“It’s a tedious process to get the licensing deals and get yourself up and running.”

Daniel Strohmayr, CEO of material startup Tacterion

As you begin to pursue industry partnerships you quickly learn that finding the right collaboration partner can be tedious.

Whether your startup seeks licensing, acquisition, or joint product development, finding good partner candidates is often time-consuming and frustrating.

The good news? You can make a difference by tweaking how you communicate to potential partners.

Industry technology scouts report that lack of transparency about partnership desire and goals, on the part of young startups, is often a barrier to communication.

Learning to be more transparent – without going too far – is essential for startups seeking industry partners.

Be honest – and bold – about your needs

As a startup, you have something amazing to offer.

If your needs align with the partner company’s needs, a great relationship can blossom.

Industry innovation teams are bombarded with partnership requests. Stand out by listing your company’s partnership needs. At Seedsprint, we call these “collaboration goals.” Startups should make a list of active collaboration goals and update it regularly.

Startups should make a list of partner needs (“collaboration goals”) and update it regularly.

Don’t let the list gather dust! Sharing collaboration goals in interactions, in interviews, and in your online presence will help get the word out to potential partners.

Simple phrasing is key to getting a tech scout’s attention. TheSeedsprint platformguides startups and technical teams on how to use standard language that a corporate tech scout will understand – see below for a few examples.

Some examples of startup collaboration goals:

• De-risking
• Licensing
• Production prototypes
• Product validation
• Pilot production
• Technology and equipment
• Bridge funding
• Customer introductions
• Joint-development projects
• Access to test equipment and testing facilities
• Feedback on bill of materials, subassembly, etc
• Acquisition

This list is industry-agnostic and your startup likely has unique needs. Feel free to get specific – while maintaining a healthy level of discretion. See next:

The fine line between sharing and oversharing

Industry partnerships can be invaluable for an emerging technology company. However, don’t say anything sensitive before all parties sign an NDA.

There’s a big difference between saying you are open to joint development projects and saying that without one, your company won’t last the year.

Learning how to navigate that fine line between sharing and oversharing will put your company in the collabroation sweet spot: where you are open enough to interest partners, but discrete enough to protect your team.

Once you master this, you will be ready to start meeting industry tech scouts. Happy networking!

Interested in telling your startup’s story and messaging with industry partners? Seedsprint is free for science-based innovation teams.

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