Digitizing the Innovation Team

How Software Should Support Innovation Work in 2020


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Armed with Sharpies, Gantt charts, and sticky notes, innovation and R&D teams are accustomed to rolling up their sleeves and collaborating in person. In fact, over the last ten years, corporate teams increasingly built special-purpose labs and collaboration spaces, bringing in colleagues, business partners, and customers to ideate together.

Then the COVID-19 crisis changed everything. Suddenly, innovation teams could only connect with each other — and with customers — through screens. The worry was palpable and universal: “How can we do our jobs effectively if we can’t be together?”

For our latest report, our team wanted to understand how the crisis is reshaping the ways in which innovation leaders think about the use of digital tools and platforms to support innovation activities. Two hundred respondents to our survey shared with us the specific tools and platforms they are using; the level of ROI they’re getting; and the challenges they have to overcome to bring new digital solutions into their organizations. We also conducted qualitative interviews with a handful of IT and innovation leaders to gather their advice (and lessons learned the hard way) about tools and platforms.

This report will include insights and recommendations for innovation leaders seeking to get the most out of digital tools, and also for tool developers seeking to build productive relationships with those leaders. The report will feature downloadable slides with our survey data, selections from our qualitative interviews, and multimedia components to help guide you as you consider the role that digital tools and platforms play today — and should play in the future — within your own organizations.

This report was produced by Innovation Leader and sponsored by Startgrid.

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Sample Data


Sample Insights from Survey Respondents

  • “The crisis has brought our team to the forefront of the organization and made our work more visible. Therefore, we are getting more outreach and requests for collaboration. Our manual process is very much a bottleneck and needs improvement.”
  • “We are being more careful with spending and trying to do more with less. I'm doing my best not to invest in new platforms that might not increase our productivity. Less opportunity to take risk right now.”
  • “Even after the COVID threat is gone, we don't expect travel to resume as before. A way to have virtual meetings with multiple organizations (e.g., startups in an accelerator or university departments) will remain important.”

Video: Highlights from Digitizing the Innovation Team


Alex Slawsby of Innovation Leader, shares highlights from the recent “Digitizing the Innovation Team” report. Get best practices for integrating new tools into your organization.

Full Interviews

Thought Leadership


Digitizing Innovation: A Call to Action

2020-09-07T13:00:00+01:00By Peter Gardner, CEO, Startgrid

Digitizing the management of startup ecosystems is no more daunting than managing complex processes in sales, marketing, or supply chain automation. Get best practices…