We invited Sireesha Jajala, investor, startup connector, fund partner, NED and ex-Tech Mahindra CVC specialist to lead our third session on corporate venturing.
Sireesha’s immediate invitation to the 20-strong group held at SIA Partners, was to think of corporate venture as more than a golden ticket to capital. Corporate Venture Capital comes with strings attached, and a different set of obligations to different stakeholders. Positioned as a double-edged sword, navigating CVC contracts requires a keen awareness of how the relationship may change if strategies diverge between either party.
A re-visit to a previous theme – be conscientious of the different speeds and priorities of your partner. Be respectful of startup time. Manage your expectation on corporate delivery speed. More applicably, appreciate that corporates have a whole system of hierarchy and stakeholder management criteria that need to be satisfied. It takes time.
Use term-sheet offers for a corporate partner as a tool to your advantage. Don’t sign straight away. Use the momentum of term-sheet to invite new offers and open new conversations.
And finally – housekeeping. It pays to think about accounting early on. Good housekeeping reaps benefits in the long term. When it comes to Series A, investors and corporates are going to want to see clean records.