When corporates and startups collaborate, they ideally create a win-win. Corporates create and enter new markets and startups achieve product development and scalability in the partnership. The shared strategic aim of such collaboration remains to secure growth, improve competitive standing and generate revenue.
Corporations even benefit from partnering with potential market disruptors, as disruption in large organizations is hard to come from within. No matter how fruitful it is for startups and corporates to join forces, it’s also extremely challenging given differences in culture, work ethic and appetite for risk.
Successful collaboration requires expectation setting besides being open to understanding each other’s interests, incentives, culture and work ethic.
This detailed guide can serve as a roadmap and informational tool for startups and corporations to plan collaborations so that the sailing is smooth and the outcome a true win-win.
This report by the World Economic Forum and this interview by McKinsey were researched for this piece.
Collaborating with corporates brings a host of benefits to startups-
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Here’s what corporates stand to earn from collaborating with startups-
An arrangement between a corporate body and a startup can lead to different risks for startups, including-
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Corporates also put a lot on the line in collaborating with startups, such as-
Here are some organizational challenges startups must deal with as part of a corporate collaboration-
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Here are a few challenges corporations brush up against continually in collaborating with startups-
The results of corporate-startup collaborations are mixed at best. Here are the top reasons why these partnerships get derailed-
To achieve success from a collaborative effort, both corporates and startups must be mindful of the challenges and take proactive steps toward eliminating friction.
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To identify if your startup is ready to enter a corporate partnership, identify your strategic objectives for doing so. Here are a few factors to consider-
If startups can answer all of the above questions and have a clear strategic goal backed by KPIs, they might be ready to enter a corporate relationship.
Several moving pieces need to fit to create a successful partnership between a startup and a corporation. One of those is fully committing to the deal. Satisfaction and the potential for success can rise drastically once both parties are fully committed and invested in the collaboration.
Second, addressing and acknowledging cultural gaps can go a long way in making everyone feel included and understood. Even if culture gaps can’t be resolved, aiming to work through differences in methodologies, philosophies and working styles can improve satisfaction.
Finally, knowing where you want to reach can prevent gaps in expectations. Setting metrics of success can help bring both parties to the same page and work toward a shared goal.
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The success of collaborating with a corporate partner means different things to different startups. Broadly, it provides a positive impact on both sides. The measurement of success can vary depending on the scope of a partnership. However, milestones and expectations ensure a streamlined process to evaluate effort on both ends.
A startup-corporate collaboration can be measured against-
Tracking and measuring these quantitative and qualitative measures can help define the success of a collaborative effort.
Every startup-corporate collaboration is unique and cannot be seen from a generic lens. However, this piece lays down the foundational components required to create a successful partnership.
To consult an expert about a specific collaboration opportunity for your startup, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.