Telenor launches Ignite, an employee-only intra-organization incubator

Rehan Ahmed Written by Rehan Ahmed ·  1 min read >

Telecom operator Telenor has now launched an intra-organization employee-only incubator as a part of its 2020 goal to get 300 million users on board.

Called “Ignite”, the incubator will allow Telenor employees to form teams and pitch their ideas. The selected few will be able to enjoy incubation and if found viable enough, will be allowed to develop their idea further or even form an external company. The purpose behind the launch of such a program is to ignite innovation and encourage the employees to think outside the box.

In 2020, Telenor Group aims to have 300 million users spending at least 10 minutes daily on their services.

To achieve their target, the telecom giant is ready to try new things like giving its own 36,000 employees a chance to try out their own ideas for a digital product.
Now, any of the Telenor’s 36,000 employees can apply to the Ignite Incubator, and get a chance to develop their idea into a testable prototype, or Minimum Viable Product. Successful pilots will then be given resources to develop into a product to impact the societies in which Telenor operates, and that millions of our customers will use in their daily digital lives.

“Ignite Incubator is a radical step up in Telenor’s efforts in how we foster innovation internally, and is modelled on our work with external startup communities in our global markets, such as dtac Accelerate,” said Gunnar Sellaeg, Head of Product and Innovation in Telenor Group. “Similar to that program, teams with the best ideas will get to spend 3 months at a startup incubator to take their idea into a working prototype. Ideas should focus on solving a validated customer problem as well as be locally relevant and/or have global potential.”

Employees applying to Ignite will get valuable hands-on experience in thinking about customer needs, innovation methodology and how to develop viable new products. It will also provide valuable lessons in an area central to Telenor Group’s ambition to be the customers’ favourite partner in digital life.

All submitted ideas will be screened and teams will be selected to pitch in front of an international panel in mid-June. Proposals will be judged on how the solution solves a customer problem, has a viable technical solution, and market potential.

Up to 12 teams will go through to a three-month incubator bootcamp in either Norway or Asia to develop minimum viable products (MVPs) or testable prototypes.

In December, the selection panel and Telenor Group senior management will decide which should be developed further, either internally in one of Telenor’s 13 companies or at Group-level, or potentially spun out as an external company.

Written by Rehan Ahmed
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