How to Succeed with Corporate Startup Engagement in 2017

Innovative corporations are working with startups more than ever before, making it imperative for these companies to know how to best engage with startups. Recently 20 executives from GAN’s Partner Network met in Silicon Valley for the third GAN Corporate Partner Network meeting. For two days, this group shared how to support and work alongside the next wave of startups emerging around the world. Here’s what they said:

1. Corporates want to do more hands-on help to support startups and build accountability into their startup engagement programs
What we heard is that corporations are investing in their startup programs through accountability-driven relationships and increasing focus on results. What this means is that some corporates are moving away from just offering free credits, instead they are investing in an internal team that’s providing hands-on support to help startups grow their own revenue using the corporates’ platform. Credits are now just part of the fuel to make that happen.

2. Moving from sponsorship to engagement
We see a fairly large shift away from sponsorship models in favor of corporate-driven programs that lead to direct, targeted startup engagement. There is less of the hands-off, throw some money their way approach and more curated programming focused on the corporate and startup relationship.

3. More top tier buy-in
Not only is the quantity of large corporations working with startups increasing but so is the quality of the startup engagement programming they are creating. As corporations are continually fine tuning their programming to maximize success, they are seeing more executive buy-in and support for their programs.

4. No-noise startup engagement
Corporations want to continue working with accelerators to cut through the noise and ensure their efforts are put to good use by connecting directly with vetted startups to solve their problems.