My experience as CEO at SOSA has made it clear that open innovation is imperative to the success of the corporations who work with us. Here, I share my two cents about why we believe in it and how it can benefit your business.
At SOSA, our job as strategic innovation partners for corporations is to help keep them at the forefront of their industry. What we are seeing in the current economy is that the sectors that were traditionally dominated by giant conglomerates and their traditional business models are simply, not working.
We all know that there is some serious change going on in the world and it is important to embrace this change, and make it work to your benefit. Of course it’s human nature to fear the unknown, but without constantly adapting to new technologies, companies run the risk of falling behind and for some, never catching up.
Most of the major challenges faced by the giant corporations and veteran companies revolve around digital transformation, technological innovation and assimilation of products and business models that were not used in the past. Take the insurance industry for example, where technological changes are completely changing existing policies. Some more examples include; medical technologies that save and prolong life, the transition of autonomous, connected vehicles and of course, the changes insurance companies are undergoing both in their approach to the insured and deals they are offering, in this era of connectivity and new media.
“According to McKinsey, the global management consulting firm, 84% of corporate executives believe that innovation is the key to their growth, but only 6% are satisfied with innovation in their organization”
It’s great to see that such a large percentage of executives agree that innovation is their lifeline for success, yet troubling that few are actually walking the walk.
So where is it all going wrong?
Unlike large startups, traditional companies are stubborn to change the direction in which they are steering the ship, especially when it comes to their approach to innovation and major organizational change. Basically, companies that cannot overcome these barriers will lose the grip on their world. Over the years, we’ve seen quite a few examples of these trends, including Toys R Us, which went bankrupt because it wasn’t prepared for the demands of online consumers. On the other hand, Amazon, which started as an online bookstore prioritized optimizing the online customer experience through data collection and is now one of the world’s largest new-economy conglomerates.
Without a doubt, the ability to cope with an ever changing technological landscape is overwhelming for traditional companies. At SOSA, our global platform for open innovation allows us to find the best ways to deal with rapid technological developments. Through physical hubs in Tel Aviv and New York, SOSA is connected to dozens of corporations that use our services to identify innovative Israeli and international technologies. These corporations include HP, Siemens, Munich Re, Zurich Insurance, Swiss Re, ENEL, Australian Stock Exchange ASX, Jefferies Investment Bank, just to name a few.
So where does SOSA fit in?
The teams at SOSA form the heart and soul of our company, walking hand-in-hand with corporate partners through their journey of executing open innovation. Our team of analysts live and breathe data and are constantly tracking the latest market developments. Our close connections to startups allow us to directly engage, test new technologies and assist in examining all aspects of their potential. At the same time, we have a fantastic team of account managers who understand the needs and pains of the corporations, and tailor each innovation program to meet their goals.
We recognize the challenges that companies are facing across industries to spur innovation from within, and the rising urgency of looking outwards for technology solutions. However, the differences in DNA, bureaucracy, pace, culture and language, are some of the barriers that make it difficult for startups, corporations and investors to connect. At SOSA, we believe the key is understanding the needs of everyone involved and then matching the relevant parties together.
We are currently generating thousands of business interactions a year, but unfortunately we cannot disclose too much due to confidentiality agreements with our partners. What I can say is that over the past year, we closed dozens of deals and POCs formed through the connections that we made between startups and global corporations; IoT startups were connected to industrial companies, ConstructionTech companies were connected to construction and infrastructure companies, Big Data startups were connected to insurance companies, and cyber technologies were connected to various types of industries (insurance, energy, industry, media, finance).
We live in a fascinating era characterised by rapid and wide-scale technological innovation and I have a feeling that this is only the beginning. It seems that the need for large companies to turn outwards for technology will only increase, and this is wonderful news for startups. The future is in open innovation, and open innovation is here to stay.