Innovation Agencies: The Complete List (2021)
Your guide to the 52 best innovation agencies in the world. Filter through this list of business and innovation consulting firms to find your best match, whether you’re looking to build an innovation program, partner with startups, or launch a new product for your organization.
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If you’re looking to navigate the innovation consulting landscape, drive growth for your organization, and see the best agencies in one place, then you’ll love this guide.
Inside, you’ll find…
- A list of 52 innovation firms along with their key services and strengths
- A built-in filter to help you narrow the list to agencies that match your organization’s needs
- Our practical 5-step guide to finding the right innovation agency
Table of Contents
Why Work With an Innovation Agency?
Just like innovation itself, consulting agencies and firms come in different shapes, sizes, and specialities.
But why work with an innovation agency in the first place?
Because getting results from your innovation efforts can be hard to achieve. A specialized team of outside experts can share unique insights, spot new opportunities, and deliver a sustainable plan for growth that takes into account the unique attributes of your organization.
Usually, innovation consulting firms provide the following services:
- Accelerators. Typically geared toward startups, accelerators are fixed-length, cohort-based programs that offer resources like funding, mentorship, and networking to members. Innovation agencies may run their own accelerator programs or produce and manage them on behalf of corporate partners.
- Education and Training. Many innovation agencies provide frameworks, methodologies and custom-made learning solutions for enterprises looking to stimulate strategic thinking, improve team performance, and reach their full potential.
- Innovation Strategy. In this case, consultancies build and execute custom-made innovation programs designed to help organizations transform their business from what it is today to what it aspires to be tomorrow.
- Startup Engagement. Startup scouting and engagement services include searching, identifying, evaluating, and selecting the best startups to work with. The objective for corporations is usually to access advanced technologies, reach new customers, and solve specific business problems.
- Product & Service Development and Proof of Concepts. These innovation consultancies specialize in helping their clients launch new products or services on the market. Other agencies support and manage the proof-of-concept process where new offerings are piloted.
- Venture Studios. They build new startups from scratch, typically by developing product and service prototypes rapidly. They may exist independently, as a type of innovation agency, or they might be built within a larger corporation.
A Complete List of Innovation Agencies
If you’re looking to partner with an innovation agency, perhaps you already have some of these offerings in mind.
Use the filters below to narrow down your search based on the solutions you care about the most.
Note: We define boutique agencies as consultancies with up to 50 employees offering flexible, highly personalized services.
1. 500 Startups
What they do: 500 Startups is an early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator founded in 2010. They are on a mission to uplift people and economies around the world through entrepreneurship.
Services: Started as an accelerator in Silicon Valley, 500 Startups is now one of the most active VC funds in the world. The company supports early-stage startups with its accelerator and ecosystem programs, and provides insights, startup sourcing, POC management, and CVC services to large corporations.
Key differentiator: A global portfolio of +2,000 startups nearly unmatched in size and diversity.
What they do: With over 300 offices in 6 continents, Accenture is one of the largest consulting firms in the world!
Services: When it comes to innovation consulting services, there’s little Accenture can’t do. Accenture Innovation Architecture, launched in 2017, offers research, venture funds, product and service design, and more at over 100 Accenture Innovation locations around the world, each with its own industrial, technological, and strategic focus.
Key differentiator: End-to-end service offerings, clear leadership in the IT services market, and access to top talent in virtually every industry.
What they do: Headquartered in Paris, Agorize is a world leader in organizing open innovation challenges and hackathons.
Services: Agorize operates an open innovation platform that’s home to a global community of 5 million students, developers, and startups. The company works with organizations in an array of industries to ideate and manage innovation challenges, recruitment initiatives, and identify new technologies.
Key differentiator: A laser focus on crafting custom challenges both internally and externally to drive the creation of innovative solutions.
4. Bain & Company
What they do: Global management consulting firm Bain & Company’s Bain Innovation Exchange (BIE) operates a global team of experts across 60+ locations worlDwide and help leading corporations deliver breakthrough innovations.
Services: BIE provides Innovation Kickstarter services to define and launch innovation programs. Ecosystem Services harness the firm’s global ecosystem and talent to scout tech, startups, and trends that can deliver innovation.
Key differentiator: A unique Venture Capital as a Service (VCaaS) capability that enables the Bain team to act as a company’s VC arm.
5. Boston Consulting Group
What they do: The global management consulting firm is part of consulting’s “Big Three” (along with Bain & Company and Mckinsey). Like the other consulting giants, the firm offers virtually limitless services to drive innovation programs forward.
Services: With a proven track record of results and a deep portfolio of service offerings, BCG is a leader in innovation program management. Offerings like the i2i by BCG benchmarking tool assess corporates’ innovation systems, while BCG’s Build-Operate-Transfer model delivers accelerated outcomes.
Key differentiator: Speciality business BCG Digital Ventures supports broader consulting services with world-class specialists in business-building and innovation sprints.
How to Find the Right Innovation Agency
Download our 5-step guide to help you identify the best innovation agency for your organization. Learn simple strategies to develop a powerful project brief, evaluate agency candidates, and more…
6. Board of Innovation
What they do: Board of Innovation is a business design and innovation strategy firm focused on helping some of the world’s largest organizations navigate fundamental shifts.
