5 tips to make the most of corporate innovation programs
As you should know by now, in Visor.ai we’re like the masters of open innovation programs. We participated in a lot of them. We’ve been in London, Santiago de Chile, Lisbon, Shanghai, Kraków, Madrid and so on.
So now we can say that we have a lot of experience in accelerators, both corporate and independent ones.
As Tech in Asia refers, the corporate ones have the huge advantage that its parent companies have a lot more resources than the independent ones. So, we’ve gathered some tips you should think about if you want to make the most of accelerator programs powered by big corporates.
1. Gain valuable connections
Normally, the people participating in this programs from the corporate’s side are people at the top of the chain. So, you get to talk to the Head of Innovation, the Marketing Director, the Customer Support Director or, if you’re lucky, the CEO of the company.
This should get you a lot of contacts and connections inside an important company, which is even more useful if that company could be a potential client for you. Instead of pursuing endlessly that company that you want to work with, you’ll be in touch with them and have it easier to make business.
2. Know the company from the inside
Your market are probably big companies, so this is the best opportunity you’ll ever have to know these companies from the inside. Who’s best to tell you all about what they want and need than themselves? You’ll be surrounded by people that know exactly what their pains are, and maybe they’re ones you’ll have a solution for.
This is also a great opportunity to validate assumptions and identify if a product or service is suitable for these companies or not.
3. Seal the deal – Make a sale!
You’ve gone all the way through the accelerator and, either if you’ve won, that’s not what matters the most. Now that you gained the company’s trust, you usually have the chance to move to a pilot stage and to implement your solution for that client.
If you’re successful, that can result in a whole range of new developments for them, which should ideally be scalable for other clients and projects. We have experienced that with various clients we worked with during corporate accelerators, such as Lisbon City Hall in Smart Open Lisboa, Fidelidade in Protechting, Credibom’s Start&Pulse and Prio Jump Start. What started with a pilot has grown to be a client-provider relationship, with us providing them with different solutions with chatbots and Artificial Intelligence for their business.
4. Receive excellent advice
You consider it a failure if you end the program without winning or having sold anything? Think again: even if that happens, you’ll have a ton of useful insights from the connections you’ve made. Maybe your product isn’t exactly what the company needs or you’re choosing the wrong targets to sell it to or the company may not yet be ready to receive your solution. There you can find out.
5. Get possible investors
Other than working with you, they can find your solution so good that they’ll want to invest. Can you imagine? A huge, matured corporate injecting its money directly in your company! It will not only give you the boost you need to grow but also attract other big corporates to invest too. Have you ever heard that “the grass is always greener on the other side”? The market works the same way: once you catch a big name to work with you, others will know that you exist and maybe want you too.
Given all this, what are you waiting for to apply for that corporate program you’ve been keeping an eye on?
While you’re in there, keep our tips in mind and get the most you can out of it. And remember: there’s nothing to lose. Even when you don’t win, there’s always something to take from it, even if it’s only some good memories.