Innovation Scouting: Silicon Valley Trends

Tech scouting is 30 years old. It still works.

Matteo Fabiano
Jun 24, 2018 · 4 min read
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Less hackathons, more scouting.

Corporations have built open innovation “front-end” organizations. However, the open innovation push is still largely driven by the innovation ecosystem, not by corporations themselves. Open innovation brokers, consultants, investors and accelerators act both as promoters and filters, pushing in front of corporations the startups and technologies they have invested in, in the hope to get companies to fund or buy them.

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Corporations are taking a proactive approach to scouting.

Outcomes before technology.

The realignment of open innovation from a reactive stance to a proactive one creates an obvious need to prioritize strategic scouting goals more deliberately. We are seeing the pursuit of strategic outcomes becoming the critical driver of scouting initiatives. In the past, innovation scouting may have been relegated to servicing R&D or IT, now it is also being used to envision solutions to questions of business model reinvention or industry disruption.

Data-driven everything.

Data is changing all industries. Data is powering advances in machine learning, informing insights into every function’s performance, creating new business models. It should be no surprise that even traditional, high-touch, consultative industries like venture capital are being affected.

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Data aggregation and search for the innovation ecosystem.

Digital M&A is growing fast.

So called “Digital M&A” happens when a traditional industrial, CPG or service-oriented corporation acquires a (typically much smaller) digital company, with the goal of integrating digital technology in its offering or launching digital-enabled business models.

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Just a sample of “digital” acquisitions in the past year.

“Three out of four U.S. executives (81 percent) agree or strongly agree that companies cannot rely on their current M&A capabilities for digital deals.” — Accenture Strategy Research Survey, 2017

From finding the right targets, to valuation, to structuring of the business case, to integration, digital M&A requires skills and competencies that are a combination of technology expertise, scouting discipline and financial modeling.


FireMatter

Technology. Innovation. Markets.

Matteo Fabiano

Written by

Hello! Managing Partner @firematter | ex-P&G, HP, IBM | Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, California | basketball, ski, cycling

FireMatter

Technology. Innovation. Markets.

Matteo Fabiano

Written by

Hello! Managing Partner @firematter | ex-P&G, HP, IBM | Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, California | basketball, ski, cycling

FireMatter

Technology. Innovation. Markets.

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