StartUp Collaboration

The idea that corporations and startups excel better together isn’t new. We all know innovation is key to sustained success, and innovation through collabration is a way to accelerate it.

Three-quarters of startups that collaborated with corporations reported their experience to be highly beneficial. And research shows that collaboration leads to increased business for corporation.

But while this all sounds good and well, it’s definitely easier said than done. Successful collaboration is difficult and success stories of bringing the two together in a systematic way are few and far between.

Prepare for collaboration

Startups shouldn’t even think about collaborating until they’ve developed a commercially viable solution. Once that’s done, it should define its target segment, analyze the market, and identify larger companies operating in that space.

On the flip side, corporations should foster an entrepreneurial culture in its organization. This lowers the cultural barriers to collaboration and innovation.

Experiment with methods from the startup scene, help employees develop their entrepreneurial mindset, and adopt a ‘Zero Distance’ approach towards innovation.

Clear communication is key

Strive to make communication between teams as easy as possible. If any party holds back information, work becomes inefficient and morale ultimately plummets.

So always seek trust, honesty and transparency. This is includes being clear with your objectives: what you’re looking to achieve and what you’re hoping the collaboration will do for your business. Both sides should agree on what success looks like. And if one of the partners is unclear on the business value of this partnership, be extremely cautious.

Be flexible and patient

Larger companies often have a robust infrastructure of key decision-making so it’s important to be flexible. As a startup, you should Identify how to effectively work within the organizational structure rather than asking them to bend their rules. However, leaders within the corporation must be careful not to develop tunnel vision, fixating on one goal. This is detrimental to the success and longevity of this partnership.

Know that initiatives will not be developed and executed overnight, and it will take time to reach goals you have set for the partnership. The key is to be patient.

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