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Get Ready for America’s Next Top Start-Up

If you’re a fan of reality TV, you’ve watched waifs win modeling contracts and chefs contend for cash. Now it’s time for entrepreneurs to compete for acquisition deals.

“In the past few years, we’ve seen a growing recognition on the part of larger companies that it’s far easier to acquire a business in a new disruptive space than to build it in-house,” says Senior Lecturer and Executive-in-Residence Peter Russo. In the next few years, Russo expects large companies to begin issuing challenges or sponsoring competitions (untelevised, no doubt) for start-up companies to address a particular need or market area.

“These start-ups will create new products or services, bring them to market, and be acquired by the established company as they are ready to be brought to scale,” Russo says. “This is already happening to some extent, and I expect that before long it will become mainstream.”