I assume that “strategic partner” refers to a VC fund (or something similar) backed by a large corporation.
First figure out what you want from your investor. For some pointers, see my previous answer.
Next, be careful not to fall into the trap of dressing your company up specifically for one particular strategic investor. Some strategic investors can offer attractive business development or technology cooperation benefits. You should definitely take advantage of these benefits (which a VC can’t provide) — but don’t build your company only around this particular investor. Large companies start investment arms not only to make profitable investments but also to support their usually much larger main business. The main business is usually orders of magnitude more important to them than an investment in one start-up. If your company’s ultimate purpose happens to align with that larger purpose, it could be a happy ending all around. If not, make a Plan B (and C and D…).
Finally, realise that, if you intend to build your company to exit via a sale in future, having (only) a strategic investor could potentially complicate your exit. Your strategic investor’s competitors may perceive you as being part of a “rival family”. If they are approached in a sale situation, they may either shy away from taking a look at a “rival” or have a perception that your investor has washed his hands off your company. Your own investor may feel little compulsion to acquire your company outright.
None of this means that you should never accept money from strategic investors. My advice is that once you have decided to accept money from a particular strategic investor, you should balance out their influence by also raising money from at least one more financial investor, who will have a strong incentive to achieve a good outcome for the company that isn’t tied to a large company’s corporate priorities.
This is a cross-post of my latest column answering entrepreneurs' questions for Yourstory.com.