Given the pace of change in nearly every aspect of society, transformative innovation is imperative. At the same time transformation is very difficult for large established companies. Open innovation – collaboration with outside entities such as startups -- is a powerful tool for exploring both business model and technological innovation. A thriving ecosystem provides a healthy environment in which dramatically different types of entities can find each other and the resources they need to explore and ultimately engage in transformative innovation. Given these benefits, corporates can and should play a role in the creation and growth of thriving ecosystems. We describe the work done to create the life sciences ecosystem in Boston/Cambridge through the eyes of Author 2 who was a central leader in that effort. And we describe in detail both the benefits corporates can enjoy, and the role corporates can play in developing a thriving ecosystem.