Every startup begins with a great idea. Ask the founders of a lot of young companies, and they’ll tell you theirs is the product that will change the industry and lead the market on its next logical leap forward.

Sure, first-time entrepreneurs get excited when they realize their concepts have potential, but many of them quickly learn that promise alone can’t carry an idea to its apex.

New businesses must meet potential investors and raise funds to take an offering from development to fruition and beyond. Then, the right hires must be implemented, operations must be built out, and structure must be established to ensure the company continues to scale.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to keeping your startup afloat. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the aforementioned challenges — and several others — lead one-third of the approximately 500,000 new businesses that open annually to close within two years.

One thing many entrepreneurs don’t realize — sometimes until it’s too late — is that they can rely on each other in the earliest days of their companies.

Why Startups Need Each Other

The business world, at times, resembles the type of predatory environment only seen during a “Sharknado” movie. Customers place a very high premium on authenticity, but so do other businesses. As a new startup, it’s important to establish trustworthiness early because others in the same position look to the most trusted businesses for advice and connections.

Once a rapport and connection are built, startup leaders should pick each other’s brains for survival hacks. If one company has an elegant, effective solution for a common challenge, passing it on benefits other companies immensely; in turn, trust is formed and bonds grow even stronger.

With so many businesses starting each year, there are tons of new ideas to compete with. Every startup needs a product that effectively meets the unique needs of its customer base. By connecting, sharing, and discussing products, startups can better assess whether their products are unique enough to stand out from the pack.

Lending a hand to a fresh startup can lead to partnership or investment opportunities down the line. Think of it as the “know somebody who knows somebody” principle. Being generous with your insight to a struggling startup today might be reciprocated with a crucial contact down the line.

How to Build Those Bridges

In general, the startup ecosystem is stronger when everyone involved collaborates on all matters. The more that startups contribute to the startup environment, the more support and opportunities grow.

Support is often needed at each stage of the business life cycle. Even more developed startups can benefit from a strong support group, which might be comprised of newer and older businesses. The brainstorming and new ideas generated through a support network assists companies of all sizes.

Making new connections always requires some legwork on everyone’s part. In order to help other startups, a company should practice these habits:

1. Lead by example. A great way to connect is through mentorship. An Endeavor Insights survey reports that 33 percent of startup founders with successful mentors experience success themselves, with the founders of Etsy, Dropbox, and Facebook as notable examples.

Mentoring can take several forms such as growing existing networks, sharing stories, and participating at accelerators or incubators. Startups that shone during their investor pitches can help new companies prepare for their own meetings with investors.

Utilize mentorship with young startups, but keep the lines of communication open with those who helped you attain your current level of success.

2. Take your knowledge public. Panels and events are great ways to get the word out on your company while connecting with those you wouldn’t normally link up with. Find showcases and conferences in both your industry and geographic area that will give your company a chance to brainstorm, gain exposure, network, and share experiences.

3. Publish your expertise. Blogging and thought leadership are ways a startup can get its name out and distinguish itself as an industry trailblazer. Other startups in need might come across a post on your company’s blog that helps them and then decide to get in touch. Publish high-quality thought leadership to strengthen your brand and attract potential collaborators.

As the startup ecosystem continues to grow, companies that offer the most value will reap the biggest rewards. Find ways to help other founders and the connections you generate will take your business from just another promising idea to a viable, helpful solution.

Read more: Startup Incubators Around the World