Explore the 4 Phases of Every Innovation Scouting Process

Curious about current technology trends in your sector? Explore how you can leverage innovation and define future business strategies for your company through the innovation scouting process!

New startups are emerging every day. This increasing number of players in the market mean more competition, even for big corporations like yours. But, at the same time, the startups, with their innovative products and services, can become your ally. They open doors of new business opportunities, collaborations, and partnerships, leading to faster and more structured innovation. However, finding relevant startups or scaleups to collaborate with is like searching for the needle in the haystack. This is where data-driven innovation scouting solutions back you up. How does it work? Let’s explore the various phases of the innovation scouting process together!

Phase 1: Topic Scoping

The innovation scouting process begins with a company establishing its unmet business needs and desired outcome. Based on this need, a set of criteria are put in place that defines what solutions you are looking for. For instance, you are working in a construction company and aim to drive sustainability. In this case, you can ask the innovation scouts to look for suitable startups and scaleups that focus on eco-friendly construction solutions. The specific criteria can include anything from company type, age, and location to funding stage, technology, and much more. The innovation scouting team then starts the topic scoping process to understand how many relevant solutions that match your criteria roughly exist. This is a fairly quick process that gives you a good overview of what to expect and supports your decision-making on whether to proceed with this topic or look into another one instead.

Phase 2: Innovation Discovery

Topic scoping showed that you found a viable topic with thousands of potentially relevant solutions. Great! But, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? Conduct manual market research? Well, that’s a possibility. But this process is resource-intensive for both time and money. The more viable way is to leverage specialized scouting platforms such as our Discovery Platform. Because these platforms are powered by Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), they are capable of screening millions of global startups and scaleups within a few seconds. At the Innovation Discovery stage, innovation scouts come up with a comprehensive list of startups based on your company’s criteria. Because this search is not fine-tuned yet, the number of relevant solutions will likely still be in the thousands.

Phase 3: Solution Evaluation

Now that you have a lot of options to choose from, it is time to cluster and prioritize them. Sticking to the construction example from before, suppose that the Discovery Platform gave you 10 000+ construction technology startups and scaleups advancing sustainability. To narrow down these results, trained Innovation Researchers & Analysts complement Big Data and AI with human expertise. They confirm that the selected startups match your requirements and rank them based on your priorities. This pre-selects the top solutions that solve your business challenges and ensures high relevancy. All emerging companies are clustered in terms of innovation groups, technologies, and application areas. This gives you actionable innovation intelligence and enables you to make data-driven decisions to advance your corporate innovation strategy.

Phase 4: Technology Implementation

The selection of the qualified startups & scaleups calls for technology implementation, which is the final phase of the innovation scouting process. The quickest way to adopt a startup’s technology for your own purposes is to partner with them for a Proof of Concept, form a joint venture, buy a product or service, or even acquire the startup itself (build, partner, buy strategy). Instead of developing a technology yourself, collaborating with an emerging company eliminates the need for extensive market research as well a significant amount of resources needed to develop a solution from scratch. So, you will save both time and money, while also fulfilling your innovation objectives.

Let’s hear it from you — do you already take advantage of innovation scouting solutions? Get in touch & let us know!

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