ayond innovation wallOur innovation process always begins with an Innovation Night where all of Ayond’s employees brainstorm around new innovation briefs. The Innovation Night is held four times a year. Some of the ideas from these creative sessions climb all the way to independent spin-off companies.
As everyone knows, ideas can come from anywhere. We believe, however, that being a consultant – deeply involved in existing business and organizations – offers a great environment to see needs and spot windows of opportunity. In order to trigger creativity among our busy consultants, initial business briefs are quite simple in its form and can be documented in a couple of minutes. We use the simple NABC-method of Stanford Research Institute and answer the following questions:
- What is the market/client’s need?
- What is your Approach to addressing this need?
- What are the Benefits of your approach?
- How do those benefits compare with the Competition or alternatives?
The aim is to deepen the understanding and feasibility of the venture in order to make an informed Alpha decision. Activities of the teaser depend on the nature of the business idea, but typically it may involve the following activities:
- Preparing a pitch to a venture capitalist
- A pre-study on technology, market, competitors, partners or some other dimension
- A mock-up or a quick prototype
- Focus group sessions with prospect customers
- Creating user scenarios to specify the value proposition
- Creating feature lists and interaction design
- Reaching out to potential partners to create a more powerful proposition
- Applying for funds from a governmental business facilitator (Swedish examples would typically include Almi, Vinnova, Tillväxtverket, EU) Etc.
Based on the insights gained in the teaser, ayond innovation board analyses the business idea and suggests purpose, activities, operational team and budget for the alpha phase.
If the aims of Alpha have been fulfilled, the innovation is brought into beta phase. This is the first phase in which the inventor – i.e. the consultant – should be prepared to invest his own risk/time/money into the project. A typical scenario would be to work part-time as ayond consultant and part-time as self-employed entrepreneur.
- Aim of beta:
- Economically and operationally self-sustained company run by the entrepreneur
- Enterprise registration at national registration office
- Ownership clarified. ayond ventures will be one of the owners with a fair share of the company
- Normal business operations
- Ayond contributes with:
- Sales support / network
- Senior advisory
- Entrepreneur contributes with:
Ventures are spin-off companies that – except ownership – have gained full independence from ayond.
No-go business ideas are saved in a special place for future reference, including the motivation for the no-go decision. We call it Freezer rather than trash since it should be possible to pick up ideas from the freezer if the business conditions change.