There are all manner of startup programmes out there and I wouldn't blame a founder if they were flummoxed as to who to partner up with. Similarly, there are a million energetic startups proclaiming they're the next big thing, hungry for investment.
It's lovely to hear when things DO come together well.
Last month we had the pleasure of hosting the annual CMS Technology, Media and Communications conference in London. One of my favourite panels, Partner or Buy if you can't DIY, was composed of a startup (Harry Keen of Hazy), a CVC (Matt Price of Oracle), a VC investor (Itxaso del Palacio) and a venture development fund (Stacey Seltzer of Prehype). Read the summary and/or watch the video here.
- There is an enormous amount of dry powder out there with people wanting to invest in the next big thing.
- You have to innovate to survive, especially if you're a large company.
- Fear not, startups. Entrepreneurial spirit can still thrive in a large company.
- Startups don't necessarily mind if corporates move slowly - it gives time to reflect and to develop amazing things in the meantime!
- Everyone wants to grow, but you need to get in front of the decision-makers, and have the backing of the decision-makers.
I'd of course add to that the need for sector-specific legal advice!
Many venture capitalists say collaborations with start-ups can be hugely beneficial to both parties, as long as the partnerships are properly structured. This means support for the collaboration has to come from the very top leadership in a corporate and there has to be a system that ensures fresh thinking and speedy decision-making when deciding which start-ups to back.