Corporate partnerships

Co-create new business with your most valued B2B customers.


Co-create value together to solve customer needs and problems faster.

There is a common misconception that disruptive innovation tools, methodologies, and processes are most suited to the B2C world. In reality, they are perfectly suited to both B2B and B2C contexts. B2B co-creation is designed for decision makers and sales cycles while building strong customer relationships, reducing risk and increasing speed-to-market.

The key added-value during co-creation is to bring together R&D, sales and marketing teams and your clients to create real results with business impact. This format establishes a key broker network between business development cycles and sales to create new growth opportunities for both parties. 

Of course client needs, problems, and challenges are the starting point for innovation when developing
intrapreneurial culture, talent, and mindsets for innovation throughout the program. 

How to start?
An Innovation Strategy Matrix session is usually needed to define objectives and manage expectations for both parties via a joint vision framework prior to collaborating. 


What to expect from our B2B co-creation program?



B2B co-creation programs are designed to manage risk and uncertainty when pursuing disruptive ideas for innovation in order to drive new business. Outcomes often result in highly-disruptive concepts with supporting business models. Develop a go-to-market plan by clearly articulating validated learnings and concrete next steps with the client. You will become a global champion to your clients by involving them early in the innovation process.



Co-create and co-develop by empathizing with partner needs and problems. Ideate, test prototypes/minimal viable products (MVP) to (in)validate critical assumptions and develop new business model prototypes. The B2B format solves problems that clients are ready to pay with budgets already assigned and allocated for the solution. By closely aligning your organisation with client needs, you to speed up time-to-market significantly, especially in traditionally slow-moving heavy industries.



By testing your new value proposition early on and iterating and pivoting where necessary based upon regular client feedback, you avoid the costly mistake of building the wrong thing when trying to solve critical needs and problems. On average, 65% of final innovation concepts have been awarded ‘Golden Tickets’ by the customer partner to take new business ventures forward together immediately after the final executive panel team pitches. This metric is based on B2B co-creation programs run by Board of Innovation from 2016 to 2018.



A B2B co-creation format goes one step further than talent development programs. Your project teams are not running a theoretical innovation exercise, but are in fact solving real world customer problems that have a concrete bottom line. Think of it as a game of poker. As soon as you play for real money, your focus, drive, and participation dramatically sharpens and transforms; and this is exactly what we see in project teams of co-creation programs.

Program overview

Understand how B2B co-creation programs can be set up.

Teams are typically set up in two ways, depending on how much time you can commit with your strategic B2B partner organization:

  1. Involve the partner customer in the multi-disciplinary project teams to co-create throughout the entire innovation process.
  2. Involve the partner customer at various points during the innovation process i.e. problem exploration interviewing, roundtable consulting panels, solution validation interviews and final pitching moments.

The key to B2B co-creation success is establishing small project teams of up to 7 members from diverse multi-disciplinary backgrounds, different business units, and positions in order to have many perspectives on the specific challenge. 

Our tried and tested tools and methodologies will ensure teams are having fun while getting them out of their daily comfort zone, to where the magic happens in order to drive disruptive innovation outcomes. We encourage participants to openly voice their opinions, challenge the status quo, reflect on their cognitive biases, democratize participation and encourage everyone to offer their own unique perspectives.

What do B2B Co-creation programs look like?

Each B2B co-creation program needs to have a clearly defined joint vision covering the why and what questions with a clear supporting framework to manage expectations, intellectual property, NDA’s, exclusivity rights, etc.

A B2B co-creation program can be run in as little as 3-5 days or more long-term with a strategic partner customer, supplier or vendor over 3-4 months. Over this period, various customer touchpoints are set up to involve them throughout the innovation acceleration process.

Here are some sample B2B co-creation program formats:

2-day B2B(2C) intensive co-creation ideation.

This two-day intensive format allows you to deep dive into the pains, needs and problems of your B2B strategic partner, supplier or customer by using qualitative research methods from Design Thinking to go below the surface of what people say vs. what they actually do. By the end of the second day, you will have generated 200+ ideas and developed 10+ concept cards that specifically address and solve the initial problems uncovered.

Tools and approaches can include:

  • User empathy interviews
  • Pain point and opportunity mapping of customer journeys
  • User needs statements
  • Service blueprinting
  • How Might We? challenge definition
  • Brainwriting
  • Technology trends and drivers
  • Analogy thinking and opposite thinking
  • Speed storming concepts
  • Concept card development
  • Miniature pitches

Depending on your specific challenges, needs, and desired outcomes, the 2-day B2B co-creation format will be adjusted accordingly to ensure you achieve the right results. Get in touch with us for a no-strings-attached discussion about how we can help you with your business challenges. We will also go over each program format and length to decide what would be most suitable for you.

3-day B2B(2C) co-creation sprint.

Pre-sprint: Project teams carry out 3-5 qualitative problem exploration interviews with the B2B partner, either by interviewing internally or ideally connecting with your customers’ customers. You’ll uncover deep insights to frame as How Might We challenge statements to drive the rest of your B2B co-creation sprint.

Tools and approaches can include:

  • User empathy interviews
  • Pain point and opportunity mapping of customer journeys
  • User needs statements
  • Service blueprinting
  • How Might We? challenge definition
  • Brainwriting
  • The second day is all about diving into the specific features of the chosen concept while prioritizing them from the client or the final customer/user perspective.

