Partnership scouting

Identifying technology start-ups and scale-ups to bolster existing propositions

Together with our partner The Next Web (TNW), a Financial Times company, we have developed 4 programs to connect start-ups and scale-ups, and companies who want to accelerate their innovation strategy through partnerships.

Although TNW is primarily known as a global media outlet and award-winning tech events, they also deliver custom innovation programs. They inform, inspire, and connect people who love, understand, and like us, are excited by the potential of technology.

The TNW and Park 56 partnership began in 2020 with a joint project for a leading player in the academic publishing industry. The strength of the partnership is the complementarity in what each partner brings to the table: TNW excels in scouting for international technology start-ups and scale-ups through their proprietary, up-to-date, global database, and Park 56 brings deep domain expertise and an experienced “management lens” for a better evaluation of possible partnership candidates. Our corporate finance background helps to think through how to best structure a future-proof partnership agreement.

Our tailored process enables us to facilitate enduring strategic partnerships to bolster an existing product or support your digital migration strategy. We worked with clients on the following solutions:

  • Longlist scouting – creating a list of technology solutions based on a number of criteria that could also be used as an M&A hitlist.
  • Landscape scouting – providing a topical overview of available technology solutions in a given area. This can be extended with items such as market scan, trend report, or investment analysis
  • Battle cards – benchmark a potential partnership with its nearest competitors to make sure you have the best-in-class solution
  • Partnership scouting – a business challenge-driven approach to scout for tech solutions

Case study: Bolstering the product offering of a leading US-based media company

A leading US-based media company wanted to bolster its product offering in order to increase market share and win more business. They approached Park 56 and asked us to scout for new technology partners to help them to accelerate product innovation.

After a specially designed challenge shaping workshop, together with our partner TNW, we explored the market and identified promising tech start-ups that offer solutions to the innovation challenge.

We presented our findings in a report to the company’s board and provided recommendations for the best start-ups to work with, based on our own expertise and the unique criteria set earlier.

After further consultation, we identified around eight potential partnerships to approach for further discussions with our client. Three companies were finally selected and were invited for presentations to the company’s management. We then facilitated a collaboration shaping workshop to set joint targets and create a roadmap for implementation. One year after the workshop the company launched a revamped product and is working to reposition it and make traction in taking market share.

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Partnerships to accelerate innovation

Growing through partnership can be a very effective strategy. From a process perspective there are many similarities with an M&A process.

Instead of finding the right buyer for your business, we will scout the universe for the right partner(s) against criteria set by you, reach out and help you strike a successful partnership agreement.