Business Management

Lessons from CA's internal startup accelerator

2017 saw CA acquire two companies in Veracode and Runscope. Throughout its 40-year history, the New York-headquartered application development company has made over 200 acquisitions.

For the immediate future, CA looks like it will continue its recent trend of combining internal innovation with the occasional acquisition. Jacob Lamm, Vice President of Strategy And Corporate Development told IT Pro the company plans to “augment its organic strategy” with acquisitions of around $3-500 million a year. But during a press Q&A, Chief Product Officer Ayman Sayed was keen to highlight the company is “focusing first and foremost on organic innovation.”

Luckily, one of those acquisitions had a ready-made innovation hub already brewing. When it acquired  Rally Software in 2015, CA inherited Rally Labs, the company’s own internal startup incubator. This, combined with CA CTO Otto Berkes’ desire to foster innovation, led to the founding of the CA Accelerator.

CA CEO Mike Gregoire has said previously he wanted his company to be known as “a company that builds great software, not a company that buys companies.” As part of this vision, the company has been working hard on its own internal startup incubation program.

Though described in greater detail in my piece on the subject from last year, the process is simple: any CA employee can pitch an idea via a one-page lean canvas. Successful canvases make a pitch and then the powers that be decide whether to give the project the green light that same day. Companies are given a small amount of funding, and then treated as independent startups with regards to management and product development, but have the security and backing of CA.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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