B2B Collaboration – how digital business models are created in the corporate ecosystem

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4 minutes

Secret Source of Innovation: B2Innovate

In the development of new digital business models, many companies follow a similar approach: trends are analyzed, the fields of innovation defined, and ideas for possible business models developed. Those who validate ideas and hypotheses with potential users early on win – and develop the most promising business model. This is not always easy, especially in the B2B sector, and finding the right client for collaboration can be a challenge. In order not to overstretch the customer contact in this innovation strategy, B2Innovate offers a digital touchpoint for clients and partners.

Validation from outside? Of course!

The external pressure on small and medium-sized companies has increased in recent years. Technical developments change entire value chains and influence market demand. But also unforeseen crises like the COVID19 pandemic have a massive impact on traditional business models. Especially in German medium-sized companies with a focus on B2B business, there is nevertheless often reluctance to openly exchange ideas due to fear of idea theft by competitors.

To validate ideas, first concepts, or prototypes, many companies tend to involve clients with whom a special relationship of trust exists. However, if you want to test a whole range of business models regularly without overburdening the Friendly Customer, a co-creation approach can help.

B2B Open Innovation with start-up collaboration

Together with HYVE, the Digital Innovation Unit (DIU), Deutsche Leasing AG, has launched B2Innovate, a digital startup / corporate ecosystem for German small and medium-sized businesses to collaboratively develop digital B2B business models and implement startup partnerships.

B2Innovate is a crowd-based platform for digital B2B business models. In the community, selected medium-sized companies, start-ups, and experts from various fields can exchange ideas and experiences. Together, digital B2B business models are developed, partnerships are established and knowledge is shared. Stakeholders can decide how far they want to open up. Thus, the open platform approach, which has been successfully practiced for years via crowdsourcing platforms such as the HYVE Crowd, is also possible in the B2B segment. Instead of exchanging with end customers and innovation experts, B2Innovate pushes the exchange with established companies and start-ups in the field of Industry 4.0.

Focus and future driver Industry 4.0

B2Innovate focuses on Industry 4.0, i.e. the intelligent networking of machines and processes in the industry with the help of information and communication technology. After mechanization (Industry 1.0), mass production (Industry 2.0), and automation (Industry 3.0), the arrival of IoT (Internet of things) and digital services in manufacturing is leading to the fourth industrial revolution. It makes production more individual and efficient.

The business models discussed at B2Innovate focus on Smart Factory, Smart City, Augmented Reality, Smart Products, Big Data, and Smart Services. Technologies like IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML) or Blockchain but also solutions like Smart Manufacturing or Predictive Solutions are considered. Developing new digital business models in this area is often a major challenge.

Julia Staudinger, Deutsche Leasing
Julia Staudinger, Deutsche Leasing

We want to support our partners and clients in the German SME sector together with start-ups in taking the step to digital B2B business models! Our mission is to implement build – partner – invest strategies together, to find exciting information about innovations, and to offer an opportunity to exchange ideas about innovations.

Julia Staudinger, Deutsche Leasing

With virtual co-creation to new business models and problem solutions

B2Innovate allows idea input and virtual collaboration in two approaches. Campaign operators are free to choose whether the entire community can participate or only selected members can contribute:

  1. The Product-Market Fit is about the development of business models
    Here, digital business models are created, built, validated, tested, and marketed. Within a campaign, prototypes of a business model are presented – from the low-fidelity prototype in the form of a presentation to the high-fidelity prototype as a clickable dummy. Sometimes a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) already exists and is already live.
    Feedback wanted! The goal is to find out if a new product or service could be accepted by the market.
  2. The Problem-Solution Fit is about collaborative problem solving
    This is where the community seeks answers to urgent questions and develops solutions forever new challenges. The companies can present their concrete problem and the community contributes its sparkling ideas on what a (digital) solution might look like.

If you want to have your own company’s problems solved in the closed B2Innovate community or want to know whether the latest B2B business idea can survive in the market, B2Innovate is the right place for you.

Whether ideas, testing, feedback, concept solutions, or an open discussion, B2Innovate offers the opportunity to develop business models with partners at an early stage and to get relevant feedback.

Niclas Kröger, HYVE Crowd Expert
Ipad with innovation platform

Good reasons for B2Innovate

  • Influence digital business ideas yourself.
  • Benefit from solutions already developed and discussed.
  • Share solutions with different experts, start-ups, and companies in the B2Innovate Community. From Built to Partner to Invest, everything is possible on B2Innovate!
  • Participate actively in campaigns through feedback and get the opportunity to test your own digital business models within the B2Innovate community on one of the relevant user groups.
  • Receive a detailed data analysis and reporting on your innovation campaign.

HYVE brought his 20 years of conceptual and operational experience in the field of Open Innovation into the project and developed the B2Innovate platform. If you also want to know how you can become part of B2Innovate or want to learn more about the possibilities of virtual co-creation, we are looking forward to hearing from you.

Become part of B2Innovate now