UBI Global is a unique entrepreneurial ecosystem coordinator. That’s just a fancy way of saying that we are an organization that brings startups together with businesses, universities and organizations that nurture them. Nurturing collaboration between a dynamic, outside-the-box startup company and the process driven, goal oriented culture of a big corporation or large university system isn’t all fun and games. For this reason, we’ve come up with five best practices to follow to get the most out of collaborating with a startup.
- Set objectives – The company should clearly identify the goals of collaborating with a startup including the internal capacity and processes that will be followed. The company should assess itself and be realistic about what can drive innovation for them. Keep an open mind; the startups that will be most beneficial to the company may not be in the same industry or have the same market, but the possibility is always there.
- Increase the startup’s value – Remember this is a two way street; adding value to your startup partner gives them confidence in your reputation and commitment to the collaboration. Adding value doesn’t only mean capital and nuts and bolts; it means knowledge and networking, advice, connections and supply partners, too.
- Make it easy – The best companies collaborating with startups create simple processes for them to follow, eliminating red tape and easing the path to success. Getting rid of stumbling blocks reduces the cost of the collaboration by increasing the speed. Not to mention the frustration that a creative, dynamic company has as their culture when confronted by red tape can absolutely kill the spirit. Short NDA’s and a central contact procedure are an excellent way to open the door for a startup.
- Experiment – Innovation can be risky and the reality is that some startups don’t amount to anything but an expensive lesson. Successful collaboration happens most when a portfolio approach to working with startups is taken. Investing smaller amounts of capital and time into multiple startups gives the company a wider net to capture that proven winner.
- Solve problems – if you find an innovative solution to a problem or fulfill a goal set by the company by collaborating with a startup, the program builds credibility through success and makes the path to the next collaboration much easier to get approved. Organizational support and corporate buy-in are key factors in the future success of collaborating with startups.
Haven’t thought of these things? UBI Global has mapped out success for hundreds of startup collaborations with major corporations, governments and universities since 2013. We put together the best performing incubators and the innovative international companies with our knowledge, expertise and network in the innovation world.