Remember when you were a kid and that really attractive girl\/boy moved in next door? The one who became your best friend. And then your wife\/husband?\nNo? That\u2019s because it rarely happens. The same is true in the corporate world.\nAs a CIO you have the mandate to pre-empt and predict future requirements. It\u2019s now a fundamental part of the day job. As is, discovering and exploring partnerships with those ventures who might help fulfil those requirements.\nYet the big corporations have become overly reliant on their connection to the local tech accelerators as a primary source of \u2018disruptive innovation.\u2019 It makes for a narrow, parochial lens which, in isolation, can seriously damage a company\u2019s future strategy and ultimately its ability to remain relevant.\nA pretty bold statement, I appreciate.\u00a0\n[Related: -->Digital disruption is coming but most businesses don't have a plan]\nThe likelihood that the next billion-dollar startup, or even the one that will simply future-proof your business, is the one next door to your office is pretty slim, sadly.\nFor years boardrooms have been tasking their teams to discover the \u2018next Uber or Airbnb,\u2019 the one that will \u2018disrupt our company.\u2019 And, in turn, execs have been building insight and knowledge into the next generation startups and scale-ups.\nFor the finance folk, the repertoire has evolved to discussing the threats of challenger banks Simple or Monzo, and payment disruptors such as Stripe or Adyen. For insurers, I\u2019m yet to meet one who doesn\u2019t love talking about Oscar and maybe Tr\u014dv, while also dropping into conversation how the Lemonade guys are employing an army of behavioral psychologists.\nThese are the next generation of tech ventures rethinking today\u2019s products, services, technologies and business models. They\u2019re exemplars of using technology in a way that quenches the consumer thirst for immediacy, transparency, mobility and choice.\nThe question is, why are so few corporations partnering with them?\nOf course, the answer is complex and probably needs a post dedicated to answer that, if not a book. In part though, it\u2019s because most companies still don\u2019t truly know them; they just know of them.\n[Related: -->Many businesses are just beginning their digital transformation journeys]\nWithout exception, all of these ventures have secured significant amounts of external capital, they\u2019ve established their strategic, corporate relationships and are well on their way to building a business to compete head to head with the incumbents.\nSo, just how is one supposed to find the next, next generation?\nOne key strategy that has been widely adopted is to work with the local tech accelerator. This may be in the form of corporate sponsorship or for senior employees to actively mentor the cohort.\nIt\u2019s not a bad strategy. There\u2019s a chance to build proximity to a number of early stage ventures before they scale up. Your team can assess the founders behind the business and the product they\u2019re conceieving, and then calculate the potential impact and opportunity.\u00a0Most importantly, you\u2019ll be able to make an informed choice on whether they\u2019re a suitable partner.\nBut I go back to the role of the CIO needing to pre-empt and predict future requirements, and to then explore partnerships with those ventures that might help fulfill those requirements.\nThese are two steps. Get these the wrong way around and it\u2019s the tail wagging the dog.\nA local accelerator may be nurturing 10 or so ventures at any given time. Let\u2019s say, and I\u2019m being generous here, that 50 percent are candidates for creating a successful business. How many of these are the right company to help you truly fulfill your strategic requirements? I\u2019d be surprised if any could.\nIn the 2016 Disrupt 100 (disclaimer, this is a research index my company produces) 76 percent of the businesses with the most potential to influence, change or create new global markets were based outside of the US. Interestingly almost 10 percent were from Israel, a country with a quarter of the population of California.\nIf you\u2019re based in the US, what about the European or Asian startups that are desperate to realize the opportunity to scale in the States? In fact wherever you\u2019re based, there\u2019s incredible talent creating exceptional, highly disruptive businesses out there - often only held back because of a simple lack of local connections or regulatory knowledge. That's something you may well have in abundance.\nAnd with tens of millions of new ventures setting up every year, from all around the world, maybe, just maybe, looking outside of your local accelerator for emergent ventures is the way to go.