5 Things A Startup Needs to Secure Corporate Collaboration [List]
One trend that will never come to an end is the formulation of a new business. This is especially true of a startup business.
Every day, there are new startups everywhere with ideas which may be bright or may be bad and quite dull.
Regardless of this, a startup is a startup and they are rising in their numbers.
In fact, according to GEM national report, more than 100 million startups are launched every year, which is about 3 startup per second!
With a lot of startups struggling to survive in another congested business world, you can be sure of healthy competition.
This competition would also extend to startup’s struggle to get a corporate engagement.
Corporate engagement is the dream of every startup because of the huge benefits can provide now and in the future.
It gives the necessary experience and boost which would ensure that they continue to grow and eventually become a well-established business.
However, the issue that comes with this dream is how you get a corporation who will be willing to form an engagement with you.
What are some things a startup can do to make itself more appealing to the corporate partner? The following are a few tips;
1. OUTLINE YOUR AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
As much it can be thrilling to have an engagement with a corporate organization, that engagement could easily end in chaos when you do not have your aims and objectives which you wish to gain from the engagement.
Not knowing your aims and objectives will leave you looking unprepared and leave a bad impression on the corporation which might be interested in forming an engagement with your startup.
For this reason, it would advisable to have all your goals and objectives ready before you even attempt to form an engagement with anyone.
Make sure this is done meticulously, leaving no loopholes which would leave you flat-faced when conversing with the corporation and their personnel.
By doing so, you will be better prepared to handle your engagement objectives.
2. BE HONEST TO YOUR CAPABILITIES
Every good partnership requires a lot of consideration by both partners.
In other words, a partnership is really a give and take operation in which both partners benefit from each other.
Therefore, if you wish to get an engagement, it is necessary that you are aware of the benefits which you stand to give them and how they stand to benefit you also.
It would be of no value or point if you contact a corporation about the possibilities of an engagement when you really do not know what you actually bring to the table.
To ensure that you evaluate all your strengths and weaknesses before heading out to find the suitable corporation for your startups, take a hard look at the realities of your capabilities.
Understand that you're still small, but have potential -- don't always try to oversell and under deliver.
Besides, know your capability also helps you identify the most suitable corporate partners.
In 2015, HackerNoon published an article entitled "Startups Lie":
It seems impossible to pinpoint every lie in startup culture not only because it’s omnipresent, but because sometimes the truly incredible companies actually look the most like lies. And, no one wants to miss out on the next Facebook, they’ll just hope they miss out on the next Theranos.
3. FINDING A WINNING INSIDER
When searching for a corporation, getting an insider from the corporation whom you wish to form an engagement with is incredibly useful.
Corporations are likely to pick up interest in something when it is introduced to them by their employees or someone they trust fully.
Simply, they are on the team and your startup is not.
So, startups should endeavor to seek out people whom they know via their networking which would enable them to get a nice introduction and just maybe, a fruitful engagement will be formed.
You can use the period which you are getting to know them to study what some of their fundamental principles are, how their company culture operates and what their goals are.
This would enable you to be able to compare this with your startup in order to see if the personalities of your establishment match.
The importance of having a good networking system cannot be overemphasized.
Your network is your net worth.
- Robert G. Allen
4. HAVE PATIENCE
When dealing with a large corporation, it is important to bear in mind that decision making will be much slower.
This is due to the fact that decisions would have to be approved by a lot of people and may have to pass through several rounds of processes before it is finally given the green light and implemented.
Unlike a startup, where decision making is fast and swift because time is of the essence corporations operate differently.
Therefore, when trying to form an engagement with them, a measure of patience would be a golden asset.
You would have to show a lot of patience and accept the fact that they work at a much slower pace due to the size of the corporation.
Showing signs of frustration as what you perceive to be delays in decision making may be perceived differently by them.
This can lead to tension and friction between both parties. It would be recommended though, that to set limits to how slow they may be, that you set time limits and deadlines in order to make them things move a bit faster without causing much tension between both groups.
Patience with bigger corporations will eventually lead to so many benefits in the future but only if we maintain it.
Tiffany W. Eaton writes in Medium Patience is Crucial for Ambitious People :
Impatience won't make things happen faster. The bigger our goals, the longer it takes to get there.
5. MATCH YOUR SOLUTIONS TO THEIR PROBLEMS
When you find a corporation which you feel might be a potential partner, try to find out the issues they may have in their establishment which they have been unable to find a solution to.
Try to find a way to solve this problem using the solutions in which your startup promotes.
Outline these solutions to them in a clear and precise tone.
This makes you significantly more attractive to them and they will be very interested in what you have to offer to their corporation. Play the formal game.
Once this is done, with a bit of patience and some negotiating, you must just have landed yourself a new engagement which may be just what your startup needed to step onto the next week.
Companies like Gearbox Academy use artificial intelligence to provide opportunities for startups and corporations to match for such problems.
One of the hardest, but yet important times for a startup is finding a corporate body which would form an engagement with them.
This process can be long and tiring and may slowly drain your startup.
Therefore, it is advisable that you follow the above tips on how to get corporations to form meaningful engagements with you.
By doing so, you would be increasing your possibility of finding the perfect corporation which suits your preferences perfectly.
You may also enjoy:
The 10 Ways Corporations Can Engage With Startups
Corporate CEOs Have Failed to Engage With Startups
About the Author: Simon Hitchens is a startup enthusiast, columnist, researcher and educator living in Chicago, IL. He dreams of someday living somewhere warm and writing a novel -- in ink.
About Gearbox: Gearbox.AI provides the leading corporate-startup engagement solutions designed to help innovation leaders, corporate development professionals, and strategic partnership executives master the art and science identifying and aligning with what's next. Through a unique combination of a membership community, AI-driven software, and cutting-edge expertise, Gearbox is focused helping corporations keep pace in an ever-changing digital world and providing startups with new avenues for growth. The result for modern innovators is unprecedented agility, risk management, and superior results. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO with offices in Denver, Chicago, and Los Angeles, Gearbox serves as a pivotal partner to large corporations and a champion to innovative startups.
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