Masterclasses - Leuven Mindgate

Growth companies, corporates and research institutions are increasingly establishing comprehensive partnering strategies, building ecosystems of partners, encompassing joint-go-to-market strategies, funded development and joint development initiatives, as well as (corporate) venture capital, joint venture and M&A transactions.

Cresco has written the management book “Innovate. Collaborate. Grow!“ and developed the Corporate Partnering Framework, providing strategic and practical guidance for the analysis, design, negotiation and implementation of a broad range of corporate partnering transactions.

Cresco offers eight Corporate Partnering Master Classes to the members of Leuven MindGate, diving into a variety of topics.

You can find the details of the various masterclasses below. You can subscribe for one or multiple masterclasses through this link.

Masterclass 1 - General Framework, Process and Recommendations

27th of October '22 - Leuven

Imperative to not only develop innovative products internally, but to also collaborate with partners for development and commercialisation.

Companies can share risks and costs of R&D, obtain access to valuable intellectual property assets and speed up innovation processes and performance through corporate partnering.

Each type of collaboration is characterized by its own partnering degree and has its own unique characteristics.


  • Delineation of scope of specific corporate partnering collaboration
  • Strategic, business, operational and cultural risk factors in corporate partnering
  • Strategic, business, operational and cultural success factors in corporate partnering
  • Process recommendations for successful corporate partnering

What will you learn:

  • How to determine and assess objectives for corporate partnering
  • How to mitigate risk factors in collaborations
  • How to enable success factors in collaborations
  • How to design and negotiate principal terms through term sheets
  • How to design and negotiate solid partnering agreements
  • How to apply partnering agreements

Masterclass 2 - Technology and IP Protection and Monetization

25th of November '22 - Leuven

Imperative for companies to ensure their technology and underlying IP is adequately protected.

As the business grows it is strongly recommended to develop an appropriate IP strategy and comprehensive contracting framework.

Contracting framework should provide in best, base and worst case scenarios when dealing with suppliers, clients and other contractual counterparties.


  • Main types of intellectual property and their protection and enforcement regimes
  • Techniques to ensure inbound and outbound IP protection
  • Comprehensive contracting framework and checklist for IP protection, enforcement and monetization

What will you learn:

  • How to develop an IP strategy from Day 1
  • How to mitigate risk factors in IP protection and monetization
  • How to enable success factors in IP protection and monetization
  • How to establish a comprehensive contracting framework and checklist

Masterclass 3 - Funded Development and Joint Development

24th of January '23 - Leuven

Funded development enables a company to realize its product roadmap through customer engagements, with such developments being fully or partially funded by the client.

Joint development allows for the innovation and development of business models through the establishment of co-creation technology partnerships.


  • Funded development as (non-dilutive) source of financing for product development.
  • Techniques to maintain ownership of core products in funded development relationships.
  • Joint development as integral element of the business models.
  • Design and structuring of bilateral joint development relationships.

What will you learn:

  • How to make your customers finance the development of your product while retaining ownership
  • How to use joint development as a manner to generate new intellectual property
  • How to maintain IP rights on jointly developed products for monetization purposes
  • How to appropriately manage governance, oversight, risks and rewards

Masterclass 4 - Research Institution Spin-off Formation

28th of February '23 - Leuven

The creation of spin-off companies is one of the technology transfer mechanisms through which research results of research institutions are commercially exploited.

The research institution makes patents and other IP rights available to the spin-off and is typically compensated by royalties and/or a shareholding in the spin-off.


  • Exclusive access of spin-off to unique IP rights resulting from research effected at research institutions
  • Continued involvement of research institution in further development and commercialization
  • Compensation mechanisms for the research institution through royalties and/or equity stake in the spin-off

What will you learn:

  • How to negotiate the IP terms of the transfer/license with the research institution
  • How to agree development and commercialization objectives
  • How to ensure that the research institution is unable to create a competing spin-off
  • How to negotiate the royalties and/or equity stake with the research institution

Masterclass 5 - Ecosystem Design

21st of March '23 - Leuven

Companies should establish an ecosystem around them to increase their geographical, functional and technological competencies.

Establishing a partnership strategy and model permitting a company to enter into different partnerships with third parties, both bilaterally and multilaterally, will significantly improve the competitive positioning.


  • Creation of comprehensive partnership strategy and model with different partnership categories
  • Establishment of referral, resale, distribution and co-creation partnerships
  • Positioning and operation of a company as central gatekeeper and catalyst within the ecosystem

What will you learn:

  • How to establish a partnership strategy and model whereby your company forms the center of an ecosystem
  • How to design and implement different partnership categories
  • How to determine the appropriate terms (risks – rewards) for each partnership category
  • How to make co-creation a part of your ecosystem

Masterclass 6 - Venture Capital and Corporate Venture Capital

18th of April '23 - Leuven

Startups and scaleups typically raise external equity funding from investors to grow their business to the next stage.

From day 1 such equity funding needs to be carefully thought through at the strategic, financial, business and governance level.

Raising equity funding from corporates (so-called CVC) adds another layer of complexity because of the strategic nature of such investment.


  • Design and structuring of a capital raising strategy, from (pre)seed through different series of growth capital
  • Design and structuring of a governance model tailored to the development and growth stage
  • Need for balanced relationships with corporate investors, from a freedom to operate, fundraising and exit perspective

What will you learn:

  • How to plan for and negotiate with various types of investors, from business angels to venture capital investors
  • How to pro-actively plan your capital raising strategy, adequately balancing valuation with investor protection
  • How to align founders/management and investors from a governance and exit perspective
  • How to negotiate with a corporate investor

Masterclass 7 - Joint Ventures and Consortia

23rd of May '23 - Leuven

Companies increasingly establish partnerships through joint ventures, providing capital, assets or other resources.

The establishment of a successful corporate joint venture requires a lot of hard preparatory work of the partners to design, structure and negotiate all relevant joint venture arrangements.

A consortium is a multiparty joint venture which can be exponentially more difficult to structure.


  • Contribution of capital, assets and other resources
  • Development and commercialization arrangements with joint venture or consortium partners
  • Funding milestones and decision making with joint venture or consortium partners
  • Governance and conflict resolution arrangements
  • Exit scenarios and exit transition planning

What will you learn:

  • How to structure and negotiate the contributions to the joint venture
  • How to establish development and commercialization arrangements
  • How to agree on funding, governance and conflict resolution
  • How to appropriate plan for an exit from or of the joint venture or consortium
  • How to ensure continuity of the JV business

Masterclass 8 - Buy and Sell Side Mergers & Acquisitions

20th of June '23 - Leuven

The ultimate corporate partnering arrangement consists of companies being purchased for their technology, business and talent by corporates or private equity firms.

Instead of being purchased, companies should also consider designing and implementing a buy and build strategy to expand through strategic acqui- sitions of other businesses that offer innovative synergies and solutions.


  • Structuring of terms of acquisition, from price determination through all other relevant deal terms
  • Design of performance and earn-out arrangements on buy and sell side, and associated management autonomy requirements
  • Use of equity as (part of) purchase price when being a target or acquirer

What will you learn:

  • How to mitigate and reduce transaction risk by designing and negotiating elaborate M&A term sheets
  • How to maximize the purchase price and other material deal terms
  • How to ensure that performance and earn-out arrangements are structured in a balanced and fair manner
  • How to use equity as valuable currency when executing a buy-and-build strategy