Unlocking the potential of great partnerships between startups and corporates

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Accelerating Asia is most well-known for our work with startups through our flagship accelerator and venture fund.

(By the way startup founders, if you’re reading this, join the waitlist for our next cohort here or become a part of our prep program, Amplify.)

But not many people know we actually do a whole lot of work with a much wider group of players in the ecosystem. We work closely with governments, development organisations, multinationals and universities on increasing the quality of their engagements with startups – through their own programs, or through some of ours.

Many of these organisations have a goal of creating a positive impact on the world by working with startups that have a game-changing technology solution or innovative business models. In our conversations with partners and clients, we hear and speak about the solutions to big social issues driven by technology, and how large organisations can leverage this technology.

But often, missing from this conversation is a dialogue about who is creating this technology or who is driving the business - the founders behind the idea, the technology, or the business model. What are their motivations and challenges as they scale their businesses? Often, they have been driven to create their solution because of a problem and they see an opportunity to fix it. They have an insight into another way of doing things; a secret. They’ve seen the light.  

Why is this important?

It comes back down to a couple of fundamental questions that we’re all working on in the ecosystem: how can we connect the solutions that startups are creating, to the businesses, governments and other organisations in the most efficient way? And how can we support those founders who are fixing the important problems through technology in their local markets.

Practically, this means a couple of things:

  • Curating interactions with the right stakeholders, at the right times
  • Designing for interactions that are win-win
  • Understanding the strengths and limitations of various ecosystem players, and designing to work to those strengths and fill those gaps
  • Embedding long-term sustainability in interactions
  • Designing for inclusivity

Essentially: what’s in it for me?

Partners that we work with are usually great at identifying what they want out of a program, an interaction, or a deal with a startup. But honestly, not so great about thinking about why a founder would want to work with them.

We see this time and time again.

On the other hand, we often see misalignment with the products and services that startups are developing, and the needs of their clients or customers. Entrepreneurs aren’t always solving the right problems at the right time or are aware that their solutions can be adapted for various uses.

Accelerating Asia works closely with partners to design programs that deliver outcomes for their specific objectives. We use our expertise and extensive program design experience to engage with internal and external stakeholders to customise programs that attract the right startups to meet business goals.

Our approach to these challenges on both sides incorporates two key principles that our team of entrepreneurs and program managers have refined over years of trialling effective ways to encourage partnerships:

  1. Network Effects: When we partner with organisations and companies, their startups instantly become part of our broader network. Our established regional reach in 10+ countries creates a pre-existing network to plug and play for our startups and partners. This network enables effective program delivery and cross-sector collaboration. We work to expose participants in our programs to experts, investors, facilitators and community/ecosystem leaders within and outside of their core sectors. This helps facilitate learning so that best practises across sectors can be incorporated or adapted to their specific startup or purpose. Connecting founders to each other through our Founders Community also amplifies these learnings and networks, enabling founders to hear from their peers
  2. Feedback Loops: When we design programs, we are constantly seeking feedback and ways to improve. Our program designs are never set in stone and are flexible and curated for the startups and partners that we work with. Our curriculum is constantly evolving based on what’s happening in the real world and how quickly the startups are moving through the program, targeting the challenges they are facing right now that is holding them back from where they need to go. We find feedback loops bolster a team’s ability to collaborate on tests and correct the course as needed. It also helps seamless flow into our reporting and feedback. Feedback loops assist both us and our partner organisations  to effectively communicate the lessons gained during the programs.

There is such a big opportunity to facilitate some truly great relationships between startups: the creators of new technology, the disruptors, and the visionaries, with the corporate and government partners that we work with: the resources, the credibility and opportunities to really scale impact.

We feel strongly about unlocking the potential of these relationships and we’d love to hear about you working on this in the ecosystem.

If you are interested in partnering with Accelerating Asia to run a startup program and connect to a wider network within the ecosystem, reach out to us.

Or if you’d like to connect with us for deal flow or to reach more startups, we also operate an early-stage VC fund, find out more here.


Invest in the future

Accelerating Asia invests in startups with scalable technology solutions and revenue generating business models that combine purpose with profit.


In making an investment decision, investors must rely on their own examination of startups and the terms of the investment including the merits and risks involved. Prospective investors should not construe this content as legal, tax, investment, financial or accounting advice.