How to Find the Coolest Companies [7 Ways]

Are you looking for some cool new companies to collaborate with, acquire, or learn from? We’re giving you the best ways to find the coolest companies in your domain & stay ahead in the innovation game!

One of the most effective strategies to foster innovation is to collaborate with cool companies that bring fresh ideas, unique perspectives, and cutting-edge technologies. These collaborations, partnerships, and acquisitions (aka build, partner, buy strategy) fuel your company’s growth and enable you to tap into new markets. In this blog post, we will explore 7 proven ways to identify and connect with the coolest companies, ensuring that you unlock the full potential of corporate innovation. Let’s dig in!

7 Ways to Find the Coolest Companies in Your Industry

1. Host or attend Hackathons that Bring Together Cool Companies

Startup competitions and hackathons are excellent platforms to identify cool companies and let them solve challenges through disruptive solutions. These events attract entrepreneurial talent and often showcase the most innovative concepts. For example, you can host international startup competitions that align with your business development goals. Host such events and seize the opportunity to connect with promising startups or scaleups from around the world. By nurturing relationships with these companies early on, you can establish mutually beneficial partnerships or even consider acquiring them as they grow.

2. Engage with Accelerators & Incubators

Accelerators and incubators are ideal organizations to discover cool new companies. Their programs nurture startups during their early stages and provide mentorship, resources, and funding as they mature into scaleups. By keeping an eye on them, you gain exposure to a curated pool of companies that have already undergone selection processes. Participate in demo days, pitch events, or mentorship programs to identify potential partners. Furthermore, many accelerators and incubators organize industry-specific cohorts, allowing you to focus on companies relevant to your business. Keep in mind that accelerators and incubators only attract a fraction of all companies that might be interesting to you. So, for more under-the-radar solutions, you need a more tailored approach.

3. Foster Relationships with Venture Capital Firms

VCs are at the forefront of investing in the coolest companies with disruptive potential. Establishing connections with venture capitalists can give you access to a pipeline of innovative startups and scaleups seeking partnerships or acquisitions. Attend industry-specific events, engage with their portfolio companies, or even consider co-investing in ventures that align with your strategic objectives. Building relationships with VCs provides insights into potential cool companies and also offers opportunities to collaborate with other investors for expanding your network.

4. Connect with Research & Development Institutions

R&D institutions, such as universities and think tanks, are often hotbeds for groundbreaking innovations. Establish collaborations with these institutions through joint research projects, sponsored programs, or knowledge transfer initiatives. By doing so, you gain access to cutting-edge technologies, scientific expertise, and a network of potential collaborators. Engaging with R&D institutions boosts corporate innovation and thus enhances your company’s reputation as an industry leader.

5. Join Online Communities & Groups

Online communities and groups are good sources to find novel startups that share your interests. You can join online communities and groups on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit, or specialized platforms like Quora, Medium, or Stack Overflow. Additionally, you can participate in discussions, ask questions, share insights, and follow or connect with companies that catch your attention.

You might like this – How to Effectively Track Startups to Pursue Innovation

6. Follow Industry Influencers & Thought Leaders

Industry influencers and thought leaders have a large and loyal following. They are often business owners, experts, authors, bloggers, podcasters, or journalists who share valuable content and insights on their platforms. You can follow industry influencers and thought leaders on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, or subscribe to their newsletters, blogs, podcasts, or books. Look for companies that they mention, endorse, or collaborate with.

7. Keep an Eye on Media that Cover Innovative Startups

Follow media that cover new up-and-coming innovative startups or feature them in their content. Some examples are TechCrunch, Wired, Fast Company, and Forbes. These media provide news, insights, trends, interviews, and stories about cool companies in different industries and markets. You can also subscribe to their newsletters, podcasts, videos, and social media channels for timely updates.

Don’t forget to read – Startup Scouting: A Comprehensive List of FAQs

What is the Best Way to Discover the Coolest Companies?

We have discussed a lot of methods to find the coolest companies in your industry. But now, the question is, which one is the best? Well, the answer is NONE. Although the above-mentioned methods are useful and we absolutely recommend you practice them, you shouldn’t rely only on them.

All of them are effective but only to an extent. To simplify this, try answering the following questions:

  • In startup events and conferences, do you have time to meet all the founders?
  • How many accelerators, VCs, and R&Ds can you keep up with?
  • Do you have enough time to regularly track multiple media outlets?
  • How accurate are influencer referrals and recommendations? Also, is the number of referrals you get enough to meet all your pipeline quota?

So, what is the solution? Is there a single way to tackle all these challenges?

The short answer is yes! In today’s digital age, you cannot afford to not leverage technology. Online startup databases are treasure troves of information when it comes to finding cool companies for collaboration. These platforms allow you to filter companies based on various criteria such as location, industry, funding, and growth stage. By exploring these directories and platforms, you can discover hidden gems and potential partners that align with your corporate innovation goals.




The Best Way to Quickly Identify the Coolest Companies: a SaaS Tool

Based on our experience, the best way to find cool companies is to conduct thorough research and analysis. This means studying an industry or niche in depth and identifying the key players, trends, challenges, opportunities, and gaps. You can use tools like our Discovery Platform, which covers over 3.7 million startups and scaleups globally. This means that no matter how narrow your criteria (industry, technology, team size, funding, company age, etc.) are, you can be sure to get a shortlist of the most promising companies in no time. Why is it the best choice?

  • Say Goodbye to Manual Labour — Replace weeks of desk research with just one click. You get all the information you need on global startups, scaleups, emerging technologies, and future trends – all from one single source.
  • Enjoy 100x Faster & Exhaustive Scouting — In one click, explore the most relevant results out of over 1.8 billion data points from the WWW, startup ecosystem, databases, company aggregators, publications, research, and patents!
  • Take Advantage of our Deep Innovation Graph — Our proprietary and unique data in combination with our fast and exhaustive search process allows you to discover hidden diamonds long before anyone else does.
  • Leverage Large-Scale Search Capabilities — Our highly performant search process allows you to manage even the largest queries — 1000 keywords? No problem!
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