Opportunities abound in start-ups partnering with corporates, but beware the risks

Partnering with a large corporate may appear attractive for start-ups, but a co-founder of Facebook marketing platform Tiger Pistol says there are important issues to consider.


Tiger Pistol recently partnered with National Australia Bank to help small businesses expand their brand online and establish online stores.


“There’s a number of them (large corporates) that are looking for opportunities to partner with more nimble partners,” Tiger Pistol co-founder and chief executive Steve Hibberd told StartupSmart.


“In our case it was the right timing and we were a natural fit for NAB’s strategy.”


But Hibberd warns there are risks for start-ups when partnering with corporates, such as trying to change direction and diverting staff’s core work to suit a large corporate’s needs.


He says the best way to attract the attention of a large company to partner is to have a clear plan.


“The thing that allows you to get the attention is when you’ve got a clear vision and plan for what you’re doing that the large corporate can understand.”


Hibberd says Tiger Pistol pitched what it was doing to NAB after the bank’s head of social media came across them. He says the bank decided the company fit their own strategy around small businesses.


“Our business is focused on helping micro and small businesses be successful,” he says, adding that Tiger Pistol was impressed with NAB’s strategy of stepping out of traditional banking and adding value for their customers.


Tiger Pistol creates Facebook marketing plans for small businesses by analysing what’s been successful in the past for other similar businesses and applying the results.

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