In focus: The art of collaboration

One of the constant threads that has run throughout our focuses this year has been the idea of people working closer together, be it through the sharing economy or as part of a start-up community, brands big and small are seemingly clamouring to reap the mutual benefits of collaborating with one another.

Gone are the days of dirty tricks campaigns and bitter rivalries, it’s all healthy competition and shared learnings, right? On a recent trip to one of New York’s biggest co-working spaces Virgin put the question to its founder – where has this spirit of collaboration come from and what happened to the old attitudes? "Why don’t you ask Uber and Lyft about that one? Well, don’t get me wrong," came the smiling response. “Things aren’t like they used to be, but bad stuff still goes on.”

Our latest in focus topic will assess the state of collaboration in 2014 – the good, the bad and the ugly. What collaborations work well? How do big brands go about selecting partners? What should start-ups do to prepare themselves when approaching more established players? And what are the dos and don’ts? 

If you’d like to check out our previous In focus topics you can do so by clicking onto:

​Alternatively, if there’s a burning issue in the world of entrepreneurship that you’d like put under the microscope, then just let us know below...

How do cities stand to benefit from start-up and university collaboration?

A new report suggests that fresh collaborations between private companies and public universities could enable metro areas to flourish…

The start-ups thriving through diversity

Those businesses who embrace collaboration with diversity to broaden their business horizons will ultimately outperform those who turn their back on the opportunities it offers…

Creating a culture that encourages internal collaboration

Many companies talk about the importance of ensuring that their staff are collaborating internally, as well as working on external collaborations with other businesses.

Three lessons in collaboration from the music industry

Collaboration is becoming a business as usual model for embarking on unusually good projects in an increasingly connected world. Just consider these examples from the music industry...

How to collaborate without compromise

For small businesses, collaborating with bigger ones can be the chance of a lifetime – or a nightmare come true. Collaborating with an established business can fast-track your own, leading to exposure, funding, and opportunities that might take years to come by otherwise...

BrewDog rules: How to pick the right collaboration for your start-up

Deciding who to collaborate with can be a tricky decision for start-ups, but choose the right collaborators and it can be hugely successful...

Collaboration strategies to enable your start-up to scale quicker

In our super connected world, collaboration has quickly become the norm as it changes the way we approach technology, business and even handle our money. From Uber to Kickstarter to Airbnb, sharing and collaboration is now the norm...

How crowdfunding changed the face of collaboration

The internet has its fans and critics, but undeniably the phenomenon of crowdfunding would simply not be possible without it. Crowdfunding brings together people from all over the globe who share a passion for a project and who are prepared to invest in that project ahead of it’s realisation, to make it possible...

How should a company structure itself to let collaboration flow?

We sit down for a collaboration chat with Nathan Waterhouse, board member of IDEO and Co-Founder of OI Engine, an open innovation platform that helps organisations engage their communities to solve problems together...

Five lessons in collaboration from Copenhagen

This week the world’s brightest minds in collaboration gathered in Copenhagen for Crowdsourcing Week Europe, to share their tales and offer up key insights for anyone wanting to make the most out of the crowd economy...

How to collaborate with your customers and turn them into brand ambassadors

What is it about certain brands that make you want to sing their praises to anyone who will listen? Or make you feel like a traitor when you dally with their competition?

The 4 types of collaboration

When considering collaboration, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking about it as two businesses coming together for one goal. But actually, there are a number of different ways that companies can collaborate; it just depends on how businesses decide to use outsiders.

Is 'crowdonomics' the key to mastering collaboration?

As collaboration and crowdfunding go viral around the world, nothing fits any more. When this happens it's a sure sign that the current paradigm, the theories that encapsulate it and the assumptions they're based on, are breaking down under the weight of all the 'anomalies'.

Why start-ups now live and die by their collaborations

At Peppersmith we live and die by how well we collaborate. Whether that’s our own team working together as a tight-knit unit, projects with our suppliers to develop new products, engaging and enabling our consumers to help spread the word or forming alliances with like-minded businesses…

How mass collaboration is shaping the future of business

Estimates tell us that companies of all sizes, from start-ups to established players, now have the capability to collaborate with 75% of people on the planet. But what impact can this have on business and how can it best be managed?

How five of the world’s best business brains approach collaboration

It feels as though collaboration is currently experiencing a golden age, with brands big and small looking to work closely with one another and reap the mutual benefits. Here some of the top business leaders in the world explain just why it’s so important...

Collaborating for social good

Often when businesses collaborate, it’s clear that the commercial benefits are the driving force behind the decision. But what about those that are collaborating to make a difference to the world? Here’s a few examples of businesses collaborating for social good…

Nine attributes of highly effective collaborators

Collaboration. It’s not just a buzzword or a trend, it’s a way of working that is becoming more essential every day. But how do you master the skill and what habits should effective collaborators pick up?

The first rule of successful collaboration: Make the right first impression

The initial step on the path to an effective and meaningful collaboration is making a connection, and like it or not, this will probably involve making the first move. But how can an entrepreneur approach a potential partner and make the right first impression?

Nine collaboration tips you can actually use

The word “collaboration” may be equivalent to the overused and ‘80s-tastic  phrase “think outside the box,” but I’m a believer in the term - and the concept... It’s simply because collaboration is one of the most transformative activities I’ve witnessed through my firm’s innovation work with global organisations.

Get the girl, get the company: The art of landing partnerships

Right out of the gate I want to establish something; if you are a start-up looking to partner with a brand that is a household name, they are out of your league...

The Virgin StartUp view: Start-ups should collaborate to grow

We’re big fans of collaboration here at Virgin StartUp. Helping someone else, who’s also benefiting from helping you. It’s a nice way to do business, isn’t it? That’s why we were thrilled when Luke Martin, an entrepreneur who received £5,000 from us to fund his wide fit foot-care business, Wida Feet, asked if he could write a blog on his tips for collaboration. 

Why are the world's biggest brands so keen to partner up?

Making your brand stand out from the crowd in a hugely competitive marketplace is one of the biggest challenges for a business. But there are times when teaming up and collaborating with another brand for a commercial project or social campaign can effectively double the brand exposure and reap dividends for both businesses.


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