How does one find a perfect match? What criteria must be taken into consideration in the search for the right partner? What strengths or weaknesses should the focus be on? These, among a number of others, are the questions that impact startups might run into when looking for the right corporate partner.
The reasons for teaming up with an established corporation can vary depending on the field and scale of operation. The financial support, the elaborate market knowledge, potential for expansion are all the possible outcomes of an impact partnership. However, before diving into one, the key reasons for doing that must be effectively determined.
As a new player in the field, one element that can potentially be lacking from the head start is the extensive knowledge of the market. A freshly established startup naturally lacks the expertise and years of experience which a potential partner can possess. This can also naturally lead to the market accessibility advantage. The existing customer base and the data collected over time can serve as a valuable driving force for future operations. In addition to that, connecting with a partner that is in line with the same social impact can strongly enhance the chances of expanding it and reaching the actual goal. Being driven by more than the financial gain can have the potential of developing an even stronger bond between the partners as the two have a strong pull towards creating a more powerful social impact.
Tips from Entrepreneur on things to consider while partnering with a corporate:
- Align your product offering with a clear value proposition and proof of concept.
- Define the relationship right from the beginning, including agreeing on vision, business, knowledge, and HR objectives
- Before formalizing the partnership, spend some time dating and getting to know each other 🙂
- Iron out potentially thorny issues—such as intellectual property (IP) rights—and test the viability of the partnership, achieving some quick wins, working on mutually defined projects, and building momentum through a short but intense period.
- Be in the know of the complex corporate decision making processes and timelines.