I'm working on a mobile app that has 2 aspects, one will be social based, the other will be B2C based. For this to work, businesses would need to do some setup "stuff" at their retail locations. In lieu of going for VC, I was thinking about approaching some large retail based companies for some sponsorship. I would be looking for 20 or 30 companies to donate an amount (~25k) to help me get this thing up and running. As part of this they would also agree to the necessary setup stuff at their retail locations.
I was wondering if anyone has any experience approaching companies looking for sponsorship like this. Are there any hidden pitfalls to look out for? Is there a better way to do it than just sending cold emails? Any department, etc. that it would be better to try to contact?