Thinc Iowa: Scott Case - ‘Build a network of support’
Scott Case was joined by Nick Seguin (not pictured) in engaging the audience in a conversation about startups and corporations on Friday afternoon. Photos by Anna Jones from Anna Jones | Art of Photography and Tom Woolery from Ikonix Studio.
Wearing his red, white, and blue Converse sneakers, Scott Case, took the stage Friday afternoon at the Temple for Performing Arts in Des Moines to illustrate the intersection between corporations and startups. Case started by explaining the mission and purpose of the Startup America Partnership. As Case explained, Startup America Partnership strives to offer five things for startups: expertise, support services, talent, customers and capital.
- Idea - A great idea that could be a company
- Startup - That idea is now a business
- Rampup - The business is growing
- Speedup - Revenue and staff is growing exponentially
1. Making the ask
Case strongly encouraged entrepreneurs to realize that there is space for collaboration amongst corporations, but entrepreneurs have to make the ask. "If you pick up the phone and make the call, these people will help you," Case said. "They have expertise. Connecting with these large companies is important, even if you're not selling to them."
2. Life-cycle of a startup
Seguin, who works with entrepreneurs, made some great, honest statements about how startups perceive themselves. "As a startup, you are not entitled to anyone's contract," Seguin said. "Startups are feeling entitled. Start thinking about how I can address this huge potential in revenue and partnerships. Take time to study the big players. You have to play in their ball field to hit a home run."
3. Build network for support and capital
Both Case and Seguin strongly encouraged entrepreneurs to build the network and community before they ever ask for support or money. "Build a network of support, have a network of champions," Case said. "Then identify the individuals that you need to talk to. Don't forget to use LinkedIn, and keep the momentum going."
Seguin added his thoughts on raising capital. "There is lots of attention on raising capital right now," he said. "Everyone says you have to network into capital, but you should network into big companies. Make the first ask about them."