– By Jean-Baptiste Leguet
Startups offer great potential for established companies looking to implement an open innovation process and seeking new technologies.
But with each year bringing a host of new startups, drawing up an exhaustive list with the aim of collaborating with one of them can be tricky. What’s more, it’s often difficult to trace the history of a startup—its performance indicators, sales, customers, etc. Even determining whether the startup still exists can be tough.
So how do you find a startup with the best potential for your business?
Obviously, there are a lot of referencing tools online, such as Crunchbase, CB Insights, Tracxn, PitchBook and others. However, their approach is rarely personalized. Startup profiles are often general and don’t necessarily cover all startups in a given field.
The most effective way to get reliable information during the startup evaluation process is to be part of an innovation ecosystem or to collaborate with an intermediary that has a privileged relationship with startups, such as a startup incubator.
If you’re a large company, it’s also important to make contact with a startup before your competitors beat you to it. Some startups limit the number of companies they work with, so your best bet is to be the first to submit a project, based on your ideal conditions.
Large companies are in turn solicited by many startups who see in them an excellent opportunity to have a prestigious first client that will accelerate their growth. For large companies, sifting through requests that arrive in different business units and aren’t centralized can be a challenge.
The important thing is to make sure that the startup you’re considering offers the best potential for your open innovation approach, as Collision Lab partner Loto-Québec can attest: