Partnering with Large Enterprise? Strive for “Product/Partner Fit”

Communication is one of the biggest challenges for deep tech startups that want to work with large enterprise.

Pitching to large enterprise – and the complex deal-making that follows – is a dance that many startups aren’t fully prepared for.

As a result, many deep tech startups send too much information about their company to potential partners, and communication challenges can lead to breakdowns during the negotation process.

As industry-startup collaboriation becomes more common, best practices have emerged to guide startups as they launch new collaborations. One useful framework that seedsprint considers when we build partnership tools for ambitious startups is “product/partner fit.”

Think “product/partner fit”

Launching a new enterprise partnership isn’t so different from a startup’s product/market fit assessment. It’s all about understanding what the target market needs and how both parties can benefit from an exchange.

This seems like common sense, but on today’s open innovation playing field, many startups don’t take the extra step when pitching a large enterprise: considering what information the enterprise values when making a decision.

As part of a product/market fit assessment, a deep tech startup wouldn’t send a 50-page business plan to a potential customer. They would send a concise description of the product to gather feedback.Similarly, when a startup is marketing its technology to a large enterprise, it needs to provide the exact infromation that an enterprise needs to make a decision. Both sides need to understand what the other has to offer, and quickly.

Startups need to pitch their technology offering in a concise package that includes a technology description and differentiators, partnership goals, next steps for technical development, intellectual property details, and so on. Read more about how seedsprint helps startups communicate to potential partners.

Deep dive fit

Partnering with large enterprise is a marathon, not a sprint. Once initial interest is established, the next step is getting into details. The best way to approach this is a checklist. If conversations with an industry partner haven’t covered the following, it’s up to the startup to make sure expectations are clear.

• Timelines and time commitment on all sides

• Technical and data integrations

• Approval processes and sign-off authority

• Payment terms

Once parties establish expectations – and commit to keeping each other appraised of new developments – a partnership will be much more likely to succeed.

Interested in meeting potential partners outside your current network? Try the seedsprint network. Deep tech startups join free.

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