How can you create the next big thing?
November 11, 2016 rainmakers

How can you create the next big thing?

Nov 11

Posted on November 11, 2016 by rainmakers 0 comments 0 likes


, Air BnB and Tinder. They have all innovated within their industry to create huge products that have transformed the way we travel, holiday and date. The question is, how can we create and encourage innovation in all spheres? What are the ingredients? We went to the Rainmaking Summit in Copenhagen to hear from the experts.

Martin Bjerejaard, Partner at Rainmaking Loft, opened the summit, explaining the importance of innovating before you (or someone else) kills it. He cited the Luddites, a movement of people who challenged the industrial revolution by destroying new technology: “The British had to deploy more troops to defeat the Luddites than to fight Napolean. They were breaking apart new machines because they were so afraid of losing their jobs. Innovation wins eventually.” And entrepreneurs are winning. And winning big. Martin cited a new app shaking up the media industry: is a lip syncing app for teens that was started two entrepreneurs in China which now has 70million users.

In the USA more than 5k businesses get started each month, but what’s there secret? Rufus Gifford ran President Obamas 2012 re-election campaign and is now the US Ambassador to Denmark.  He said: “Elon Musk, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs had a dream, never took no for an answer, failed along the way but actually pulled it off. He described his first entrepreneurial venture as an ‘abysmal failure’, but for his second he started a political consultancy. His first client was Barack Obama. He explained: “A culture associated with risk taking and not being afraid to fail means entrepreneurs will succeed eventually. Other countries need to foster that entrepreneurial spirit.”

Leading companies are opening their own corporate accelerators to encourage corporates to engage with innovation. Jordan Schlipf, partner at Rainmaking Innovation, explained why corporates need to look ahead, and fast: “If we’re just waiting for innovation to come in like a wave on the beach, by the time we see it cresting it’s too late.” Here’s his top tips:

  • Accelerators only work if you and your staff engage with them throughout the programme. You need the appetite, the capacity and the skills that will be needed to create the end product.
  • Be prepared for the next stage of the accelerator. Don’t get the ideas from your staff and then sit on it – this will make everyone bear down. Don’t stop at rapid prototyping.
  • Look at your corporate and accelerator team as an ecosystem: Have more volume at the front so you are killing things off when they need to be.

We left Copenhagen ready to launch our next charity Accelerator selection process. Charities are facing big challenges in an environment of reduced government funding and growing donor disillusion. Small charities have an even harder challenge in transforming their corners of the world while competing with their larger peers for visibility. Limited resources, skills and connections hinder their growth and stability. The Accelerator model has been wildly successful in the for-profit sector, enabling hundreds of thousands of startups to grow in a sustainable way. At Rainmaker Foundation we believe that if small charities with big potential have access to the same vital tools, frameworks and resources available to commercial startups: they have a chance to thrive.

To join us, email [email protected]