Innovationstack.io: our favorite InnoTech tools

Curious to find out what this new buzzword “InnoTech” is? We’ll guide you through what it is, show you our favorite four InnoTech tools – including how to use them and where to find them.

What will InnoTech mean to you?

(besides being another buzzword)

InnoTech are the tech tools that make corporate innovation more effective

Breaking it down:

  • InnoTech = Innovation Tech. Because of Regulatory Tech has a cool abbreviation RegTech, we want InnoTech to be ours.
  • Tech tools can be apps, websites, APIs, programs, platforms, … any form of digital tool that is not just a web-based PDF really :)
  • Make corporate innovation more effective: we use the latest technology to test more effective innovation methods to help corporations build new businesses. (for more, check out our Tech Lab)

Our four favorite InnoTech tools you can use today

Every day, we discover valuable InnoTech tools. We don’t want you to miss out though, so we’re sharing our first favorite 4!

Tool 1: MESE

The MESE tool has been developed by Cristin Moran and Thomas Thurston (awesome blog!), that is being used at the one of top 2%-performing VCs of Silicon Valley.

Tags: #Portfolio management #Algorithmic investing #Quant innovation

Tool description
Growth Science is a data science consultancy, that is an R&D partner for their proprietary MESE computing system. The system makes unique insights about the financial and other commercial characteristics of companies who do not disclose data publicly. MESE gives executives an evidence-based analysis to better identify and monitor growth opportunities.

Problem they solve
Identification of growth and innovation opportunities, aided by data science/machine learning.

Relating to which part(s) of the innovation process?
Strategy.

Cost
Membership cost unknown.

Relevant for
Corporate venture capitalist, innovation executives, portfolio managers, …

What is it?
A member gets access to Growth Science’s prediction engine. They log into the website, answer a set of questions about innovation or a new business, and Growth Science sends them a report on its likelihood of success based on a business model simulation (Fortune).

What is going to do for me?
According to Ron Hoffner of 3M, a member, it answers three key questions about a new product or innovation:

  • Is the market going to be big?
  • Is this the right technology?
  • Does the approach align with the company’s business model?


What are the requirements
Having an investment strategy to challenge. Preferably already have done investments so there is more data to work with.  

What are the limitations
Prediction model probably needs some time to learn your market/company specifics.

How to use it?
Becoming a member (no public info available).  You can only access the actual tool by becoming an elite member.

P.S.: Stay tuned as we’re trying to to get you more info soon on what that means.

Tool 2: Autopsy

The Autospy tool has been tweeted by Marc Andreessen (a16z): “Autopsy lessons from failed startups’- aka ‘Catalog of Future Successful Startups.’” 

Tags: #Rapid validation #Experiment setup 

Tool description
Autopsy provides a newsletter that examines the lessons learned from failed startups in so-called postmortems. Upcoming is an academy that offers courses built on these insights.

Problem they solve
Learning from failed startups’ mistakes. 

Relating to which part(s) of the innovation process?
Strategy, solution fit. 

Cost
Free: online database. 
Premium: access to additional database + analysis of your portfolio failures. 

What is it?
You can subscribe to the newsletter, or browse a limited set of startups here (not yet in slick branding, but function trumps form). 

Relevant for
Innovation managers, corporate venture capitalist, accelerators, …

What is going to do for me?
Browse through 2000+ failed startups in different industries, and read the story behind the failure (actual stories, the reason ‘why’ is hard to find!). Perfect for a ‘picnic in the graveyard’ experiment: seeing why others failed, while trying a similar solution is often very insightful.

What are the requirements?
You need to have an idea (or just an industry) in mind to browse the database.

What are the limitations?
80% of data is US-based. No data on some industries such as healthcare.

How to use it?
Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates, or browse the public part of the database!

Tool 3: QDTech

The QDtech website is in Chinese only, this is the time to use the google translate plugin :)
Tipped by Bessie Lee in her SXSW panel ‘How AI is changing advertising in China’ (listen to the recording here). Thank you Bessie!

Tags: #Real-time validation #Experiment setup #Programmatic market research #Computational design #Automatic asset creation

Tool description
QD Tech (Quick Decision Technology) creates brand collateral and creative ads automatically.

Problem they solve
Getting feedback about business ideas, creating graphic designs automatically. 

Relating to which part(s) of the innovation process?
Solution fit, go-to-market. 

Cost
Unknown. 

What is it?
QDTech is a “programmatic market research platform”. They can do simple audience research interaction, get precise data on the user’s behavior with user-specific surveys or online focus groups. Their newest product ezTalk makes online focus groups possible: focus groups with 1-200 users, that are moderated by a real moderator (supported by a chatbot). Besides that, they also observe the behaviour of users when they see the ads, of which 1000s of versions are made through computational design.

Relevant for:
Experiment designers, n
ew product innovation teams, … 

 

What is going to do for me?
They help you do qualitative and quantitative market research in an innovative way. It creates creative content (facebook ads, banners, videos, social media posts) automatically by computational design, and split many creative options at once on a large scale of users. Therefore, you can largely automate facebook ads, in order to validate solutions quicker and cheaper. Besides that, you can also interact with users instantly through quick surveys, allowing real-time validation.

