10 things to Look for in the corporate venture development offer

Top 10 Things to Look For in a Development Agency’s Proposal for a Corporate Venture Building


A deep understanding of modern technologies, high delivery standards, and the best software development practices is important in choosing a corporate venture building partner.

Of course.

But are the tech experts you are about to hire able to explain their technological choices? Are they addressing the right project risks? Following the right coding standards that won’t produce unnecessary work just for the code quality sake?

Besides some obvious elements that should be included in every agency’s proposal, like an executive summary, project scope and deliverables, technical approach, timeline and pricing, we will have a look at 10 other things you should demand from a corporate venture development agency:

  • Technology recommendation with a resonant argumentation 
  • Projects risks 
  • Coding standards 
  • Testing approach 
  • Documentation 
  • Code ownership
  • Security 
  • List of accesses to provide
  • Post-launch support
  • Previous clients’ references

So let’s dig in!

1. Technology recommendation with a resonant argumentation 

As a CTO you understand that it’s not enough to find a developer who would follow your brief without any questions. The right partner has to have a deep understanding of your business objectives and goals you want to achieve to align the work and tools with them. Thanks to this, the devs can provide a customised solution that meets your specific needs and requirements. 

The technology chosen for the corporate venture building project can impact the project’s scalability, security and maintainability. And while all of the agencies are able to choose a tech stack for the project, you have to keep an eye on the argumentation – do they provide resonant information on why they choose this technology and how it will influence your project? 

The deep argumentation points out a deep understanding of both the project and software development practices. Of course, it’s remarkable if the development agency shows up use cases in the chosen technology within your industry. See how we did this for one of our customers, working in the medical industry.

Example of the argumentation of the tech stack choice

Why Jamstack for your project?

Page load time is important for your users – students, trainees, and doctors – as they are often in a rush. This not only saves their time but also improves the user experience. A site built in Jamstack can provide the users with this which usually results in more interest in your website.

Your company pays attention to good SEO. The great performance provided by Jamstack approach will help to achieve high-rank positions and good visibility online.

Readiness for High Traffic
Medical databases are usually of great interest. You expect high traffic to your site on weekdays (Mon – Fri) from 6 am to 6 pm. Thanks to using Jamstack, the platform will easily handle possible peaks and it won’t affect speed and performance. Users will not experience any negative effects of high traffic, and thus, it will encourage them to continue using the site.

Greater Security
A website like yours contains a lot of sensitive data, as well as
authorship work from thousands of people. Jamstack increases the protection of any data on the site because there is no active connection between a static site and any database or server-side
software. Consequently, there are no vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit and data or other sensitive information to possess.

Your users often use mobile devices, e.g. when they are in rural areas on whale doing house calls, so it’s crucial for the website to be mobile-responsive. The use of Jamstack guarantees all of the above.

Unique User Experience
User experience is really important. Your users need clear and intuitive navigation to be able to quickly and easily find
information. Because Jamstack is giving you total customization freedom, you can build a website that truly represents your website’s possibilities, and resonates with your users.

Better Developer Experience
In the future, you plan to hire your own internal team to take care of website support and maintenance. Thanks to Jamstack, developers can easily take over the website, and use the component library, which makes their work much faster and easier.

If the development team decide that there are a few possible solutions, for example, a few headless CMS would be sufficient for your project, they should be able to provide you with a clear comparison of those tools, to encourage you to make the right decision, and if needed, align the tech stack to the one used across your company. 

Below you can take a look at the quick headless CMSes comparison we prepared for one of our customers. Of course, we recommend one of them but we are sure that any of them would have a bad influence on your project. 

Example of the CMS Comparison chosen for the corporate venture building project

CMSProsConsPrice Range Per MonthNo. of Users

Usability for marketing team:
– plenty of customization
– phone and other touch devices supported
– live preview
– paste formatted texts directly from Google Docs, Word & Web

Usability for developers:
– rapid configuration, works fast
– open-source
– highly customizable config
– strong official support
– numerous plugins
Some problems with webhooks: developers

There are some problems with webhooks possible, as there is no more advanced webhook integration tool –
integrating Sanity with third-party services can be more difficult than with other platforms.
$99 +3 on free,
20 on paid plans

Usability for marketing team:
– clean and clear panels, field-based
– many content types supported

Usability for developers:
– clean and clear panels,
– Expensive plans, especially
at higher levels.
– Building with blocks also has
its limitations.
$489 +5 on free,
25 on paid plans

Usability for marketing team:
– clean and clear panels,
– field-based editing
– visual editor
– supports multi-languages by default

Usability for developers:
– clean and clear panels,
– Not suitable if you require the CMS to act as the database$7 to $21, per user1 on free,
30-80 on paid plans

Usability for marketing team:
– simple user interface, handy document
tagging system
– SEO previews

Usability for developers:
– multi-language support,
– image optimization
– Does not offer text editor extensions
– Plugin limitations
$7 to $5001 on free, 3-Unlimited
on paid plans

The budget in corporate venture building projects is usually very strict, especially at the beginning of the whole innovation process. Henceforth, an additional advantage would be the information about the cost of the whole infrastructure, like monthly CMS and database maintenance costs. Agencies that provide it make your life easier – they do the whole research for you, and you have all the information in one place.

