In Vertical Innovation, one firm handles all of these steps in the process:
We define innovation as “the collision of unrelated ideas.”
Our first client was a rotational molder who made bedpans. We collided two worlds and used our clients to create Little Tykes. They turned from making bedpans to being a leading toymaker.
Three value-generating platforms were discussed:
1. Tech Transfer: The problem with traditional tech transfer is that you don’t get a lot of transfer. But working with Nottingham Sprik, Case Western University was about to create the CardioInsight vest, which was then acquired by Medtronic.
2. Platform Innovation: They created the Troybuilt FLEX—a line of products that collided tractors with lawn care. Lowe’s became the exclusive retailer of this product suite and Nottingham Sprik was allowed to handle the branding around the products and the launch. FLEX is a modular system for lawn care. Changing out the modules was core to the innovation, solved with a kick-stand innovation.
3. Soft Launch: Took the concept of an ATM machine and a pharmacy and created a hybrid. They created a telemedicine kiosk, introduced it at CES, then where the concept (HealthSpot) won the CES Entrepreneur of Year award. Then, they rolled it out to hospital systems, then lastly into Rite Aid.
Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.