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Innovation Capital: Synchrony Innovation’s Ongoing Conversation about Enterprise Innovation Investment

Six years ago, Synchrony launched with a vision: dramatically improve the way that large enterprises and early-stage companies collaborate on creating innovative products and capabilities. This vision was driven by the conviction that the existing model of engagement – and in particular, its execution through corporate venture capital (CVC) programs – all too often failed to live up to its tremendous potential to help start-ups to grow, and help enterprises to innovate.

When we started, we felt that two critical factors were often missing in CVC programs: a sufficient understanding of entrepreneurs and the innovation ecosystem, and the proper structure to engender discipline and best practices.

As we built our consulting business, we came to realize that another major impediment dogging strategic investors was the lack of a meaningful definition, and metrics, with respect to “strategic”. We noticed time and time again that the success of CVC – and innovation investment in general – was impeded by the lack of a simple, concise set of metrics by which other enterprise stakeholders could understand and embrace these activities. In hindsight, this seems obvious; the adage “if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist” applies just as much to innovation investment as it does to other corporate activities such as marketing, productivity, quality assurance and everything else which requires substantial focus and investment in a large firm. Simply put, if you want people to collaborate on doing new things, you need to give them a way of ensuring that those things are significant – and that the people who are recommending them are doing so based on objective, understandable information.

We tackled this problem in 2012 with the creation of the Innovation CapitalTMsystem of quantifying the strategic value of innovation. The response from our clients and partners was tremendously favorable, and it was clear that there would be strong demand for a system that allowed them to implement the Innovation Capital patents themselves, rather than through consulting engagements. We answered this demand in 2013 with the launch of our TiCR Innovation AnalyticsTMEnterprise Innovation Portfolio Management Platform.

With the creation of Synchrony Innovations and the launch of TiCR we have taken on a substantially broader remit. We believe our technology has the potential to fundamentally change how innovation investment options are identified, measured and tracked over time. Our goal as an organization is to take on the challenge of  providing the world’s first truly comprehensive innovation analytics platform for corporations, government organizations, NGOs, and other large enterprises which must choose from a broad array of innovation investment options how best to invest to reach their goals.

In this spirit of deepening the knowledge about innovation investment, we have created this blog.

Let the conversation begin!