On Corporate-Startup Collaboration: Tracie Gildehaus of Maritz

It’s no secret that St. Louis’ size allows for unique collaborations. Startups are able to gain access to corporate leadership and big businesses can feed off of the growing energy in the innovation space. We asked leaders in the startup space, corporate space and community to speak on what each sector can learn from one another and about what’s happening right now in our region.

Photo provided by Tracie Gildehaus
Tracie Gildehaus photo provided by Maritz

Tracie Gildehaus is sr. director, insights and innovation of Maritz.

What are some things that startups need support on that larger enterprises can provide? What are challenges that larger enterprises have that startups can help solve?

Corporations offer startups a place to test pilots, receive product market fit feedback, leverage distribution access and receive mentorship.

What are three ways corporate-startup collaborations benefit the region?

Drive regional awareness (less of a fly-over and more of a destination), activate economic revitalization (make it real and grow it) and attract top talent.

How has your organization or company created or facilitated corporate-startup partnerships?

Our partnership with Capital Innovators allows us to share knowledge and expertise with each cohort while gaining insights and applying lean methods to our business.

What’s one challenge in creating these partnerships?

A more innovative process that would connect startups and corporations.

In the future, what are some levels of engagement you’d like to see happen at your organization, in terms of startup-corporate relationships?

Our Innovation By Design Summit celebrates the intersection of innovation and design thinking. It’s an excellent way for innovators and creatives to connect.

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