Mentor Insight: Tips for Startup Partnership


In a recent mentor workshop hosted for Brinc’s Summer 2023 Web3 cohort, Ryan Horn, co-founder of Web3-innovation accelerator N3ON, shared his Top 10 Tips for startups looking for commercial or strategic partners to join their mission.

Horn brings a professional blockchain background to the table, currently serving as Director at Dapio and previously as the NFT Director at Binance. Driven by a genuine passion for decentralized technologies and virtual ecosystems, Horn’s extensive expertise in Web3 innovation makes him an invaluable mentor in the evolving digital landscape. His recent appointment as a Global Advisor to PUML Better Health, facilitated through Brinc’s mentorship network, highlights his leadership and influence in the field.

Here are Horn’s Top 10 Tips for startups seeking partnerships on strategic, creative and collaborative levels:

1. Be Clear with Professional Clarity: When entering into partnership dialogue, direct, structured professional communication is essential from the very beginning, that lay out objectives, strategy, KPIs and desired outcomes.

2. Connect on Valued Traits: Build relationships with potential partners that share your “human values” in authentic truths such as passion, trust, humility and respect. 

3. Be Intelligible and Co-Operative: From HOW > WHAT > WHY, explain your project in an understandable, logical, uncomplicated way. 

4. Educate: A partnership will manifest and grow if potential collaborators and stakeholders truly understand your business and goals. Take time to communicate your business and what success looks like. 

5. Listen: Take time to relate to and understand what your partner has to say. Fresh perspectives are always welcome. Partnerships are a two-way street and rely on both parties learning, evolving and executing. 

6. Build together: Once the relationships built, aim to reinforce, validate and execute together in every step, from PROPOSITION > PRODUCT > POTENTIAL OF THE PARTNERSHIP > ROADMAP & MILESTONES. 

7. Share Visions: Assess your mission statements, and map out partnership objectives that help achieve them, setting KPIs and OKRs in a mutually agreed framework. 

8. Complement Each Other: Set out partnership strategies that value all strengths and skills, knowing that a complementary approach covers all bases. 

9. Strategise Business: Revenue, customer acquisition and growth are important. Plan out your commercial terms and what you want to achieve as one-, three- and 5-year goals. 

10. Lock the Deal and Activate: When you find the partner/s you need, confirm with a contract, sign off and execute on a micro, macro and complimentary level with the correct resources, people, tools and strategies. 

Find out more about or apply for Brinc’s Decentralized Health program here. Or why not sign up to become one of our next startup mentors

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