Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Strategic Partnerships for Early Stage Startups

By Mark Helfen

Most technology entrepreneurs think "they need to do everything by themselves. But it doesn't have to be that way. Partners can improve you chances for success."

So says Brad Reddersen, CEO of Stranova, a consultancy in strategic planning and innovation for emerging businesses and startups. Reddersen will speak next Monday at the July 11 meeting of the SDForum marketing SIG about "The Role or Strategic Community for Early Stage Startups."

I spoke to Reddersen about his presentation a few days ago. His talk will cover how a startup can determine the kind of partners that can help a new business be successful. And for potential strategic partners of an emerging company, how to work effectively with a startup.

By finding the right strategic partners, a startup can create a "consciously created community" of people and businesses that can increase the chances of success.

Reddersen defines strategic partners as people or companies with who you share a common interest. People that you can rely on to do certain things. Companies that have a complimentary set of skills. A common way of doing business. Common competitors, or even common enemies.

A partnership results in mutual benefits to both sides.

"Companies need the right partners at the beginning," said Reddersen. "More than your board of advisers." Partners that are "strategic, not just someone who works on your web site."

The right partners can bring a variety of skills to your startup. Reddersen listed some examples: Technical ideas. A distribution channel for your products. Or a unique network of contacts.

In addition to guidance for startup entrepreneurs, the presentation will present information for marketing managers in established companies that might benefit from strategic partnerships with early stage companies: What to look for in an emerging company, and how to position yourself to be available.

You can find more details about the meeting on the Marketing SIGs web site, here

Stranova's web site is here


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant. He can be reached at:



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