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Digital Forum: Top tips on working with start ups

Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane-Fox,co-founders of lastminute.com and Founders Forum give their top tips on how large retailers can work with small technology start-up businesses.

·         Find people you are comfortable dealing with – the process can take a lot longer than you initially expect so you need to like the people you are working with

·         Look who you are dealing with in the start-up business – if the founder isn’t in every meeting they are not taking it seriously

·         Don’t pay too much attention to client references – they usually have a PR agency behind them

·         Don’t look too closely at the history of the individual. You can’t qualify what people can do but what they have done in the past.

·         Find an internal champion within your business and incentivise them to make the partnership work. No-one wants to own innovation as it means extra work, so they need a reason to own it.

·         Working with start-ups is always going to be extremely cost effective, just remember not to exploit. If you don’t provide an incentive and problems arise, they will walk away.

·         Define success. It can be difficult to set a benchmark and you will need to be flexible but KPIs should be set

·         Accepting failure – corporates need to understand that things can go wrong but you can’t give up on start-ups when it doesn’t go to plan at first.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Chris Bishop

    It is a good list however, I'm not sure it is exclusive to working with small technology start-up businesses

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • pointless

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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