Engaging Startups & Building Technology Partnerships
Turning Startup scouting to Technology scouting
While exploring the innovation landscape you tend to see many companies who pride themselves by their various startup programs.
Working together with startups in various formats such as incubation programs, accelerators and company builders have become a market standard for companies that take pride of being at the innovation forefront.
But is this really the right way to go?
When incorporating these programs, many companies struggle on the execution side and find themselves stuck after POC (Proof of Concept) phase– even if these POCs were successful by every measure.
Ultimately, the real intention of working with a startup is to enrich and accelerate your product road map, to find new and exciting areas to play in and be able to compete in the long term with ever changing business environments.
The corporation is trying to do so by educating their internal people to think more openly and challenge them - and what better way to do so than by introducing them to a startup mentality?
Eventually, many companies might become oblivious to great internal ideas that lack the extra push to become more successful.
Therefore, in order not to lose track of what you are trying to achieve, you need to understand that working with startups is just one solution to become more innovative and the focus should turn from Startup scouting to Technology scouting.
Take a step back – figure out first where are you trying to go and what are you trying to achieve and then focus on the technology that could help you get there.
In this way, when searching for an AI solution in a specific sector, first figure out what are you trying to achieve and is AI even the right approach. Then you can even find a solution from another sector altogether since it answers the technological need and could be the best fit to what you are looking for.
This could come from internal teams, startups, or even larger corporations, that you as a company would never have thought to collaborate with, since they are not a supplier or customer.
Focus on building strategic alliances that fill in the gaps - it could be via startup engagements or alongside more mature companies, but the real focus and aim should always remine the technological gaps and what you are trying to achieve.