Secrets for startups looking to partner with big corporations? Build trust, and 3 more tips: PSL & PACT panel - Technical.ly Philly

Business

Feb. 13, 2013 9:30 am

Secrets for startups looking to partner with big corporations? Build trust, and 3 more tips: PSL & PACT panel

A little startup and an old-school corporation, as it turns out, can be a match made in heaven — the tough part is developing that partnership and making it stick. That was the topic of last week’s panel discussion held by Philly Startup Leaders (PSL) and the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) […]

A little startup and an old-school corporation, as it turns out, can be a match made in heaven — the tough part is developing that partnership and making it stick.

That was the topic of last week’s panel discussion held by Philly Startup Leaders (PSL) and the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) at Quorum at the University City Science Center. Panelists came from both sides of the business world. Two panelists —  Cloudmine CEO Brendan McCorkle and SunGard Availability Services program manager Cristina Greysman — were actually in the midst of a working out a potential partnership between Cloudmine and SunGard, giving a real-life look at how these kinds of partnerships develop.

It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, the panelists said. Having a big-name corporation as a client can legitimize a startup, said Greysman, while startups can help corporations innovate much faster than they could with their own staff.

Below, four tips from the panelists on how to hook a big corporation.

  • Build trust. Corporations will only work with you if they trust you, said Coley Brown, cofounder of VisionMine, a new company that aims to connect corporations with useful startups. The panelists agreed that it can take a while to develop this kind of relationship. “It’s a courting process,” said Brown, who added, “Excuse the metaphor, I’m a dinosaur.”
  • Find the decision-maker, but get a champion, too. It’s important to the find the person who will actually give the go-ahead, Brown said. Yorn founder Rick Rasansky agreed, urging startups to do their homework before they approached a corporation and not to feel “bashful” about asking lots of questions to find the appropriate person. McCorkle made a case for finding a champion within the corporation, even if that person isn’t the decision maker (at this point, he gave a little nod to Greysman).
  • Size matters. Corporations can see a startup’s small size as a red flag, Greysman said, so talk about your experience and credentials in order to get your size out of their head. For McCorkle, whose startup has ten staffers, he said that in his experience, some corporations don’t immediately ask how big your startup is, so it doesn’t hurt to present yourself as a slightly larger company. “Act like you’re fighting up a weight class and they might believe you,” McCorkle said.
  • Outcomes are important. “In a large company, you are nothing but a budget line,” said Iron Mountain software engineer Lev Greysman, “unless you can demonstrate success.” Cristina Greysman echoed this point, saying that in a big corporation, a startup’s work could be cut out of the budget at any time, so prove your worth. (Lev Greysman is married to Cristina Greysman.)

Advertisement

-30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Want to organize a Philly Tech Week 2020 event? Start here

January’s inaugural Philly Freelance Fest is ‘flipping a traditional job fair on its head’

What FORT Robotics’ CEO said he learned in the rapid-growth company’s first year

SPONSORED

Philly

Building conference rooms for the future

Philadelphia, PA - Center City

Odessa

Customer Success Manager

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Linode

Systems Engineer

Apply Now

Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Interactive Developer

Apply Now

It’s Hive76’s 10th anniversary. Here are some of the makerspace’s greatest hits

On-demand design startup Penji is moving from Camden to Philadelphia

A cheat sheet for getting involved in the 10th annual Philly Tech Week

SPONSORED

Philly

Say ‘Ahoy’ to the technical opportunities at Vanguard

Philadelphia, PA

PromptWorks

Senior Software Engineer

Apply Now

Philadelphia, PA

Azavea

Software Engineer

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Linode

Product Marketing Specialist

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Philadelphia

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!