Develop or acquire? How to create insights with an innovative startup in just a few hours

Discover a disruptive strategic partner and… it’s the start of a beautiful friendship

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Solving the puzzle

Assessing partnership with a high-tech startup based on an innovative business model

The “recycle economy” is hot right now in the baby products industry, a scene known for its quantities of non-perishable single-use items which are produced around the world every single day. Therefore, with a company that’s uncertain whether to acquire an advanced technology or to continue its attempts to develop internally—into which it has already invested heavily—there are numerous different opinions.

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“Working with ModelZ on our open innovation accelerator made it possible to achieve focused output with a learning program and milestones to achieve an incredible collaboration with a startup. The fact that ModelZ was managing the process created objectivity which allowed both sides to feel that their needs/desires could be expressed openly and on an equal footing – it wasn’t a big company versus a little startup (David against Goliath) – and also brought about precise results faster towards an optimal result.”

Chantal Eliot, Innovation Division Leader, KIMBERLY CLARK EMEA

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The Solution

Strategic Sprint

In an online mapping workshop lasting a number of hours, we worked with the marketing and product teams to create a strategic picture for 2030 of the business unit. We mapped the primary challenges and roadblocks standing in their way and explored the expectations for early market entrance and the potential consequences of a delay.

Together, we sketched out the scenarios for potential business models to achieve the unit’s strategy and success metrics. Then, we were prepared for a joint session with startup entrepreneurs to sketch more clearly possibilities for collaboration based on the business models.

At the meeting with the entrepreneurs, we presented the challenges we would use to create collaboration scenarios with the startup’s unique technology and to specify the maturity level for each scenario and what would be required to execute it. We asked questions such as: How could a collaborative synergy look? Which challenges would be solved and which would remain? Would this create new challenges? And who is the best possible partner?

The Results

Jointly beneficial business model

The teams from Kimberly-Clark and the innovative startup reached insights and agreements about their core collaboration, including an initial plan, within just two meetings, thanks to the focus on points of synergy and clear strategic understanding of both sides at the earliest possible stages.

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