How Innovation Will Survive and Thrive
Last week’s GCV Symposium was a fantastic event that brought the venture capital ecosystem together. Founder and CEO James Mawson and his team created an exciting event full of impactful collaborations, new technology, and insights on uncovering startups. This article shares 6 innovation secrets we learned in London.
Innovation Secrets 1 – “I’m looking to solve specific problems for our company by investing in new innovative solutions for resource protection and big data.”
While innovation as a problem solver is not new, it is intensifying as the number one reason industries develop an in-house innovation team. Our interactive community of business incubators and accelerators would agree; solving problems with a new idea is the foundation for many of their startups. What starts as a spark of an idea evolves into a new product, service or platform ready for the world market.
Big Data is #2 on the 2019 Innovation Landscape list of technologies and business sectors poised for growth. Download this fascinating Insight Series installment here.
Innovation Secrets 2 – “We find that working with startups increases the pace of innovation as well as the mobility.”
It is true – startups work at a pace that is light-speed compared to most of their corporate counterparts. Thanks to their small workforce, meetings are more like brainstorming sessions and everyone has permission to be as innovative as possible. There is no such thing as an upward chain of command, all team members are actors. However, it was an interesting innovation secret to bring up the topic of mobility.
Mobility, in this case, means that this corporation is able to seek innovation anywhere in the world, not just their own local ecosystem or even in their own country. Thanks to initiatives by government agencies around the world, innovation is crossing borders more easily than at any other time in history.
Innovation Secrets 3 – “The main points our business incubator focuses on are investor attention, demo days, student entrepreneurship momentum, and globalization, in that order.”
While we were discussing innovation secrets with a UBI Global Pro Member, we learned their real-time priorities. It struck us that all of their opportunities for more attention, increased event participation, greater interest from students, and expansion on a global scale need a marketing plan. Good, solid communication and networking in the form of a marketing strategy are crucial at any stage of business. Participating in events such as the London symposium or our own WIS19 can help to address these needs for global attention.
In today’s competitive innovation landscape, business incubators and accelerators have even more of an importance to startups than before. While ideas are easy to come by, turning them into viable, healthy businesses that will scale is not for the faint of heart, but is something that at which our members excel.
Innovation Secrets 4 – “Enhancing internal innovation is our main goal in working with startups. Keep in mind that this is easier said than done!”
On the other side of the coin, this conversation was with a large corporate online retailer, who not only collaborates with startups for new technology, they also seek nimble, flexible startup companies to develop their internal ideas. While this seems like a lot to juggle at the same time for a small in-house innovation team, they are making it work and affecting the bottom line for their brand in a positive way. How are they doing it? This corporation has an efficient process to discover the most effective startups that immediately address the needs of the company, the market, and the future.
Innovation Secrets 5 – “Our priority is to seek out innovation that is already present in our local ecosystem, but deployment is a major pain point that startups can help us avoid.”
The largest conglomerate we spoke with at the event, this innovation expert was finding it a challenge to reach the wider market with new technology. Was it because they are firmly entrenched with existing brand models? Were they instead trying to develop technology that nobody really wanted? Fortunately, they were open to our suggestion of a case study in trendspotting, and UBI Global can deliver that intelligence on a local and global scale. Read more about our adventures corporations seeking innovation in the Insight Series located here.
Innovation Secrets 6 – “We find our startups through business accelerators that we partner with, that serve us later-stage, close-to-market opportunities suitable for our conservative corporate style.”
It is never a bad thing to know exactly what you want, have a plan, and execute it perfectly, which was what this corporation does with its innovation venturing capital. Investing only in later-stage startup companies, this corporation agreed completely with one of our members who recently added a business accelerator program on to their business incubator. We will be writing more about this initiative in later editions of the blog and Engage member magazine.
Late-Stage Company: A company that has reached a stage of achieving significant revenue and is approaching the break-even point or net positive income status. Find this and other terms in The Innovation Landscape from A to Z Glossary of Terms from the Insight Series here.
6 Innovation Secrets Exposed!
The above are real innovation secrets we heard in London at last week’s event. In meetings with corporate innovation managers, CEOs, startups, business incubators and accelerators, and others in the innovation landscape, we were able to get into the secrets driving their success. Seeking knowledge through networking is part of what we do at UBI Global on behalf of our members (and ourselves) to gain understanding and share through knowledge bank articles such as this one.
Activate Your Innovation
If your program is seeking networking time with meaningful partners, the perfect event for you is just a few months away. Registration is open to apply for an invitation to the World Incubation Summit 2019. This event will also be rich with opportunities to find new partners and collaborators in the innovation landscape.
WIS19 consists of four days of interactive enrichment, education, networking, and the recognition of the top-ranked incubation programs as identified in the World Benchmark Study 2019 – 2020. Gain a first-hand understanding of how events like the one in London can activate your innovation efforts by registering for WIS19 here.
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