Following a three-month incubator bootcamp, 6 of the ten teams who submitted their ‘napkin ideas’ will have their concepts and prototypes developed further within Telenor. Three will be set up as new internal startup product teams to work fully on their ideas, while the other 3 ‘runners up’ will be merged with existing initiatives and partially continued.
When Ignite was launched in 2016, Telenor CEO, Sigve Brekke challenged employees to come up with ideas for solutions or services that can impact the societies in which Telenor operates and that the company’s more than 172 million customers can use in their daily digital lives.
“For the second batch, we sharpened the focus to only cover Telenor’s core product categories.” says Vegard Aas, Head of Innovation in Telenor. “That raised the bar with requiring user research and idea validation as part of the application process, to ensure we got ideas for products that our customers really want.”
From more than 130 submitted ideas, 30 were put through a pitching process in Singapore in February. Ten teams were selected for the three-month incubator programme. During a hectic three-month bootcamp period, the ten teams had to research, test, iterate on their ideas, which were pitched to a global jury at Telenor HQ in Oslo and showcased to employees and top management on Thursday 8 June.
Which idea made it? Watch the exciting final announcement
“It’s amazing to see how far the teams have come, and how much they have learned during the program,” says Lisa Long, VP of Product Governance and head of the Ignite jury. “Together with the home Business Units and global stakeholders, we assessed how well researched and validated the ideas are, which ones have significant potential for Telenor, and which teams have shown the most progress in terms of learning and working well together.”
3 ideas that will be continued as startups within Telenor
- EagleEye from Bangladesh – Efficient, accountable and convenient IoT vehicle fuel monitoring system
- SIGNAL from Bulgaria – Remote smartphone personalization and support for the elderly
- LiquidEye from Bangladesh – Real-time liquidity management for distribution value chain members in mobile financial services industry
3 runners up that will be partially continued as part of existing initiatives
- YEScredit from Wave Money – A matchmaker for lenders and borrowers
- Turn Trash to Treasure from Myanmar – A socially responsible app for a cleaner environment
- Enable Pay & Credit from Telenor Group – Financial inclusion service for unbanked merchants
“Ignite is an important part of the cultural and mindset transformation that Telenor is now undergoing, and to validate ideas for new great products for our customers globally.”, Gunnar Sellæg, Chief Product Officer in Telenor commented. “To win in the future, Telenor needs to become a learning organization – it’s all about how fast we understand changing user needs and translate that into engaging products in an efficient way.”
Next round of Ignite will be launched in Q3, stay tuned!
Ignite batch #3 will be launched in September, with local workshops on ideation and user research, allowing prospective teams a couple of months to do idea validation on their own time until application deadline in November. After a selection process, the most promising teams will be invited to a pitch competition in January, to select the final teams to enter the incubator March to June.