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BT - Brightstar (A)


Organisational Behaviour, Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Publication Year



This case describes British Telecom's corporate venturing unit, Brightstar. It was established in 1998 to exploit the "hidden value" in BT's and R&D labs. Under the leadership of Harry Berry, an incubator and business accelerator were established and the unit met with considerable success in spinning out a number of commercial ventures. However, with the collapse of the telecommunications industry in 2001, the Brightstar model ran into difficulties because no outside venture capitalists were prepared to invest in the Brightstar businesses. Consequently, at the time of the case (2002) Harry Berry faces some difficult choices - he must either seek out an external investor, try to extra funding from BT or start closing down the Brightstar operations. Ultimately Berry was successful in gaining external funding through an independent private equity firm, Coller Capital. The case provides a good vehicle for examining how a corporate venturing works and the difficulties that often arise.

Topic List

Corporate Venturing, Entrepreneurship, British Telecom, BT Group PLC, Brightstar, Venturing Process, Venture Capital, Investment, Strategy, Telecommunications, Incubator & Rocking Frog


Telecom & IT

Publication Event Date


LBS Case Number



Ipswich - UK

Project Funder



Dr J.Birkinshaw

Available on ECCH


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