Open innovation for corporations

Corporate CEOs understand what today’s fast-changing business landscape means for them: innovate or get left behind. Aim for transformational innovation.
Change starts with a shift in perspective. By focusing on the customer experience and jobs-to-be-done, we enable corporations to test and validate ideas at startup speed, using an agile approach. IXDS labs has the expertise, infrastructure and resources to develop new business models and products; we invite your employees to work together with 'startup for hire' teams in our creative co-working space. It's the quickest and most cost-effective way to find product market fit, or to discover assumptions were wrong and fail fast or pivot. 
Why look outside your company?

Corporate innovation is nothing new. For years, large companies have searched for better ways to fuel creativity, ideate and validate assumptions and stay competitive; with startup giants like Uber, Airbnb and Dropbox massively disrupting long standing industries, the message is clear that new approaches are urgently needed for global companies to stay relevant.

The problem with internal solutions is the myriad of limitations blocking true, uninhibited innovation. With practices already set, steep hierarchies, rigid processes and lack of flexibility, corporate innovation labs enable only incremental change, at best. From what we’ve observed, corporate accelerators are good for PR but have yet to show any real results.

Check out this article by Saul Kaplan to learn more about why corporate innovation labs struggle to deliver what they are set up for.

That’s why we firmly believe that corporations need to look beyond their own people and infrastructure to achieve transformational innovation. If you’re prepared to take a moonshot, IXDS labs will be your rocket fuel.

Offer 1 | Introduction to startup methods

We have designed an intensive, 2 week training program as an introduction to the speed and agility of startup methods. In our inspiring co-working space, your employees will learn how we apply the lean startup approach to create user-centered products and services. Find out how design is used to answer critical business questions and to solve technical challenges. We'll even handpick startup events for you to attend, for an even fuller startup experience.

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Offer 2 | Startup Team for Hire

From idea generation to MVP in 12 weeks.  We assemble a complete team from within IXDS and our network of entrepreneurs to work with your employees on an innovation challenge, resulting in a real startup. We fuse design, engineering and business expertise with a strong focus on user needs and customer experience.

During the process, we will test and validate ideas, following the ‘build, measure, learn’ loop using an MVP, or as we prefer to call it, a ‘Minimum Loveable Product’. Along the way we assess product market fit, and if the assumptions prove to be wrong, we fail fast and repeat the process. We address user needs, business modelling and how to pitch the idea.

Offer 3 | Corporate Innovation Champion

Building your own accelerator is a costly, risky and time-consuming project, with no guarantees. If you want to promote real innovation and agility within your corporation by participating in a entrepreneurship program which will have ongoing benefits to your company culture, we have something interesting to offer.

We offer one opportunity per year to form an official partnership with an industry leader. Together we'll work on identifying a topic around which IXDS and IXDS labs will revolve for 12 months. Topics can be limited to any specific IXDS HUB: participatory health, connected living, seamless mobility, smart manufacturing or continous learning, or can span across them. We will promote the topic and your brand by facilitating a series of events and hackathons around it.

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Our startup experience

We built our own startups

In 2015, we decided to go ahead and roadtest our startup-building model: we organised an internal 'Startupathon', tapping into the potential of our 60+ designers and engineers, selected the best idea and gave them 3 months to get it going. And behold, HINT was born. A smart reminder system for the home, designed to support those with age-related memory loss in their daily tasks.

Prior to this, IXDS had great success with Fritzing - an open source hardware initiative for electronics. The software tool enables users to learn or teach electronics, document their prototypes, and design, layout and manufacture professional printed circuit boards. Today, the worldwide community is 250,000 users strong, with Fritzing a well known and loved brand within the maker scene. 

Startup clients

In the past we also worked together intensively with founders and startup teams to create products such as Mimi, CardioSecur and LifeBuddy. We supported them from the initial concepts through to product launch, doing hands-on service design, UX and visual design of their products as an active part of their team.