In a previous article I was talking about the fears the parties could have in an Open Innovation partnership. Here I will propose you some good practice, especially regarding Intellectual property, which is key in this kind of relationships.
A real win /win
When I have had to deal an Open Innovation contract, I never faced a fail due to a real simple approach. From the start of the discussion, as I work in a big company (this article reflects my opinion and not my company by the way), I have made things very clear.
If we work together it is on a win / win basis. We help you to develop your concept/technology/usage or whatever you would like, but in exchange, You will grant me a free license to sue it in my domain. It si a quite easy deal when the domain you are working in is not mainstream. It can be more complicated if you are in the targeted business of the start-up.
Explain, explain and explain
Even if it is less and less the case, start-ups don’t always have legals that take the time to explain them the contract. Do it. Explain it. A clear situation is a situation that will hardly go bad.
Think about different kind of partnership: Money is not the only way
Often in Open Innovation we think about giving money to the developers to develop faster of in a way that fulfil your requirements. However you have much more to offer as an established company, I just listed some of the ones I have in mind right now. Be creative!
- your brand (co-branding could be a win /win)
- your sales network
- your offices (house start-ups inside your offices… It’s huge! It gives your company a taste of start-ups and thus motivates your employees… really good for your performance=
- your IQ (do you have engineers? Marketing specialist? Production specialist that will help schifting from small series to WW product? that’s gold for a start-up)
Open Innovation is key to leverage innovation. Even if it seems difficult at the beginning it is simple and really powerful. Don’t miss the opportunity.
Do you see other points to take into account? Leave a comment to share.