Startup - which companies to cooperate with?

startup - which companies to cooperate with?

We live in the era of constantly emerging and developing startups. Innovation is a leading topic in business. Everyone is fighting for the attention of consumers, trying to prove that his idea is one of a kind that has a chance to appear as a real unicorn on the market. As a quick reminder- What is a startup?

And what is a unicorn?

Unicorn is an innovative startup with a valuation of over $ 1 billion.

Startup and cooperation with IT companies

If you want to create an innovative product that will sell in the blink of an eye and win the hearts of consumers, you have to stick to the topic and take care of the smallest details. Especially in the case of startups dealing with SaaS solutions - in this case, it is worth paying attention to how our product works - is it well made, easy to use, efficient, refined from the frontend and backend sides?

Sometimes it is worth relying on the opinion of professionals - we can have the most innovative idea in the world, but we have to accept the fact that we are not professionals in every field and, secondly, that we cannot do everything ourselves. Sometimes it is worth delegating tasks to a qualified team so that you have time to devote your attention to other, equally important matters related to the development of our startup.

From the PARP report from 2019, entitled "Startups in Poland 2019", specifically from the chapter "Who do young companies cooperate with?", We can learn that most startups have a chance to win the market thanks to cooperation with other companies in the implementation of projects. 22% of startups use it. In turn, every fifth startup cooperates with large companies on the project.

Big companies need startups probably even more than startups of large companies

this is a quote from Andrzej Kozłowski, CEO of EmiTel.

startups cooperation graph

Different models of cooperation

As a startup owner, you should consider different models of cooperation. If your startup deals with SaaS solutions, you need experienced developers to make your product one of a kind. You can of course hire developers for your internal team, but you can also use Staff Augmentation or Team Augmentation.

Team Augmentation for a startup

With this solution, you get a team of qualified programmers who have experience in programming solutions for startups. At Qarbon IT, we offer such a possibility - check how HERE. We will select specialized, dedicated programmers who will focus only on working on your project and, more importantly, will advise and share the necessary knowledge on how to create the best-performing product that will convince the customer to use it.

Programming consultations - it's worth using them!

As we mentioned above, sometimes it is worth relying on the knowledge and experience of someone who specializes in a given field. You can be convinced that your project idea is impeccable - your SaaS will be a revolution on the market, it will contain all possible functionalities that you can think of - and sometimes in such thinking, you bite off more than you can chew. Sometimes you need an advisor who will tell you directly that your idea seems great, but it is impossible to implement in the way you expect. You can do it more reasonably, give up a few functionalities and make the product much simpler, but more pleasant and transparent to use. And that's what it is all about - a good impression on the consumer.

TechCrunch on cooperation between startups and IT consultants

TechCrunch - a site with news about startups and technology has recently dealt with the topic of cooperation between software companies and startups. They started searching for profiles of the best software houses and programming companies that cooperate with startups and which will take a place in the new ranking prepared by TechCrunch. Thanks to the survey they have created, startup founders can leave recommendations about co-working with IT agencies that turned out great for them. In one of the newer articles, TechCrunch decided to share some of the collected opinions with the world.

Let's look at them together and see what factors influenced the choice of specific IT companies - it's worth learning a lesson from it!

Source: Which software consultants do startups love to work with? -TechCrunch

Good Empire- recommendation for Appetiser Apps

The choice of Appetizer Apps was mainly due to their reputation. Positive opinions about this company come from all over the world. The portfolio caught the attention of Good Empire with some good quality products. However, what satisfied them the most was the cooperation model. The CTO was an internal member of Good Empire. He managed the work of six developers from Appetiser Apps. Additionally, UX / UI designer, Product, and Project Management participated in the project. So it relied on a real collaboration between the two companies - it was not just a dependency on Appetiser Apps. With a solution like this, the product for iOS and Android was created from scratch and introduced to the market within 3 months!

Fifth Star Funds - recommendation for Aloa

The mission of Fifth Star Funds is to support developing, new startups by allocating capital at an early stage, ensuring network access, and providing all support services tailored to startup founders. The collaboration between the two companies is that Aloa provides developers by outsourcing to Fifth Star Funds who need it. According to Fifth Star Funds, Aloa's developers are trustworthy. According to them, they are also the best business advisers who will always understand what your problems are and will come with the best technological solution.

Styku- recommendation for Ajmera InfoTech

CTO of this startup, Chintan Baksh, was most interested in long-term cooperation with the software house, which would support the development of the project and introduce new products to the market for many years. Their in-house programmers, hired as juniors, began to leave the team due to market competition. The startup needed a faithful and experienced team to save time in recruiting and training programmers and to make sure it was a team you can trust. This solution allowed them to stay within their budget, while still developing its products and services.

Orbix360 Inc- recommendation for DevGrid

Orbix360 Inc was at the beginning a small, developing startup that ran its SaaS offer like a hobby WIth the team from DevGrid, the startup has grown tremendously. At the moment, they have specific business goals, an ever-growing customer base, an investment acquisition plan, and much more! All this is a merit of reliable consulting- setting realistic goals is always associated with their implementation.

Laudah- a recommendation for Cultum

In this case, several factors had a decisive influence on the selection of Cultum as a team worthy of cooperation - their expertise - useful both in practice and in consulting, transparency of their activities and services, competitive prices, and their sincere willingness to help. It is a collaboration that continues to this day. Cultum helped translate the startup management's idea into a market-ready product - a product that customers sincerely love.

TradeNow- recommendation for Appetiser Apps (again)

This is the second recommendation for Appetiser Apps collected by TechCrunch. What made the startup trust this IT company this time? The answer is belief in a startup from the very beginning. They established cooperation at an early stage and continued it from then on so that the startup could develop.

