Fast-tracking partnerships with startups » strategy

Fast-tracking partnerships with startups

Highline Beta's new program speeds up the process of finding opportunities for business collaboration.
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Highline Beta has launched “Fast Track,” a program that aims to streamline the process through which companies identify and partner with startups.

Highline Beta is a company that takes a “co-creation” approach to startup acceleration, working with large companies to either partner with a startup or create a completely new one so that it grows to address a specific problem or issue the enterprise is facing. Last year, it formed a partnership with Cossette Health to identify challenges faced by the agency’s clients and used their combined capabilities to develop innovative solutions.

Targeting large companies, the new program aims to reduce the time it takes to reach a partnership from months to a matter of hours through a process that will “pre-qualify” opportunities for collaboration. On the enterprise side, Highline Beta will work with companies to identify their challenges and opportunities, then work with executives to shortlist a number of startups from the ones Highline Beta already has access to, as well as identify potential barriers for collaboration.

At an actual Fast Track event, the programming will be set up to encourage discussion and discovery. That includes giving the attending startups access to business insights and executives that might shape the potential partnership at an earlier stage than they would otherwise. After the event, both the corporate and startup teams will receive feedback that is meant to be actionable and help drive further collaboration.

The company says the format ensures “the right people” are brought together “at the right time, with the right structure” to save as much time as possible. The “pre-qualification” process ensures that companies are only meeting with startups that could, in some way, address one of their needs or goals.

To celebrate the launch of the program – and prove the concept – Highline Beta is hosting the “Startup Train” on July 10. The company has booked a first-class train car that will travel from Toronto to the Startupfest in Montreal, bringing passengers from startups to investors and corporate innovation leaders along for the ride.