Services: The company describes its two main consultancy practices as Innovation Strategy and Business Design. Board of Innovation also provides a range of capability-building and educational offerings to enhance innovation skills and know-how within your organization.
Key differentiator: A focus on open-source innovation knowledge. Board of Innovation features an open-source knowledge base that includes tools, guides, articles, webinars, and more. The organization is also independent.
7. Bow & Arrow
What they do: This London growth consultancy and professional services company delivers “White Space Digital Innovation.” As part of the Accenture network, the firm identifies and creates new digital products, services, and ventures.
Services: The digital consultancy specializes in identifying growth opportunities outside of clients’ core business. Based on its unique research methodologies, Bow & Arrow guides and delivers award-winning product and service design services.
Key differentiator: True to its name, the firm leveraged a proprietary “Crossbow methodology” to accelerate the launch rate of new ventures.
What they do: Capgemini is a global leader in consulting, technology services, and digital transformation with over 270,000 employees across 50 countries. The firm partners with companies to transform and manage their business by harnessing the power of technology.
Services: The Capgemini Invent business line is comprised of more than 6,000 employees, 30 offices, and 10 creative studios. It provides end-to-end digital transformation and innovation consulting solutions. Meanwhile, the Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE) network of innovation hubs includes a global ecosystem of startups, academics, venture capital, and the largest technology providers. Services available through the AIE framework include research, deployment, and service management.
Key differentiator: Market-leading expertise in data science and creative design, as well as access to a diverse, multi-disciplinary team at Capgemini Invent.
What they do: Seated within one of the “Big Four” accounting firms and the largest professional services network in the world, Deloitte Consulting offers a robust set of innovation consulting and management offerings.
Services: Ecosystems and exponentials consulting helps clients evaluate, design, and implement transformational solutions. Deloitte Catalyst delivers startup scouting and engagement services to corporate and government clients, including research, scouting, prototyping, and proofs of concept.
Key differentiator: A focus on the adoption and integration of exponential technologies to help companies harness disruptive change.
What they do: Delve is an innovation and design consultancy that collaborates with global companies to build evocative brands and business.
Services: From initial insights and strategy to supporting product manufacturing, Delve is capable of managing the entire idea-to-product lifecycle. The firm also designs educational workshops to help companies better understand and build internal innovation capabilities.
Key differentiator: An ongoing merger with award-winning product development firm Bresslergroup brings additional product-design expertise and expands Delve’s reach globally.
What they do: With roots in Denmark and Nordic design principles, Designit is now a global experience innovation company with studios in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia.
Services: The strategic design firm delivers full creative services, from insights and strategy to design research and concepting for products, services, and customer experiences.
Key differentiator: A focus on working with progressive businesses, nonprofits, and academia through the power of collective creativity.
What they do: A member of the Deloitte network, Doblin is a global innovation consultancy firm in operation since 1981. Through a combination of design, strategy, social science, and technology, Doblin seeks to unearth opportunities and spur ongoing growth.
Services: The fim offers innovation strategy services, working alongside senior leaders to identify and assess opportunities. Doblin also works with organizations to realign internal processes and talent toward innovation goals. Lastly, it manages a 14-to-16-week process for designing, building, and launching newly designed products and services.
Key differentiator: Doblin has created a Ten Types of Innovation framework and toolkit that takes an expansive view of innovation development.
What they do: Engine Group defines itself as a new kind of data-driven marketing solutions company. The global marketing and innovation agency possesses expertise in a wide range of disciplines to help its clients figure out where to go next.
Services: Engine’s innovation strategy and product/service design services are embedded within a full stack of tech, research, data, brand, advertising, consulting, and communications services. The firm’s practices can be used individually or combined together based on a corporate’s particular needs.
Key differentiator: The Group’s huge range of services are hard to come by, giving interested parties a potential one-stop shop for much more than just strategy and design.
What they do: Building from its origins as a software engineering company, today Epam complements its engineering expertise with consulting talent to not only build digital innovations but design them, too.
Services: The Epam Continuum brand specializes in innovation consulting and design services. Offerings include business and organizational design, partnership facilitation, and innovation strategy. The firm also engineers omnichannel software platforms, assists with operations, and provides a variety of managed services.
Key differentiator: One of the fastest growing public technology services companies in the world with a long track record in software design and engineering.
What they do: Another of the world’s largest professional services networks, EY primarily delivers innovation consulting services through its global network of wavespace centers.
Services: Each wavespace center is populated by various specialists in innovation. Corporates can find labs and incubators that develop and pilot new technologies. There are also full-service design studios that offer service design, research, strategy services, and more.
Key differentiator: EY has established particular expertise in the Financial Services and Agribusiness sectors.
What they do: Fabernovel is a global innovation agency founded in 2003. They believe technology has the power to build a better, more virtuous future for companies and everything around them.
Services: In addition to innovation strategy and product design, Fabernovel offers a full stack of marketing, creative, and educational services to support execution.
Key differentiator: Lengthy experience working with both global enterprise and early-stage startups.
