Corporate Startup Stars Awards go global

  • 16 April 2020

ICC and Mind the Bridge are organising the first global edition of the Corporate Startup Stars Awards, now in their 5th year.

ICC and the international advisory firm Mind the Bridge have announced a partnership to scale the prestigious Awards for Open Innovation – now in their  5th year – at global level.

Taking place under the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative since 2016, the Awards aim at recognising the most active corporates in open innovation. The 2020 edition will celebrate the collaborations between corporates and startups across all regions of the world, and enable established companies to innovate and startups to scale.

“The CSS Awards are intended to recognise best practices in startup-corporate collaboration, and to incentivise others to follow suit; they are also designed to include a wide range of training and advisory services to empower corporates to plan, design and execute open innovation strategies. The ultimate goal is fostering partnerships between startups and corporates at global level,” said Alberto Onetti, Chair of Mind the Bridge and SEP Coordinator. “Thanks to the partnership we’re signing today, it will build on, expand and link the ground-breaking work that the ICC World Chambers Federation has done in entrepreneurship with ICC’s corporate presence around the world and this is why we’re very proud of this step further.”

Awards Ceremonies for previous editions were held at the Madrid Stock Exchange (2019), Residence Palace in Brussels (2017 and 2018) and Factory Berlin (2016), with the participation of European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, and European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas. In 2019 Enel, SAP and Telefonica were named Open Innovation Champions in Europe.

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said: “Fostering innovation is key to promote economic competitiveness and to support the next generation of business leaders. Our partnership with Mind the Bridge further connects our century old institution to young leaders and innovators, as we leverage ICC expertise and resources to enable peace, prosperity and opportunity for all through the promotion of sustainable innovation, entrepreneurship and value creation. We are proud to offer our global network in over 100 countries this unique opportunity to make a mark in strengthening the local ecosystems for digital entrepreneurs in support of our mission to make business work for everyone. We will also collaborate with Mind the Bridge through the ICC Centre for Entrepreneurship hubs we are establishing in markets worldwide, starting with our two hubs in Istanbul and Beirut.”

Recognising start up and open innovation trailblazers

The Awards ranking covers a wide range of activities, from startup accelerators to procurement, investment and acquisitions. Companies “ahead of the curve” will be recognised as Corporate Startup Stars and Open Innovation Challengers, gaining international recognition as trailblazers and role model setters. Regional and Category Awards will be also granted as follows.


  • World’s Corporate Startup Stars
  • Europe’s Open Innovation Challengers
  • Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars
  • North America’s Corporate Startup Stars
  • LATAM Corporate Startup Stars
  • MENA Corporate Startup Stars
  • ASIA Corporate Startup Stars

Special Awards:

  • Corporate Startup Accelerator Award
  • Corporate Startup Procurement Award
  • Corporate Startup Investment Award
  • Corporate Startup M&A Award
  • Innovative Programme Award
  • Public Sector Innovation Award
  • Best New Entrant Award

The deadline for Corporate applications to Corporate Startup Stars Awards is 7 July 2020.

Forbes Global 2000 and Fortune Global 500 companies are invited to submit their applications. Other companies active in open innovation or nominated by startups are welcome to participate.

Innovative public sector and government entities are entitled to participate in the Public Sector Innovation category. In 2019, Transport for London (TfL) was named a winner in this category.

In July-September 2020 data analysis and benchmarking will take place, with Final Rankings by Judging Committee scheduled by end of September 2020. Winners of the 2020 Corporate Startup Stars Awards will be announced in December 2020 during a ceremony to be held in Paris, in conjunction with the 2020 Scaleup Summit.

The Awards Judging Committee will include, among others: Paddy Cosgrave, Co-founder, Web Summit; Candace Johnson, Serial Entrepreneur, EBAN President Emeritus and ICC Board Member; Bindi Karia, Innovation Expert and Advisor, Connector of People and Businesses; Kenneth Mulvany, Founder and Chair, BenevolentAI; Alberto Onetti, Serial Entrepreneur, Chair Mind the Bridge, Coordinator Startup Europe Partnership (SEP); Ricardo Perez, Professor of Information Systems, IE Business School and Andrew Webber, Chief Marketing Officer, Whitespace Ventures.