Cluster Startup Portfolio

Build a startup portfolio for your cluster. Define strategic areas of interest to your corporate members, we call them Investment Areas. Map out your current startups and scale-ups, develop new programs to grow your startup portfolio. Connect startups to corporates for mutual impact.

3 Outcomes
from Using
Cluster Startup Portfolio

Start with your corporate members’ needs

Begin by defining the innovation needs of the cluster’s corporate members. Talk to the CEO, Board of Directors, Innovation Managers, Corporate venture team and frontline staff.
Build your cluster startups in line with corporate needs and investment strategies.

Build a world-class cluster startup strategy

Learn from the best innovation clusters in the world. Use best practice. Establish a world class cluster startup strategy.

Create value for both corporates and startups

Create value for both corporates and startups
Gain insights, understanding but most importantly create value for both the startups (better access to funding, partners and customers) and corporates (better access to dealflow, new tech and new business models).


Start Date:  4 November, 2019

Global Cluster Leadership Program

Develop your strategic cluster leadership skills in our 6 week online program. Connect and collaborate with fellow cluster leaders.

World Map

This has become the backbone of our entire entrepreneurship strategy.


Innovation Cluster

Use Case: Seafood Innovation Cluster

Prior to getting introduced to the Cluster Startup Portfolio, a global seafood innovation cluster had an emergent, piece-meal approach to entrepreneurship. It had a lot of activities, but limited value and impact. Trying to build a better strategy, the cluster implemented and started working on the Cluster Startup Portfolio.

Using Strategy Tools’ digital SaaS platform, they laid out a to scale this into a global open innovation platform. First step, they defined the six investment areas that truly mattered to the cluster members and key stakeholders. Second, they started mapping out startups and scale ups – locally, nationally and globally, that fit into those six investment areas.

Once they reached 70+ companies, a number of observations emerged, some of them creating entirely new understanding of the state of entrepreneurship within their global innovation cluster.

This new insight led to a revised and fundamentally different entrepreneurship strategy, creating more links, more connections and more partnerships between startups and corporates across the innovation cluster.

How to Use it

Stick it to the Wall

For first time users, the recommended process is printing the tool in large format, minimum 120 cm.
Stick it to the wall. Make sure the entire team has a good, visual overview .
Define the six strategic investment areas that matter the most to your corporate members.
Map out your existing cluster startups and scale ups that fit within those six areas. Make sure you understand how to use the X-axis, the seven life stages of a company. 
Expand your reach to any relevant startups or scale ups that fit within those areas. Map them too.


Shift to Digital

After your initial mapping, maybe over a few days of work, we recommend shifting to the digital version, available at This gives you a digital platform for organizing all startups and scale ups around those six investment areas, but more importantly, it allows you to open up, share and collaborate across your entire cluster, or beyond if you so prefer.


Aim for Insights & Revised Strategy

Once you start getting data, we suggest a minimum of 30 startups in total, start looking for patterns and insights. How does the companies cluster around the six areas? How does the companies fare on the Seven life stages? What are obvious observations that emerge? Use these insights to revise and update the cluster’s entrepreneurship strategy, either by venture building, more funding, more accelerator programs or other programs you think will boost your Cluster Startup Portfolio.


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