With the startup world booming with innovative ideas many large companies are trying to tap into the fountain of knowledge to drive forward their industries. However, large companies are in a different world to startups and many startup founders see that the two are incompatible to ever meet. Some companies can’t quite get startups on board and see them as a cool and innovative company to think about working with.
So how can these particular companies get startups to see them in a different light?
Get Involved In The Community
This is a huge point and should not be ignored if your company is really serious about wanting to attract startups. Big names such as Microsoft, Disney, Barclays and KPMG are all involved in some way in the startup world. Starting up or sponsoring accelerators is one way to do this but it is not always necessary to go this far. Providing prizes to startup competitions, giving talks and offering free advice, and sponsoring startup events are all ways to get your name out there in a positive light. You could even run a coffee morning inviting startups to come and have a friendly chat.
This may all sound relatively straight-forward but if your motives are in the wrong place all efforts could backfire. The key to being successful is wanting to actively give back to the community without automatically expecting something in return. Be genuinely helpful and don’t view it as another marketing project.
Approach Them Too!
Don’t let the startups do all the approaching. If you’re looking for a specific technology to implement and head straight for a big name, stop and look around to see if there are any startups with a similar offering. Don’t write them off just because you haven’t really heard of them and they only have a team of five people.
This point at it’s core also ties in to your community involvement. Holding a new event and want startups to come? Don’t just put out an event posting, get in contact with some startups you think are interesting and personally invite them. The startup world is close-knit – being open and helpful to one can lead to others seeing you in a better light.
Be Open With Your Innovation
Using a new technology or trying to innovate your space? Tell people! Show your company isn’t afraid to try new things and push the industry boundaries. This is fundamentally what startups do so they will like to see companies that embrace this and will potentially see them as someone they could work with. Philips are one company who are keen to embrace new technology and openly do so by telling people about their innovative work which has resulted in a good reputation of innovation – something that is appealing to the startup community.
Make The Process Less Painful
When talking to a startup make sure everything is clear and communicated effectively. Although the lengthy procedures of a corporation cannot be entirely removed, try to mitigate the issues they may cause to startups and move the process along as swiftly as possible.
Being slow and incumbent puts agile startups off and it might do them more harm than good to try and work in such a way. Startups usually work off of a tighter budget so can’t afford to be waiting around for months and months.
Have any tips of your own? Share them below!