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Matching startups to corporates is too much art, too little wisdom.

Sander van der Blonk

· matching,Collaboration,dating,Scale-ups

Hear the rumble.

Yesterday, The Next Web celebrated 67 corporate-startup matches uncorking 67 Champagne bottles.

I applaud the success. I also love Champagne, by the way.

The real work begins when the glasses are emptied. That is why I have a few nit-picking comments.

Each startup is unique. Each corporate is unique.

So, there is a lot to navigate when it comes to piloting with or collaborating with startups - or scale-ups, for that matter.

  • High rates of startups wanting to connect and collaborate with corporates and large organizations may mean lower quality or undeveloped startups to calibrate. From team make-up to proof points, from idea to IP-quality, and much more; An enormous amount of diligence and time is needed vetting and qualifying embryonic companies before getting to the collaborative doing.
  • Beyond that, for corporates and large organizations having a collaborative vision can be daunting. In my experience, a lot of corporate organizations have tunnel vision -a sole focus on their product and structure. For most corporates and large organizations, the task is not just seeing and recruiting startups but becoming ‘collaborative.’ Literally.

The unfamiliar step between finding startups and obtaining Return on Collaboration is matching. It implies, amongst others, getting mutual comfort on the challenge-to-solve and motives for collaboration.

On most corporate-startup events the focus is on dating, not matching. If there is any matching at all, it is usually done superficially.

Bringing in external, objective matching expertise might lead to fewer uncorked champagne bottles. Most certainly, it will prevent ruined expectations and failed collaboration outcomes.


Happy collaborating!

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