Corporate Startup Relationships: Good things take time
Time is money for Startups. With limited resources and runway it’s important to move fast but also be lean. Corporate connections can really accelerate the growth and success of your Startup. But when securing a Corporate Startup relationship it’s really important to have patience. Good things take time!
Alejandro and Francisco, are the co-founders of mPhyt and understand the importance of patience when forming Corporate Startup relationships. Recently, mPhyt secured a partnership with an Australian Corporate to pilot their wellbeing platform. I talk with the co-founders about this partnership and why Startups should be patient when forming a relationship with a Corporate.
First up — can you tell me more about mPhyt?
mPhyt is empowering seniors to keep active and healthy. The digital platform leverages data and technology to improve the way older adults interact and connect with families, communities and providers. The mPhyt app gets to know the senior and creates a personal wellbeing index. Based on a seniors needs and preferences, mPhyt then suggests services and activities tailored to them.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt from forming a Corporate Startup partnership?
No matter how fast the Corporate wants to move the reality is that it always takes longer than intended. This can be frustrating! For this reason it’s important for a Startup not to put all of their eggs in one basket. I think many Startups get excited about nurturing one Corporate relationship. But until you have secured the first one it’s important to keep networking and meeting other Corporates.
What is a typical time frame to secure a Corporate relationship?
It really just depends on the Corporate. If a Corporate has the right mindset, the right people and processes then it can be a lot easier to begin a Corporate relationship. But even then, if a Corporate is ready to work with Startups it can take anywhere between 3–6 (or sometimes more) months to form a relationship.
At the beginning, we spent a lot of time getting to know the Corporate. This was important for both us and them as we wanted to be sure our interests aligned. Next, we had to go through a decision making process to formalise how the relationship would work. And finally, we secured the relationship. We know that the Corporate was moving as quickly as they could, but it took much longer than we originally expected.
How will the relationship with the Corporate partner help mPhyt?
Working with an industry expert such as our Corporate partner is a huge opportunity to grow our Startup. The partnership gives both parties a competitive advantage. Together we can learn more about the senior users and improve the products and services we provide.
How has CoVentured helped you with this Corporate Startup relationship?
Although Corporate Startup relationships take time CoVentured made it a lot easier to make the right Corporate connections. It’s difficult to know which Corporates are open to working with Startups based on a Google search. But we know that all the Corporates on CoVentured have the right mindset on working with Startups, so they’re the ones we should be contacting.
Once we identified the right Corporates, CoVentured helped us find the right people in the organisation and make that first connection. This is so valuable for a small Startup with limited resources.
While mPhyt successfully secured a relationship with a large Australian Corporate it didn’t happen overnight. As a Startup it’s important to understand that Corporates typically move slower than Startups. Even if they have the right people and processes in place it can take a long time to reach a decision.
As a Startup there are a few things you can do to mitigate the frustration:
- Know exactly what you want out of the partnership and how it’s going to benefit you.
- Ensure you have enough runway and resource to secure the partnership.
- Establish deadlines and modes of communication to ensure no party is left in the dark.
- Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Continue to talk with other Corporates.
- Be patient. Good things take time!