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How Data-Driven Innovation Scouting Increases Your Competitive Advantage

Innovation scouting is a critical process to take over and expand corporate leadership positions in the global economy. Discover why data-driven innovation scouting is the most effective approach and explore how it impacts your competitive advantage!

Continuous innovation is vital for the long-term growth of organizations. Think of Apple, Amazon, Google, Pfizer, Toyota, and many more – without seizing new business opportunities, they would not be where they are today. Innovation is crucial for survival. When it comes to being disrupted in today’s business landscape, company size is no safeguard.

Think of Airbnb, for example. It took two guys, a laptop, and the need for a bed to disrupt the entire hospitality industry. This shows that disruptive innovation does not usually happen within the walls of an organization – it happens externally. And Airbnb is just one example. According to our data, over 2,5 million startups and scaleups globally are working on novel technologies.

Because technology development happens quickly and simultaneously in all parts of the world it is vital to know the emerging companies developing disruptive technologies or you risk missing out on business opportunities. But, where can you find these innovative startups and technologies?

You might think that desk research, fairs, or networking events are the right place. But let’s think about it: If you’re at a networking event, and there’s potentially one out of 500 people of interest to your current and particular needs. This means you have to talk to all 500 to be 100% sure you meet the right one. This is inefficient and for the most part impossible.

Big Data & AI Find the Needle in the Haystack 10 x Faster

Data-driven innovation scouting is powered by Big Data & Artificial Intelligence, enabling it to screen millions of startups & scaleups instantly. This way, you can be sure that you will discover all relevant solutions and technologies – not just a fraction of them. This access to information is immediate, actionable, and curated – making data-driven innovation scouting the new norm.

Exhaustiveness is not the only advantage data-driven startup scouting has to offer. It is also much leaner and faster compared to traditional scouting methods. Data-driven innovation scouting services save your time by replacing weeks of manual desk research – this way, you get to focus on your core tasks while professionals with the right tools and resources execute outcome-driven innovation scouting for you.

Perhaps the biggest benefit is that thanks to its structured approach, data-driven innovation scouting drastically improves lateral innovation discovery and introduces you to relevant companies that were not on your radar before. Effectively, you discover hidden champions before anyone else.

What is Innovation Scouting?

Sometimes referred to as Innovation Discovery or Innovation Exploration, Innovation Scouting is the process of leveraging innovation intelligence to identify industry trends, technologies, and their drivers (startups, scale-ups, high-growth companies) with the potential to further an organization’s innovation goals.

Innovation scouting looks for external innovation, meaning technologies, products, or services that are developed outside of a company’s own innovation efforts. A structured, efficient innovation scouting process identifies, shortlists, and selects relevant trends, their underlying technologies as well as the organizations developing them. These organizations include startups, scaleups, competitors, universities, tech centers, among others.

Depending on your requirements, innovation scouting answers questions from strategic decision-making to specific solutions and implementation. A few of these questions include: Who are emerging companies and disruptive startups to work with? Which startup-driven solutions solve our internal challenges or challenges of our clients? Which new business opportunities are out there?

To answer each of these questions, you need to choose the right service:

  • Startup Scouting: The process of identifying startups and scaleups that can support an organization’s innovation goals with partnerships, acquisitions, or onboarding them as vendors.
  • Technology Scouting: The process of identifying emerging technologies that are relevant to an organization’s innovation goals and incorporating them through acquisitions or partnerships.
  • Trend Scouting/Trend Landscaping: The process of identifying emerging and latent trends and developments that will impact an organization’s competitiveness in the long term.

Data-Driven Innovation Discovery – Generate Strategic Insights That Matter

Looking at emerging startups gives you the best insights into what technologies will impact your business in the future. This is because radical innovation comes from small, agile organizations, from people taking risks and pushing boundaries. Startups are already disrupting whole industries and changing the business landscape as we know it. Corporations have long understood that, so monitoring startup activity has become a major component of their corporate innovation strategy.

Predicting Relevant Future Trends & Technologies Becomes Harder

Organizations are experiencing increasing difficulties in regards to managing and predicting the technological and business forces that will impact their industries. On one hand, the ever-increasing rate of technological change gives organizations many new opportunities. On the other hand, this development can also be seen as a threat when businesses cannot keep up with it.

For example, traditional businesses cannot be sure anymore of whether they can continue their activities as they have done for decades. Even large companies that have had strong positions in the market for years run the risk of losing their market power due to disruptive innovations introduced by competitors or startups. Scouting for technological innovations is one of the quickest and most effective ways of acquiring new market share, customers, and revenue.

To discover business opportunities before others do, you need to empower your business units with actionable, data-driven innovation intelligence. Because each company’s innovation strategy and requirements are different, so are the deliverables you will need.

Combining Big Data & AI with Human Expertise in a 4 Step Process

All it takes to identify innovative technologies, solutions, and startups fast and exhaustively is a simple 4-step process.

  1. Briefing: Initially, you define a topic and specific search criteria for the innovation scouting process. Moreover, you can set specific criteria for the drivers of the topic, including firmographic data such as founding year, location, funding stage, employee number, technology, and more.
  2. Platform Search: Based on this information, Big Data & AI-powered SaaS companies such as like StartUs Insights screen over 2,5 million startups and scaleups globally, narrowing down the relevant results for you.
  3. Human Expertise: In a third step, Innovation Analysts go through the entire results to hand-pick the most relevant innovations, top emerging startups/scaleups, technologies, and products/services for you.
  4. Presentation of Deliverables: Finally, you receive the Innovation Map, the Innovation Report and the Innovation Database. The Innovation Map visualizes any topic so that you can get an overview of all innovation areas at one glance. The Innovation Report provides you with more context to the innovation areas including the startups and scaleups advancing them. Lastly, the Innovation Database is a curated list of relevant solutions that match your criteria.

These deliverables prepare you to implement strategic decisions as you have tailor-made, actionable insights on innovations and emerging companies that solve your specific problem – ranked as per their readiness to solve it.

 

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