3 Simple Rules for Startup Collaboration

3 Simple Rules for Startup Collaboration

L to R: George Smith (Director, Global Beverages Group at PepsiCo); Lauren Fleischer (Global eCommerce Brand Manager, Mondelez International); Lynn Power (President, J. Walter Thompson New York); Taylor Valentine (Chief Invention Officer, Horizon Media); Joseph Jaffe (Co-Founder & CEO, Evol8tion) 

L to R: George Smith (Director, Global Beverages Group at PepsiCo); Lauren Fleischer (Global eCommerce Brand Manager, Mondelez International); Lynn Power (President, J. Walter Thompson New York); Taylor Valentine (Chief Invention Officer, Horizon Media); Joseph Jaffe (Co-Founder & CEO, Evol8tion) 

Last night, the Evol8tion team headed to J. Walter Thompson's offices in midtown for another exciting AdThink event!

The evening featured a group of innovative startups with focuses ranging from content displays, to influencers, to media buying. The panel of judges featured all-stars from PepsiCo, J. Walter Thompson, Horizon Media, and Mondelez International -- and while we've seen a lot of AdThink events in our day, they offered some of the best advice the series has seen yet. 

Check out their three simple rules for startup/brand collaboration, below. And as always, thanks to Redbooks and AdClub NY for a great evening!

Large companies need people who understand startups, and can translate their value. The AdThink panelists all agreed that startup collaboration is vital to injecting innovation into a brand or agency's DNA. However, putting aside old metrics and trusting in small, early-stage companies can be a challenge. Therefore, it is important to work with a team that specializes in early-stage technology, in order to bridge the gap between the POVs of traditional advertisers and those of disruptive technologists. 

Startup collaboration is the first step - not the finish line. Collaborating with startups can unlock a world of new possibilities for large companies. However, they must be willing to manage their expectations (especially during early collaboration). Startups can bring innovative technology and ideas to the table -- but they cannot single-handedly change a large company's culture, or reinvent its image. Therefore, large companies must be ready to actively encourage innovative thinkinginternally, in order to support the growth of a new, "lean" environment.  

Startups must protect their culture. For any startup looking to collaborate with large brands & companies, flexibility is crucial. However, startups should not change their culture simply to work with a brand -- rather, they should find brand partners that share their vision, since genuine connections offer the best results.

Be sure to check back here for more thoughts from the events we attend, and follow us @evol8tion for all things #startuplife!

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