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How to implement innovation in large-scale corporations? Meet the Azrieli Innovation Sprint, a unique format by Azrieli Group, which enables start-ups and technology companies to implement products through an accelerated and efficient process.

How to implement innovation in large-scale corporations? Meet the Azrieli Innovation Sprint, a unique format by Azrieli Group, which enables start-ups and technology companies to implement products through an accelerated and efficient process.

Corporate innovation is a common term in today’s business world, but creating a culture of innovation within an organization requires a clear goal and method. Azrieli Group, with operations in numerous fields, is inviting Israeli start-ups to a Sprint that guarantees rapid and efficient advancement of a POC and potential scale in the group's business. How do you register for Sprint, the program that connects you to one of Israel's largest business groups?

Sponsored Content | 15:05  31.05.2022

In the current era, it seems that every group, company or business makes statements about “corporate innovation.” However, to transform statements into reality, you need to initiate, lead and implement systematic and significant work to create a culture that embraces innovation.

Azrieli Group, Israel’s largest Income producing real estate company, which is active in a diverse range of fields, has been working in recent years according to a clear and well-defined strategy of organizational innovation through Azrieli Innovation Hub, the group's innovation arm. The group is now announcing its Sprint to find solutions for the company’s main challenges and is inviting start-ups and large technology companies that want to integrate their product through an accelerated and efficient process.


How do you create innovation in a diverse and large business group? And how is Azrieli Group's Innovation Sprint designed to offer value to all participants?

Much more than a statement - innovation is a profession

Elad Alon, Azrieli Group VP Innovation & Business Development, said, “Innovation at Azrieli begins at the highest levels, from the Chairperson of the Board and the Heads of each segment to all employees. As a member of management, I received the mission and am responsible for ensuring that innovation is not just something we declare to the outside world.”

“Innovation is a profession, and we have clear goals and KPIs,” added Inbal Elazar, Director of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at Azrieli Group. According to her, the role of the group's innovation team “is to learn about the core needs of the company and our customers, and to provide effective solutions that enhance their experience. A critical aspect of our job is to constantly keep up with the trends and future developments so that we can steer the group in that direction.”

The process of finding technology solutions in the group is well structured, ensuring the need, solution, motivation to implement it and compatibility with our partners. The innovation team processes the needs that arise in the group, finds a potential solution, implements a POC, and if successful, implements the product for the long term.

Alon: “It is very tempting to perform a POC on lots of things, but a responsible organization needs to know what it's looking for and what it needs. That’s why every pilot has measurable objectives. The companies that work with us always know how we evaluate the pilot process, so everything is transparent.”

Win-win all around

Azrieli Group is aware that large organizations have processes that can take time, which is why they decided to hold the Innovation Sprint, which is being held in collaboration with TAU Ventures, the venture capital fund of Tel Aviv University, in an attempt to find the start-ups that can serve all the group's segments, both B2C and B2B.

The process of developing the Sprint began with the innovation team specifying needs of each of the company's areas of activity. This, comes from the insight that the people in the field know their needs and their customers’ needs the best .For the Sprint, the departments developed and prioritized their most urgent needs, with the goal of having the Sprint products serve them within a few months.

After specifying the needs, the group issued a call for challenges in each of the group's key areas of activity: malls, office buildings, senior housing and sustainability. The call was directed at both well-established technology companies and start-ups.

The next step was conducting a focused, quick and efficient screening process, in which the product, technology and teams of the companies that responded to the challenge were examined. “Additionally, representatives of the companies that appear to be a good fit will meet with the business unit for which they will provide a solution, in order to ensure they are compatible.”

The four companies found to be the best matches will be coming to the Sprint Day, which will be held on July 13, 2022 - one for each challenge posed in the current Sprint. The day itself brings together the entire decision-making chain, the meetings and red tape, which generally last several months, are cut down to one day. During the Sprint Day, the solution team meets with the Azrieli team, made up of all the relevant decision makers to characterize the POC and integrate the product in the future. “Together they develop the objectives of the pilot, what the success criteria are, discuss potential barriers, who is responsible for what, work plan with milestones, etc. At the end of the day, the start-up will be presented with a contract, and the hope is that by the end of the day, we’ll have a handshake and a launch.”


Rapid timetable to integration and POC with payment if found incompatible

Another structured part of Sprint, which is part of the effort to accelerate processes is the POC timetable. The pilot will be held from August through November. In December the results will be evaluated against the criteria, and if the product is found suitable, it will enter the work plans and group budgets for 2023.

Alon said, “The timetable is part of our goal of long-term integration of technologies. Some start-ups are afraid of large groups that want to do a POC for the sake of having a POC. With this concern, the timetable we created ensures integration in the next annual budget. Bottom line, this is a classic win-win proposition for all involved.

Additionally, even if the POC meet to fails the success criteria, the pilot process is done with full payment to the start-up, based on an understanding of the costs involved in implementing a POC for the start-up.

Experience with dozens of design partners, POCs and investments in start-ups

Azrieli Group is proud to be a design partner of a variety of Israeli start-ups and to support their growth in the global market. Over the past two years, the group has completed 20 POC processes, many of which have already been implemented in the group's activity. Alon said, “We are very open and want to be design partners for solutions that are beneficial for the group - they don’t have to be technology based, but they need to be innovative. We want to bring ourselves, and the world, incredible things that make a difference.” According to Elazar, “as design partner we support the start-ups with validating their product market fit, and defining the business challenges they are aiming to solve, we are working closely together to find the best model that will ensure their scale. “

Alon added, “Generally speaking, a POC with Azrieli Group serves as an important quality mark when start-ups and companies turn to the global market.”

Beyond the Sprint, Alon said, “The group has allocated a large budget for investment in suitable ventures. We don’t act as the lead investor, but we are happy to join an investment in good products that will help the group. We aren’t looking for an exit.”

Therefore, for Israeli start-ups and product companies in a variety of fields, Azrieli Group's Innovation Sprint offers an outstanding opportunity to get a customer who knows what it wants, is willing to pay for the solution and kick off within 24 hours. “We are looking for companies that are equally committed to this, are willing to move ahead fast and do something big together,” said Elazar.

Registration for the Sprint closes on June 15. Read the details regarding Azrieli Group's challenges and register>>

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