Why is a VC-like qualification insufficient?

Sander van der Blonk
Sander van der Blonk
May 4, 2022
Why is a VC-like qualification insufficient?

Are you seeking start-up tech to lower CO2 emission rates? On the lookout for the latest in alternative protein?

Innovation partnering with start-ups is a hot topic nowadays, but it’s never easy to find the one that fits your narrow focus.

How to assess and choose the golden opportunity?

Why a VC-style qualification doesn't cut it

Companies often adopt a VC-like start-up qualification approach, even when no equity is involved.

They do application reviews. And executive panels that bring stakeholders together around start-up profiles.

They gather as much information as they can by asking questions like:

  • How well does the start-up understand the problem or challenge to solve? Is there any proof for it?
  • What’s the expertise of the team?
  • What’s their financial profile and runway?

But let’s look at it from a reverse angle: What do start-ups think of the process?

Based on our research, start-ups loath the company’s self-centered process. And they realize that personal agendas skew decisions.

What’s more, a start-up is crunched for time - deciding which collaboration opportunity to bet their time and resources on can be a do-or-die moment.

And so, start-ups predominantly approach ‘fit’ from a relationship perspective. For them, the main question is: Will it bring what I am looking for? Can I trust them?

Assessing and establishing trust

Low trust causes friction. It is the greatest immaterial cost in any collaboration. High trust produces speed and results.

You cannot gauge trust from a spreadsheet. And so, you have to run so-called alignment conversations. 

That's why Scoutely SRM has in-built qualification templates and questionnaires addressing the hard and soft aspects.

It helps companies find out collaboration motive and intent using questions like:

  • What means our potential collaboration to you?
  • What is your biggest fear when we start working together?
  • What can make you angry?
  • How much time are you willing to commit?
  • What do you care about and why?

Motive and intent are a matter of the heart. It’s not something you can fake – at least not for long.

Getting mutual clarity on motives establishes trust. And can prevent collaboration failure and botched reputations on either side.

What to do?

Partnering is not a transaction; It's inherently relationship-based.

And so it’s remarkable how much time companies spend on finance and operations, unlike assessing the depts of a possible relationship. 

With Scoutely SRM, now you can at scale.

We'd be happy to show you how.

Request a demo.

Save hundreds of hours and be confident at every step. See how Scoutely helps perfect the pipelining efforts. And make better collective decisions fast enough to compete.

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