreneurship Manager, Fundación Repsol

José Daniel Garcia

Director of Innovation, Prosegur

Luis Suárez de Lezo


Javier Cabrerizo

COO, Prosegur

Massimiliano Ambra

Investor in Capitol One, Marzotto Ventures

Massimiliano Garri

Chief Innovation & Information Officer, Acea

Carmelo Graceffa

Innovation Manager, ACEA, Acea

Uwe Wassermann

Director AEC Business Development, worldwide, Autodesk

Jorge Ulecia

Digital Innovation, Iberostar

Tim Peacock

Innovation, Futures and Foresight Director, Landsec

Johann Boukhors

Managing Director, ENGIE New Ventures

Nigel Purcell

Investment Director, ENGIE New Ventures

Fernando Sandoval

Manager Enel Innovation Hub Europe

Silvia Mendez

Enel Innovation Hub Europe

Ivan Feito Martínez

Manager of Tech Ventures, Prosegur

José Fernández Freyre

Director of Innovation, Prosegur Cash

Miguel Ángel Nuño

Responsable de desarrollo I+D+i en Soluciones Electrónicas Residencial, Prosegur

Adrian Vicol

Business Growth Consultant, Fortech

Florian Samarghitan

Client Executive, Fortech

Franco Stivali

Innovation Manager, Ferrovie dello Stato

Eugenio Fedeli

Responsabile Ricerca e Sviluppo RFI


In defining the final ranking we will be helped by a panel of judges composed of the following exceptional professional.

Bindi Karia

Innovation Expert + Advisor, Connector of People and Businesses

Candace Johnson

Serial Entrepreneur behind SES, Loral Teleport Europe and President EBAN

Paddy Cosgrave

Co-founder, Web Summit

Ricardo Pérez

Professor of Information Systems, IE Business School

Alberto Onetti

Serial entrepreneur and coordinator of the Startup Europe Partnership

Andrew Webber

Chief Marketing Officer, Whitespace Ventures

Mike Wright

Professor of Entrepreneurship, Imperial College Business School

Kenneth Mulvany

Founder and Chairman, BenevolentAI


Back to Top