Henkel X, the open innovation platform of Henkel, has chosen to connect with us as its open innovation partner, working together with our transformation experts and startup network going forward.
We have been chosen by Henkel as its strategic partner for innovation pathways – covering scouting and selection of startups in order to develop new digital business models, as well as designing a strategic transformation journey and fostering an innovation and always on learning culture among the chemical company's employees.
A global leader with a well-balanced and diversified portfolio, Henkel's leading position relies on its three business units that stretch across both industrial and consumer businesses. Driving its own digitalization is one of Henkel’s main strategic priorities. For this reason, the company launched its open innovation and collaboration platform Henkel X that focuses on accelerating Henkel’s entrepreneurial transformation by exploring disruptive new business models and bringing together a unique network of mentors, collaborators, and industry partners in order to address industry-wide challenges.
Among such partners is us. We were the first in the world to adopt a model that brought together investments, business consultancy and digitally augmented educational programs all into one place. Thanks to a global network of international experts, internal transformation practice and a network of 4.5 million active startups built over 13 years of experience – we are a one-of-a-kind hub.
The celebrated partnership involves two of our core business units.
The first, Human Innovation Culture, has designed a tailor-made training program together with Henkel for its employees on the multi-device platform, Maize.Plus. The process is an educational journey with a narrative format that combines both storytelling and gamification to immerse users in a new way of learning. Embedded and based on the corporate wide digital upskilling program, Henkel and H-FARM experts extended the digital knowledge program for all employees. The focus was on co-creating a narrative maturity approach and engaging learning experience.
The second, Open Innovation, has created a program to provide Henkel with an "always-on" innovation flow for each of its three main businesses: Adhesive Technologies, Beauty Care, and Laundry & Home Care. The project consists of different innovation rounds which identify startups working on unique solutions that respond to targeted business challenges, as well as an overall push to facilitate collaborations with select Ventures. So far, we have run 2 innovation rounds, delivering on 6 business challenges defined together by us and dedicated Henkel teams from all 3 business units.
The business challenges aim at discovering and selecting innovative solutions, technologies, and business models that can impact Henkel's current business and clients. Further to this, these challenges will explore new digital-enabled business and markets. Overall, from March 2018, more than 750 targeted startups have been sourced and analyzed. For each business challenge, a shortlist of 20-25 startups is presented to the Henkel teams, allowing them to select the best and most suitable projects to later consider as collaborations in terms of business or investment partnerships.
This is another significant collaboration that we have built directly with a big multinational corporation. A sign that our hub, born in Ca' Tron in 2005 and with more than 600 employees today, is growing in terms of revenue (+46% compared to last year) and strengthening its position as leader of digital excellence in Europe.