The Innovation Paradox

Venture Capital, Global Partnerships and the Struggle for Technological Sovereignty

February 2025 9781911723813 264pp
Forthcoming Pre-order
Available as an eBook
EU Customers


In a struggle between David and Goliath, the giant is always predicted to win. But the Biblical story’s power comes from the reverse outcome: the smaller man triumphs. Over the past fifty years, the same has been true in business.

Large companies, with their existing customers, weighty war chests, powerful R&D programmes and formidable acquisitions teams, have been expected to develop original ideas–or buy them from competitors. Instead, start-ups, funded by venture capital, have unsettled the incumbents and transformed the world. From Tesla in cars to SpaceX in rockets; from TikTok in social media to Google in search engines; and from Amazon in retail to Uber in transportation, almost all of the innovative products and services now dominating our lives came from entrepreneurs with bold ideas, allied with investors who believed in them.

The last half-century may have been an adversarial battle between David and Goliath, but the next will be increasingly about their partnership. The Innovation Paradox reveals that the winners in the global economy–whether states, companies or individuals–will be those who can navigate the liminal space between the corporation, with its power for incremental change, and the capital-infused start-up, able to disrupt the status quo.


James Mawson was editor of Private Equity News, before launching Global Corporate Venturing in 2010 and Global University Venturing in 2012.

Dominique Mégret is Head of Swisscom Ventures and a board member of Ecorobotix, having spent over a decade as a venture capitalist. He is the author of Deeptech Nation.

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