What inbound interest from a large company really means

Our startups regularly receive inbound interest from large companies. Sometimes this interest is genuine and the large company is really looking to partner with, invest in, or acquire the startup. However, most of the time it’s not.

Most of the time, the large company is simply looking to get the startup’s data to identify new market opportunities for themselves, protect themselves against the startup potentially entering their space, or see if they can acquire the employees and assets of a startup that’s nearing the end of its runway for a bargain. Since most founders are getting inbound interest from a large company for the first time, and since this is flattering, they mistake these motivations for genuine interest.

This post by Brenden Mulligan of LaunchKit does a great job of translating the different forms of inbound interest that startups get from large companies into what they really mean. Reading Brenden’s translations and following his recommendations can save you a lot of time when responding to inbound interest from a large company.