Digital Platforms that Help Corporates Scout Startups

March 22, 2018

The startup world is vast, and it can be hard to conduct a continual, global search for the ventures that are relevant to your organization’s shifting needs. Increasingly, large companies are looking for help from databases and web-based tools. Some, like Crunchbase, have been around for a decade or more, but others are much younger.We’ve compiled a list of databases and platforms that can help you with competitive research, startup matchmaking, investing, and getting collaborations moving.

(Note: the goal of this comparison chart is to accurately compare these platforms. While we reached out to all of the platforms to collect information, not everyone responded.)

Name Mission/Offerings Pricing Type Startup Participation Clients
AngelList This platform matches startups and job candidates, but can also be used by large companies to research startups worth investing in. Access is free. Investors may make Deal-by-Deal Investments ($1,000 minimum investment), Access Fund Investments ($100K+), and Professional Investments ($500K annually) Startups of all industries can list themselves for free. According to the website, over 800,000 startups are listed on AngelList Not listed.
CB Insights The CB Insights platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, startup valuation, patents, partnerships, and news mentions. Five plans, starting at $4,000 and going up to $20,000 (prices per team per month) CB Insights collects data about startups (and established companies) globally. Salesforce, Microsoft, Sequoia, Upfront Ventures, Bionic, Homebrew
Crunchbase Pro Crunchbase Pro offers the basic features of Crunchbase, but allows more search filter options. Users can search in categories including companies, people, investors, and funding rounds. They can also save searches/filters, and create customized lists Users pay $29 monthly or $349 annually. The database lists both startups and more established companies from a variety of industries. CitiBank, Bain & Co., DataFox
Gearbox Academy & VentuRank Gauntlet Software Gearbox Academy and its data-driven VentuRank software allow corporate fellows to post outbound and inbound casting calls outlining what problems they’re looking to solve. Startups accepted into Gearbox are matched with fellows who may chose them for a pilot. Fellows subscribe on Bronze, Silver, or Gold annual pricing tiers.Bronze level ($100K) offers insights. Silver ($200K) is diagnostic, sourcing, applicant vetting and analysis. Gold ($400K) offers a fully managed corporate-startup engagement program with a dedicated account director. Startups must be accepted by Gearbox before they can be matched with members. The site’s current casting calls outline problems from a variety of different industries including clean energy, education, and tech. Confidential
KITE The partnership management system helps Global 2000 enterprises develop briefs; find, evaluate, and select startup partners; and activate deals. Data is captured in a private enterprise network, so users can monitor progress, status, and outcomes. Corporations who use the tool to scout startups pay an annual subscription fee, which KITE would not disclose. Any startup may register with, and build a profile, on KITE. Abbott, Comcast/NBC Universal, Target, Visa, Pepsico, Molson Coors
PitchBook PitchBook allows investors and other users to search for startups, backed companies, public companies, and other organizations. The site also allows users to search deals, people, investors, and other details. A subscription is roughly $1,500 a month. Free trials are also available. Startups, big companies, and other organizations can get listings on Pitchbook. Accel, Deutsche Bank, Microsoft, Samsung
Startgrid This SaaS platform helps companies make external network connections by adding contacts to the platform, allowing users to match external innovators with specific projects, gather intelligence, and source solutions from third party data providers. Startgrid charges an unspecified annual fee based on user seats. Did not provide pricing info. Companies can use this software to initiate collaborations with accelerators, global entrepreneurs, universities, VCs, and other potential partners. BNY Mellon
SwitchPitch This startup relationship management platform connects established companies with startup innovators who list their profiles on the site. Not listed, but prospective users can request a free demo. Any startup may create a profile on SwitchPitch for free. Deutsche Telekom, Samsung, Chick-Fil-A, Citi Bank, United Technologies
The Innovation Scout This SaaS platform uses artificial intelligence and big data to match business challenges to relevant startups and other innovations. On an ongoing basis, the platform application will continuously scout for relevant innovations on the user’s behalf. A subscription is $1000 per month. Subscriptions are also packaged within Innovation Scout service offerings. Database includes more than 500,000 startups and 38,000 individual university IP references. Partners Healthcare, Amway, FM Global
Traction Technology Partners Traction has built what it calls a Startup Relationship Management platform with a searchable database and project management tools. Traction also offers a custom Innovation Discovery Program to help with sourcing, vetting, and presenting enterprise-ready startups to corporate leaders. Access to the Startup Relationship Management platform is $10,000/month for a department or business unit. Innovation Discovery Programs start at $20,000/month and include SRM access and custom consulting services. Only vetted startups that meet Traction’s criteria for enterprise traction and readiness are allowed on the platform (currently 5,000+). Any startup may apply or claim their profile page. Shell, Papa John’s, Lockheed Martin, Rent-A-Center, Honeywell