“Corporation” is a dirty word to many startup founders. Entrepreneurs run away from big business on purpose, and those whose companies eventually develop into larger corporations risk earning the label of “sellout.”
Startups want to stay true to their vision; they don’t want to be influenced by the corporate world and run the risk of diluting their own cultures. They flee from any connection. Big mistake.
It’s understandable: Startups and corporations speak different languages, run at different speeds, and serve different purposes in our economy. Startups constantly disrupt, invent new technology, and develop new business models. Established corporations are more likely to move slowly with innovation to protect their financial security.
Like different generations, the two sides misunderstand each other. Corporations are seen as old, bureaucratic, and risk-averse. Startups are disruptive, irresponsible, and inexperienced. Neither usually sees the good in the other.
Corporate Benefits to Startup Culture
Still, despite the generational difference, there are plenty of reasons for startups to partner with corporations.
Credibility: With all the startups popping up around the country–and many of them failing–a corporate partnership is a huge boost to credibility. When one established corporation jumps aboard, it can help customers and other potential partners take the startup more seriously.
Distribution: Startups usually have limited distribution outlets. By using corporate distribution channels, they can increase their reach and get to market faster. This will test their product or service on a large scale to prove its worthiness. Having that proof of scalability is pure gold. It also doesn’t hurt that distribution should equal revenue, which is always good.