Innovation accelerator.

Guiding in-house startups from idea to executive pitch. Increase your chances of success of new ventures with an innovation accelerator.

Purpose

Increase your chances of success of new ventures.

What is an accelerator?

An innovation accelerator is a program to develop, test, and grow new business ideas in a few months outside of organizational processes and deliverables.

Why run an accelerator?

In an innovation accelerator,internal corporate teams follow a structured, methodological process in a “sandboxed” environment as they develop a new venture. Teams are guided through designing and running experiments to (in)validate their riskiest assumptions concerning desirability, viability, and feasibility, This ensures the best chance of success as they develop, launch, and scale, and accelerates speed to market.

Results

What to expect from an innovation accelerator?

Accelerators typically guide 3-5 corporate teams through the whole spectrum of startup best practices. The result? Multidisciplinary teams that think and act like startups, ready to bring new solutions to market. 

Innovation projects

Accelerate or kill key strategic projects

Capability building

Build the capabilities to run innovation projects

retain talent

Entrepreneurial talent is a key driver to success

Program overview

Accelerator journey format.

All accelerators follow these five stages.

We’ve organized hundreds of accelerators and no two were alike. We tailor each program for our clients on a case-by-case basis. However, we typically start from a 12-week format that we find quite successful. 

Here are a few questions to help you assess key elements in scoping an accelerator.

  • What kinds of projects you would like to accelerate? Are they focused on existing or new products/offerings?
  • How will decisions get made? Consider which of four operating models is most suitable, based on the desired level of independence and autonomy.
  • Who is your customer? Do you know your market segment, or is there a white space or unmet need to explore?
  • What resources are available, both people and budget? How much capacity of available to dedicate to this project?
  • Do you have a set team in place? Will the team have prior knowledge about the project, or be multidisciplinary?

Common pitfalls

What happens after an accelerator?

Learn from our wealth of experience in rolling out accelerators programs.
Which of these sound like possible risks to your organization?

No resources to persevere or scale

  • Lack of sufficient budget or the right people
  • Slow decision-making process loses momentum
  • Using traditional metrics to assess and prioritize
  • Consider an entrepreneur-in-residence, a co-entrepreneur who joins your team 1-4 days per week and steers the validation of critical business assumptions in the first months of your new corporate venture.
  • Run what-if scenarios during planning with key stakeholders
  • Set up a governance structure with clear and transparent decision-making criteria
  • Earmark resources at a portfolio level

No sponsor support

  • Managers fail to understand innovation and don’t allow resources to work on it
  • Sponsors are concerned with immediate ROI
  • Sponsors are skeptical of new solutions
  • A Sponsor/Leadership training that explains the principles of innovation, the pace of change and inspires the need to innovate, and understand their role as a sponsor learn how to ask the right questions to steer teams to success

Redesigning the team to scale

  • Internal recruiting processes are not geared towards startup speed
  • Lack of specific expertise and skill set within the organization 
  • Incentive structures are not in line with a fast changing environment
  • Set up recruiting support for teams that are scaling
  • Develop a network of expert coaches to support teams on an on-demand basis 
  • Involve HR during program design

Corporate innovation accelerator

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Relevant info

Be sure to check out:

Business design playbook

The complete guide to develop, test, and grow new business ideas in as little as a few months, with all the tools you'll need to do it.

Corporate accelerators

Have you been thinking about running a corporate accelerator to boost innovation capabilities at your company? Watch this video to learn how you can do it.

Client cases

Trusted by Fortune 500 and global innovators.

Board of Innovation makes Fortune 500 companies innovate like startups, mixing proven methods from design thinking and lean startup strategies.

Fantastic opportunity to learn how to think outside the box, how to be innovative, and find new business opportunities. Great experience and learnings taken from all the participants, from the project itself to how to present or how to prepare a pitch.

Oscar Salvador, Segment Analyst, O-I Europe

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Boosting Engie’s innovation strategy

From innovation strategy to corporate accelerators: 360° innovation support for Engie.