Collaborations between scaleups and corporates in the telecom industry bring significant innovation potential for telcos and scaling potential for scaleups. On one hand, telcos can benefit from the scaleups’ innovation and investment activities which are key to fostering the digital and green transitions, on the other hand scaleups can gain from corporate expertise, networks, and access to new markets and industries.
But how can scaleups ensure that these collaborations succeed? How can they overcome the challenges that are hindering their prosperity?
Match-Maker Ventures recently hosted a webinar on the key success factors to maximize the impact of corporate-scaleup collaborations in the telco industry: Mastering Corp-Up with Telcos – Advice for Scaleups from leading corporates.
The webinar brought together representatives of leading telcos to share the most leading-edge perspectives and valuable insights on how to master Corp-Up in the telco industry. Keep reading to learn more about our expert panelists and the key learnings they shared with our audience!
Missed the event? Click below to access the webinar on-demand!
To discuss the best way scaleups can approach leading corporates in the telco industry and contribute to a successful and fast conversion of their collaborations with corporates, we brought together representatives of leading telcos to share their perspectives on the topic, including the CEO and Managing Director at Wayra Germany Florian Bogenschütz and the Head of Strategic Partnering and Innovation at A1 Austria Michaela Caroline Jarisch. Among our panelists, we also included Angel Gyurov, senior representative at Match-Maker Ventures, and Eren Soyak, CEO and Co-Fouder of Lifemote, a MMV portfolio scaleup.
What did we talk about?
The main focus of the webinar was to provide best practices for scaleups on how to best approach leading corporates in the telco industry and ensure business impact from scaleup-corporate collaborations is created.
Together with our panel of expert speakers from A1 Austria, Wayra Germany, and Lifemote Networks we explored the major pain points and challenges scaleups are facing nowadays, providing insights on how to overcome them in the most effective way.The content of the session was especially meaningful for scaleups operating in the telco sector who are struggling to set up collaborations with corporates and made it beyond the experimentation phase.
What did we learn?
1. GDPR is a hot topic in the telco industry
In the first section of the webinar, we focused on the initial outreach phase of startup-corporate collaborations. On this topic, Florian Bogenschütz from Wayra Germany shared his perspective on how scaleups can best approach corporates and make the most out of their door-opening activities. In particular, he brought up an increasingly important topic for telcos related to GDPR compliance, explaining how scaleups should demonstrate to corporates they have bullet-proof processes for dealing with GDPR and data privacy regulations.
2. Flexibility is the key
We all know that in Corp-Up corporates have the upper hand and usually get to decide on the terms of the collaborations. For this reason, it is very important that scaleups show extreme flexibility and eagerness to compromise when dealing with corporates, especially in the initial outreach phase. It is precisely this flexibility that makes a scaleup attractive to a large corporate, especially when the latter is risk-averse and afraid to invest substantial resources and efforts in a project without knowing what the outcome will be.
3. Service-level agreements are useful but pay attention to what you are committing
When collaborating with corporates, especially during the initial meetings and discussions, scaleups often feel the need to show their commitment to the partnership by signing service-level agreements to define the major features of the solution and its desired performance level and specify the different responsibilities and steps related to the collaboration. However, it is very important that scaleups think through the guarantees they are committing to before signing Service-Level Agreements (SLA) when dealing with the core network business of telcos.
4. Customer references are always informative resources for prospects
In the second section of the webinar, we focused on more advanced stages of startup-corporate collaborations. In particular, Michaela Caroline Jarisch, Head of Strategic Partnering and Innovation at A1 Austria elaborated on the topic of conversion and upscaling, sharing her perspective on how scaleups can best contribute to a successful and fast conversion of their collaborations with corporates and ensure business impact is created. Among the key learnings from the panel discussion, the importance of customer references was emphasized. More specifically, the Head of Strategic Partnering & Innovation of A1 Austria explained how scaleups should leverage existing relevant customer references and testimonials to provide a deeper level of trust in the business which makes scaleups more credible, real, and grounded in tangible experience. This is especially relevant in the case of Proof of Concepts (PoC) where scaleups need to show the viability and potential of their products in real-world settings so that corporates can best decide whether they want to invest in the scaleups’ offerings.
5. Easy to adopt products scale faster
As obvious as it may seem, a startup-corporate collaboration comes to fruition at a faster pace when the offerings in question are easy to adopt and integrate with the existing product portfolio and are relevant to the customer base.
6. Business cases are the perfect ingredient in your commercial discussions
To get a corporate to sign a deal, it is necessary to build a robust and compelling business case that demonstrates what are the expected benefits coming from the collaboration with scaleups. In this sense, commercial discussions should be backed up with bullet-proof business cases with financial figures which clearly show the business value created by a product or a service.
7. A trusted relationship is a secure channel toward successful collaborations
Once we had analyzed the perspectives and the advice shared by representatives of leading corporates in the telco industry, we moved on to the first-hand experience of Match-Maker Ventures and its portfolio scaleups in order to outline best practices on how to foster successful collaborations. Among the key success factors identified, Eren Soyak, Co-Founder and CEO of Lifemote, and Angel Gyurov, senior representative at Match-Maker Ventures discussed the importance of building a trusted relationship with the right stakeholders to bring credibility to the table.
8. Speaking the same language helps bridge the gap between scaleups and corporates
Being startups and corporates vastly different organizations, clashes between the different cultures and ways of operating might decrease the potential to capitalize on the value creation. To bridge the gap between the two, scaleups should try to speak the same language as corporates so as to understand their perspective and accurately address their needs and challenges by leveraging their market insights.
9. Storytelling takes your sales pitches to the next level
Given the sheer number of competitors that come knocking at the door of corporates, it is very essential to scaleups to prepare top-notch sales documents and pitches which are concise and sharp to secure a partnership with a corporate. The best way to hook an audience when presenting is through storytelling, injecting an emotional appeal into the narrative which makes presentations more memorable and effective.
Let’s wrap up!
In conclusion, while belonging to two completely different words, scaleups and corporates can create synergistic value through Corp-Up. Overcoming their differences is possible through the adoption of a more structured approach that leverages warmer connections with the right stakeholders at the right time, and the right market insights and industry expertise that enable to sharpen scaleups’ value propositions and go-to-market strategies.
Watch the webinar on-demand to learn more!
Learn how you can scale faster with Match-Maker Ventures:
Click here to learn more about how Match-Maker Ventures helps tech companies to scale faster with corporate access.
About Match-Maker Ventures:
At Match-Maker Ventures, we scale innovation globally in our core industries – telecom, financial services, e-commerce, and more – by constantly scouting for high-growth tech companies and matching them with innovative corporates. Reach out to learn more!