What should you think about when you want your startup to work with a multi-national company? One of the afternoon speakers at the last London Launch48 Conference was Bindi Karia (dubbed Queen of Startups) who works for Microsoft as a VC/Emerging business lead in the UK. She offered some high level and generic points to startups who want to partner with giants!
I managed to scribble down a few notes during her presentation:
Who should you approach within the corporate giant you’d like to team up with?
You need to really research the company – there are so many different teams within a large company and you need to find the right one . How? Check LinkedIn, go to events like Launch48 etc. Once you’re working with the right person it’ll be easier for you to fly internally within that company.
Understand what you need from them
If you can’t tell your target what you want in one sentence then s/he will switch off. These people are dealing with so many businesses that want to partner with them that you also have to know your value proposition and explain succinctly how it helps them.
Understand how the person you’re talking to can be made successful internally
It helps a lot if you understand the needs of the person you are dealing with – how can they succeed in their role within the company? How can you help them be successful?
Make sure you’re getting value from engaging with giants….’cos it’s a very time consuming process indeed!
There’s a fine line and balance between persistence and aggression
Be persistent because people in large corporate organisations are busy (:o) so don’t take it personally when they don’t respond to your messages – and certainly don’t get aggressive! (Apparently some people do…tut tut)
Go into that first meeting PREPARED!
Omg, so you’ve gotten through to someone and managed to get a meeting! Now what? Do. Your. Research. Annual reports and analyst reports are a good place to find what you need. Understand quarterly cycles in relation to funding. From Bindi’s point of view May / june is a bad time to get money. July to Sept is a good time to get money as budgets are flush.
Right then, off you go!