So what makes the cooperation of a startup with a software company go in the right direction?

From all these recommendations, we can conclude and receive an answer, which is "what IT companies to trust in cooperation with my startup?".

We have collected all the good and strong points of IT companies that make a cooperation with them the best decision:

  • Extensive knowledge

Research conducted by CB Insights shows that one of the most common factors of startup failure is having an inadequate team, which consists of unskilled employees. When cooperating, it is worth checking the knowledge of developers - after all, the success of your product on the market depends on them! Extensive experience = Extensive knowledge. Check the company's portfolio, ask what experience they have in cooperation with startups, SaaS, how deep their knowledge is in running projects similar to yours. You want a team that will not only “just work for you”, but also share with you the knowledge needed to achieve success on the market.

startup the main reasons of failures infograph

  • Belief in your success

With the right software company, you will feel that they support you from the very beginning. You are not supposed to be "just another customer" who can be quickly unchecked from the list and added to the portfolio - you are to be a partner with whom cooperation is a priority. It is not only you who want to be successful here - it is YOU, your startup and IT company that want to achieve success TOGETHER. You will feel it through their approach to your project and their commitment.

  • Healthy criticism

If the software company you work with continues to nod to all your ideas, you should consider it as a red flag. A good company is not afraid to advise you honestly - it wouldn't always be a comment like “great idea! Let's do it without thinking! ” Sometimes it will be a cold assessment, advice on how to do something better. A good company knows what will work on the market - and will tell you directly. The CB Insights research mentioned above shows that "Most of the startups fail because the product does not match the real needs of the client".

  • Good financial offer

There are many reasons why it is profitable to use Team Augmentation services - we have listed it in this article- Team Augmentation- Benefits One of the benefits is certainly the fact that these services are as cost-effective as possible.

  • Long-term cooperation

Many companies, although they do not employ their internal team, are still looking for someone to stay with the project for longer. It is obvious - it is less complicated to have one trusted team that is on the project from the very beginning, has complete knowledge about a given product, and introduces new changes, improvements, or fixes any bugs. It is a good path for your startup's development - a team of programmers who want to start a long-term cooperation with you. Such offers are worth looking for among software companies offering Team Augmentation services.

  • Good feedback

This is proof of fruitful cooperation with previous, satisfied customers. It's worth checking them out and asking opinions on forums, checking on the Clutch. Sometimes it is also worth consulting with friends from the industry - they probably have someone worth recommending.

How to start cooperation with a software company?

If your startup is just developing and you need a team of devs to help you in this development, follow these steps:

1. Make your startup development plan.

If you want professional help, you first need to know WHAT exactly do you need? Write down your goals. For example, “I want to develop my SaaS product for companies in the marketing industry. I want it to be simple and transparent to use and contain certain functionalities. I want it to go to the market at the end of the year and grow gradually. ' This is a goal that you must remember yourself during the cooperation and an important message for a potential IT partner.

2. Find and make a list of IT companies that cooperate with startups

If you are the owner of a startup, do not select the biggest giants on the IT market for cooperation. These companies tend to focus on larger customers. Search medium-size software houses that have in their portfolio projects for other startups. It is worth contacting such companies because smaller software houses often handle a smaller number of projects. As a result, they are carried out with the utmost care and given much more attention. Additionally, usually smaller IT companies focused on technical and business knowledge at the same time. Smaller software houses are a good choice for clients looking for someone who, apart from programming, also understands the secrets of business.

3. Send a request for a quote

Contact selected software houses- preferably by e-mail. Tell them about your problem and try to describe your proposal as accurately as possible. This will allow the company to best price your project.

4. Involve a technician in the entire process

Make sure you already have a technician on your team. If not, be sure to hire someone like that. For what? You need such a person for the entire cooperation process. If you are not someone who is sitting in the tech world, you may not understand the programming jargon when talking to potential partners. Your Technical Person (i.e. a programmer, system analyst) will be responsible for interviewing the teams that you want to hire as a provider of programming services.

5. Choose a team that has experience in marketing and scaling

Target a team that, apart from programming, has experience in:

  • product development
  • development UI
  • architecture design
  • marketing
  • business scaling

The team you work with should be aware of the company's operation - from budget to business solutions and offer you solutions that will accelerate the development of your project.

When you start working together, remember about ...


Take a close look at the team you have worked with. Answer these questions:

  • Are they project-focused?
  • Are they sure of the solutions provided to you
  • Are they excited about the project?

If you notice that cooperation is not going well, make sure you communicate well. Ask what the problem is, what the team is having a hard time with. Discuss everything carefully at regular meetings. Include three important aspects on them:

  • planning,
  • review,
  • retrospective.

Communication is the key- strive for it at every stage of cooperation. Choose a team that also adheres to this rule. If you are not getting current reports, you are not getting feedback - it may be worth considering working with someone more involved.

...and Feedback

About getting it from the team and, more importantly, not to underestimate it at all. This has a huge impact on your project. Feedback should always be part of the project discussion. A great way to provide and receive feedback on your project is one of the team project tools like JIRA, Asana, and Slack. These tools help everyone communicate project status effectively and accelerate product development. They will provide excellent design overview and quality assurance.

Don't be afraid to cooperate!

In summary, as a startup, it is worth cooperating with software service providers if you want your product to appear on the market and be created with due diligence. Remember to choose a team experienced in startups, creating SaaS products, and oriented not only in technological but also business knowledge. A software company should be involved in the development of your project, be as successful as you are, be willing to work long-term, and share knowledge and valuable tips. With a well-chosen IT company, your product can be the success you dream of!

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Marta Sarbak