In Open Innovation, terms of contract are key. Especially when a (big) established company is dealing with a start-up. I will not speak about an open innovation contract among big companies, that kind of contract are well handled by companies legals.
The fears of start-upers
Imagine one moment that you are working like a dog on developing your start-up. At one point someone comes. He is interested in your work and would like to work with you on an OpenInnovation contract. What would be your analysis?
- He/She wants to steal my technology, or
- He/She wants to buy my company to develop the concept (happy), or
- He/She wants to buy my company to kill the concept or internalize it (unhappy)
If as an established company you are not clear from the beginning there are very few chances that you will actually collaborate…
However established company also have concerns working with small start-ups.
The concerns of established companies
Working with start-ups is…strange for a big company. The time horizon, the speed, the reactivity is clearly not the same and can completely panic your partners. Their concerns are simple but can be difficult to solve or handle:
- Are those guy serious?
- Will they stop their activity soon? Is the financial statement ok?
- How can I work work a company that have no Sales?
- Are they ISO?
Seems strange to you but those are remarks I have faced several times.
Once that you have made that clear statement once have to ask what are the really important things when building an open innovation partnership? We will discuss that in Open Innovation (2)
Do you see some other concerns for both parties? Leave a comment.