How can startups build partnerships? Tips from Panublix cofounder Ria San Gabriel

Partnership-building is an intimidating challenge – but also a defining one – for tech startup founders. Ria San Gabriel, cofounder and head of partnerships at the Iloilo-based tropical textile sourcing platform Panublix, has three major pieces of advice for tech startups when it comes to building partnerships:

  • Get a partner that fits your brand
  • Show your partner how it looks when you’re on the same boat
  • Nurture any partnership no matter their impact on your company

San Gabriel shared these tips and more during a monthly virtual session for startups under ISAT-U Kwadra TBI titled “Partnership-building for Tech Startups” where she served as the resource speaker.

DELVE DEEP 

The right partners will enable tech startups to boost their reputation and maximize their resources, so they need to research. Their values and ethics, according to San Gabriel, must align to avoid any risk of brand damage. 

“Your partners are a reflection of who you are” as a company, she said. She cited as example a partnership between a chocolate producer and a cocoa supplier that practices child labor. “Make sure they have a good reputation.”

BIG PICTURE 

Identifying a potential partner is one thing, but mapping out how the partnership will play out is another. Make clear what you want to happen to your company when the partnership happens, said San Gabriel.

“If you’re pursuing a collaboration, personalize the pitch decks and make it appear like the partnership already exists” to help the potential partner visualize how both parties can work together, she explained.

TONS OF FISH 

Not all partnerships are built the same way or have the same size or impact on a tech startup, so it pays for the latter to expand their network. Form genuine personal connections by offering help first, San Gabriel said.

Also, “don’t forget to nurture existing partnerships. Play with your strengths and put yourself out there, join incubators and the like,” said the founder, whose startup is also an incubatee at ISAT-U Kwadra TBI.

You can watch the full Kwadra Tekno 101 session here.

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