2021 Award Ceremony

Celebration of Best Practices
and Role Models in Open Innovation



>  December 10 2021, Paris 5:00 – 11:00 pm CET | Open Innovation Bootcamp and CSS Gala Dinner (closed door, restricted to 2021 CSS awarded companies)

>  December 16 2021 6:00 – 7:00 pm CET | Corporate Startup Stars 2021 Award Ceremony

Last year’s Top 3 Corporates Startup Stars

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 and modes of collaboration are in continuous evolution. We believe that the organisations doing this well should be recognised as trailblazers.

Corporate Startup Stars is an annual celebration of the best global practices and role models in Open Innovation.



Mind the Bridge, in collaboration with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), annually elaborates the “Corporate Startup Stars” list – a ranking of more ‘startup-friendly’ global corporates. 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 programs.
The evaluation is coordinated by a judging committee and based on a package of information that the participating companies are submitting.
 Startups’ nominations complement the evaluation process.


Judging Committee

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

Candace Johnson
Candace Johnson
Serial Entrepreneur, President Emeritus EBAN, ICC Executive Board member
Priya Guha
Priya Guha
Venture Partner at Merian Ventures, formerly GM for RocketSpace and British Consul General to San Francisco
Valentina Mintah
Valentina Mintah
Founder at West Blue Consulting, Founder at e-Ananse
Linda Smith
Linda Smith
Co-Chair of the Global Business Angel Network (GBAN) and Chairman Emeritus of the Angel Capital Association
Fernando Spnola
Fernando Spnola
Managing General Partner, Base Partners
Timothy Tong
Timothy Tong
CEO of the AMTD Foundation, President Emeritus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, former Dean of George Washington University
JongKap Kim
JongKap Kim
Chief Executive Director at Born2Global Centre
Alberto Onetti
Alberto Onetti
Serial entrepreneur, University Professor, Mind the Bridge Chairman and coordinator of the Startup Europe Partnership

and Special Awards


World’s Corporate Startup Stars

World’s Open Innovation Challengers

Corporate Startup Accelerator Award

Startup Procurement Award

Startup Investment Award

Startup M&A Award

Venture Builder Award

Intrapreneurship Program Award

Public Sector Award for Open Innovation

Regional Awards

North America
South America
Middle East


Applications should be done at Group level, consolidating
all the multiple innovation activities that corporates are running through
all their different entities/BUs (CVCs, special vehicles, etc.).
Results of this survey will be treated confidentially and disclosed on an aggregate basis only.
Applications for CSS 2021 are now closed.

Videos from the past edition

How do you define Open Innovation?
What’s the biggest contribution that startups can provide to your company?
What are the most important open innovation activities at your company?
These are some of the questions we asked some of the biggest companies around the world.
Find out what they say.