Dear Off the Ground,
Whenever I have an idea for a new company, I draw a hub and spoke model. The idea is placed at the center of the wheel (or hubcap!) and the spokes represent distinct components of the big idea.
At the end of each spoke, I identify a corporate partner that can give the spoke traction as a likely interested party with a potential financial benefit to be gained from the idea succeeding into a business.
I then contact the partners one-by-one to explore the idea and to see if I can gain any traction or participation in a progression to market. If partners bite, that is a good indication that the idea has merit. If not, I start over.
Partners will often drive an idea into a successful business by giving valuable resources that lessen the investment dollars needed. They also add credibility to your idea and business plan and score valuable points with the banking and investment community.
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