The Top 12 Tech Scouting Practices of Industrial Leaders

Key Drivers of Success

While many factors contribute to the success of open innovation and technology scouting, these are the top twelve emphasized by experts and experienced scouts:

  1. Choose entrepreneurial individuals to be on the scouting team. The ability to understand both technology and marketing helps.
  2. Make sure your innovation strategy is clear before you begin scouting — don’t expect scouting to shape your strategy.
  3. Cast a wide net in your search for opportunities – then winnow down to the best few based on customer need, growth potential and strategic fit.
  4. Move fast to make decisions. Structure the evaluation process for quick early vetting to focus resources on quality ideas.
  5. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a prospective partnership or to kill a project that isn’t adding value.
  6. Craft clear joint agreements using common language for all essential terms; include expectations, goals, roles, contingencies and IP ownership. Remember win-lose is really lose-lose.
  7. Be flexible and make adjustments (a 3 year project doesn’t mean a 3 year budget is assured).
  8. Stay lean, keep a scarcity mentality.
  9. Don’t forget the core in pursuit of next generation.
  10. Create scale and run as fast as you can.
  11. Treat partners and prospective partners openly and honestly.
  12. Invest in the long term.