THE BLOG
09/25/2013 09:45 am ET | Updated Nov 24, 2013

12 of the Smartest Business Partnerships to Date

Name a recent, high-profile business partnership you thought was smart and why.

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

A. Stripe and Lyft

2013-09-24-RyanBuckley.jpegLyft began to use Stripe to charge riders and pay drivers. Rather than needing to use two different systems for payment collection and distribution, this partnership reduces overhead for Lyft, and it gives drivers and riders a seamless payment experience.
- Ryan Buckley, Scripted, Inc.

A. Jeff Bezos and The Washington Post

2013-09-24-PatrickConley.jpgI'm very excited to see what magic Jeff Bezos can bring to The Washington Post. Jeff is a technology superstar, and his vision could bring some really interesting changes to the company. I'm curious to see how this one plays out. I think it could be a big win for both parties!
- Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes

A. Omnicom and Publicis Groupe

2013-09-24-SarahWare.jpg
Once competitors, Omnicom and Publicis Groupe recently announced plans to merge and form the world's largest advertising company with $23 billion in revenue. If approved, this will make their company larger than WPP. It's refreshing to see two former competitors who fought tooth and nail for ownership of the space decide to take it on head first and dominate by merging their talent and clients.
- Sarah Ware, Markerly

A. Starbucks and Square

2013-09-24-PanosPanay.jpg
Starbucks doing a deal with Square is smart because it validates both companies -- Square as a legitimate payment platform and Starbucks as a big company that innovates. And, let's face it, it's super easy to pay with your phone.
- Panos Panay, Sonicbids

A. Southwest Airlines and AirTran

2013-09-24-AndrewSchrage.jpgI thought the partnership between Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways was smart. AirTran benefitted from Southwest's profit-driven business model, and Southwest almost instantly scaled its profits.
- Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

A. Citibank and NYC Bike Share

2013-09-24-HenryGlucroft.jpgThe partnership between Citibank and NYC Bike Share brings immense value to all those involved: the bank, the city, and most importantly, New Yorkers. It's great to see partnerships that work on a business level, but also one with clear, long-term financial and non-financial value.
- Henry Glucroft, Henry's / Airdrop

A. AOL and Adap.TV

2013-09-24-KevinLenane.jpgAdap.TV was very recently acquired by AOL. AOL, which is already heavy in content, now has the infrastructure to better monetize its own video content, as well as other syndicated content in the very lucrative video ad market.
- Kevin Lenane, Veenome

A. Starbucks and La Boulange Bakery

2013-09-24-DerekFlanzraich.jpgI'm consistently impressed by Starbucks' constant innovation and lack of fear. By purchasing La Boulange Bakery and acknowledging its food quality gap, Starbucks has taken a power move to improve its baked goods and food offerings through the acquisition of talent, branding and expertise.
- Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

A. Samsung and Jay-Z

2013-09-24-EricKoester.jpgIt's up for debate who got the best of the deal in the rumored $20 million Jay-Z and Samsung Galaxy partnership. However, by partnering with arguably one of the most transcendent entertainment talents, Samsung was able to gain mind share with its target audience. And Jay-Z went platinum on launch and cemented his place as an icon. Seems smart all around.
- Eric Koester, DCI

A. Twitter and Vine

2013-09-24-PhilLaboon.JPGBuying Vine was a smart move for Twitter. Integrating those two platforms makes each standalone more interactive. Vine's competitor, Instagram, isn't embedded in tweets like Vine media is, which in my opinion, is key. Vine has an advantage since viewers can see the videos right in the tweet. Having to click through and wait for Instagram media in tweets is a major annoyance.
- Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing

A. Simple and Uber

2013-09-24-ThursdayBram2.jpgSimple partnered with Uber to allow Uber users to jump the wait list for a Simple account. The partnership was particularly smart because Uber users are already proven to use their smartphones for everyday tasks -- a requirement for a successful Simple user.
- Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

A. Bonobos and Nordstrom

2013-09-24-doreenbloch.jpgI found the Bonobos deal with Nordstrom to be very exciting. Bonobos, a menswear brand that began online, partnering with an iconic, 111-year-old brick-and-mortar retailer like Nordstrom goes to show how the digital space is coming together with the offline world. Both Bonobos and Nordstrom have phenomenal customer service and a strong brand presence, so the partnership seems like a dream team.
- Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.