Conexus Credit Union: Anchoring a Digital Technology Startup Ecosystem
(7 pages of text)
In February 2017, the chief executive officer of Conexus Credit Union, a local credit union headquartered in Regina, Saskatchewan, was preparing to meet with the board of directors. He would be pitching his plan to build, staff, and operate a start-up venture program to be called the Cultivator. The Cultivator would create a stream of new regional high-technology businesses that would be well-placed, both for Conexus to serve and its members and the wider community to benefit from. The real question was how to operationalize this model: Should Conexus use the template of existing for-profit start-up accelerator programs to launch companies quickly and optimally to fail or scale? Or considering its community mandate, should Conexus take a different route?
The case is intended for graduate-level students or strong undergraduate-level classes. It is suitable across a wide variety of courses and disciplines, including entrepreneurship, strategy, social purpose organizations, regional development policy, and corporate social responsibility. After completion of the case, students will be able to analyze the following topics:
- Entrepreneurship, including start-up accelerators, the entrepreneurial process, and the lean start-up method.
- Corporate venturing, including cultural change, innovation, competitive advantage, and organizational ambidexterity.
- Hybrid organizations, including institutional logics, inter-organizational tensions, mission drift, and stakeholder management.
- Corporate social responsibility, including community investment, ecosystem development, and social innovation.
Canada, Medium, 2017
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