Slingshot were a young, exciting company who had just been selected as one of Pepsi’s top 10 global start-ups to watch. They also had a lot of adjacencies to our business.
They had created a tool that let brands place a button on any of their comms – their website, their Facebook page, their posters, etc, that would allow people to instantly buy the product using their existing retailer accounts. This was incredibly exciting for brands, as it created an opportunity for their audiences to shortcut the buying process. People could now buy products at the point of motivation, removing the disconnect between inspiration and transaction.
I reached out to the two owners, Mitch and Steve, and discussed how we may be able to work together. I negotiated an incubation arrangement, where Slingshot would be brought into our office space, get help with refining their proposition, and get introduced to our clients. In exchange we were able to get their services at significant discounts, help direct the development of the product, and offer our clients certain features which were not publicly available.
This became a mutually beneficial relationship – Slingshot experienced significant growth, ultimately leading to acquisition by a major Silicon Valley VC. We managed to sell their services into numerous clients (creating organic business growth), improve our existing relationships with clients, and learn some valuable things about start-up incubation along the way.