Innovation Training: how to generate valuable connections

100 Open Startups
4 min readOct 11, 2022

Innovation Training is the golden card for managers and leaders who are part of large corporations and who want to stand out in the innovation ecosystem.

Open innovation — open innovation — has gained a lot of strength in recent years, and hundreds of corporations have adopted this strategy for sustainable growth. However, it is still common for corporations to have doubts about how to extract, in fact, values ​​and positive results from this practice, and the open innovation universe harbors a vast innovation ecosystem.

Technological solutions aside, open innovation is, in fact, a strategy about relationships , a strategy about people.

Generally, the person who leads this relationship with the startup is an executive, an innovation manager or a team leader, for example. It is these people who raise the flag of innovation within the company and, normally, have lean teams and receive demands from all areas to raise innovative solutions to the company’s internal challenges.

Since open innovation is a strategy about people, training in innovation, with a focus on preparing to manage projects within corporations, has become very necessary. From empowerment, it is possible to understand how the ecosystem works, increasing the chances of creating valuable connections .

However, it is increasingly visible that innovation is not the responsibility of an isolated group. Innovation is an instrument for everyone, for each area, for each employee.

Cultural Transformation and Open Innovation

Over the last few years, 100 Open Startups identified, in a survey with leading innovation corporations in Brazil, that the biggest challenge to obtain results with open innovation is related to the fundamental pillar, which is people. Companies lack more people with experience and a culture that is actually conducive to open innovation, which highlights the need to implement Cultural Transformation actions within corporations.

Team preparation is one of the necessary elements to establish an impactful Cultural Transformation. Therefore, Culture and Open Innovation talk a lot and, from them, the term Culture of Innovation emerges , a movement about how people who are part of a corporation can bring innovative ideas, adding value from the relationship with external agents. , like startups.

Here on the Blog , we have already talked about the 4 fundamental pillars to implement a Cultural Transformation, namely: Empower; Empower; To communicate; Reward, all of them supported by the example of the Leaders.

Innovation training

To meet this challenge of having more people trained to generate good results with open innovation, 100 Open Startups created the 100–10–1 Startups Program . The Program guides employees on a journey to get to know, relate to and contribute, in practice, with open startups.

The Program is divided into three phases, namely:

Phase 100: Meet 100 startups. At this moment, the practitioner has access to various information on startups according to their areas and topics of interest, and, based on the information from the business models, the practitioner assesses the degree of maturity of the startup and innovation. Knowing what is on the market and the plurality of innovative ideas is, without a doubt, a super important element for anyone dealing with innovation.

Phase 10: In this phase, the practitioner takes a more direct action, where he talks to 10 startups that were evaluated in Phase 100. The objective of this phase is to deepen knowledge about the solutions and challenges of startups.

Phase 1: In the last phase, the practitioner chooses a startup to accompany and contribute over six months. At the end of this period, he receives the title of startup mentor . By choosing and accompanying startups, the practitioner has the possibility to live the startup culture, to be inside how processes and solutions are developed and delivered. It’s a chance to truly get to know how a startup operates.

Throughout the innovation training journey, therefore, training and connection are worked, where executives, through direct interaction as advisors and mentors of startups, are able to expand their skills in open innovation. In addition, network learning is offered , where practitioners can contribute to each other with discussions and exchanges about the challenges of their mentored startups and even the open innovation challenges they face in their corporations.

Since open innovation is a two-way street, the Program encourages practitioners to understand the universe of startups, and they receive feedback on how their solutions and processes can improve and how to achieve more growth in the innovation ecosystem.

How does the Program support a Cultural Transformation?

The Program is an action that feeds processes of Cultural Transformation. It was developed with the premise of empowering employees and executives to be startup mentors, as well as evaluating and connecting with startups. This process helps corporations to empower various areas of business , whether or not they are involved in innovation. This practice helps to spread the practice of open innovation and reaffirms that everyone can be involved, not just one area of ​​the company.

The 100–10–1 is all gamified, and participants earn points based on the quality of the feedback sent to startups. Based on these scores, the company can internally disclose who are the employees who are standing out in the Program, supporting communication and recognition strategies . These strategies help create models for others to follow, in addition to aligning the company’s expected expectations with these internal stakeholders.

In addition to all this, when the leadership engages in 100–10–1, and sets an example for other employees, participation increases, not to mention that it becomes easier for the company to understand the importance of participating in this process to consolidate the practice of open innovation in your culture .

Do you believe that your company should have more executives connected and attentive to innovations proposed by startups?

Does achieving true transformation and consolidating the culture of open innovation make sense for your company?

The 100–10–1 Startups Program will power this journey with you! Learn more and be part of the team that is building the future of open innovation.