By Joe Scarboro, Touchpaper
At Touchpaper, we believe in continuous improvement, so following our successful launch in June, we sent out a survey to canvass feedback from our new membership.
We were keen to understand two things:
- How useful is the Touchpaper Toolkit/how we can improve it?
- Where should we go next?
We've used the results from the survey and the discussions we've had since the launch to create a plan for what the next 6 months or so look like. Here's a summary of the results and our thinking:
We asked on a scale of 1-10, how much the toolkit was likely to influence how people work with startups/corporates? The result was clear:
- Corporates, Accelerators and Facilitators (which includes innovation agencies/consultants) all had a very high likelihood of changing how they work.
- Startups however, were much less likely. That said, no startup had read all of the toolkit - with most only skimming it.
Startups generally work on the next most urgent task, so if engaging corporates isn't a priority then and there, they have little time and effort available to absorb the toolkit. This definitely infers we need to ensure startups know the toolkit exists - so that when the time is right, they know where to come for guidance on corporate engagement.
There were a good proportion of requests for more case studies. We’re actively looking for more companies which are willing to make case studies public. Anonymised case studies don’t have the same impact, so we’re working on getting more companies to step forward. It’s a great way to show how you’re innovating in this space - if you’d like to share your experiences for a case study, please get in touch.
There were also requests for a more checklist or step by step approach to the toolkit. We think this is a great idea, however as there are so many models of corporate and startup engagement, there is no one typical process. We’re thinking it through however and will keep you updated on any progress in this space.
Overall, we want to incorporate as much of the ideas and feedback as we can in the next update of the toolkit.
Events and Workshops
On a scale of 1-5, we asked what kind of event format might be interesting. The most popular events (scoring 4+ on average) were:
1. Discussion/Content events for both startups and corporates
2. Social/Mixer events for both startups and corporates
- 3. Workshops for both startups and corporates
We also asked what topics would be of interest:
- There was a strong emphasis on successful case studies, featuring what the corporate did to ensure the startup remained successful and flourished.
- Practical advice to overcome the perception of risk from the corporate side.
- Set up of a mentoring group to support startup and corporates new to this type of collaboration (with people that have done it before).
- Foster good matchmaking.
- Contacting big corporates.
- Adding credibility to a startup’s corporate offer.
- An accreditation system
The key theme emerging is that our future events should be focussed around bringing startups and corporates together, to discuss various topics, or simply to meet each other.
Again we’ll keep you posted on progress and will make sure you’re the amongst the first to know when we launch our event series.
The Future of Touchpaper
One emphatic element from the survey was that 92% of you agreed that our vision of an accreditation/standard for startup-corporate engagement would be a good thing! We’re going to assess how we could address this as we move forwards.
There are two main challenges for Touchpaper:
1. How can we add value to the ecosystem, whilst moving forward towards our vision of a startup-corporate accreditation/standard.
2. How do we make Touchpaper a sustainable not-for-profit company.
Since the launch we’ve continued our research and had many conversations with both startups and corporates. We’ve reached the conclusion that we can have the most impact on the corporate side where helping improve how they engage and work with startups will impact multiple companies.
With this in mind we’re finalising a Corporate Membership package for 2018. The package will include features to help corporates engage with startups, as well as the opportunity to help us revise the toolkit and provide input on the accreditation/standard. There’ll be an annual membership fee charged, thus helping Touchpaper to become a sustainable company.
We hope to bring together a group of companies that understand our vision and believe in Touchpaper’s purpose - to fire up the economy by igniting relationships that scale startups and boost corporates.