Collaboration is for corporates - this seems to be a common view amongst early stage entrepreneurs. However, I would argue that collaboration is vitally important to startups. Firstly though, what does it really mean? It is all about working constructively with people to achieve a joint objective.
Startup founders are often strong individuals, highly driven to succeed and very protective of their ideas. This sometimes leads to a ‘go it alone’ approach. However, recent research suggests that this is a highly limiting strategy. Startups with a team of more than one have a 3.6 times probability of receiving funding and those with good mentors have a 7 times chance of success.
I would advise to any aspiring startup founder to find a business partner as soon as possible. This is easier said than done! The problem is how to find the right person. Networking is essential. But it is not just about finding a co-founder. It all about growing a team around you. The team can be employees but it can also consist of advisors, investors, suppliers and other interested parties. In fact, startup success is almost always determined by the quality of the participants and the connections that are established with the broader eco-system. The ‘idea’ is important but secondary, especially in techmedia companies where iteration is almost a given.
We have created www.dreamstake.net as a place to find the resources that you need. You can do much of this free of charge, by connecting on-line and getting to know the other DreamStake entrepreneurs. Beyond this, you can come to our regular events and meet potential collaborators face-to-face. We are even running a number of specific collaboration events over the next month.
As well as the free of charge activities you can join our collaborative workspaces. Club Workspace is a partnership between The Workspace Group and DreamStake. The two spaces, one at Clerkenwell, the other in Bermondsey, near London Bridge, are amazing places to get connected. We are located in the spaces and will ensure that you make the contacts you need to launch and grow your business.
Here are my tips for startup collaboration;
- work out the gaps in your capability and decide how to acquire it
- network on-line and at events where you will meet the right contacts
- be prepared to give before you ask for help. What goes around comes around
- join a collaborative workspace
- get the message out there using social media. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Use resources such as DreamStake and the British Library
- be prepared to financially reward contributions by others
Please reach out to us on www.dreamstake.net. We are creating the most vibrant online/offline collaborative environment for early stage startups.