Developing a great idea into a new venture depends on establishing key relationships at different stages of business growth. Partnerships may be formal, with specific legal meanings, or informal, such as working with family or friends. Important partnerships involve investors, customers, developers, suppliers, marketers, sales people, and administrative and legal support. These partnerships bring unique skills or resources to the table.

No firm succeeds in isolation. Every successful venture is embedded in a value chain, a network of indirect relationships enabling products, information, ideas, and services to flow across the firm's boundaries. Ventures have direct relationships and partners at different stages of their evolution, including phases of initial, rapid, and continuous growth. Partnering across firm boundaries includes finding ways to enhance the relationships with all the ...

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