Innoventures 2015 was certainly more mature and ready-for-market than the year before. Our pilot year in 2014 was filled with riddles and a degree of unpreparedness as we launched Innoventures’ MVP – a corporate incubator.
This year, we started with over 80 ideas from across Softtek, Mexico to tackle some of Softtek’s overarching challenges. Through a process of careful selection, focused judging, and close analysis of idea vis-à-vis ability-to-deliver, we are now down to our top-20.
Our top-20 will pitch to a panel of judges, comprising of Softtek’s top-management, who are ultimately responsible for selecting the top-9 winners of Innoventures Idea Submissions. The nine, just like the year before, will enter the Innoventures Bootcamp and emerge to pitch their ideas three months later. Up-to three ideas receive investments from Softtek. These ideas, of course, go on to be the next big thing!
Is it really that easy?
Yes and no. We’ll have a follow-up blog next with specifics about ideas from this batch.
Developing the ideas is intellectually stimulating for all those involved, including mentors, judges, and me. Executing the ideas is a different challenge in and of itself. Here’s our breakdown of the process in trying to answer – is it that easy?
- Bringing In New Ideas - That’s the easy part. So many across Softtek, a company with close to 10,000 employees have brilliant ideas and innovations. Bringing them together in a managed environment requires a process and direction. The process, for us, entails providing a web-based platform to allow individuals to submit, manage, and complete their ideas through education and mentorship. We absolutely need to provide direction if we wish to generate synergy between Softtek’s inherent capabilities and goals and the ideas we receive.
- Sorting Ideas – This is time consuming, but if done correctly, this can also become a standard process. The process involved our thought leaders, senior management with Softtek, providing feedback on which ideas could leverage Softtek’s capabilities and position in the marketplace and which ideas could further Softtek’s goals and vision. Through an interactive and staged effort, the ideas are sorted and prioritized. The ideas are usually eliminated in several stages, this year going from 80 to 20 to 9 and finally, 3.
- Bringing Ideas to Life – This is usually an investment related activity within a corporate environment. The MVP is usually something that can be developed by the person or team submitting an idea. However, bringing a complete product or solution to market usually requires the backing of the finance, operations, and development teams. Once an idea receives support, Softtek does put in the necessary efforts to realize the idea or solution. From our top-3 in 2014, only two ideas are being pursued, and we have lost one to the lack of clarity of exactly what we could deliver or sell.
- Making Money – This is perhaps the ultimate test for Innoventures. Could we make money? We will have to visit this again in a year or so when we have products and solutions developed and in the market.
In the blogs that will follow, we will present to you the top-20 ideas from this year. Also, we will provide an update on our Top-3 from 2014. Answering the question – is it that easy? – the short answer is no. Of course not. However, the pursuit here is to make the process easy to duplicate and implement. In a few years from now, the answer, we hope, will be firm yes!