Innovation Champion Program – Where Ideas Find a Home

Ideas can come randomly from many unexpected places. However, if these ideas are not nurtured, they will quickly fade away. That’s why a few years ago, IronRooster introduced a program that develops ideas and seeks to validate them in the market

The Innovation Champion Program was initiated by our Director of Innovation, Pál Molnár. He recruited individuals in various roles from across the company to build a team of Innovation Champions who would dedicate a few hours a week to nurturing ideas that they and the company management agreed would be worth pursuing. The company’s „idea box” is always open for colleagues to submit ideas and submissions were also actively sought from our employees. Anywhere from one to three ideas were selected by the company leadership to work on at the beginning of each sprint.

The Program is built on a specific process, where a team of several Innovation Champions work on one idea for a four-week sprint. During this time, they examine the idea from different aspects such as feasibility, competition, market value, etc. The team is always mentored by a member of the company leadership who they can consult with throughout the duration of the sprint. There is a Demo Day at the end of the sprint, where each team presents their results. Based on the presentations, our leadership decides the fate of the ideas. There are three possible outcomes for each idea, they can be:

  • moved forward into the next sprint
  • picked up as an Innovation Project
  • let go

If an idea gets picked up as an Innovation Project, IronRooster will allocate resources to the project in accordance with needs (budget, time, skillsets). The end goal is to either integrate the project into the company to improve internal processes or develop it as a potential Spin-Off (potentially with the help of external capital). If it turns out during the validation phase that a project is not viable, it is let go.

The Innovation Champion Program serves a dual purpose. First, the goal is to integrate these Innovation Sprints into the workflows of the company, and complete 12 sprints every year with the objective of creating minimally viable products. The other important aspect of the Program is to promote an entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial mindset among our colleagues so they gain a wider understanding of business opportunities and processes. We believe this to be a vital skill not only for our day-to-day operations, but to understand the challenges our partners often face in developing their businesses.

Based on our experience and feedback from colleagues, our Innovation Champion Program has proven to be successful, and we are eager to continue bringing great ideas into fruition.  

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