Digi team among 8 winners of Telenor innovation program
By Digital News Asia June 20, 2016
- Malaysian team one of eight to earn spot in internal startup incubator programme
- Programme reflects commitment to innovation, ambition to transform into digital company
TELENOR Group has selected eight digital product and service ideas from its employee innovation initiative Ignite, for a three-month incubator programme to build internal startups.
Ignite Incubator is an innovation programme for Telenor Group’s own budding intrapreneurs with an idea for a great digital product or service, and an ambition to transition “napkin ideas” to pilot products impacting millions.
“Our minds are set on taking an exciting, relevant position in the digital lives of our customers. With the Ignite programme, we encourage employees to come forward with their ideas for engaging, mass market digital products with the potential of global success. I congratulate the eight winning teams and dedicate my support to their continued journey to develop their business plans and prototype,” said Sigve Brekke, Telenor Group President & CEO.
“Some of the most successful global companies not only empower their employees and facilitate innovation but have seen some of their best products and services emerge from within their walls. The Ignite Incubator is part of our drive to stimulate further innovation internally, fashioned after the work we do with startup communities. I’m extremely proud to see the many solid ideas Digizens have put forward in this intrapreneurship programme - some of which we could potentially pick-up locally - and that we will see one of our teams push ahead and establish their own startup,” said, Albern Murty, Digi’s Chief Executive Officer.
Solving customer pain points
From more than 500 applications, 30 teams from ten countries were shortlisted and pitched for a place in the incubator at an event in Bangkok last week.
Ideas selected to the next stage range from payment solutions and tuition apps to a system for identity verification for worry-free online transactions.
One of these winning ideas emerged from a group of three Digizens, namely Chia Weng Yan, Lee Leong Tat and Ian Yap Vern-Choong. Named after Batman’s famous butler Alfred, their idea focuses on an app that makes it hassle-free to deal with your apartment’s management office by digitising how you pay your monthly service charges, check-in guests, book facilities, lodge complaints, receive resident information and more.
“In many cases, dealing with property management has always been a highly manual process. We believe it’s time to leverage on the technology we use every day – our smart devices and connectivity - to bring convenience to home owners everywhere. It’s an idea that is globally applicable and we hope to benefit as many people as we can with Alfred. I can’t wait to get started in the incubator and receive hands-on experience working as an intrapreneur,” said Chia, founder of Alfred.
From September, the eight winning teams will join incubators located at the dtac Hangar in Bangkok, Startup lab in Oslo or Grameenphone Accelerator in Dhaka, to develop their ideas into testable prototypes. Their day jobs will be kept open and they will receive the normal salary during the three month period.
Risk free startup community
Ignite Incubator is part of a drive to foster innovation internally and is modelled on Telenor Group’s work with external startup communities in its global markets.
“This is a unique and relatively risk free opportunity for eager internal entrepreneurs to develop and test great ideas for a digital products that can leverage on Telenor Group’s scale, expertise and technology. I’m very impressed with the level of ideas received and the engagement across all of our 13 markets, with almost a thousand employees wanting to become Telenor “intrapreneurs,” says Gunnar Sellæg, Telenor Group Chief Product & Innovation Officer.
Successful pilots following the incubator period will be given resources to develop them into products that millions of Telenor customers will use in their daily digital lives.
Facts about Ignite Incubator:
- Selected teams pitched in front of an international panel in Bangkok on 9 June 2016.
- Proposals judged on how the solution solves a customer problem or pain point, has a viable technical solution, and market potential.
- Teams spend three months at a startup incubator in Bangkok, Dhaka or Oslo to take their idea into a minimum viable product (MVP).
- In December the selection panel and Telenor Group senior management will decide which ideas should be developed further, either internally in one of Telenor’s 13 companies, at Group-level, or potentially spun out as an external company.