What would happen if corporate employees with an intrapreneurial mindset would get supported and mentored by serial entrepreneurs and venture capitalists on their bold ideas?
Maria 01: Konecranes Accelerator is an open innovation initiative run jointly by Konecranes a world-leading group of Lifting Businesses™ and Maria 01 the Nordics’ leading startup campus.
Many times early phase projects in corporations are driven by extensive desktop planning and are based on expert opinions. At the same time startup organizations have developed ways to work in an agile, customer-centric way to survive and grow. These ways of working can be applied to corporate early phase projects.
Introduced first time during 2019 Konecranes Accelerator set out to provide intrapreneurs from Konecranes a platform to test and develop their ideas to an MVP stage with the support of serial entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and the whole Maria 01 startups community.
The program runs for 8 weeks and includes weekly workshop sessions where teams get to spar with mentors, work with canvas tools, and hear keynote like stories from entrepreneurs about how they are tackling topics like problem definition, customer identification, value proposition, MVP creation, and product-market fit. The program ends with a demo day where teams pitch their projects to each other and the Konecranes business owners.
To date, we have run 3 accelerator batches with over 15 ideas and 65 employees accelerated. The feedback on the program has been strong with a net promoter score of 60%. In other words when asked:” How likely would you suggest the program to a colleague from 1-10” The answers have averaged at 9.1.
The accelerator program does not just bring intrapreneurs and serial entrepreneurs together but, as well, colleagues from multiple nationalities. The latest two batches have been run fully online, which brought the opportunity of having participants from over 10 different nationalities joining in and working together to form new solutions.
The accelerator program has proved to be an effective way of validating new ideas and providing employees a hands-on opportunity to learn new skills from leadership and pitching to building an MVP.
About Maria 01
Maria 01 is the leading startup campus in the Nordics, founded in 2016 and located in the heart of Helsinki. We provide the most thriving environment for ambitious tech startups, venture capitalists, and corporations to help each other succeed and grow. Today, we are the home to over 180 startups, around 10 VCs, and 20 partners with a total of over 1400 members.
Konecranes is a world-leading group of Lifting Businesses™, serving a broad range of customers, including manufacturing and process industries, shipyards, ports, and terminals. Konecranes provides productivity enhancing lifting solutions as well as services for lifting equipment of all makes. In 2020, Group sales totaled EUR 3.2 billion. The Group has around 16,500 employees in 50 countries. Konecranes shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki (symbol: KCR).