A tiny start-up looking to partner with a colossal multi national must develop some original ideas if it is to be successful. Asymmetry and other traditional obstacles can be overcome. This author advances several strategies that will enable a start-up to enjoy a productive partnership with a multi-national.
For an example of how a start-up can effectively engage with an MNC, consider the relationship that Bangalore-based Mango Technologies forged with Qualcomm. Mango was formed in 2006 as a start-up with a focus on building a software product with a niche focus on mobile telephony for base-of-the-pyramid market segments. Within a year, partly to raise its visibility and credibility, Mango sought to enter the incubator of a prestigious local business school, IIM Bangalore. Following a rigorous selection process, the start-up was successful in its efforts.