Example of the summary of the monthly infrastructure costs

~$600 monthly
15 users
1.5TB bandwidth
150k documents
100GB assets
Additionally, we consulted Sanity
Support regarding custom pricing
with custom roles – waiting for
their feedback.
~$240 – $240 monthly
For 1.5TB of Bandwidth:
4 devs * $20 for 3 months, then 2 devs * $20 = $80 / $40

Bandwidth = 1TB in plan and we need to buy 5*100GB *$40=
Your usual costs
Pay-as-you-go pricing model.
~$360 monthly
Depends on the number of requests;
starts from $1.5 per 1,000
For 240 000 requests = $360

2. Project risks management

We all know that all projects have risks, even if we don’t always want to admit that. In corporate venture building projects, there are some additional risks connected strictly to this type of project, like: 

  1. Technology risk: tech stack that is required by the parent company may not meet the corporate venture project requirements, 
  2. Market risk: the market for their new product may not be well-defined or may not be profitable enough. 

Hence, transparency from the development agency about the risks associated with the development process may help mitigate them properly and as the results increase the possibility of the project’s success. 

By discovering the threats early in the way, the agency can prepare a risk management plan, where they identify the issues, their potential impact on the project and the possible steps preventing them. This can help both the development team and you stay on track and avoid costly delays. 

What’s more, discovering the risks so early allows the agency set realistic timelines and budget estimations. Thanks to this you also have full transparency on any additional time and resources that you may need and have all the necessary information to share with your stakeholders.

Ready to build your new corporate venture projects?

3. Coding standards

Sharing coding standards early in the proposal demonstrates the agency’s commitment to delivering high-quality code and helps to build trust between the sides. It can help you, a CTO, to establish a transparent and collaborative relationship with the potential partner. 

Moreover, it can help to avoid potential misunderstandings or conflicts further in the project. By establishing clear guidelines for code quality up front, the agency can ensure that there won’t be any surprises later in the development process. It minimizes the risk of rework, delays, or other issues that can arise from poor code quality. And, as a result, can cut the cost of the whole project – which is probably crucial for you. 

Take a look at some of the coding standards we follow in the React projects:

Pagepro Coding Standards

Many years of React experience allowed us to set up company coding procedures & principles we’re
following when delivering the projects. Below are presented some tips developers follow on projects:

  1. Do not pull request your first drafts.
    a. The first draft probably has more to do with pollution and is too complex to give it away to somebody else.
  2. Lint React code.
  3. Split React code into smaller pull requests
  4. Take care of the naming in your React code.
  5. Type the code with TypeScript.
  6. Use React and Redux DevTools.
    a. React Developer Tools inspect the React component hierarchy, including component props and state. Redux DevTools help to debug the application’s state changes.
  7. Test To Avoid QA-driven Development.
    a. An important and useful tip is to always remember to test the changes you made. Yourself.
  8. Become friends with Google and Stack Overflow.
  9. Plan it!
    a. Make a mockup and think a few times about how you are about to approach it. Plan all the components as single UI elements.

4. Testing approach

How testing approach influences corporate venture building project

Knowing the testing approach of the development agency can significantly influence your corporate venture building project in several ways:

  • Quality assurance: An established testing approach ensures that the product would meet the required quality standards. It helps to identify and fix bugs early in the development process, reducing the risk of critical issues arising later on.
  • Timelines: It keeps the project on track and allows the whole team to avoid delays. Knowing how the development agency does this part of the project can help you understand how long it will take to complete the testing phase and how it fits into the overall project timeline.
  • Communication: Understanding the testing approach improves communication between the development agency and the corporate venture team. It ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding the testing process, the expected outcome, and the scope of the testing.
  • Risk mitigation: A comprehensive testing approach helps to identify and mitigate risks. By testing the software thoroughly, the development agency can identify potential issues and address them before they become major problems and as a result influence your venture’s success. 
  • Budget: It can decrease the overall project costs by identifying issues early and avoiding costly rework.

As you can see, an established and well-known testing approach can influence your development project significantly, so make sure the agency has the process set properly.

