By Daniel Isenberg
When a whale dies, the 30-100 ton body — or “whale fall” — slowly, silently sinks to the ocean bottom where it becomes the wellspring of a complex new microcosm of seabed flora and fauna that can thrive for well over half a century. These new ecosystems with their hundreds of species from flesh-eating sharks to sulphur-metabolizing worms also include “innovative start-ups” — previously undiscovered new sea animals that have naturally selected to flourish in the unique ecosystem.
There are many ways that live “corporate whales” can cultivate entrepreneurship ecosystems — as investors with capital for ventures to grow, as customers who buy innovative products, or as marketing partners to give the small dynamic firms global reach. I am a big believer of the symbiotic necessity of large companies and entrepreneurial ventures living side by side: You simply cannot have a flourishing entrepreneurship ecosystem without large companies to cultivate it, intentionally or otherwise…….