The largest and most successful businesses are building programs to foster all-new innovations, build next-generation products and services, and outpace competitors. These established companies are struggling to keep up with the fast-paced, agile, and venture-backed startups. To combat this rising threat, corporations are investing heavily in innovation. In some instances, enterprises even invest in startup-corporate collaboration programs.
The best companies share one common dominator — they've leveraged emerging technology to transform their business. It's either disrupt or be disrupted. No matter where your business is in innovation maturity, you will benefit from investing in a corporate innovation program. However, there are hundreds of potential corporate innovation programs to choose from. Many of these programs are not one-size-fits-all. How do you know which program is right for your enterprise?
In this article, we've outlined the essential components of a high-powered and results-driven corporate innovation program. Prioritize the programs that offer access to the following services and features.
4 Components of the Best Corporate Innovation Programs
1. Access to Emerging Technology
Most corporate innovation programs offer direct access to new and emerging technologies. By leveraging these powerful solutions, corporations can iterate upon preexisting services and solutions or develop all-new products. This accessibility, proximity, and strong connection to emerging technologies helps businesses to quickly outpace competitors and design products and services that align with customers preferences.
"Now more than ever the customer is king, in the driver's seat with access to more data, on more devices, than ever before," says Andrew McAfee, a principal research scientist at MIT Sloan School of Management. "As a business leader in this new environment, how will you compete for customers? Retain your base? Grow your business? Today's business models are fast becoming obsolete due to cloud computing, new security challenges, and consumer demands for access to information with a superior experience."
The most successful businesses are consistently on the cutting-edge of technological discovery, implementation, and management.
2. Opportunities to Expand Functional Capacity
Most corporate innovation programs, depending on the model, allow corporates to expand their functional capacities. In the startup-corporate partnership mode, businesses work alongside startups to tackle industry roadblocks, commit to rapid prototyping, launch customer insight programs, and more. When corporations lack the hiring power to pursue innovation, a startup-corporate collaborative allows businesses to bring on additional stakeholders — designers, developers — without making any new hires.
3. Access to Diverse Insights
Most corporate innovation programs are built around industry-leading lawyers, financiers, startup teams, consultants, business professionals, and more. These varying and diverse insights can help corporates think differently about their products, services, or business challenges. Additionally, many of these program participants have "been there, done that" when it comes to business development.
"Your chances of success in life and in business can be amplified by having the right mentor," says Sheila Eugenio, contributor at Forbes. "The valuable connections, timely advice, occasional checks — together with the spiritual and moral guidance you will gain from having a mentor — will literally leapfrog you to success."
The most successful business owners lean on others' experience and knowledge to create immediate and sustained value for their own business.
4. Rapid Discovery, Prototyping, and Testing Opportunities
In the startup-corporate innovation model, businesses can unlock rapid product discovery and prototyping opportunities. How? Startups tend to work with more agility. With limited internal bureaucracy and red tape, startups possess the flexibility needed to think strategically and move quickly. Many businesses benefit from the nimbleness that only a startup partner can provide.
Additionally, startup partners can help you test and validate products before deployment. The most successful businesses know that resolving bugs or design issues is much easier and cost-effective in the prototyping stage. Collaborating with a startup to address these kinds of issues early on can help you save hundreds or thousands of dollars later on.
Achieve Corporate Innovation Excellence
Your search for an ideal corporate innovation program starts with prioritizing these value-driven components. Finding the right corporate innovation program for your business is mission-critical as you forge your path towards innovation success. Is now the right time to join a corporate innovation program?
RocketSpace offers a suite of corporate innovation programs designed to help global brands connect with industry-leading startups and scale-ups. RocketSpace offers support in landscape discovery, disruptive technology identification, rapid prototyping, and more. RocketSpace provides value through the unique combination of external innovation expertise, emerging technology access, and an exclusive focus on actionable solutions. Start your corporate innovation journey today!