Shelisa Demuth Apr 1, 2022 2:02:21 PM 10 min read


Minnesota is home to more Fortune 500 companies per capita than any other state in the nation. These companies attract top talent and opportunity for innovation, contributing the state’s active ecosystem — a competitive advantage. 

In keeping with our Founders First mission, the BETA Bridge program (powered by Livefront) is where these two communities meet to explore new ways to work together. 

BETA Bridge measurably increases the collaboration between corporations and startups in Minnesota through intentional connection and conversation. Each quarter, we invite three founders and three industry leaders to discuss their industry in an intimate roundtable setting — and we're sharing insights from these conversations.

Explore key takeaways from our Q1 2022 BETA Bridge event here!

Q1 - How People Tech Startups and Corporations Can Work Together

Mary Kay Ziniewicz - Founder, Bus Stop Mamas

Stephen Moore - CEO & Founder, Culture Booster

Ryan Tlustosch - CEO & Founder, Hello Temp

Julia Lashay Israel - Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Keller Williams International 

Sara Messerli - Senior Vice President Human Resources, Augeo

Miquel Purvis McMoore - Managing Director, kp companies

Victoria Schanen - Head of People, Pikup (Moderator)

Nels Pederson - Partnerships, Livefront (Partner)

Shelisa Demuth - Executive Director, BETA (Host)

Hot Button Issues in People Tech & HR

  • Remote Work: What is the purpose for in-person work?
  • Culture: How do you build an employee-first company culture? 
  • Women in the Workplace
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • The Great Resignation
  • Employee Burnout

The conversation centered around how to build and maintain company culture, which was decidedly a result of being employee-first versus profit-first. The startups represented have all built solutions that make companies easier to navigate for the employee by putting identity first, whether it be the unique identity of the employee or the ability to identify similar values and communicate them to attract talent. 

It's currently an employee’s market now. A trend in the industry was reported as employees accepting multiple offers to make multiple salaries at once or demanding counter offers from their current company. Participants at the table considered whether company culture and competitive pay were the two most significant factors in retention. 

Key Takeaways for Startups

  1. Focus on the pain point for the company’s leadership then use data storytelling and SEO to amplify your content. 
  2. Find the specific manager or person within an organization who can influence decision making and build content for their specific needs. 
  3. Organic outreach is important for products with double-sided markets. 
  4. Focus your pitch on employee retention, especially on your product's ROI as a result. 
  5. Continue to check in and build relationships after the initial pitch. Providing updates and case studies on how you’re solving hot button issues is interesting and appreciated. 

Key Takeaways for Corporations

  1. A decisive “no” is equally valuable as a “yes.” Startups report some companies continuing the conversation to avoid saying no. 
  2. Startups are being held to the same standards and run through the same procurement process as other vendors which isn’t always a fit depending on stage. Corporations can make this easier by working with founders during the process.
  3. If you’re interested in bringing a startup’s solution to your company, be an internal champion for them.

Learn More:

About BETA Bridge:

BETA Bridge brings together key players in startups and corporations to see how they can best work together. Supported by Livefront, you can learn more about the program here.

About BETA

BETA is a 501(c)(3) organization that develops Minnesota’s next generation of business leaders by inspiring and educating first-time founders. The BETA Group nurtures startups and small businesses with great scalability potential, so that they can grow to become our next Fortune 100s. Learn more.