GIST TechConnect Recap: Startups and Corporations

GIST TechConnect Recap: Startups and Corporations


Large corporations play an integral part in the startup ecosystem. Understanding how startups should engage corporations, what will capture their interests, and how they define success is critical to ensuring the relationship is mutually beneficial.

Key takeaways:

What advice would you give to startups wanting to work with corporations?

  • Find a way to make your startup a fit for the corporation and pitch on that. 
  • Make sure you both have similar values. 
  • Make sure you know which type of department at a corporation you are talking to. 
  • Each one will have different goals and objectives. Be choosy. Pick the one that matches your startup’s stage of life. 
  • Understand what the corporation’s goals and how you can help them achieve those. 

Are accelerators and incubators important for startups? 

  • Yes! Both help to create a pipeline for corporations. 
  • Make sure you are asking questions and are finding the right one that matches your sector and goals. 
  • Being in an accelerator or incubator can be very valuable for gaining corporate mentorship that the corporation might not otherwise be able to provide. 

Are elevator pitches actually important? 

  • Yes! Elevator, competition, investor, and sales pitch are all important. 
  • You never know when you will have an opportunity to explain your startup. 
  • Pitches also help you drive clarity for your innovative solution.  

At which stage does a corporate arm make an investment?

  • Corporate funds look at everything from pre-product to seed to later stage.
  • There are many reasons for a fund to invest at these stages such as adding the technology to their own company or acquisition or to enter a space they are not currently in.


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