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How to transform innovative ideas into real ventures (and how company building can provide the execution model)
Analysis

How to transform innovative ideas into real ventures (and how company building can provide the execution model)

Constantly, ideas for new products and business models arise within a company. Some of these ideas can be implemented in-house, as far as the creator(s) of the new idea have relevant contacts to find internal support for the endeavor and to compile the needed resources. But even though many promising ideas arise, many will disappear shortly after they came to life. Not all innovative ideas can be embedded within the structures of the firm.

There are various reasons for this, just to name a few: The new business model would not match the core business of the company or is a service of which the original company and its competitors would be a customer of. Other reasons regarding the internal idea creators include a possible loss of motivation to push the topic or a lack of time to develop it further. Also, internal (authorization)processes, policies and required permission requests slow down the whole project and the resulting inertia can lead to being caught up by an agile startup competitor. And finally, new opportunities that seem to carry a high risk of failure will often not be further investigated.                

So, this is what happens: If the idea cannot be put into practice inside the company, it will get stuck and as time flies, it will vanish. The high innovation pressure of today within -and between - established firms means that ideas lost are equivalent to lost innovation potential. But what if there was a way to make good use of this innovation potential? What if there was away that could prevent companies from complaining: „We’ve already had this idea10 years ago but then, we didn’t go for it…“          

There is no lack of good ideas. There is a lack of transforming those ideas into real, disruptive innovations! But is there an easy way to deal with this problem?

The good news is: YES! If a great concept for a new innovation cannot be put into practice internally, the only other option is to implement it externally. New innovation can be brought tomarket by spinning it off into an external, independent venture and there are two different approaches on how to do it.        

1. Let the internal team of creators bring the idea to market    

After deciding that the idea won’t be implemented within the firm, the idea owners (could be one or a team of inventors of a product or an innovative business model) have enough motivation and willpower to bring the innovation to market themselves.In this case, three different procedures are likely to happen: The idea owners could leave the company to build an independent startup. As a result, good employees along with the innovation potential will be lost but put into practice without any link to the parent firm. Another scenario is that the internal founding team loses interest or has no motivation to leave the firm, so the innovation potential will be entirely lost. Or else, the original firm offers infrastructure and funding money to the inventors for the implementation of the idea. As a result, participation on the startup’s success can be acquired. 

Apparently only the last option is beneficial for the parent firm in case the idea is successful. In this case, the expert knowledge from the idea owners can be transferred directly into the new venture and resources from the parent firm can be used. But it requires a support infrastructure for spinning off new ventures, which many firms might not have. Further, the firm is highly dependent on the skills, mood and vision of the original idea creators. 

2. Let a partner bring your ideas to market  

In this scenario, the idea owners have a strong focus on their current work and know that they do not want to leave the current employer or might simply put not be capable of building a new venture from scratch. But the idea creators are open to share the innovation and (technological) advice to allow external implementation.Within this model, the idea can be tested, validated and finally implemented by one or a team of surrogate entrepreneurs, who are external, experienced founders. The cooperation with the inventor firm is highly beneficial to transfer deep knowledge and work within a partnership. As a result, both partners are actively engaged in the venture creation process.     

This model is advantageous as the dependency on the idea owners is significantly reduced. Further, the surrogate entrepreneurs bring in entrepreneurial, business related knowledge, experience and network. 

A deep partnership with the inventing firm leads to high synergies and a powerful co-creation of the new ventures. But in a partner-like venture creation, trust has to be given on both sides and the pressure for control has to be loosened up. In this regard, it is highly important to find a good partner.           

Which model to choose is highly dependent on different contributing factors as the motivation and personality traits of the idea owner, the current strategic focus of the original company as well as the access to resources and support infrastructures. Choosing the right execution model is highly relevant and should not be underestimated. 

The Company Builder

In this context, company builders can offer the needed support when realizing new ideas with high innovation potential within a new venture. Even though established firms have lots of resources, from financial resources to a great industry expertise and network as well as a good reputation, company builders can offer the execution model. They are holding knowledge about the methods and tools needed to start a new venture from scratch, have the right entrepreneurial people, a network into the startup scene and familiarity with financing strategies.    

Combining these advantages by engaging with a company builder will lead to a boost of innovation potential and a transformation of groundbreaking ideas into real ventures!

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