With the startup world so fragmented, how should you as a corporate innovation scout approach it?
Our research process focuses on organizing the chaotic startup landscape into sector reports (such as Financial Technology) comprised of smaller functional categories (like Business Lending, Consumer Lending, and Retail Investing). Each category is in a different state of innovation and thus requires its own game plan.
We have developed the Venture Scanner Innovation Quadrant to act as a framework to guide you in the startup scouting process. Our Innovation Quadrant organizes categories into four states of innovation by plotting the sector categories on two axes. One axis uses average age to show maturity. The other uses average funding to give a sense of traction. These scores are then normalized to draw out distinctions. Knowing which quadrant each category sits in our Innovation Quadrant will help in developing your scouting strategy.
As an example, here is our Financial Technology Innovation Quadrant that is part of our Financial Technology dynamic report.
The four quadrants are Pioneers, Disruptors, Heavyweights, and Established. Each quadrant presents a viable and unique innovation opportunity for a corporate startup scout. In the table below we summarize the four quadrants and opportunities that exist for corporate innovation.
In summary, categories at all stages of traction and maturity present innovation opportunities for your corporation. Dive deep into the Pioneers categories to explore experimental new technologies, scan the Disruptors categories to ensure your company has the right defensive plans, identify possible cash cows in the Established categories, and look for big growth opportunities in the Heavyweights categories. A successful scout will continuously be executing across these quadrants. Leveraging the Venture Scanner Innovation Quadrant as a framework will jumpstart the development of your innovation strategy.