The pipeline incorporates five stages that are vital for overall success and deliver tangible outcome:
For more details on Innovation Rocket concept, please read “Why innovation funnels don’t work and why rockets do” by David Nichols.
Roadmap: delivers a clear picture for disruptive opportunities and pockets of potential growth. In a series of iterations it defines the potential industry verticals and focused new technologies that can create value in their intersection.
Ideation and Concepts: delivers problem solving concepts and their validation vs. defined problems. This stage involves series of events with multidisciplinary teams focused on roadmap topics.
Prototyping: is the start of the hand-on building process. It gives life to the validated concept and test how good it solves (or not) the targeted problem. The format is 2-3 days hackathon with startup teams.
Development & Testing: Classical lean startup approach for building MVP and refining it with real clients in beta testing. (VC or Enterprise investment included).
Business Setup: Establish legal entities, intellectual property rights, perform business planning and set up processes to ensure smooth business operations.
Go-to-Market: Follow-up investment is the marketing and and growth stage of the validated product. (VC or Enterprise investment included)
Our pipeline methodology starting point is the strategic input from the business/investor unit and its defined goals. Based on this input, a dedicated execution plan is created and implemented by filling in the concept stages with activities.
Enterprise pipeline can be build around two strategic intents. First one is solving complex problems, part of the existing business operation. In this case the focus is building solutions, based on the sandbox (data, APIs) provided be the company. The second is value creation (new product development) for adjacent markets, where the company wants to extend its business. In both cases the involvement can vary in terms of investment, dedicated teams and provided assets.
Number of elements in the workflow is illustrative.
VC pipeline can be build around input for technologies and industry verticals that will be addressed by the fund. Flexibility is the key as different funds have different investment strategies. Involvement only on certain stages of the process is an option that can provide transparency and satisfy the overall goal for lowering the risks on the very early stages of product/solution development.