Startups · Strategic Partnerships

How startups can help each other?

Nishant Shah

August 29th, 2016

We are working on an initiative https://startupbarters.com

The idea is: 

Every startup has some strengths like efficient marketing, strong tech background, good investment channels, command on writing business proposals, startup connections, creative designers, media outreach and so on
But as most of startups have limited resources they may also be laking in some areas. Other startups can mitigate this limitation by helping  each other in respective tasks.

What do you think how can startups help each other?

Shobhit Verma

August 30th, 2016

This has been done over and over again but has never worked out. I was myself exploring product market fit for a few months for a similar idea. Lots of mockups and customer interviews later->
Lessons learnt-
1) Most people will end up needing some form of technical help.
2) Getting technical help for non-cash is not easy -- this is similar to finding tech cofounder problem.
3) For any non-tech help, the quality sucks because of lack of passion.

The only model that I have seen working is giving advice and sharing lessons and connections. Everything else that requires execution has not worked.

If this model had any chance of success, YC , 500 startups and Techstars would be doing it themselves for their portfolio companies. But they don't and for good reason .. it doesn't work.

Rod Abbamonte Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute

August 30th, 2016

Mutual collaboration is the foundation of the new economy.

Raja Kumar Code Surgeries | Micro Fixed Bids | Scala | Go | Kotlin | ReactJS | Android | Java | NFR Doctor

August 30th, 2016

True, they need to help each other, without being de-focused on their own vision. Such helps are certainly possible.

Some areas we can help are

1. Build low cost, but enterprise grade delivery teams
2. Share our knowledge on how to run private limited company in safe manner
3. Advise any references in the space other startups looking for help, once we understand their needs
4. Evaluate code delivered by startup teams 

Saurabh Arya Founder & CEO - TotSmart Education

August 30th, 2016

Hi, Would love to know your suggestions. I have been running a startup for 2.5 years. Read more about us here - Totsmart.in/pedron. Recently in the news - http://usf.vc/winners-of-startedu4/ We have some spare capacity and would be happy to offer them for a nominal fee to some startups. We can provide - Tech dev, Marketing strategy, Fundraising hacks etc. Thanks Saurabh Arya

Jonathon OBryan

August 30th, 2016

The two major hurdles facing growth for the entrepreneurs are Funding & Manufacturing.  You come with a list like that which is free to the founders, but cost inventors a minimum fee.  Come up with simple templates for the Bplan, Exec Summary, elevator pitch, etc.  You have a winner.... you get paid via your investor list, would do this myself but full plate.  

Jonathon

David Austin

August 30th, 2016

I'm with Shobhit on this one.  In my experience collaboration between startup founders and startups themselves is great so far as helping understand next steps, and for encouragement ... but beyond that everyone is looking for the same thing ... cheap but decent quality talent and nobody's going to lend their own even if they have spare capacity (without a fee and no guarantee that the capacity will be there when you really need it).  Cross-equity commitments are very hard to arrange, even an IOU system ... most see it as a fool's errand.  Great idea though, as a number of people here have mentioned.

We do need some creative thinking, along these lines on getting MVPs into place and proving concepts prior to fundraising.  I've thought about doing a partnership with local universities, where students might be given credit to work at startups gestated at the local level.  Need some out-of-the-box thinking how to incentivize the kind of collaboration you're talking about.  Credit for school being one ... and I've thought about others ... a entrepreneurial currency for example.  Don't give up.  Shoot me a message of any other ideas if you have some ... maybe we can come up with a workable solution.

Nishant Shah

August 30th, 2016

@Raja Thanks for the suggestion, that is very helpful.

I also think that shared resources can also help.

I know a startup with designer onboard, who is under utilised. Some other startup can use that designer in return of some other service.

Sidney Sclar SID the SECURITY PRO at sidthesecuritypro.com

August 30th, 2016

For a start, be great at your product or service. Treat referrals and intros as if they were your clients. Provide additional value.

Sam McAfee Building Popup Incubators for Corporate Innovation Programs

August 30th, 2016

I do think there is something to the idea of informal partnerships. In several companies I have worked with recently, we had a circle of soft competitors that were different enough we didn't compete too much directly, but had complimentary offerings that were valuable when used together. We all knew each other, and would often share resources about how to break into a particularly lucrative large client. Sometimes two of us would go out and co-sell a particular solution if we thought it would increase both of our chances. All this with a hand-shake agreement until we really started to pen a deal with the client. It worked out several times. It's worth noting that a lot of bigger business deals with multiple parties simply have to work this way. It's not always one customer and one seller. It's more like politics. :)

Chris Gorges Partner, Strategy at Rocketure

August 30th, 2016

Check out a similar idea - www.equitydirectory.com