By Kate Drane, Techstars Network Engagement Manager
Hey founders: Did you know that at any given time, your startup may be in the process of being considered for a game-changing opportunity? It’s true!
As a Techstars Network Engagement Manager, a critical part of my role is to serve as a matchmaker between our corporate partners and Techstars portfolio companies. My team and I pore through our portfolio a few times a week, searching for amazing companies that best match the needs of our corporate partners. In addition, most corporations and investment teams have at least one team member that serves a similar role, and our need is the same: we are on the hunt for innovative startups (like yours!).
Whether or not you’re part of the Techstars network, if your company’s goals include entering into a strategic partnership with a corporate partner, securing investment, or attracting new customers, here are a few tips that any founder can take to better position their company to stand out:
Tip #1: Optimize your website
Oftentimes your website is the first place a corporate partner will look for information about your company.
- Make it easy for someone to quickly understand your company by having a one to two sentence description that can be copy-pasted from your homepage.
- Include the logos of your clients (especially if they are other corporations). This can serve as a proof point to a potential corporate partner that you have the infrastructure to work with them.
- Many corporations have firewalls that prohibit them from visiting unsecure sites, so be sure to encrypt your website.
Tip #2: Ensure that your social media is up to date
Your social media presence can play a powerful role in helping to create a holistic view of your company.
- Crunchbase and AngelList are two commonly leveraged tools to provide publicly available funding information and more. Visit your profiles on both, and if any of your information is out of date, use these instructions to make updates: AngelList and Crunchbase.
- Routinely update your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram profiles. Your social presence helps to demonstrate that your company is active and thriving.
Tip #3: Update Connect (this applies to Techstars portfolio companies only)
Here at Techstars we are committed to the notion of “Techstars for Life,” and that means bringing additional value to our portfolio companies both during and after they have completed their program. For Techstars founders, our internal platform, Connect, serves as an important tool to help us identify startups that fit specific opportunities.
- Visit your company’s Connect profile, and ensure that all of your information is up to date. Taking this small action can be a game-changer. For example, some corporate partners may be on the lookout to meet with startups in their region, and when our team has the correct data, it ensures that we can connect them with you (double opt-in, of course).
This list is by no means exhaustive, however taking these small but important steps will help to position your company for the magic of engineered serendipity. Who knows, a game-changing opportunity may be trying to find you right now!
I would love to hear from you. What steps has your startup taken to stand out? Leave your best advice in the comments.
Learn more about how the the Techstars Network Engagement Program helps corporations and startups work together—to the benefit of both.