When embarking on a journey in developing partnerships with Startups there are some key steps that any Corporate needs to take:
Do you have a clear picture of the future and where you will be and how your corporate strategy will take you there? Understanding the big picture will assist Corporates in defining the characteristics necessary to define the companies that will be successful, including themselves. Only with this in mind Coporates can begin to explore the kinds of investments / partnerships / collaborations that could help them with execute their future strategy and at the same time develop a balanced portfolio.
Have you cleaned up the house? Corporates need to do the housecleaning beforehand and identify ownership inside the organization of any future relationships with Startups. Also a prerequisite is to design and implement a clear framework for governance, performance and reporting for these relationships, through KPI’s.
Is your culture right? Are you willing to engage and is it easy to connect start-ups with the relevant implementation teams inside the organization? Are the relevant teams incentivized to take risks and strive for change, or will they be worrying about the effects of these changes on their next year bonuses instead, because engaging with start-ups when a supportive organizational culture is lacking is futile exercise with largely predetermined results.
And last but not least are you ready to put your money where your mouth is? Corporates must deliver on their value proposition as an investor/ partner / collaborator whatever that is agreed. They should nominate someone internally with influence who can push for startups to reap the benefits of this relationship. Start-ups talk with each other, so getting it right does matter if Corporates want to be seen as a reliable partner in the local startup ecosystem.
Want to learn more on how-to-do, drop us an email and we will be happy to share more of our knowledge and insights with you!
Christos Lytras – Managing Partner