Air France KLM was confronted with two potential investment opportunities: 1) startup ALPHA that offered innovative electronic smart cards and tags targeted at the aviation industry and, 2) startup BETA that had developed an innovative solution to generate wind power with glider planes. Both opportunities met the initial investment criteria but each had a distinctive value proposition. Which should Air France KLM choose to invest in?

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Based on field research; 11 pages.

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At the undergraduate level this case facilitates the discussion of what corporate venturing is and how it can be implemented within firms, at the graduate or masters level this case can be used to illustrate the different value of different opportunities as well as the pros and cons of direct CV investing or participation in a fund.


In December 2011 Ignaas Caryn, corporate venturing manager at AIR FRANCE KLM, was confronted with two potential investment opportunities. While both opportunities met the initial investment criteria, the two opportunities were very different and had different value propositions for KLM and for the Mainport Innovation Fund. Ignaas needed to prepare his investment recommendation regarding these two opportunities. The case illustrates the attractiveness of the investment opportunities for the different parties involved and the decisions that he needed to make regarding the final recommendation. The objectives of the case are threefold. Firstly, the case provides an opportunity for students to think about the potential of two start-up companies and the criteria that they would use to decide whether to invest or not. Secondly, the case provides the opportunity to discuss the attractiveness of both start-ups as investment targets for the different parties involved. Finally, the case allows for an elaborate discussion about the pros and cons of participating in an investment fund as a way to undertake corporate venturing activities.


Learning objectives that can be addressed through this case are: 1. To understand the role of corporate venturing for corporate innovation. 2. To analyse possible investment opportunities from different perspectives. 3. To understand the pros and cons of investing in start-up companies through an investment fund in which different investors cooperate.

Case Study