One of the biggest opportunities I see for the Atlanta startup community, and many other startup communities around the country, is helping connect local startups with local mid-to-large companies looking for certain technologies. Big companies are difficult to navigate, have many competing interests, and are not oriented to purchase from startups. With that said, big companies do want to be more innovative and want to try new things but don’t know where to begin or how to engage local startups.
Here’s an idea for a hot or not service to connect startups with potential big companies:
- Similar to the site James Hong launched in 2000 (history), the idea is to have startups and big companies list their information in a database with some data being public and some being private
- Startups filter and browse the big companies giving a thumbs up or down depending on if they are a good fit (hot) or not
- Big companies filter and browse the startups giving a thumbs up or down depending on if they are a good fit or not
- When a match is made (both parties give a thumbs up), the software does an email introduction and let’s the startup and big company take it from there
Some of the key aspects of this include startups agreeing not to hassle big companies that get introduced, big companies agreeing to spend a modest amount of time using the system (will need some C-level buy-in from people that want to help the local community), and a constant curation of information by someone that manages the system (e.g. the local chamber of commerce). Connecting startups with mid-to-large companies is a big opportunity to help grow the local entrepreneurial community
What else? What are some thoughts on this hot or not system to connect startups with large companies?