Associations are just for big companies, right? The giants of industry that write the "big" checks?
There is a perception that associations like Medical Alley just serve big firms. I won't speak for other associations but in the case of Medical Alley, startups and small companies are as core to our mission as global giants. To keep Minnesota at the forefront of health technology we need big, medium and small firms in a range of technologies - diversity makes for a strong ecosystem.
But what can an association do that is worth the investment for a startup? No matter how low the cost, every dollar counts - and every hour of the day counts. Where you invest your time and money has to deliver value.
Connections to investors and strategics are the most common requests we get from startups. As a result, we have spent an increasing amount of time building relationships with investor groups - in Minnesota and around the world. We also take time to get to know the corporate development heads at medium and big companies. Why? When a member needs a connection, we can help.
Membership also extends your reach with referrals to suppliers/consultants, talent acquisiton and our purchasing consortium that can save you 10's of thousands of dollars. This all adds up to saved time, saved money. Saved time to work on big issues facing your startup. Saved money that can be better spent getting to market.
But…proofs in the pudding, right? Are startups members? Do they lay out their hard won dollars?
It surprises most people when they learn that the majority of Medical Alley's core membership are pre-revenue ventures. Majority. Pre-revenue. I spend a lot of time in coffee shops (AKA, startup HQ conference room) around the state meeting with startup executives, listening to their challenges and then lending Medical Alley's hand. We have serial entrepreneur members who join as they form each venture and we have first time entrepreneurs who join because we usually can show value in the first meeting.
If you are one of the hundreds of startup members, thank you.
If you are at a startup and not a member, give Medical Alley a chance to prove the case.
Medical Alley is not just big companies. It is also small companies with big ideas.