Helping BigCos Work with Startups – P&G Purchaser Immersion Day

Union Hall was packed with P&Ger’s yesterday. The folks from Procter & Gamble’s purchasing department came to Cincinnati’s innovation hub to hear from startups and to learn how to incorporate a “startup mentality” into their current roles.

The audience heard from six startups, Healthy Nation, Baloonr, ChoreMonster, ConnXus, Baterii and Ahalogy, that each shared their own experience working with P&G, specifically their purchasing department. The startups all had great advice for BigCos on how to make it easier to work with high-growth potential startups.

garage-group-cintrifuseFor instance, Chris Bergman, CEO at Choremonster, had a poignant message applicable to all large corporations looking to work with startups – talk to them like humans and don’t look at risk, instead look at opportunity. Director of Sales at Batterii, Shaun Chokreff, emphasized the importance of the Innovation Champion that was able to help them navigate the 18 month long procurement process.

But some of the most direct advice came for Bob Gilbreath, CEO of Ahalogy. As an ex-P&Ger himself, he outlined four ways large corporations can get more value from working with startups.

  • Teach brands that technology startups are the new creative agencies.
  • Embrace big brand experiments with new models.
  • Drive big decisions about tech solutions
  • Learn how the technology sausage is made and teach that to brands.

After we heard from the startups the audience got to hear from representatives from two innovation firms.

Andrew Backs, founder of Pilot 44, talked to the group about the benefits of startup driven innovation. He outlined 5 ways brands benefit from startup-driven innovation.

  • Gain early insights into trends and technology that impacts consumer behavior.
  • Hands-on experience and learning about technologies informs strategy.
  • It builds early strategic partnerships.
  • Decreases the time to market for new initiatives.
  • Helps find real solutions to real problems.

Following Andrew was  Ann Thompson, Co-Founder of The Garage Group. She had a similar message for the audience. But she outlined five truths about the current business environment that make it essential for BigCos to innovate and grow like a startup.

  • A “what has to be true” mentality breaks through existing paradigms and models.
  • The same inputs over time lead to deteriorating results.
  • Faster, more meaningful progress comes from pursuing multiple paths simultaneously.
  • Shifting from knowing to learning drives us to create the right solutions, faster and with greater confidence.
  • We can move much, much faster than we think we can.

Thanks to all the presenters and all the purchasers from P&G that came out for the event. It was a morning packed with tons of information so if you missed it or want to look at the presenter’s slide decks check out the Ving we put together for the event.

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