Presented by Oracle for Startups

Turbo-charge your tech. Hit the gas on growth. We use this powerful imagery to talk about startup scale because it’s the most pivotal part of the startup lifecycle, but it makes scale sound like something that happens instantaneously. For many startups, scale is a slow build; a collaborative effort compounded over time.

Smart, steady growth creates a foundation for longevity and supports expansion into new revenue streams. It comes down to diligence, not combustion: continually making the right next move using focus, flexibility, and a sprinkle of good fortune.

Here’s what you should be doing to keep that luck on your side as you grow.

1. Be better than buzzwords

Sometimes a startup’s first wins happen by accident. Thanks to vague, jargon-y solution briefs and eagerness to please early adopters, startups get backed into a corner in the interest of landing a paid pilot.

The antidote for this is clarity; using universal concepts and clear language positions your startup to sell to the right audience. Think of your pitch as the dating profile that makes your dream customers swipe right. It’s okay if the wrong customers aren’t interested!

Keep clarity (of purpose), urgency (of the problem you’re solving) and viability (of your solution) in mind while crafting your pitch. Then review it with a red pen and slash everything that doesn’t add meaning, taking aim at buzzy words like “next generation,” “open source,” or “paradigm.” Try it out on friends and family who come from several points on the tech-savvy spectrum. Then, delivered with practiced confidence, your pitch unlocks opportunities to build relationships with investors and new customers.

2. If you build it, they will come

The battle for scale is fought at home, specifically, at the coffee-ringed desk of your CTO.

Your product should be ready to handle serious workloads before you make any promises. To save yourself a crisis later, choose a cloud that is right-sized to work for your startup today, as well as for your startup’s behemoth future self. This goes double for startups in compute-heavy spaces.

Consider the example of San Francisco-based active analytics platform Kinetica. Kinetica uses GPUs to process and visualize complex data at scale continuously in real-time, creating a “speed and intelligence layer” of data for their customers. As data is the lifeblood of modern business, beating out oil as the most valuable resource, and “the new bacon” according to a T-shirt I saw once, demand for their solution is growing globally. To satisfy it, Kinetica needs the reliable infrastructure they found through Oracle’s startup program.

“Oracle has world-class GPU instances that deliver power, performance, and scalability at a lower cost,” says CEO Paul Appleby, and his customers are noticing improvement, too. “Organizations building data-driven applications with the Kinetica Active Analytics Platform gain tremendous value running on Oracle Cloud.”

For their intense workloads and customer demands, a rinky-dink cloud wouldn’t do. Decide if the future of your startup warrants scale-ready infrastructure.

3. Be where they are

If you want to land enterprise deals, then security, stability, and interconnectivity need to be top priorities, along with becoming more visible in spaces where your customers already spend time. That’s what Brazilian startup Yamí prioritized when they integrated their SaaS offering with Oracle Commerce Cloud to get noticed by corporate customers.

Yamí’s solution helps ecommerce sites sell more. So developing with Oracle Cloud, connecting with Oracle Commerce Cloud and Oracle Cloud Marketplace meant they were positioned to sell to the customers who also work with Oracle.

Yamí took advantage of free cloud credits and market connections through Oracle for Startups. Since doing so, they’ve networked with brands like Loungerie, Lunelli, and BMG Bank, armed with the instant credibility that comes from working with Oracle. Plus, because of their Oracle connections — technological and otherwise — Yamí recently added Japanese multinational Yamaha as a customer.

4. Expand your inner circle

We’ve covered three facets of scale: foundational (getting clear on goals), technological (building a solution that can handle serious workloads) and commercial (selling more deals into bigger customers). The next challenge is scaling internally, addressing concerns like hiring and going to market. This is where mentors make the difference.

After meeting and co-presenting with startups at OpenWorld in San Francisco, Constellation Research VP and Principal Analyst Doug Henschen observed, “The program is really helping startups through its own expertise. And Oracle certainly has a global footprint and a huge variety of products and services, so they bring expertise in whatever market a startup might be in.”

Oracle offers an enormous pool of talented people, which founders can tap into as part of the many benefits of Oracle for Startups, a program invested in their success every way except financially. Ultimately, startups scale thanks to unified efforts of talented people moving in the same direction, together.

Jason Williamson is Vice President, Oracle for Startups.

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