How to develop industry-analyst relations for your startup

Modern business challenges are increasingly being solved using technology. This has accelerated the need for B2B tech solutions and made the world of tech innovation a highly competitive place. Breaking into new markets can be difficult – especially for early stage startups.

Unsurprisingly, 50% of B2B tech/services startups die within their first 4 years in business. However, according to research at University of Edinburgh Business School, startups mentioned in leading industry analyst publications achieve an impressive 84% survive-and-thrive rate.

Two analysts collaborating with a dashboard on screen. Illustration.

At OVHcloud, we’re all about helping you succeed, so we’re excited to present our new partner to address the rarely seen, yet critical part of the B2B tech playing field: industry analyst relations for startups and scaleups.

The founder of – Chris Holscher – led global analyst relations (AR) programs at tech mega-players for many years before he focused entirely on serving startups. Chris also initiated and runs the State of Startups with Industry Analysts (SSIA) research program at the University of Edinburgh. His thought-leadership and client results have earned a global top 10 AR advisory nomination by hundreds of analysts and experts. Read Chris’s AR advice for startups below and listen to the 4th episode of our “Supercharge Your Startup” podcast, featuring Chris as our first guest for 2024 here.

Cross the chasm earlier

The “Early Majority” – those elusive buyers on the other side of the famous chasm – are less enthusiastic than the innovators and early adopters, but far greater in numbers. If a startup manages to reach them, it stands a good chance of succeeding overall.

These days, the Early Majority buyer is facing a challenge. Innovations such as AI, Robotic Process Automation and “as-a-service” solutions all have the potential to disrupt markets and have made it critical for companies to act sooner on key trends. But it’s not in the Early Majority’s DNA.

Hence, these firms seek guidance from industry analysts more than ever. Trend reports such as Gartner’s Emerging Tech Trends Radars, Forrester’s Tech Tides, IDC’s FutureScape trend reports, and direct enquiries with the authoring analysts, are all in high demand. 

Industry AR is a rarely discussed part of the B2B tech playing field, although it could not be more success-critical for innovative startups. Getting mentioned as a viable example vendor can catapult a startup across the chasm. It’s a serious hurdle that startups need to take 1) before their financial runway ends and 2) quicker than emerging rivals around the world.

Insights and impact

Over 75% of Fortune 1000 tech decision-makers rank industry analyst publications and direct analyst recommendations to their C-suite and SMEs as having the most important impact on tech strategy and buying decisions.

Smart emerging vendors use industry analyst buyer insights for quicker roadmap decisions and sharper messaging. They also use analyst briefings to inform analysts about their market offering as early as possible to leverage analysts’ expert reputation and reach.

A single analyst has some 700-2000 interactions with decision-makers every year. That’s with your rival vendors as well as with potential partners, buyers, and investors inquiring about trends and candidates.

Two businessmen are trying to connect two elements of the puzzle isometric vector illustration. Isometric business people collect puzzle. Business concept teamwork and cooperation - illustration

Make it count

In 2022, the State of Startups with Industry Analysts program conducted research with more than 200 analysts worldwide and found that 79% of analysts work specifically with startups to identify and recommend innovative new vendors.

However, part of the challenge is that analysts must prioritize their time to vendors who are able to make a briefing worthwhile. An “influencer” approach or repurposing your sales slides is a mistake – an analyst’s calendar is too busy and the competition too fierce for you to get a second chance.

The last word

Getting AR right requires subject-matter expertise of analyst firms’ characteristics, publications, processes and policies. The individual analyst’s background, research agenda and mindset are also important.

However, not all analyst publications and tools are advisable for startups. You can even realize key benefits without any investment at all. Some publications and tools have tailored startup-specific offerings, some offer incredibly supportive financial models, and others have steep price points but will amaze you with their breadth and depth of value.

Navigating AR for startups successfully requires another key ingredient: self-earned, hands-on experience with emerging vendors’ unique dynamics, everyday challenges and priorities. 

Here’s some key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • We understand that needs and possibilities change along the maturity cycle from early stages to series A/B. A phased approach that starts early and with the end in mind works best.
  • We appreciate that startup/scaleup capacities are tight, both in terms of time and finances. Our no-nonsense tactic focuses on what actually works and matters now and next.
  • AR is neither a straight line, nor is it the same for every business. It requires clarity in objectives and agility in getting there. OKR-led management plays to startups’ natural advantages over established firms.

I am thrilled with our partnership to support the OVHcloud Startup Program and specifically the Fast Forward Accelerator. European emerging vendors have a real gap to close in AR and thus an amazing opportunity to get ahead.

To find out more about AR, connect with your local Startup Program manager here or connect directly with

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Philip has been working with startups for the last 20 years within the VC, technology transfer and business incubation industries. He has accreditation as a mentor and business coach with Mentors and Business Coaches International and currently leads the OVHcloud Startup Program globally. OVHcloud is a leading European hyperscaler and pure-play cloud provider.