Why startups should use large companies

As innovation and business development director at SPIE, Jacco Saaman has had years of experience with setting innovation in motion. He has worked with various startups to fulfill the needs of SPIE’s clients and knows firsthand how startup collaborations work, and what obstacles need to be overcome for it to succeed. Jacco loves the eagerness and passion that startup founders have, but has observed that at times their drive can work against them. Find out why startups should use large corporations like SPIE, according to Jacco. 

SPIE as a global player

You’ve probably in some way been in contact with SPIE’s technology without realising it. Did you know they operate in 38 countries with over 45.500 employees? This international company services the demands of large public and private clients, while contributing to sustainable development. Jacco states: ‘We support our clients with consultancy, engineering, implementation, control and maintenance. In order to do that, we work with partners and deliver technology. The markets we operate in are smart city solutions, efficient buildings, energy and industry services.’ 

Cheap isn’t cheapest

Jacco explains: ‘Occasionally, we meet innovative startups that provide a solution our clients need, for example via TekDelta. ‘We introduce those startups to our network and clients. The idea is to develop a proposal which we present to the client together’. Some startups Jacco has worked with, are understandingly very focused on generating income. ‘Some startups believe they can win over clients by going directly to the client without us. By ‘cutting out the middleman’ they can lower the price for the client and hope that this will secure the job. However, the opposite is true!’  

Not just a middleman

Here is why an organization like SPIE is not just a middleman. According to Jacco ‘It can actually add lots of value’. The product a startup delivers is often just a part of the solution the client seeks. There is a lot more to it. For example, a product needs to be implemented in the organization. There are many obstacles in this phase that can hinder the process. For example, employees need instructions on how to work with it, there are legal matters that need to be taken into consideration, you might need to produce more, adapt or provide different versions, etc. Such challenges require specific expertise and resources that startups often lack. This can seriously hinder the process and lead to additional costs. 

Working with SPIE is a logical step. `We have tons of experience with dealing with clients, in product implementation and overcoming red-tape. Furthermore, we can support startups in tender processes, help during negotiations and make an accurate estimate of what is needed to make the project a success. This is something startups often struggle with as they lack experience in the field. Moreover, SPIE can provide access to lots of resources (e.g. raw materials, storage facilities, you name it) and equally important a large network in all kinds of fields. Lastly, when SPIE works with startups, clients will see this as a guarantee of quality.’ 

The total package

Rob Burghard, director of EnergyQ has worked with SPIE on different projects. He explains: ‘The advantage of being a small company is that you are specialized, flexible and fast. The value of working with a large company like SPIE, is that they can provide access to specific knowledge within the domain and give access to the right network. In other words, they can help deal with the context of the project. For innovative projects to succeed, it is crucial that big and small corporations find each other and bring their knowledge and expertise together.’

Jacco states: ‘When a startup joins forces with SPIE, we can offer the total package to the client together. From start to finish. By collaborating with a large player like us, startups get to focus on their expertise and can leave the rest up to us. The experience and access to resources SPIE provides will save both the startup and the client time and money. To sum up, use what large companies have to offer!’ 

Are you working on tech innovations and interested in collaborating with large organizations? Join TekDelta for exclusive 1-on-1 meetups with leading Dutch organizations. Get in touch via getconnected@tekdelta.nl.