Partnering with a startup company infuses some of that early-stage mojo into your own business. The excitement and tenacity that embodies a startup has a way of rubbing-off on the larger companies that are fortunate enough to find the right one with which to partner.
However, identifying the right startup is difficult; there are so many players in the game that weeding through all of the non-starters can look like the first few episodes of America’s Got Talent. But once you find the right one, it’s magic…not only does the startup bring innovation and creative solutions, they are often fiercely committed to the success of the project; for an early stage business, the stakes are high.
So, how can you identify the right startup for your project?
1. Define Skill Sets: Which skill sets do you already have in-house? Which do you need? How are those two sets going to work together to compliment one-another in a team environment?
2. Provocative Project Model: How does your in-house technology benefit the startup? In addition to a contract with a big player, what does the startup have to gain? What are the core values of your business and how do those align with the startup. A startup that is equally interested in why you do business as it is in how you do business is thinking ahead and assessing company dynamics. They are often looking to create the basis for a long-term partnership and not just a quick buck.
3. Clear Objectives: What does success look like? Explain your project in terms of quantifiable goals; clearly establish your intention and work with the startup to identify a common set of metrics to measure the project throughout its lifecycle.
Working with the right startup provides large companies with an opportunity to gain access to emerging technology before the rest of the marketplace. The key to a fulfilling and mutually beneficial partnership is in clearly establishing the goals and expectations of the project and identifying an early-stage company that aligns with your core values.