The Innovation Scout Canvas

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When you set out to scout for innovation how well do you frame the opportunity? The early stage of scouting sets the tone.  In order for your work to be fruitful quickly, you need a method to define and frame the problem. Why does time matter? Because competitors and startups are nipping at your heels already. You need to be efficient in your scouting efforts in order to find competitive advantages that will work for your business this year. We have created The Innovation Scout Canvas™ to address the need to unpack the opportunity appropriately before setting out to search […]

Artificial Intelligence: Where Do We Go From Here?

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“The business plans of the next 10,000 startups are easy to forecast: Take X and add AI.”   – Kevin Kelly In 1950 Alan Turing published his landmark paper introducing the idea that computer systems could eventually ‘think’ like a human.  If you could hold a conversation whereby the machine was indistinguishable from another human – voila – The Turing Test for a ‘thinking machine’ was born. Today we know this as the broad, humanity changing topic of Artificial Intelligence. It’s been almost 70 years…where are we today? Vishal Chatrath, CEO puts Artificial Intelligence activity into two general branches: perception […]

Innovation Strategy: Define Your Opportunity

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We hear it all the time, “we aren’t sure exactly what we are looking for”.  Some companies just believe they need to be part of the newest tech trend, even though there isn’t a clear reason why.  So why have an innovation strategy at all?  It’s simple really, to clearly focus and align the innovation efforts of your team. These efforts need to ultimately connect with your overall business strategy. Innovation isn’t easy, it’s often a frustrating exercise inside of big companies.  Why do efforts to innovate often fail?  Here’s a hint: it’s not about execution.  The problem is routed […]

Overlay Reality and Change Your Business: Augmented Reality Takes Off

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Trend: Physical and Digital Worlds Continue to Merge Why should you care about this?  It’s reaching critical mass in 2017. Layering digital information on our physical world is ready for prime time. Augmented Reality is being used by manufacturers to find problems on the shop floor, by retailers to sell more and by education leaders to deliver better training solutions. Augmented reality (AR) decreases product modeling time and costs. It changes the game for equipment failure response time. Even jet engines are easily diagnosed and fixed with augmented reality views. From healthcare applications to entertainment, Augmented Reality is a topic you […]

6 Tech Trends Every Innovation Exec Needs to Follow in 2017

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Everyone seems to have a tech trends list for 2017. We are different.  Hyper focused on how the most interesting Startups are moving the needle, we’ll dive deep on these topics throughout the year. Our bi-monthly newsletter (shameless newsletter signup plug) will cover these topics and more.  Startups that look to change your business and the world especially in the 2 to 5 year range is our sweet-spot. Our mission: deliver startup info in a context that is immediately usable to your business goals and priorities. These trends and the startups that help to define them, are bringing applications to […]

5 Reasons Why Startups Are Your Most Important Innovation Partner: Open Innovation

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Open innovation is a distributed, more participatory, and decentralized approach to innovation.  The underlying case for open innovation is the fact that no company, no matter how capable or how big, could innovate effectively all on its own.  This is because of the wide distribution of knowledge and research.  Startups can take advantage of this distribution and create an “idea-tester” environment rather quickly.  There aren’t many barriers for entrepreneurs to get a company up and going.  The cycle for building and testing ideas is faster. The cost of this testing activity from startups is rather low.  This is why we […]

Augmented Reality Changing Manufacturing Forever

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Manufacturing and the shop floor are undergoing a radical evolution. A popular game, PokemonGo, is pushing adoption and understanding of augmented reality AR for fun. Manufacturing is about to explode with augmented reality programs that will change business forever.By now most are aware of how 3-D printing is changing manufacturing.  It’s simple to produce anything from plastic parts to structural Titanium based jet engine components. Getting from design to actual physical product has never been easier.  Augmented Reality (AR) is equally pushing a new frontier for manufacturing.Some of the most important innovations changing the manufacturing floor have to do with […]

Why Would a Corporation Want to Work with Startups? Open Innovation

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As a successful business, it’s difficult to take the time to ‘study’ the trends and consider how best to evolve your products and services. You need sources outside of your company to help you to assess trends and new models. Sometimes new ways are the best ways. But how do you get a front row seat to a rapidly changing business climate? How can you edge out the competition by getting the jump on a new way to approach customers?  Open Innovation may be the answer. A growing number of corporations are creating direct relationships with startups because this is […]

5 Things Businesses Can Learn from Entrepreneurs

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Mature businesses generally have an aversion to risk. We get it. They are at the top of their game because they have been excellent at scaling a proven business model, building complex processes and getting teams to ‘line up’. For mature businesses it’s about executing on a well-defined business model. The overwhelming momentum of these organizations pushes hard against risky innovation.This is what entrepreneurs do well. Solve a problem in a new way, take the risk but get all of the benefits of eventually winning. Considering new products or trying to find new markets is disruptive. You aren’t desperate to […]

Innovation: Ideas From Above

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I participated in a Lean Startup class at Harvard earlier this year. It was eye opening to say the least.   The class got down to the business of innovation quickly. We learned how to manage a full cycle of lean activities by ‘doing’. Less talking more doing! First we defined some problems worthy of solving, then we voted on the best problems to solve. From there we came up with as many innovative solutions as possible. We defined our potential business models and pricing schemes. Up against tight timeframes, we thought we had developed some worthy innovations during this process. […]