Electronics Association Helps Startups Get Foot in the Door
The Consumer Electronics Association wants to bring more cash-strapped tech startups into the fold by greatly reducing its membership fee. Would your association follow suit?
Another day, another startup. They may be creating the innovation in your industry, but can they pay your membership dues?
If not, you may want to follow the precedent set by the Consumer Electronics Association.
CEA recently announced that it would reduce its membership fee—which can range from $850 to $40,000 annually, depending on the size of the member company—to an astonishingly low price of $95 a year for startups.
Startups are dominating the technology field, hoping to go big (hello, Instagram) but lacking cash upfront for expenses like trade group membership dues. By engaging such a large piece of the tech pie, CEA is positioning itself as the broad representative of the technology industry. After all, you can’t claim to have the best authority if you don’t represent all stakeholders and their varying opinions.
“Startups are jumpstarting our economy and are paving the way for America’s future,” said CEO President and CEO Gary Shapiro in a press release. “Creating a unique membership category for startups is another way we are pursuing our strategic goal of promoting innovation, the lifeblood of our industry.”
To qualify for the bargain-basement price, a startup must meet the following requirements:
- The startup must be in development of a technology product, service, or app that has been introduced into the market within the last year or will be introduced in 2013.
- Annual sales must be under $1 million.
- The company must be located in North America.
- The startup cannot have been a CEA member within the past two years.
Companies that opt for the reduced fee will have CEA member benefits for up to two consecutive years.
How has your membership strategy shifted to be more inclusive? Is such a break from the norm necessary to attract more members?