    • Teams will delve into Lean Startup in order to test their most critical leap-of-faith assumptions within the concept and its feature set.
    • Rapid experiments will be designed to answer those critical assumptions through the use of a prototype of a minimal viable product (MVP).
    • Designer(s) support each project team in bringing the concept to life without being involved in any product code or final designs. The idea is for the teams to fail as soon as possible and pivot based upon critical customer and/or client feedback.

Depending on your specific challenges, needs, and desired outcomes, the 2-day B2B co-creation format will be adjusted accordingly to ensure you achieve the right results. Get in touch with us for a no-strings-attached discussion about how we can help you with your business challenges. We will also go over each program format and length to decide what would be most suitable for you.

Once customer desirability (aka problem fit) assumptions have been addressed and solved by multiple stakeholders and customers, business model viability (aka solution fit) is the second phase and can also be co-created during a one-day follow-up session.

3-month B2B(2C) co-creation innovation accelerator.

Formally kick-off the co-creation program with global teams.

  • Align teams on the overview, learning process and expected outcomes
  • Train teams on how to conduct efficient and effective problem exploration interviews

Project teams go into the field to conduct interviews on site with the B2B client

  • In-depth insight and discovery of key needs and problems
  • Analysis and synthesis of the key insights for multiple stakeholder perspectives

Ideation & Prototyping (MVP development)

Intensive ideation and prototyping bootcamp over 4 days to develop new concepts and accompanying prototype/MVP’s to test with the B2B client

  • Teams get inspired by local startups in a ‘Startup Safari’ to kick-off the program, hearing firsthand how startups conduct their innovation process and gaining insights into the mindset needed for a fast-paced, lean way of working.
  • Rapid ideation rounds from internal, external and future perspectives to drive radical ideas.
  • Each participant develops a concrete concept card to address the initial B2B partner client needs and problems.
  • Teams select a final concept to develop with the aid of professional designers to create a prototype/MVP in order to test the critical assumptions of the features of the concept using Lean Startup principals with our own Board of Innovation twist.

Armed with a prototype/MVP, teams go back out into the field to test their leap-of-faith assumptions about their new radical concepts.

  • Participants are fully trained in how to conduct effective solution validation interviews with the intention of failing fast and failing early with a mindset to pivot concepts where necessary.

Business model innovation & go-to-market plan with executive pitches

Having gained early-stage (in)validation on radial innovation concepts, teams now spend 4 days diving into business model innovation, developing a go-to-market plan with intensive pitch training for the final Dragon’s Den event with senior management both from your organization and the B2B partner organization.

  • Participants will visually prototype new business models, ensuring there is a mutual value exchange amongst all stakeholders in new and disruptive ways.
  • Project teams will gain inspirational insights into how business models can be assembled as well as how to test them, fast.
  • A second roundtable and consult session is run with the B2B partner as well as internal business units, functions, and suppliers across the value chain to challenge the teams and gain early business model critiquing and validation.
  • Each team will undergo intensive pitching training, the highlight of the program where they gain useful and practical skills that can be used in day-to-day working life.

At the end of the B2B co-creation innovation accelerator, all project teams will spend 6 weeks reflecting on the entire process and how it has impacted them culturally as well as practically on a day-to-day working level. Teams join a follow-up webinar to discuss:

  • Key reflections and learnings across all project teams to bolster innovation mindsets
  • Valuable learnings for future adaptations of the program 
  • Solidifying team camaraderie and building life-long professional and personal networks around innovation

In order to ensure the innovation culture, mindset and new iterative way of working sticks is to subsequently deploy a playbook and toolbox.

  • Teams can pick and choose from a vast array of program tools to support them in their day-to-day work.
  • Inspired ‘intrapreneurs’ can use the playbook to run their own fast-paced innovation cycles within their teams with clear step-by-step instructions on how to run the process at the speed and agility of a startup.


Playbook & toolkit development.

Playbooks and toolboxes are a highly effective way to empower people in their day-to-day work after participating in a fast-paced co-creation innovation cycle with a partner company. It is easy to lose momentum when returning to the regular way of working, so it is vital to empower participants and organizations by offering a structured approach to innovation that can be initiated whenever newly motivated team members want. We tailor and customize our playbooks and toolkits to the specific needs of our clients so they can easily pick up where they left off. Playbooks often cover the following topics and feature all the tools of the program.

  • Strategy tools: to help set strategies for innovation
  • Empathy tools and techniques: to walk a mile in the shoes of your customers
  • Ideation tools: to come up with better, more creative ideas more quickly
  • Business modeling tools: to turn business ideas into potential market successes
  • Step-by-step guides for each tool
  • Facilitation tips for each tool
  • Suggestions of agendas for different workshops
  • Context: Why do we innovate? What’s the company’s specific stance on innovation?
  • Behavioral tips: Get inside the minds of the greatest innovators

Corporate partnerships

Let's get in touch!

Do you want more info about this service?
Fill in the form to have a chat with one of our experts.

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.

The B2B co-creation accelerator concept works better than I ever imagined. The participants were enthusiastic and customers more than happy.

Ari Saario, Vice President, Head of Research & Development at Valmet.

32 new business models for Valmet

Securing new profitable innovation growth whilst developing an intrapreneurial innovation culture and mindset.

Crafting new packaging solutions for ABInBev

Ideation brainstorms and co-creation workshops for ABInBev.