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Why SRM?

Be better prepared to make the most of startup collaboration opportunities.

Find, assess and collaborate in a repeatable, efficient way using a Startup Relationship Management system (SRM).

Read more about SRM and its Return on Investment below.

Let's set the stage

Corporate innovation is undergoing a transition from ‘do it yourself’ to building and nurturing multi-partner networks, where startups increasingly play a pivotal role.

You need to know when startups can help and have processes ready to quickly find, align on, and connect with suitable candidates.


Corporate Innovation transition timeline
Corporate innovation transition over time

What is a startup exactly?

A startup is an experiment where long-term viability is far from guaranteed.

Entrepreneurs live between hope and despair, between breakthroughs and breakdowns. Startups are fluid entities, not always easily categorized, with many ending up in a different place than they started.

But there are many upsides: Working with startups can create a positive bottom-line impact through lower costs, lucrative investments, and transformative change.

Effective startup collaboration, therefore, is a skill that needs to be worked at. An SRM system helps build this competency faster and more efficiently.

Going beyond a single pilot

These days, the most common collaboration approaches are exploratory, many-to-many programs, and challenge prizes on the side.

Unfortunately, recent research shows a questionable return on these mechanisms. The problem appears to be the weak relationship between a startup and the business and their lack of commitment to using a pilot outcome.

That's why we see companies make a gradual shift to targeted, one-to-one engagements closer to the (core of) the business. And as the biggest impact won't come from a single startup or technology, companies maintain a portfolio of potential startup opportunities as an innovation subsystem to tap into.

Business strategy and innovation domains vs build and buy and or partner
Startups as an innovation subsystem

An SRM system makes it easy to build a startup pipeline of near-future and time-sensitive opportunities. It also helps check these startup candidates more frequently without disturbing the everyday routines.

Solve the # 1 reason for collaboration failure

There's often a flawed practice at enterprises that focuses on startup search and one-way spreadsheets - Just find startups, vet them on 30 criteria, and hope the rest falls into place.

The fact is, startup collaborations usually end because of misalignment and resource allocation issues, wasting time, money and leading to bruised reputations on both sides.

Startups can be selective about whom they partner with. They have much to choose from these days.

So forget scouting for the best: Find the willing and best fitting! Get agreement among stakeholders committing resources before scouting. Discuss expectations with a startup in detail via conversations, not spreadsheets.

A good SRM system automates and optimizes startup search. It makes the top of the funnel wider and systematically qualifies more startups enabling companies to focus on the most important element of startup discovery: Making real connections.

Components of an SRM system

System integration

SRM systems consist of three major parts:

1: An operational part that puts you in control, replacing spreadsheets and flipping between emails. It documents the process from collaboration intent, planning, finding profiles, making assessments, and taking collective decisions. It steers the process with automatic tasks, reminders, and reports.

2: A collaborative part connecting you with internal stakeholder teams and externally with startups through scouting service providers, webpages, live chats, and video calls. It also integrates data with project management tools or innovation management systems.

3: An analytical part measuring a potential match during qualification conversations with startups, reducing the uncertainties and risks before starting any project.

What's the ROI of SRM?

If you're serious about startup collaboration, you can't afford to show up unprepared. That's why SRM systems have become business-critical, adding value and generating a return across three areas:

1: Operational ROI. Reducing and avoiding internal and external costs.

2: Productivity ROI. Organizing processes, encouraging internal alignment, and simplifying yes/no decision-making.

3: Strategic ROI. Get access to technology, products, IP, and talent that would be too slow to grow organically - which lowers costs, creates strategic advantages, and transforms business.

Any doubts?

Ask yourself and your team these three simple questions:

What might we be missing by not tapping into startup ecosystems?

What happens if we let startup opportunities slip away?

What would our leadership say if we lost a startup contact to a direct competitor?

If any of these questions gave you pause for thought, then we’d love to talk to you about how Scoutely SRM can work for you.


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