Wrisk Exposure: Building corporate partnerships.

Insights into how a start-up can build partnerships with big corporates.
Oct 14, 2019
Wrisk Exposure

When I explain the backdrop to Wrisk and the calibre of some of the businesses we’re signing up as partners, the one question I get asked more than any other is “How did Wrisk, as a start-up, manage to build such a strong relationship with BMW?” 

It’s fair to say part of the answer to this lies in Wrisk benefitting  in the bigger trend out there, where major corporates are now deliberately seeking greater exposure to the tech start-up world. They’re achieving this exposure through a multitude of activities, such as innovation sprints/hackathons, formal collaborations, and even just parking some of their employees in WeWork so that they soak up the start-up work patterns. 

With BMW, our partnership began when we took part in their very first BMW UK Innovation Lab in 2016 - and won the audience vote. Our partnership has grown over the years and fortunately for us, BMW are very much on the same page when it comes to the power of collaboration. 

What would a corporate get for its Wrisk Exposure?

  • Joint development of a product - we’re already doing that with every single corporate partner of ours. They have an idea, but they’re refreshingly candid about admitting they just wouldn’t be able to develop the idea into a marketable product if they did it all in-house. So we develop it together.
  • Insights into agile methods of working used by young tech businesses - it’s obvious to me now, but I was initially perplexed when one partner just admitted that a key reason for working with us was to learn about how we do things, as opposed to just what we build.
  • Opportunity to circumvent traditional processes by doing something outside - getting budget approval seems to be easier if it’s done outside the organisation as part of a new initiative, as opposed to just increasing the annual budget of an existing team.
  • Build and access brand new networks - by working with Wrisk, we introduce our partners to each other, and they seem to welcome the openness and learning that comes from this
  • Conduct a contained experiment - call it a Minimum Viable Product, a Proof of Concept or whatever, the ability to test out exposure to Wrisk in a scope-contained, time-defined exercise is a refreshing way for some corporates to experiment, and at worst, to fail fast.
  • Send a strong cultural messaging to internal audiences - I’d missed this aspect initially, but in the war for talent, it’s now incredibly important for major corporates to demonstrate to their staff that they’re embracing change and supporting the rise of their 'intrapreneurs'.

What does it mean in practice?
Here are two case studies of corporates getting their share of Wrisk Exposure:

Company A
Identified a commercial opportunity to develop a new product for a new audience. They had scoured the market and could not find a tech platform that was suitable. Early soundings with Wrisk (e.g technology, cultural chemistry, financial approach) meant an agreement was reached quite quickly. Company A is a highly-respected UK company, many times the size of Wrisk.

Company B
Saw that Wrisk had built an end-to-end insurance tech platform that delighted end-customers not just delighted the Digital Transformation team within the insurer in question. This relationship is focussed on producing early tangible results for Company B of its pilot with Wrisk, which can then trigger significantly deeper partnership with Wrisk. 

We love working big corporates, we just need them to gain a little bit of Wrisk Exposure.

A photo of Niall Barton
Niall Barton

Insurance guy with digital experience. Part-time DJ, recently changed his name from Nigel.

Insurance made so simple it’s almost unrecognisable.

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