Columbus Startup Week: 5 tips for landing Fortune 500 customers

Columbus Startup Week: 5 tips for landing Fortune 500 customers. Originally published in Columbus Business First.

Columbus is often hailed as a great place for startups because of the concentration of Fortune 500 companies as potential customers.

Then again, these are tiny startups, knocking on the doors of Fortune 500 companies.

“I know very few executives who are dying to take another sales call,” said John Sydnor, senior vice president of venture acceleration and strategic initiatives for Columbus-based Rev1 Ventures, which advises and invests in startups.

“You have 30 seconds,” said Lance Criscuolo, president of Zyvex Technologies. “If you don’t hit those key pain points, they either hang up on you or send you off to someone who’s trained to get rid of you.”

The two gave tips better than cold-calling CEOs at a Columbus Startup Week panel discussion Tuesday at Rev1. Most of the audience’s questions were directed at the third panelist – someone who’s on the other side of that door – Joy Gallo, global procurement director for Dublin chemical maker Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH).

Here’s a compilation of their top five messages. (Hint to sellers: It’s not all about you.)