The ARxelerator Program. Background on the new innovation format of oculavis.

Corporate News | min. reading time

27th of March 2021

Martin Plutz Blog oculavis
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Every major corporate has already done it: set up its own startup accelerator or incubator program, founded a digital lab, organized hackathons, or come up with similar-sounding innovation formats. The goal is always the same: to bring digital innovations into the company in order to digitize processes or products and make them more efficient, and also to learn a bit from the agile working methods of startups.

The goals of startups in classic innovation formats of corporates

The goal of startups in such formats is primarily - and I am speaking here with the experience of participating in over 20 such formats - to gain new customers through this entry into corporates, to gain attention through the media coverage of the innovation formats and - depending on the maturity of the startup - also to include customer requirements for product development. So far, the goals of corporates and startups fit together very well.

Unfortunately, experience also shows that shortly after the end of a demo day, award ceremony or pitch event celebrated on social media, things often slow down considerably or come to a standstill. The innovation does not find its way into the core processes of the corporates, where it is supposed to unfold the added value for which one believes to have been selected - at least that is the startup logic. The reasons for this are many and diverse and can be seen either in a lack of resources or too little pressure to innovate in the core areas of the target companies. Accelerator programs that are not run by a corporate alone but are managed externally further increase the distance of the startup solution from the operational processes of the target customers where the solution is supposed to be deployed.

The typical phases of classic accelerator programs and hurdles to the targeted rollout of the startup solution
The typical phases of classic accelerator programs and hurdles to the targeted rollout of the startup solution

The descriptions given so far are intended to show that innovation formats often run inefficiently for all participants and are not goal-oriented. What is the goal in the first place? Young companies with digital innovations like oculavis were founded to have a positive impact on their customers and on society. For us, this means saving travel costs and associated CO2, innovatively designing the interface between humans, machines and processes based on augmented reality and other innovative technologies, and empowering digital business models in mechanical and plant engineering. In this way, we want to step out together with our customers and partners into a new future in which everyone involved wins in the long term. The environment benefits from less travel, society from new forms of work through our vision of separating machine-relevant knowledge from the physical presence of know-how carriers. And every customer benefits from more efficient processes and the opportunity to establish new digital business models based on our augmented reality platform and thus not only save costs, but also unlock new revenue streams.

The Reverse Accelerator as a new innovation format

What we do not need are those innovation formats that scout innovative solutions for a single company or an association of a few companies in a time-consuming process. We need innovation formats that focus on the impact side of innovations and in which those involved participate, who benefit directly from the innovation, implement it technically and organizationally in their processes and from there scale it within their own organization and beyond, in order to carry the economic and ecological potential of the innovation into the world.

We therefore have to start at the beginning of the actual implementation, where conventional innovation formats end or even do not reach to. This fundamental paradigm shift and the focus on the impact of an innovation, with the aim of reaching not just a single company but as many corporates as possible at the same time, is the basis for a completely new innovation format: the reverse accelerator.

Based on these experiences and considerations, we have further detailed the concept of such a reverse accelerator and shaped it into a program to give our innovation an even greater impact with its intended positive effects on corporates, society and environment.

Reverse Accelerator concept to create a network of companies working together on the technical-organizational introduction of augmented reality solutions into their processes
Reverse Accelerator concept to create a network of companies working together on the technical-organizational introduction of augmented reality solutions into their processes

Like classic startup accelerators, the ARxelerator program also includes a selection process to identify best practices in the implementation of augmented reality powered processes among the participating corporates on the basis of a benchmark study. The benchmark approach, which we are developing together with the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering of RWTH Aachen University, serves to systematically identify success factors in the implementation of use cases. As usual, there are also awards to be won in our Reverse Accelerator, namely software and service packages worth over 150,000 Euros. But at its core, it is not about a competitive selection process of best performers at all, but about creating a group dynamic that allows each participating company to benefit from the experiences of the other participants and the expertise of oculavis in order to simply achieve more together. Because in the end, the winners are all the organizations that manage to integrate innovative technologies into their processes in a meaningful and sustainable way for the benefit of their competitiveness and that are able to bring innovation to life.

Want to learn more about the ARxelerator program? Visit oculavis.de/x for further information.

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