Corporate incubation is a proven strategy to fuel innovation, expand beyond your core business and encourage an entrepreneurial mindset – all while leveraging existing corporate assets.
Leading corporations across different industries have successfully used this approach to future-proof their business, find disruptive solutions to traditional problems, and gain a competitive edge. In essence, incubators enable companies to accelerate growth by creating a pipeline of corporate ventures to:
- Experiment with new business models
- Try out new technologies
- Develop new and improved offerings
- Create new revenue streams
To give you a better idea of how they work in the real world, we’ve created a list of 10 inspiring Corporate Incubators from around the world. Each example tackles innovation in a new and creative way, providing valuable insights you can use to design your own tailored incubation strategy.
Get the full list of 50 by clicking the link below!
1. ZX Ventures by AB InBev
Head of ZX Ventures: Bernardo Novick
ZX Ventures develops, grows, and invests in new products and businesses across different industries – from consumer products to technology. Their ventures range from physical bar experiences to at-home devices that empower consumers to customise their beverages.
ZX Ventures’ portfolio is supported by AB InBev’s considerable corporate assets like: global supply chains, production facilities, marketing assets and a vast commercial network.
2. P&G Ventures by P&G
Founder P&G Ventures: Leigh Radford
P&G Ventures is an in-house incubator that partners with startups, entrepreneurs, and inventors to build brands and businesses in the consumer packaged goods space. Although their ventures come in all shapes and sizes, they all follow a simple three-step development process:
They operate by providing their startups with guidance in different areas, including branding, manufacturing, sales, legal and distribution.
3. SAP.iO Venture Studio by SAP
Managing Director: Ram Jambunathan
SAP.io is a venture studio focused on building solutions that tackle the most prominent tech challenges corporations face today. New ideas and concepts come directly from SAP employees, and new founders are provided with the resources, funding and coaching they need to turn their ideas into profitable ventures.
Some of their focus areas include finance, AI, machine learning and robotics.
4. Rise by Barclays
Rise Global FinTech Platform Director: Magdalena Krön
Rise brings together a global community of innovators to shape the future of finance. With offices in London, Mumbai and New York, Rise provides a space for innovative startups and scale-ups to connect and build cutting-edge FinTech solutions.
5. Wayra by Telefonica
Managing Director: Andrés Saborido
Wayra helps Telefónica connect with disruptive tech startups on a global scale. They work with startups at every phase in their development, focusing on entertainment, AI, IoT, eHealth, data and FinTech. All in-house innovation projects are supported by the Wayra Builder unit, enabling them to find the right market fit and become independent spin-offs.
6. AstraZeneca Incubator by AstraZeneca
CEO: Magnus R. Björsne
AstraZeneca Incubator’s mission is to support emerging healthcare startups on their journey to developing lifesaving solutions. Entrepreneurs that get accepted into the programme gain access to vital resources like state-of-the-art labs, mentoring and business development coaching.
Some of their focus areas include novel drugs and therapeutics to treat cancers, auto-immune diseases, respiratory illnesses and cardiovascular conditions.
7. Digital Garage by Aviva
Chief Innovation Officer: Ben Luckett
Digital Garage is transforming the insurance industry by leveraging the power of data and technology to address Aviva’s biggest customer pain points. Pitch days and hackathons are employed to gather cutting-edge ideas from both external startups and employees.
Most of the projects developed at Digital Garage focus on user experience, API, mobile-first, CMS and DevOps.
8. Ericsson ONE by Ericsson
Founder, VP & Global Head: Daniel Alexus
Ericsson ONE encourages employees to develop new business ideas and turn them into successful ventures beyond Ericsson's core business. Intrapreneurs with winning concepts get to create, test and validate their prototypes, build MVP’s and scale their ventures, all with the Ericsson ONE team’s support and mentoring.
9. InGenius by Nestlé
Co-founder of InGenius and Head of Employee Innovation: Nick de Blasio
InGenius fosters a culture of entrepreneurship within Nestlé by providing a space for employees to grow ideas into businesses. Most projects go from idea to launch in six months, employing a learn-as-you-go and “fail smartly” mentality. Focus areas for new projects include agri-tech, plant and protein-based foods, drones, IoT, sustainability and D2C businesses.
The insights gathered from each successful project are used to accelerate growth within Nestlé.
10. Volvo Innovation Lab by Volvo Group
Vice President: Tommy Hansson
Volvo’s Innovation Lab uses rapid prototyping and in-market customer feedback to build solutions that create real customer value. Innovative ideas and concepts are gathered from various sources, including employees, external startup workshops or internal data analysis.
In addition, design sprints are used as a tool to go from idea to validated prototype in just a few weeks.
As you can see, corporate incubators come in all shapes and sizes, and the strategy can be adapted to meet a wide variety of needs. While some companies use them mainly to accelerate their digital transformations, others focus on expanding beyond core offerings or improving existing products and services.
For more inspiring corporate incubator examples, check out our new report: 50 Corporate Incubator examples shaping our future. It’s packed with valuable insights that explain how some of today’s leading corporations are using incubation to boost growth and dominate their industries.
And, if you're already convinced and thinking about building your own corporate incubator, try out our Incubator Canvas. It’s a great tool to help you map out the framework and growth goals that will shape your incubator in the future.