Wash, rinse, repeat: A startup is founded, first product ships, customers engage, and then a larger company’s corporate development team sends a blind email requesting to “connect and compare notes.”
Venture-backed startups should generate some return. This could be either getting acquired or going public.
Chances are that you will spend lots of time working with corporate development teams if you want to be acquired. The environment is favorable for acquisitions, with a booming stock market and plenty of money.
And as I’ve been on both sides of these equations, an increasing number of my FriendDA partners have been calling for advice on corporate development mating rituals.
These are some highlights.
Prior to my acquisition of the first company, I thought every acquisition was well-planned and strategic. Blindingly, I was wrong.
The meeting must be attended by you
Set up a initial 45 minute meeting. You should allow yourself to spend an hour, and only use the 60-minutes if everything is going smoothly. Be patient, don’t get too excited and just be happy to ramble or please others. Do you pontificate? But with great precision.
Demonstrate a command over the chosen domain. Demonstrate humility and thought, but don’t bring a list of possible ways you can collaborate. That would be pathetic.
The worst case scenario is that you will get some new LinkedIn connections, and then you become a well-known quantity. A second meeting is the best scenario.
They’re going after my genius idea!
They aren’t. This is a common occurrence that I hear. It’s an indicator that the entrepreneur has not previously worked in a large company. This is fine as not all employees get to use the same employee ID number.
Large companies have tight control over operational expenses. There are often not enough specialists to handle the new-domain startup moneyball, much less older companies.
There is no secret lab that has dozens upon dozens of subject-matter experts and developers waiting to hear from a newly-minted MBA and steal your amazingness. Go-to-market is a crucial component of many startups that succeed. However, most large enterprises lack the sales and marketing domain expertise to successfully sell stolen products.
You and your team are still needed.
Publiated at Thu, 19 August 2021 19:01.39 +0000