What are the requirements?
– Noteable: In China, there are not as many privacy requirements. 
– You need to design your experiment before setting it up: we suspect this works best when you have 1) a clearly defined persona and problem or solution assumption 2) experience in experiment design to make sure you select the right experiment type (survey/expert panel/one-on-one call/other), and 3) take out any potential biases out of your survey before launching it 4) defined metrics clearly

What are the limitations?
Focus is on Chinese customers, but they cover more than 80 countries. There are US and European alternatives (although not as mature, it seems: Automattic is in experiment phase for example). 

Tool 4: GLG

This GLG tool makes it easy to find, survey and interview experts and users in any industry almost immediately. 

Tags: #Real-time validation #Experiment setup

Tool description
Professional learning platform: ask questions to top industry experts and industry stakeholders via phone/survey.

Problem they solve
– Finding people to interview for quick input on desirability, viability and feasibility.
– Finding experts to get input on strategy. 

Relating to which part(s) of the innovation process?
Strategy, problem, solution. 

Cost
$30K pre-payment, which you can use as credit for 1 year:

  • 20 x 1-hour experts calls ($1,350 per call).
  • surveys (custom pricing).
  • one-on-ones (custom pricing depending on hourly/day rate of the experts).
  • Included in the price is a dedicated service rep as well as recruiting custom audiences.


What is it?
Send survey, have one-to-one phone calls or moderated group calls with industry stakeholders to do rapid idea generation, first problem/solution validation, or challenge your strategy.

Relevant for
Innovation managers, human-centred designers, …

What is going to do for me?
Get instant access to 600.000 experts in the field (ranging from Key Opinion Leaders, to nurses, to former executives of different stakeholders in the life sciences ecosystem). Leverage the existing GLG network to challenge your strategy, do rapid idea generation or first problem/solution validation.

What are the requirements?
You need to design your experiment before setting it up: we suspect this works best when you have 1) a clearly defined persona and problem or solution assumption 2) experience in experiment design to make sure you select the right experiment type (survey/expert panel/one-on-one call/other), and 3) take out any potential biases out of your survey before launching it. 4) defined metrics clearly. They have 650.000+ experts in many sectors (healthcare, financial, IT, legal, real estate, regulatory, tech, media, telecommunications, consumer goods, energy, industrials, …) but they can recruit a custom audience too – that often takes 2 weeks.

What are the limitations?
Mostly suited for B2B. Ideal for problem and solution validation. Bias in the tool: the experts get paid per time spent. There is a clear risk of having an expert bias, which will be especially counterproductive when it concerns non-incremental innovations/strategies (as experts are experts in the status quo, and tend to give very unreliable advice for future states).

How to use it? 
Ask for a trial first. If you like what you see consider committing 30K$.

Find everything at Innovationstack.io

Why Innovationstack.io?

Innovation today is making humans works too much, and machines work too little.
We identified the 4 key opportunities* for machines to add value in the corporate innovation methods:

  • Strategy: Defining the innovation strategy of the company (how to make evidence-based decisions, have the right metrics in place, …) 
  • Problem fit: Uncovering the problem worth solving (both the generative -which problem- and evaluative side -size of the problem-)
  • Solution fit: Validating and investing in the right solutions, before going to product-market fit.
  • Go-to-market: Team scouting (which is why we launched our talent service)

*You’ll recognize these are the filters you can use on Innovationstack.io

For each of these, we’ve gone on a wide search to identify the digital tools (whether it’s a software, an API, an integration, whatever) that aim to solve these problems.

What is innovationstack.io?

Innovationstack.io is a collection (a ‘stack’, as techbro’s call it) of digital tools that facilitate corporate innovation. It is curated by Board of Innovation’s Tech Lab, on our mission to “codify the most effective corporate innovation method”.

Of each of these tools we’ve curated a short, no bullsh*t explainer. (More explanation will be added as we go.)

boardofinnovation-innovationstack-what-its-not

Disclaimer: We do not take any endorsements for the tools we post, review or discuss on Innovationstack.io. We don’t have an affiliate marketing business model. We purely open up our research to increase our impact. Apologies upfront for whoever’s tools are going to be scrutinized. We’ll ask for forgiveness rather than permission.

If there’s no decent tool in the market, our Tech Lab builds our own experiments and tools to improve the current innovation methods.

We’ll report on the progress of Innovationstack.io here, so make sure to subscribe to Board of Innovation’s newsletter.

Now what?

Check which part of the innovation process needs the most help in your company, and check out which tools can help you how!

More examples on innovationstack.io

We only touch on a handful of examples in this article. Find 50+ tools on innovationstack.io

Any tips for us?

Leave us your thoughts! Should we consider a specific tool? Should we take different criteria into account? How does this add value to your innovation department? Drop us a line!

P.S.: If your tool has been reviewed, feel free to reach out to give/get feedback.
If you’re building a next-gen tool in one of the opportunity areas we defined, drop us a line!

Thanks!

I’m Julie de la Kethulle de Ryhove, Business Lead @ Tech Lab (Board of Innovation). Spreading innovation culture is in our DNA – if you liked the read, contribute to our mission by sharing this article.

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