Boston Startups: Get Aggressive in Working with Big Companies
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standardize as best as possible on a finite set of innovative solutions rather than having each of their many departments choose their own solutions that may overlap in capabilities.
One Boston startup that has excelled at targeting and connecting with big companies is EyeNetra, an MIT Media Lab spinout. The company develops mobile phone eye diagnostics that measures the correction for a person’s vision and enables patients at the point-of-care to connect remotely to eye care providers and vendors. Their flagship product allows anyone to administer a simple and quick eye test for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
EyeNetra has reached out to big healthcare and eye care companies who are in a position to disrupt the current worldwide market for how eye care exams are administered. These companies not only have the executive teams in place to fund the pilots, but also represent a potential global distribution channel.
On the other hand, there is another startup in the Boston area that provides an analytics solution for “big data.” I asked the co-founder what his strategy was to establish strategic partnerships with big companies and his response was that they have a “pricing and plans” website strategy. He also went on to say that their investors have all the contacts they need within their target audience and he expects them to make the necessary introductions… really? With game plans like this, no wonder why so many startups are not scaling.
In conclusion, there are additional benefits in establishing strategic partnerships with big companies. They can be an excellent long-term revenue generator; be an early beta user; become part of your advisory board; become an excellent reference; and so on. Finally, big companies may also have their own VC group or affiliation and could become an investor as well.