According to the WEF report, for new innovative businesses with good ideas or even potentially disruptive products and services collaboration is the only way to succeed. Newcomers are flexible in developing, testing, and launching novel products and services than larger firms in experimenting with different approaches, but the former is lack of resources, expertise, and market experience. Collaboration allows for consolidate financial and organizational resources.
Any collaboration has three distinctive phases:
- An initial period or entry phase when partners get to know one another, set expectations of roles, and determine goals.
- The project phase in which partners run the project together.
- The development phase, when partners continue to solve problems together, making adjustments and building a longer-term working relationship.
The entry phase is crucial because collaborations inevitably fail when encountering a lack of clearly defined expectations and responsibilities. The latter depends heavily upon knowledge of both parties including:
- Both partners have the knowledge and skills that are necessary to run the project.
- They have the abilities and resources to handle the responsibilities they have agreed to deliver for the project.
- Partners are compatible.
- There is mutual benefit for both parties.
- Each of the partners brings something essential to the project (different skills, experience, and resources come together to complete the project).
- They understand risks and can weigh the pros and cons of different variants.
Collaborators underestimate the need to define clear objectives around prospective partnerships. Collaborations have a far higher chance of success when both parties have clear, communicable objectives for collaboration that are accepted by both parties. Establishing clear objectives requires carefully scoping entry problems, identifying desired outcomes. In practice, it is a lack of such clarity that increases the risk of failure to find a suitable partner, create a misalignment between parties in the event of a partnership, and misunderstanding how costs and benefits are shared.
Assessing prospects of partnership in terms of time and resources invested is a complex procedure in which it is impossible to rely on gut feelings only. Assessing and acknowledging the value of potential collaboration in terms of possible results even more complicated because it is necessary to employ feasibility study techniques. Insufficient knowledge about the general benefits of collaboration and lack of specific knowledge about technical terms of collaboration are the main barriers to do it properly.
For smaller operators that are trying to get into international trading, finding partners in an appropriate country and make a first positive impression can be the first obstacle and even the biggest challenge. The existing innovation support system (government departments, associations, and private operators) has a small focus on the initial phase of collaboration, but concentrating on its farther phases.
As a collaborate service platform, VEnterface focuses on data discovering, leveraging data to make better business decisions, and facilitating collaboration among entrepreneurs to realise principles of new economies of scope. In this way, VEnterface does not substitute existing online platforms, as well as governmental and private supporting organisations even does not compete with them because VEnterface offers:
- Tools to estimate different innovative market entry variants (Algorithmic business).
- Higher visibility of collaborators on the platform (Matching service).
- Data-driven procedures to make well-weighted decisions about prospective collaborations (Data-driven business).
- A new platform-based community for cooperation and partnering through contact networks and joint creative work (Exploring opportunities of sharing economy).
Applying algorithms of the VEnterface’s knowledge base in the entry phase entrepreneurs can avoid consequences of unfruitful collaboration.