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Touchpaper set to Light the Spark between Corporates and Startups

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by Startacus Admin

Touchpaper or touch-paper is a slow-burning paper fuse treated with solution of potassium nitrate or saltpetre used for lighting flammable or explosive devices such as fireworks - or so says Touchpaper.orgWikipedia anyway. But taking a punt, this may well, in fact, be a very good analogy to compare the relationship that can exist between corporates and startups.

Startups - a spark and explosion of ideas and innovation, and Corporates - a slow burning, but valued and traditional space, ideal to further shape ideas, opportunity and growth. (*sorry we needed more coffee when we wrote this!).

Put the two together and *BOOM* , Touchpaper is born!

Launched last week, Touchpaper is on a mission to make it much easier for startups and corporates to work together. The organisation has just published a free online Toolkit for companies looking to improve the way they cooperate with smaller and larger businesses.

Joe ScarboroSupported by a group of founding members, all of whom support more collaboration between startups and corporate organisations, including corporates Bristows, Capgemini UK, Google and Grant Thornton UK LLP, alongside organisations Digital Catapult, Multiple, Nesta and Tech City UKwho all work with and support SMEs across the country, this not-for-profit is the brainchild of Joe Scarboro who has a wealth of experience on both the corporate and startup side.

In addition to Touchpaper, Joe is well known within the UK startup ecosystem for co-founding 3 Beards, Unicorn Hunt and Silicon Drinkabout.

Touchpaper has researched, collated and condensed best guidance from its Founding Members and additional sources to create 10 documents, five for startups and five for corporates. The Touchpaper Toolkit covers strategy; communications andbuy in; engagement and decision making; legal and procurement. Touchpaper is recommending that startups and corporates read both sets, to get a good understanding of all the challenges that are faced.

Joe Scarboro, Founder of Touchpaper, commented:

“It’s no great surprise that there are a lot of areas to improve in the way startups and corporates work together, they are very different organisations. The level of priority and speed of movement are Touchpaper startup and corporate collaborationtwo areas that generally differ greatly between small and large businesses. Working on the startup side, I’ve been asked to revise a statement of work for a much larger client before and have encountered genuine surprise when I return it within two hours, as opposed to the two weeks that they were expecting. Which shows on a small scale the sort of difference that exists between the two.”

Scarboro continued:

Touchpaper was created to share good practices so that each party better understands the needs of each other, to foster an environment where collaboration, innovation and value creation are enabled and where business processes are fit for purpose, delivering relationships, revenue and results.”

Touchpaper launched last week at a community event held at the Digital Catapult in London to an audience of over 100 people, and we reckon that these 10 best practice guides are just the start for Touchpaper, on its mission to make it much easier for startups and corporates to work together.

Startacus (that's us) currently works with a number of corporates partners and organisations, all whom want to reach out to startups, so we look forward to seeing how this ‘not-for-profit’ business can further add to the growing level of innovation that is now being delivered within this space.

PS - the  ‘slow-burning paper fuse treated with solution of potassium nitrate or saltpetre used for lighting flammable or explosive devices such as fireworks’, startup/ corporate analogy might not be the official Touchpaper marketing angle, but either way, we think it is a good possible brand name explanation anyway!

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Published on: 13th June 2017

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