Patience, persistence, and positivity contributed to Launchpad's success, where similar programmes previously failed. 'No challenge too big' celebrates those who are leading innovation projects and making new ideas happen. Marta Tomczyk, Innovation Consultant at Deloitte Innovation & Program Manager at Deloitte CoP & EMEA Innovation, runs the Launchpad programme for Deloitte EMEA.
Why did you make it happen?
Similar projects weren’t successful in the past within our environment, but I was determined to prove such a program could be successful. Nothing is impossible. I was lucky to be given another chance from the leadership to prove otherwise. The flexibility, freedom and trust I was given to run this project were crucial. And, of course, I just had a lot of fun leading the partnership with The Next Web (TNW).
What's the idea?
Launchpad is a platform which connects the best global start-ups with the corporate world and enables them to work together to solve innovation challenges. The corporates benefit from the agility and creativity that the start-ups bring and are given a chance to outsource the solution created by a start-up. The start-ups broaden their network and get free feedback from executive level decision-makers during the one-day Launchpad events. Moreover, if chosen by a corporate, they are given the chance to run the pilot, or another kind of collaboration with the corporate, if a deal is made.
How did you make it happen?
In August 2017, we ran a pilot together with TNW (The Next Web) to show our senior innovation leadership what we could be capable of and what we can potentially deliver to Deloitte clients. It's all about managing expectations on both sides, having good mediators on both the startup and the corporate side, and being supported by the corporate leadership that believes in the concept. A one-month decision-making cycle can be a lifetime for a start-up but is quite normal for a large corporate. We learned that one of the most important factors in making startup-corporate collaboration happen is for a corporate to put money on the table to show they are serious in their contact with the start-ups.
What has been the highlight so far?
One start-up flew in from South Africa for our Launchpad in Berlin. They'd been to similar events but said this was the most valuable one they have ever attended. Also, due to the feedback they got from corporate leadership. And, internally, Launchpad has been considered as the highlight of EMEA activities. The leaders from different countries have already shown interest to run over 10 Launchpad events next year.
What have been the challenges?
Deloitte is a huge company with lots of talented people, who are eager to succeed. You really need to know which buttons to push to make things happen. At the moment, we are trying to hand Launchpad over to the EMEA community, so that the country teams can run the program themselves together with TNW, with only minor support from EMEA. We'll of course be there as EMEA Innovation to support.
At Deloitte Innovation Marta works on designing and running new programs and innovation initiatives, as well as scouting new trends. She has a role across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, where she supports the EMEA Innovation Lead in running the community of Senior Innovation Leaders and aligning cross-country innovation efforts. With an eye of a designer, mind of a business strategist and heart of an entrepreneur, she tries to bring Deloitte as much creativity, spontaneity and human centricity as possible.