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What is Startup Relationship Management?

Sander van der Blonk

· SRM,Corporate Venturing,Collaboration

Many companies jump into partnerships with technology startups. Across-the-board, they are navigating uncharted terrain applying the same methods that they use for purchasing raw materials to run their operations. The result is that far too many collaborations are less than optimal leaving both corporates and startups in search of a better way to collaborate.

Times are changing.

Whether it is through product procurement -sometimes also known as venture-clienting or possibly financial stakes or takeovers, corporate-startup collaboration is on the rise.

Moreover, corporate companies have come to realize that startups’ technologies and solutions make new products and services possible. A growing proportion of corporations, therefore, seek flexible partnerships with startups in which both sides take a risk and share in the rewards. Rather than investing millions of Euros on an acquisition that doesn't fit with the business in the long-term, partnerships in the Euro 10K- 50K range are a better way to go.

Early stage contacts with startups and ‘open doors’ have thus become pivotal. Companies even brag about it and award each other prizes for being a top ‘startup-friendly’ corporate. Seemingly, startup centricity has become one of the new pillars for corporates in search of a competitive edge.

The challenge in corporate-startup collaboration is that the two types of businesses live in largely two different worlds. So, if corporations and startups can learn and grow from one another, how do you effectively bring them together for a greater good?

It has given rise to the notion of Startup Relationship Management (SRM). SRM is a methodology for managing all your company’s relationships with startups and potential startups. The goal is simple: Faster decision-making, better-quality startup recruitment, and better and faster innovation outcomes.

Scoutely SRM tool gives everyone in the company - from marketing, business development, innovation, R&D, purchasing to finance a systemic way to manage interactions with startups. It lets you store contact information, identify collaboration opportunities, record decisions, and conversation outcomes, and manage collaboration projects, all in one central location.

As SRM continues to evolve, it will create sweeping changes in how corporates and startups team up. The outlook is promising: True win-win relationships in which both sides are equally committed to each other’s success

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