5. Documentation

A development agency should provide the documentation about your corporate venture project for several reasons: 

Documentation ensures that information about the project will be in place even if you will choose another provider in the future. In most corporate venture building projects to cut overall costs, the maintenance of the project is done by the internal team. Well-written documentation enables new team members to quickly understand the project’s context, objectives, and requirements.

Documentation provides clarity on the project’s scope, objectives, and requirements. It helps ensure that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of what is being built, how it will work, and what the expected outcomes are – and as a CTO in a corporate venture project you know, how important it is. What’s more, it provides transparency on the project’s status, so you can update the stakeholders about the project’s progress regularly. 

This can also be necessary for compliance purposes. For example, regulatory requirements may mandate specific documentation for certain types of projects.

You have to consider that creating documentation may take some time, so be sure that the agency takes this into account during the time estimations. 

6. Code ownership

History knows the situations where a company didn’t own the source code of their software product, and someone else used it without permission or compensation. These situations often arise due to unclear or inadequate legal agreements, such as poorly written contracts or incomplete transfer of ownership clauses.

Especially when you work on behalf of a bigger corporation, you should establish clear ownership rights for your digital product. This can be done through legal agreements, such as software development contracts or employment agreements, that clearly establish ownership and intellectual property rights. It is also important to conduct regular audits of software assets and ensure that all parties involved in software development or usage are aware of ownership rights and their obligations.

7. Security

Sharing security policies upfront demonstrates that the development agency takes safety seriously and is committed to protecting its clients’ data. This can help build trust and confidence between the agency and your company, which is crucial.  

Security policies are essential in protecting both the data and the company’s intellectual property. If a development agency lacks adequate security measures, your confidential information may be vulnerable to cyber attacks, data breaches, or other security threats.

What’s more, sharing security policies can help your company identify potential safety risks early in the process. By reviewing the agency’s approach, your company can assess whether they align with your requirements and specify any potential security gaps that need to be addressed before the project begins.

8. List of accesses to provide

Including the required list of accesses in the project proposal boosts clarity between the development agency and the client. It ensures that you are aware of the accesses required for the project and can prepare it early. It’s important, especially during corporate venture projects, where access to some tools can be strictly guided by the parent company. 

Additionally, including the required list of accesses in the project proposal allows the development agency to prepare for the project more effectively. It enables them to evaluate the resources needed for the project and plan it properly. 

9. Potential post-launch support for corporate venture building project

To prevent any misunderstandings or miscommunications regarding support services the agency should include information about the post-launch support in the proposal for the project. This type of dev support ensures that the project runs smoothly and that any issues that arise will be addressed promptly. 

Post-launch support helps minimize the risk of system failures or downtime that could negatively impact the whole project and even your parent company! System downtime can lead to data loss, which can be destructive for the business. If critical data is lost or corrupted, it can lead to significant financial and reputational damage. Having the development agency on board helps you to get on track quickly. 

Corporate venture building projects usually start with MVP development, so it’s worth knowing if the agency is about to cooperate with you later in the project and if they would be able to enhance and maintain it the way you need them to. 

Including post-launch support in the first contract may be a cost-efficient solution in comparison to ad-hoc fixing issues. Information about the post-launch support ensures that support services are readily available and can be provided at a predictable cost, making it easier for corporate venture builders to budget for ongoing support.

Corporations tend to have long chains of command, making it challenging to get new ideas approved and developed at the same speed. And post-launch support demonstrates a commitment to the success of the project and the satisfaction of the corporate venture builders. It shows that the development agency is invested in the long-term success of the project and is willing to provide ongoing support to ensure that success.

“Launching new businesses takes continual commitment; it’s not an activity for the impatient or for the fainthearted”

Ralph Biggadike (Harvard Business Review, 1979)

10. Previous customer references

By sharing previous client references, the development agency can present its experience in the field or given industry. This can provide the corporate venture builders with confidence that the development agency has the expertise to execute the project successfully and keep the industry standards. What’s more, it can show you the agency’s credibility and reputation in your industry and reassure you that the development agency is trustworthy and reliable.

Previous client references can provide insight into the potential partner’s processes, communication style, and overall performance. This information can help the corporate venture builders make an informed decision about the partner. 

And finally, you may have the option to get a sense of how the development agency communicates and collaborates with their clients – so if it’s possible to speak to the agency’s previous customers – don’t hesitate to do it. This can help ensure that communication styles are compatible and that the project will run smoothly.


As the CTO of a corporate venture building project, you have many challenges to overcome on your way to success. Above, we emphasised the importance of evaluating proposals holistically and considering factors beyond just cost. Clear communication and alignment between the corporate venture builders and the development agency should start early in the process – ideally during considering the first offer. By evaluating the factors we included in this article,  corporate venture builders can select a development agency that is well-suited to their unique needs and objectives.

Ready to build your new corporate venture building projects?

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