[5 Takeaways] from innovation scouting and corporate venturing webinar

It is safe to assume that everyone is aware of the importance and relevance of innovation and innovation scouting today. Therefore, the question went from “how important is innovation today?” to “how important is it to find a fitting startup?”.

On one hand, it is clear that companies need constant innovation and technologies. However, it has been observed that companies need to collaborate with startups. It has become a matter of survival: if companies find relevant startups, they stay relevant on the market. If they do not, companies risk becoming the new NOKIA and lagging behind to then, ultimately, disappear from the market. So the question becomes, how do you manage to innovate by investing or partnering up with a startup when it has been calculated that one startup emerges every three seconds? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Novable's startup radar

1. The organization needs to stand behind the decision

Making decisions about startups is fraught with uncertainty. Moreover, positions are often prone to personal agendas, which results in the classic, traditional long cycle of decision-making. Therefore, having an efficient innovation scouting tool is crucial. 

2. Establish great relationships with the startups

What has been observed is that companies lack a disciplined approach to the startup sourcing side of discovery. In other words, a lot of attention is paid to the sourcing or contractual side of the partnership, instead of testing the depth of the relationship and aligning expectations. “A key item for successfully implementing an innovation strategy is to reach alignment of the stakeholders”, as Sander Van Der Blonk explained.

startup scouting for corporate innovation

3. Invite the right stakeholders to the table

Innovation scouting requires the right stakeholder team with the right background and authorization. Additionally, make sure stakeholders are aligned around the project’s scope and help the team to further perfect it. Not sure how to do that? Scoutely is a great resource. Now it is time for startup scouting.

4. Innovation scouting with Artificial Intelligence

There are great sources for innovation scouting such as databases. However, they mostly offer financial data. What happens once the information is not enough? Innovation managers need to do all the work themselves: find the right criteria, result filtering, vetting, due diligence, etc. This can lead to SAD Syndrome. On top of that, competitors find the same exact data only by entering the same keyword, even though the two companies have unique strategies. Here you will find a more in-depth list of current methods and their shortcomings. How does Artificial Intelligence add an extra layer to this process? AI provides information and insights about the actual activity of startups and filters out the results that are known to not be a match from the very beginning. Moreover, AI scouts more than just a name, website, and financials. It scouts investors, employees, partners, and customers, as well as content on their website or social media. This type of data is what creates a perfect match between corporate needs and startup offerings. 

5. Innovation scouting is more important than you thought

According to the webinar’s poll results, when asked how important it is for attendee’s companies to find a fitting startup, more than half answered “it’s strategic! We have specific projects planned”. It is of no surprise since companies are slowly adapting their innovation strategies and adding them to the top of their priorities.

All of these ideas together, will bring an organization closer to the best startup match and, therefore, to the next best practice to stay relevant in the marketplace. Technologies change fast and innovation scouting strategies need to move at the same pace. Is your company in need of help? Is it at risk of becoming the new NOKIA or KODAK? Get in touch with us today or book a call with us. 

Watch the full webinar here!

Novable on LinkedIn