In-house Startup Acceleration & Market Entrance

Car Makers no longer just make ‘Car’

Program for selecting, operating and accelerating in-house start-up team of a global automaker

When: 2018 - Client: The innovation team of company A, a leading global car manufacturer


Uber, which doesn’t make even a single automobile part, has built up the status that huge carmakers around the world have built up in decades. The car is no longer like what we knew. Will car manufacturers be able to hold hegemony forever? What new growth engines can ‘Car makers’ find more competitive, beyond literally making cars?

The Company A wanted to explore newer possibilities. The Company A had a task force team or an in-house venture system, but wanted to quickly verify a variety of items that would be more diverse and that someone might say ridiculous.


Developed a new program that creates and validates Rapid Prototype in five days in the form of ‘Google Sprint’.
The screening of the operation team selected about 40 interviewees and 20 teams were selected finally.
Some of the in-house start-up teams selected through the Sprint process worked with The Invention Lab for office hours and business development programs after their setup.


It is not easy for companies to let employees in their affiliates work on the program for five consecutive days. It would be difficult to proceed without governance and the efforts of the operations team. The best thing about the 5-day intensive short-range program is that it enables participants to get results quickly while maintaining high concentration. (On the other hand, tasks which take a long time to observe, verify or develop and tasks which need collecting results over a period of time for feedback or performance are relatively difficult to proceed.)

Most of the teams actually showed a fairly high level of commitment during this period. They looked closely at the original idea from a new perspective, did researches, and explored fundamental problems. It was important for the teams to continually examine their selections from different perspectives using a variety of tools and frames in order to redefine the problem and proceed with the design of the business.

Afterwards, a simple prototype was created and tests were conducted on selected target customers to receive feedback from them. The company A confirmed fifteen teams of in-house startups through this process. After the selection, there was incredible support to let them operated independently like actual start-ups. This is a yearly placement program that also serves the purpose of spreading creative organizational culture within the corporation. After a year or two, the results of the organization will be reviewed, followed by spin-offs and transferring to related departments. The program, with the aim of identifying and investing potential new growth engine items in advance, eventually became the most efficient way to test 15 businesses that were wanted to be explored for possibilities but were difficult to be approved through Company A’s internal processes. Consequently, several teams are actually reviewing the spin-offs, and the program is still being operated.

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Open Innovation
Advisory Service
  • Designing Open Innovation process and Top Management workshop
  • Planning and operating inbound and outbound OI model
  • Application and diffusion of in-house Open Innovation design methodology into the organization
In-house Startup Acceleration Program
  • Plan and operate lean startup process for in-house start-ups /venture teams in large and midsize companies
  • Operate 10 in 90 application programs for in-house innovation/agile organizations in large and midsize companies
  • Plan and operate a program to verify if the new BM of in-house ventures, start-ups, and innovation organizations is valid to expand overseas.
Technology Scouting
& Investment
  • Find a technical start-up team (Domestic and Asian regions)
  • Operation of inbound OI program and joint seed investment with large and midsize companies
  • Support initial investment and localization of domestic start-ups in emerging Asian markets such as Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar