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Virtual open innovation in the post CoronaCovid-19 era PART 1

During times of change companies and investors are more inclined to pursue innovation. The Corona Covid-19 crisis has increased the relevance and urgency of digital change. As John F. Kennedy noted, “the Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word crisis. One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis be aware of the danger, but recognise the opportunity”. Many traditional businesses have struggled with digital transformation such as industry 4.0 and other fields, post Corona Covid-19 startup innovation is becoming more relevant in helping those businesses to achieve their goals. Executives explore more pro-actively opportunities for innovation to support research and product

development. Corporate accelerator or incubator programs are characterised by direct business

engagement and often rely on on-site groups. Open innovation programs, which scout for new startups outside the corporate boundaries generate pragmatic and targeted value-add. Across the corporate innovation agenda we see tendencies towards more virtual scouting collaboration. It provides remote pin-pointed innovation sourcing to quickly fill the needs gap with the help of dedicated tech scouting partners.

Virtual open innovation scouting is not hindered by

distance. This is important because even national

flights or train journeys for personal meetings, e.g.

in Germany from Berlin to Munich become more

challenging post Corona Covid-19. Companies

commonly scout for startups globally in leading tech

hubs such as Silicon Valley or Tel Aviv. Investors

and businesses of various sizes choose to work

remotely with local scouting partners to secure tech

startups that help them foster their open innovation

agenda. To save time, money and resources,

foreign executives install local innovation scouting

partners abroad to source startups on their behalf.

We draw upon our experience with European

corporates and Israeli startups to demonstrate a

modular approach for virtual open innovation. In the

post Corona Covid-19 era we see four phases

underpinning a robust innovation venturing

framework.

 Knowledge exchange: executives learn from

other corporate that do innovation (better than

themselves) to become more comfortable

going forward with their own innovation

mandate.


 Personalized scouting: scouts identify

relevant startups to tackle corporate’s specific

problem statements, take time to understand

the business needs and have expertise to

challenge them if necessary.


 Startup demo: scouts explain corporate’

needs to startups and prepare entrepreneurs to

present business relevant applications.

Innovation buddy: corporates and scouts

partner for ongoing value creation through

continuous scouting and project management.


Knowledge exchange. Open innovation is

dependent on information sharing and collaboration.

Out of necessity due to its small market size and its

cultural mix Israel is focused on international

business exchange and cooperation with foreign

companies. The Israeli ecosystem exhibits an

extreme willingness to cooperate through openness

and transparency with each other, it proudly shares

tech insights to explore global collaboration. Foreign

corporates appreciate the straight talk both with

Israeli and local international firms about their

expertise in innovative products, processes and

new business models. It gives overseas leaders

first-hand insight into a peer group ecosystem which

is typically closed in their home markets. It is

common to have meetings with outsiders as well as

peer groups to bounce off ideas and share lessons

learned on digital transformation.

For example, real-life experiences are shared not

just about what type of technology is relevant to

resolve a specific industry challenge but also how to

work with startups in a mutually successful way.

This gives corporates more comfort on how to

proceed and fine-tune their innovation agenda.

Video conferences improve flexibility and permit for

multiple meetings with innovation leaders and

technical subject matter experts in a short time

window. A time-zone difference of only one hour to

most of Europe eases remote collaboration in

comparison to the US or Asia.


#startup #hitech

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Innovantage Partners

Tech Scouting & Startup Venturing

Tel Aviv | Berlin

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