Are hackathons worth it?

The contribution of hackathons to corporate competitiveness is long debated. Originated in software development, hackathons have become an increasingly popular way for companies to engage with interdisciplinary external talent. Despite their popularity, hackathons’ effectiveness has been questioned on the ground of limited innovation impact.

How do hackathons generate value for companies? How can you include them in your innovation strategy? Are they even worth it?

In this blog post, we share our experience as hackathons’ facilitators and we share insights from companies we have worked with.

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Winners of the Vienna InnoDays 2019

Three ways in which hackathons create value

Hackathons are a powerful mechanism to generate ideas about pressing innovation challenges. While hackathons’…

When setting up innovation spaces, such as innovation labs, coworking spaces, and incubators, few managers reflect on the power of space as leverage for success. Busy planning activities or designing the business model, the “look and feel” of the space might feel secondary. Yet, spatial identity is a fundamental component of successful innovation spaces. In this blog post, we explain how.

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What is spatial identity?

Spatial identity refers to a combination of physical elements of the space, community forming in the space, and activities enabled by the space. Think about how Starbucks established itself as the multinational chain of coffeehouses it is today. Entering…

How is intrapreneurship defined, and how do we build our strategy to succeed as innovators? We spoke with Tendayi Viki, associate partner at Strategyzer and author of Pirates in the Navy about ways to make innovation happen in the corporate context. Strategyzer is a global leader in enterprise growth and innovation services. Find out about the key insights from Tendayi’s interview in this blog post.

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Intrapreneurs vs. Entrepreneurs

The startup entrepreneur has become such a hero in the way we tell the innovation story, we tend to over-celebrate their success — to the detriment of the corporate innovator.

“One of the mistakes…when we…

It is imperative to acknowledge the finite resources of our planet; this applies to our innovation process as much as to our daily lives. When prototyping sustainable innovation, what are the most important considerations to make? Zoé Bezpalko, the Sustainability Strategy Manager at Autodesk, shared her perspective with us. Autodesk is a multinational corporation that provides software and services across the industries of architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and more.

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Key considerations in prototyping

Prototyping is an iterative process. We tend to think of the design process linearly, but in reality, the process looks more like this:

Two major components of the innovation process are prototyping and soliciting feedback. How would you execute these components in today’s global digital environment? Jane Pritchard and Marie Laffitte of Treehouse Innovation discussed with us how they used Sprintbase, a virtual design thinking platform developed by Treehouse, to understand needs, explore ideas, and gather feedback for smart home renovations at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. Treehouse Innovation works with leading businesses around the world on strategic innovation projects to help them reimagine their products, services, and strategies.

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Project Background

KAUST is a post-graduate university with a multi-cultural…

How do you innovate from a business model perspective? Business model innovation is especially relevant in our current global health economic climate. At the InnoDays Training, we had the privilege of hearing from Michel D’Ausillio from Enel X and Claus von Riegen from SAP on this topic. Enel X is the innovation arm of Enel — one of the world’s largest energy companies — while SAP is a broadly global software provider. Both Enel X and SAP strive to provide smart and sustainable new business solutions.

During the Innodays Bodensee, we hosted an exciting panel about innovation spaces featuring Markus Kleinfercher from the Infineon Hub at the TU Vienna, David Zakoth from the Lichtwerkstatt Jena, and Claudio Vit from Prisma CAMPUS V in Dornbirn. Markus, David, and Claudio discussed three very different types of innovation spaces. In this post, we compare the three types of innovation spaces along five design dimensions.

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Five design dimensions for the set up of innovation spaces

The panel agreed that the prerequisite for a successful innovation space is to enable its users to freely pursue their projects and ideas. However, innovation spaces may be very diverse. …

How do you select and support promising ideas within a corporate accelerator program? We asked Michael Nichols, lead of the Bosch Accelerator Program, this question. Bosch Accelerator Program is designed to innovate in the corporate context and take initial ideas to businesses that scale profitably.

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Selecting worthwhile ideas

Selecting worthwhile ideas is the hardest thing in corporate innovation. You must be careful not to believe that you know better than everyone else. Most ideas won’t work, and nobody can pick a winner upfront. Too much initial idea filtering will result in killing ideas before you know if they are right. …

Organizations are increasingly turning to the design of physical spaces to support their innovation efforts. From the pioneering examples of Xerox PARC to the Nike Kitchen, and IKEA Space 10, many companies are experimenting with different space formats as part of their innovation strategy. Despite the growing popularity of innovation spaces, there are challenges. What type of innovation space should you set up? How do you measure the success of your innovation space? How much should you invest?

In our new series, we explore frequently asked questions about innovation spaces. In this post, we start with the question “Why”.

Why setting up an innovation space?


A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure to interview Pontus Siren, partner at InnoSight, about defining search fields for corporate innovation. InnoSight is a leading global strategy firm co-founded by Clay Christensen, who developed the theory of disruptive innovation. Here are the main take-aways from our interview.

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Three golden rules for corporate innovation

  1. Define success
  2. Set boundaries of your strategy
  3. Reward entrepreneurial drive

What is success?

When you get started working on corporate innovation projects, you need to define what good looks like. What is a sufficient impact? Can it be just a change of perception? Does it have to have a…


InnoInsights aims to be a source of inspiration and guidance for how organizations can collaborate with external innovators.

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