The Startup Gold Mine

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“A really useful guide for startup founders and big company executives alike. Packed with practical steps and common mistakes, this book is one to read attentively and keep handy for future referencing.” –Maria Thomas, former CEO Etsy and CMO SmartThings (acquired by Samsung)

“Over the last decade, big companies have completely changed their approach to innovation with startups at the center of those efforts. The Fortune 500 are turning to startups for innovation across every facet of their business ranging from marketing and sales to customer service and logistics. Gone are the days when ‘no one ever got fired for buying IBM.'” –Dave Knox, Author of Predicting the Turn, co-founder of The Brandery, CMO at Rockfish (acquired by WPP)

The Startup Gold Mine is enlightening, interesting, and pragmatic. I copied whole sections to relay to my team, and repeatedly had to pause to write notes to action immediately for our own clients. Nearly every founder in the B2B software space has the tough decision on whether to sell to enterprise or smaller companies. The Startup Gold Mine is an indispensable manual for those in the decision phase and for those with a handful of deals.” –Ishveen Anand, Founder of OpenSponsorship and Forbes 30 Under 30

Giftology will get you in the door. The Startup Gold Mine will help you close the deal. This is a must-read book for anyone selling into large organizations!” –John Ruhlin, Author of Giftology, Founder & CEO of Ruhlin Group

“I’ve been working with startups in rapidly growing and evolving industries for over a decade. The principles Neil outlines in The Startup Gold Mine are spot on and essential reading for any founder looking to grow their business.” –Chris Chaney, Founder & President of Infinite E-Sports and Forbes 30 Under 30

“A productive relationship with the right corporate partner can unlock years of growth for a startup. On the other hand, there are numerous pitfalls along the way that can have you running in circles. The principles in The Startup Gold Mine give founders the proper framework to navigating the startup-corporate intersection to get their deal done!  –Sean Ammirati, Partner at Birchmere Ventures and Author of The Science of Growth

“We built a multi-million dollar business with Fortune 500 customers by applying the thinking Soni has shared. Your product, pitch, and performance do not have to be perfect. But you must understand these principles to succeed with big enterprise” –Sebastian Metti, Founder of Resolute Innovation

The Startup Gold Mine is THE playbook for getting your startup-corporate deals across the finish line. Every founder needs to read this!” –Justin Mares, Founder of Kettle & Fire and Author of Traction

Learn how your startup business can benefit through early stage investment, sales revenue, or partnership by identifying and aligning with corporate innovation initiatives within larger companies.

Corporations are becoming desperate to change their culture (and perception) as giant, bureaucratic dinosaurs that are too slow to react in a rapidly changing business landscape. They are all trying to be more innovative and agile, more “start-up like.” One of the easy ways to do this is through acquiring or partnering with a startup. While it was once rare to find a large corporation listed among shareholders on a startup cap table, Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) now makes up 25% (~$18 billion) of all venture capital dollars in North America. To tap in to this growing source of capital, startups need to understand how corporations operate and what they are looking to gain in these relationships.

The Startup Gold Mine reveals how the world’s largest and most prestigious brands make innovation decisions, including new product launches, vendor/startup partnerships, and even billion-dollar acquisitions—and how startups can take advantage of corporate’s strengths and weaknesses to their benefit. Author Neil Soni draws on his experience as an entrepreneur and in external innovation with premier brands like Estée Lauder, MAC, and Smashbox to share the hidden inner workings of large companies as well as how startup founders and employees can use this knowledge to close the biggest deals of their lives. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how some startup founders manage to partner with a brand like Under Armour, get acquired by a behemoth like General Motors, or sell their services to Bacardi, The Startup Gold Mine shares all that and much more, including:

  • How to understand who your large company counterpart is, what they are incentivized to do, and how to get them to take actions that benefit your startup
  • Why the “Innovator’s Dilemma” is leading large companies to seek out insurance policies that come in the form of partnerships with startups
  • A complete start-to-finish playbook for getting a deal done with a large company, from first connection to getting paid
  • A troubleshooting guide for common land mines startups run into when trying to work with large companies
  • How to navigate the convoluted corporate landscape without blowing a fortune on conferences and consultants