5 Actions for External Innovation




As a Cube insider, you'll get access to interesting new trends, what we think about them and how you can benefit. Corporations continue to pursue external innovation to solve new challenges to recapture growth.


New Trend: Budgets for External Innovation


External innovation means looking outside your company, at startups, for new ways to solve business challenges. During the pandemic, it appeared that VC funding for startups dropped and corporations were cutting innovation while retracting to the core business.

Recently, we have identified a new trend. Corporate innovation budgets haven’t been cut and many companies are continuing to invest in external innovation. In one small study, more than 55% of companies surveyed maintained their budgets for external innovation.


Startups were challenged with low funding and customers unwilling to disrupt the status quo. The ones that survived used the time to double-down on their product by starting new development. Remarkably, many startups poised to enter the market did so regardless of the headwinds. The entrepreneurial spirit cannot be deterred even by a pandemic!

New Insight: Solving New Challenges

External innovation is alive and thriving. Corporations that put business challenges on hold are now starting to seek solutions with a new level of urgency. Startups are eager and available to solve business challenges for corporations while generating much needed revenue for themselves.

New challenges for innovation teams have arisen from the pandemic and corporations are searching for solutions to challenges such as:

  • Returning to the workplace, safely

  • Being productive in a partial or fully virtual workplace

  • Investing in automation

  • Creating customer value

  • Identify new business models

New Action: 5 Actions You Can Take Now

External Innovation teams can help lead corporations through the re-entry process and recapture growth. Here are 5 actions your team can be taking right now.

  1. Re-align innovation goals to your company’s recovery goals and strategies to recapture growth

  2. Check-in with business stakeholders to see where they have pain-points and identify topics for external innovation

  3. Identify the core technologies that will address the challenges, including those that have had time to mature over the last 18 months

  4. Connect and reconnect with relevant startups that can help you go faster

  5. Pilot with one or more startups to test and learn what can be applied and deployed into the business operations

N3 Innovation can help you Drive Innovation Excellence. To learn more about how external innovation teams can drive business recovery, contact us today!


Now is the time to Invent the Future!

N³ Innovation does not endorse the organizations or products mentioned in this newsletter. If you are interested to learn more, contact us today for a full landscape and targeted solutions.

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