Startups are great at leveraging the latest technologies and developing disruptive business ideas. But only a handful have what it takes to scale those ideas and achieve long-term success. One of the ways startups can help ensure they’ll be one of those lucky few is by working with corporates.
What do corporates have to offer? Their first advantage is longevity. Years of sector experience means they’ve made their mistakes, learned from them, and amassed a wealth of knowledge along the way. This knowledge can come in handy, for example, when you’re looking to branch out into an adjacent industry.
Their second advantage is size. What large businesses sometimes lack in agility, they make up for with a global footprint and large teams dedicated to marketing, communications, and data analysis. In a startup’s journey to scale, market access and broad functional expertise are critical ingredients to success.
Five Steps to Building a Successful Corporate Partnership:
- Identify the win-win – Analyze how your solutions could improve the potential partner’s offerings and envision how a pilot could be scaled. Sodexo-Ventures invests in partners whose solutions can first be deployed and impact the business at a local level, and then at a global level.
- Ask for a clear commitment – It’s important to ensure equal commitment on both sides of the table. At Sodexo-Ventures, we offer partnership agreements that ensure a commitment on our side to deploy.
- Ask about co-investment opportunities – It’s also important to look beyond the investment at hand. Choose a partner who’s prepared to leverage co-investment opportunities. Sodexo Ventures has experience co-investing with other corporates possessing complementary expertise and industry knowledge.
- Look at how your can leverage functional expertise – By working with the corporate’s marketing and PR teams, partnerships can be a great opportunity to generate some positive visibility for your solution. In many cases, a dedicated data lab can also be an invaluable resource.
- Always keep next steps in mind – To optimize the relationship with a corporate partner, always keep your eye on progress and pre-defined next steps. At Sodexo Ventures, we ensure success by assigning a project team to each partner, to manage and ensure a successful deployment.