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Three main principles for a Startup Scouting Stack

Sander van der Blonk (Netherlands)
Client Relations
September 22, 2020

Typically, you draw up a list of desired startup traits, assuming you know what you seek. And then, you look up a startup directory or check out an accelerator’s cohort for a list of names.

Alas, it’s not that simple.

Startups launch daily or cease to exist. There is no single source that gives 100% coverage. So, how do you keep track?

Finding startups cannot be entirely planned. As startups come and go, opportunities emerge and continuously evolve.

Moreover, there is no best -only best fitting startup. Circa 55% of corporate-startup collaborations fail due to ill-scouting and misalignment.

A Startup Scouting Stack solves all of the above. Here are three main principles that underlie a well-thought-out Stack.


Scouting for startups is a continuous practice. It means that landscape and solution scouting run in parallel. Whereas solution scouting is time-based and aimed at finding startups for particular projects, landscape scouting yields discoveries, and emerging insights. After all, you would hate to miss out on an opportunity to meet with a startup and see your relative competitor walk away with it.

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Test and optimize

There are vast differences per source as to data definitions, data accuracy, and data completeness. To successfully find the best startups, companies need to make experimentation an integral part of their search strategy -even when budgets are tight. It means putting various sources to the test and comparing outcomes on criteria like the hit/fit ratio and attribution versus cost.

It’s a journey

The heat is on. Today, startups have many options to choose from. Orchestrating the process steps and ensuring a streamlined experience after spotting a startup has become the differentiating factor. Let’s not forget: Finding and connecting with startups are similar to dating. Consequently, a Stack combined with workflow management or Startup Relationship Management software can be very beneficial.

Stay tuned as we further detail Scouting Stacks in ensuing posts.

Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

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