The CBI Consortium for Innovative Growth is a project -- commissioned by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA) -- that seeks to develop and diffuse methods and processes for capital efficient development and growth among early stage tech-companies.
More specifically, we seek to develop -- by working hands on with a number of companies and incubator coaches -- robust and actionable methods that can be used to help early stage technology based start-ups become better at identifying a scalable business model. This includes identifying who their customers are, what value they can/should deliver to customers and others, and based on this rethink who their customers really should be, and indeed what their entire business models should be like.
The project set up is like this. Based on a rudimentary framework for systematic business innovation, we work hands-on during one year to develop the business models of five carefully selected and very promising Swedish university research based tech-startups. The actual work is conducted in dedicated project teams that comprise: the CEO plus one top executive, one business development coach from Sweden's top university incubators, one experienced serial-entrepreneur, and one senior faculty from our department. An important goal is of course to develop the participating companies but, from a process perspective, the goal is also to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and to use the insights to develop a more robust and useful framework. This year (2010) is the second of a scheduled three.
Early on each year, the whole project team visits Palo Alto for a week of inspiration, teambuilding and learning. The key to achieving all of these goals is to visit a number of inspirational people who have a sound understanding of how to actually do systematic business innovation, be they CEOs, researchers or VCs.