Getting Corporate Incubation Right: Why and How?


On November 10, 2020, Change Logic is hosting a webinar to discuss how corporations can improve their innovation outcomes by building effective incubation engines for new ideas. The panel, moderated by Andrew Binns from Change Logic, will include thought leaders such as:

  • Prof. Charles O’Reilly, Stanford Graduate School of Business

  • Uwe Kirschner, Vice-President, Business Model Innovation, Bosch

  • Michael Nichols, Global Lead, Bosch Accelerator Program, Bosch

  • Yusuf Jamal, Senior Vice-President, Devices & Platforms, Western Digital

What you’ll learn in the webinar:

  • How effective incubation leads to innovation success

  • Common pitfalls of corporate incubation and how to avoid them

  • How firms like Bosch and Western Digital developed successful incubation approaches

  • Ways to get started with corporate incubation

Why the focus on incubating new ideas?

Many corporations fall into innovation traps as they transition from ambition to ideate to incubate to scale – as O’Reilly and Binns wrote in their recent award-winning article. One of those traps is investing ahead of learning, where firms commit resources to new opportunities before sufficiently validating them. When companies invest ahead of learning, costly failures often follow, as discussed in our previous post with examples from GE and Mozilla.

Effective incubation helps companies invest at the speed of learning, iteratively testing the idea, validating it with customers, and building minimum viable offerings before committing to scale. However, incubation isn’t always easy to execute in a corporate setting where failed experiments are rarely embraced for their learning value, and metrics of mature businesses are often applied to emerging ones.

Why corporate incubators?

The idea of idea incubation originates in the startup world. Startups mastered the art of low-cost customer experimentation: by spending as little as possible but learning a lot, while creating an environment that embraces risk and creativity.

But how can large companies replicate this approach to incubation? Corporate incubators are an emerging answer to this question. By following practices established by the most successful startups, corporate incubators teach the innovators within their corporations how to effectively validate new business ideas and concepts.

Bosch’s Corporate Accelerator Program is a successful example of building a robust corporate incubation engine. Over the span of four years, it has helped 200+ Bosch teams around the world test and validate business concepts before committing significant investment, resulting in more than a dozen projects exiting the Program with a “go-ahead” decision. The incubation process has dramatically reduced development costs and time-to-revenue, while giving hundreds of employees hands-on experience with innovation tools and methods.

Want to hear from Bosch and other experts in corporate incubation and learn how to replicate their success in your own company? Register for the webinar now.

By Aaron Leopold

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