Maximizing Value with Startups & Niche Vendors

Originally Aired: February 27, 2020 Now Your Desk!

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Last year, ClearEdge clients submitted deals from over 1,600 unique vendors – half from suppliers we had never dealt with before.  With “techceleration” now in high gear, enterprise IT organizations are increasingly turning to new, unproven startups to fill specific needs quickly, agilely, and nimbly.  How do we evaluate suppliers with no pricing or performance history?  This session will discuss ways to peel back the onion layers and determine value on some of these unique, new solutions, and how using startups can build leverage over some of the biggest vendors in your portfolio.

Key Highlights:

  • What new suppliers are we seeing more and more of?
  • What framework can be used to evaluate vendors never before seen?
  • How can we play startups against incumbents to generate leverage?
  • How do we protect ourselves in deals with vendors who lack a track record of success?


Sean Sweeney

Managing Director

Sean has a passion for start-ups, disruptive technology and cloud-based solutions. He’s been a Managing Director at ClearEdge for more than 4 years, and is currently focused on the New York City IT and Sourcing communities. Over the years, Sean has lead ClearEdge’s client service delivery, events, training, products, marketing, and partnerships. Sean previously worked as an analyst at Forrester Research specializing in system integration, sourcing strategies, and vendor relationship management. He also advised on new product viability and development, market size, commercial opportunity, and launch. Prior to that, Sean served a manager at Accenture. He is a graduate of Boston College with degrees in Economics and English.

Eugene Cho

Senior Analyst

Eugene leads the company’s Transactional Software and IBM Practices. In this role, he helps clients negotiate strong ad hoc software engagements, and structure advantageous multi-year deals with IBM by providing insight into the vendor’s sales strategy. Prior to ClearEdge, Eugene worked at MindStream Analytics (an Oracle partner) for 18 months in Professional Services, guiding customers through software installation, implementation and product training. He holds B.A. in Mathematics and Sociology from Dartmouth University.