Getting your ideas heard in business can be as much about who you know as what you know.
Unfortunately, succeeding isn’t always about the strength of your idea or your plan, but about how much you have in common with the person to whom you are selling.
Whether intentionally or not, people often seek out those with similar interests and ideals. As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together.
How ‘Birds of A Feather’ Impacts Corporate Innovation
As a startup, this means that creating an innovative solution is not enough to attract the attention of forward-thinking enterprises.
With so many emerging technologies available for open innovation collaborations, the challenge of getting your technology in front of enterprise innovation directors — regardless of how good your solution is — can be insurmountable.
As an enterprise, the sheer number of vendors available for collaboration is a challenge in itself.
Relying on social or professional connections for open innovation collaborations can mean the difference between finding a technology solution that transforms your business and investing money in a technology that offers little long-term benefit.
Proof-of-concept (PoC) platforms that centralize the process of testing and evaluating external technologies level the innovation playing field by letting startup technologies speak for themselves and giving enterprises exposure to a vast array of vendors.
Standing Out As A Startup
Competition for valuable enterprise clients is fierce among tech startups.
With so many competing solutions, it is easy for even well-managed and innovative startups to get lost in the crowd.
It is also hard to know who the right contact is in a big corporation, especially with dedicated innovation managers still being an emerging role.
Even if you do somehow find the right contact, there is no guarantee that you will actually get through to them.
The best PoC platforms elevate the startup technologies so the solutions speak for themselves, and offer vendors a way to circumvent the frustrating outreach process by giving them the ability to reach out directly to the relevant enterprise manager.
Helping Enterprises Find the Right Fit
For enterprises, finding the right tech solution for your unique infrastructure and business needs can be extremely difficult.
With so many technologies and startups flooding the market, it can be hard to know which solutions match the problem you are trying to solve, and which startups have the ability to scale their solution to fit your ecosystem.
PoC platforms with a marketplace of pre-vetted solutions give companies running PoCs increased access to potentially fruitful collaborations that otherwise may have never come to be.
When PoC platforms allow enterprises to define their own testing environments and customize evaluation metrics according to their business goals, the PoCs help enterprises understand how viable a particular tech solution will be for their company, and whether the vendor is technologically and financially mature enough scale their solution to fit your enterprise needs.
Making More Reliable Connections
Corporate innovation can be an uneven playing field slanted in favor of those adept at forming relationships, or even those who have existing connections with innovation leaders at large corporations.
Innovation shouldn’t be about finding a person you’d like to have a beer with or who would be a good poker buddy, it should be about finding a tech solution that can transform your business and help sustain long-term success.
Effective PoC platforms level the playing field — for startups by allowing their technology to do the talking, and for enterprises by broadening the scope of innovative solutions they are aware of.
When it comes to innovation, these shifts give startups better opportunities and enterprises better options.