How and Why Startups Should Reach Out to Other Ecosystems
Dec 16 , 2016 | By Alanoud Faisal
The term ‘startup ecosystem’ is not just another buzzword...OK it is a trendy thing for startup folk to talk about, but that doesn’t make it any less significant.
All businesses are part of an ecosystem: customers, suppliers, partners, supporters, influencers, competitors, stockists, etc. But just like teenagers moving beyond their little ecosystems when they go to university, startups can grow and learn from reaching out to other ecosystems.
What awesome opportunities could you be missing by only interacting with your own ecosystem? Who out there might be the perfect collaborator, co-founder, or investor just waiting for you reach out? And what valuable partnerships, connections, even friendships, could you be missing out on?
By reaching out and embracing other Startup ecosystems, you could be opening up many more avenues to expand and grow your business. Whilst you may be flourishing (relatively speaking) within your own startup ecosystem in, say, London, don’t be afraid to reach out and touch the corresponding ecosystem in San Francisco, Paris…Belgrade, wherever.
Networking is one of the many keys to good business performance, and networking between ecosystems is no exception.
Offline networking may be a little trickier than usual, as travelling halfway around the world to attend an event is not a viable option for a lot of startups, but there is are still plenty of things you can do to reach. Get some face time with your Egyptian counterparts, rub shoulders with your German erstwhile-competitors, drop a line to a cape-town investor and generally be a business about the global town.
Build a relationship with your peers on social media. Retweet them, engage with their posts, share things that might be of interest or use to them. Create goodwill. These simple things can reap benefits in their own right, they can be the beginning of strong, meaningful business relationships, but they can also have other, less obvious benefits.
The next time your new California-based friends find themselves asked to recommend a European peer, whose name is going to pop into their heads? It goes without saying that the more you engage with someone, the more they will think of you.
Constantly build on the groundwork you have laid. If you can, get on a plane and meet your new connections. If the growth programme you need doesn’t exist in your local area, find somewhere that it does and make an application. Of course this could prove expensive, but the potential gains may ultimately outweigh the initial investment.
Take part in various programmes. Support them, or partner up with them. Be selfless. If you are an expert in something, offer yourself as a mentor to relevant foreign programmes and help the next generation of startups.
Equally, if you require a mentor, consider a working with someone in a startup ecosystem beyond your own. This will need careful research of course, but could a foreign-take on your issue be just what you need? It may be standard practice in their ecosystem, but perhaps in yours it will be the new and fresh angle that will make you stand out.
The world is forever becoming a smaller place. Localised ecosystems are becoming more outward looking, as the ever increasing global reality of business sets in at all stages of development. Keep on trend and even get a few steps ahead of the game by reaching out and touching ecosystems beyond your own, and reap the considerable benefits that that can bring.
At Inevert we bridge the gap between ecosystems, feeding innovation by bringing startups and corporates together, all on one platform. If your startup is outward-looking, and would like to explore the vast opportunities which exist in ecosystems around the world, register now and find out how we can help.