3 tips for startups wanting to work with multinationals
We caught up with SAP’s Jean Michel Lauzon to learn how startup founders can cultivate meaningful relationships with multinational companies.
When Jean Michel Lauzon became a father, he knew he wanted to help grow Vancouver’s innovation sector. What better way to carve out success for the next generation, he thought. Fittingly, Lauzon’s role as partner marketer at SAP has him working with the lifeblood of the tech ecosystem: startup founders.
Lauzon’s SAP was centre stage April 25 alongside Microsoft, Amazon and CGI to discuss why large enterprise partners want to work with small tech companies. The event, hosted by SFU’s VentureLabs, sought to shine light on those working relationships. We caught up with Lauzon to get the key takeaways for startup founders itching to engage with multinationals.
Go beyond the info@ email
Start personal. Find a human being that you can talk to in Vancouver, instead of emailing “startups@SAP” or whatever other generic email address. People are very generous with their time. If they think they can help you, a lot of people will go out of their way to do so. So, step one is to find that person.
Know what your specific asks are
Don't ask, ‘Hey, I'm just curious what SAP can do for me?’ It's, ‘Hey, here's what our company does. In two years time, we want to make sure we integrate with SAP’s ERP system. Is there someone that can talk to me about the roadmap for these features going forward?’ You're not asking for proprietary information, you're just asking for something that is specific to what you are looking for. And, first of all, it helps someone like me track it down or find the person that can help you track it down. Second of all, it helps me convince the person that can help you to help you, because you're not just some jabroni who's coming in and asking for help.
Multinationals: they’re just like us
Just because these companies are multi-billion in revenue with 100,000 employees, don’t think they’re that different than everybody else walking around on the street, right? Just because there are lots of people that work at SAP doesn't mean they're disinterested in helping people in the local community. There's no reason why you can't leverage the big companies to help you grow.
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