17. Fahrenheit 212
What they do: This innovation consultancy aims to create new products, services, and businesses that deliver sustainable, profitable growth for the world’s most ambitious companies. Latest update: Fahrenheit 212 is now part of frog.
Services: Fahrenheit 212 offers a broad range of innovation-related services for companies at any stage of innovation maturity. The firm groups these services into three categories: Research & Insight, Strategy & Concept, and Design & Build.
Key differentiator: A commitment to client outcomes backed by a performance-based compensation model.
What they do: Founded in 2015, F10 describes itself as a global innovation ecosystem. The company operates
Services: F10 operates coworking and event spaces around the world, and supports startups with coaching, mentoring, and piloting. Plus, corporates and investors can join its ecosystem to connect with startup talent and technology.
Key differentiator: A specialization in Financial Services technology, including FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech, and DeepTech.
What they do: Fjord, part of Accenture Interactive, is a design and innovation consultancy that reimagines people’s relationships with the digital and physical world around them. Founded in 2001, Fjord has a diverse team of 1,200 design and innovation experts in 33 studios.
Services: With a people-first approach, Fjord delivers its clients design-led strategic insights, service and business process design, and digital product creation.
Key differentiator: A keen focus on disruptive digital tech like AI, voice assistants, and connected devices.
What they do: Frog is a leading global design and strategy consultancy working to bring new ideas, products, and services to life. The firm has been part of the Capgemini Invent network since 2016.
Services: Frog offers growth and innovation strategy services, helping businesses to understand its customers and identify potential opportunities. It provides organizational and product design to deliver internal and external innovation. Companies new and old can also tap into its Corporate Venture Building and Startup Growth services.
Key differentiator: More than five decades of strategizing and designing solutions for some of the world’s most innovative organizations.
What they do: Operating since 1999, fuseproject is an award-winning industrial design and branding firm. fuseproject supports the evolution of brands with industrial design, packaging, graphics, naming, UI, and environmental design.
Services: fuseproject’s research capabilities stand out with the diverse set of methods they bring to the table. Their insights bolster a similarly deep portfolio of brand, experience, and product design solutions.
Key differentiator: A set of solutions dedicated to designing for positive and sustainable social impact.
22. The Garage Group
What they do: The Garage Group is a Cincinnati-based innovation and growth strategy firm that helps corporates apply startup-inspired approaches to their innovation challenges.
Services: The firm focuses on providing research-backed thought leadership, coaching, and events to guide global companies like Nike toward growth-driven solutions.
Key differentiator: A Lean Growth mindset and a diverse range of experience that includes Fortune 100s and startups.
23. High Alpha Innovation
What they do: High Alpha Innovation partners with organizations to launch a steady stream of startups via the venture studio model, which combines systematic company building and venture funding.
Services: Companies can partner with High Alpha to launch a new venture and explore innovative ideas. High Alpha also works with enterprises to build a venture studio that generates a more complete portfolio of startup partners.
Key differentiator: An agile approach that aims to compress the first six months of a business into four days.
24. Idea Couture
What they do: Idea Couture is a global strategic innovation and experience design firm that’s part of the wider Cognizant consulting network.
Services: Organizational transformation services identify internal innovation opportunities. Meanwhile, a range of brand, product, and CX design services can be tailored to suit your innovation needs.
Key differentiator: Unique research approach from a team made up of MAs and PhDs from the fields of cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, medical anthropology, political science, design research, data science, and behavioral economics.
What they do: IDEO is an award-winning global design and innovation company. They aim to create positive impact through design by taking a human-centered approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate, grow, and bring to market new ideas.
Services: Always rooted in people-centric design thinking, IDEO helps companies develop more creative internal processes and platforms to unlock innovative thinking. IDEO also provides market research and product and experience design services.
Key differentiator: IDEO U, the firm’s own online school that teaches design thinking methods practiced by IDEO.
What they do: Founded by self-described “serial entrepreneurs,” Innoleaps claims to have created the first accelerator in the world dedicated to corporates. Today, the innovation consulting firm helps companies search for new revenue streams and business models and bring them to market quickly.
Services: Innoleaps provides Growth Strategy, Venture Building, Open Innovation, and Capability Building services.
Key differentiator: A focus on FMCG and CPG businesses.
What they do: Innosight is an innovation and strategy consultancy focused on disruptive innovation at Global 1000 companies. Founded in 2000, the firm was acquired by the Huron Consulting Group in 2017.
Services: Innosight helps companies create growth strategies, develop internal and external innovation capabilities, and design and scale new ventures.
Key differentiator: Cofounder and Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen authored the classic book The Innovation’s Dilemma. The firm continues to provide pioneering thought leadership.
28. Innovation Booster
What they do: With offices in New York, NY, and Amsterdam, NL, Innovation Booster is a global consulting firm that specializes in organizational transformation and business innovation. The firm helps decision-makers in large and medium enterprises transform the cultures that impede innovation.
Services: Innovation Booster designs tailor-made structures and processes to embed innovation within companies. Its members also work with organizations to develop a structured approach to innovation, advising on the process from ideation to commercialization.
Key differentiator: A methodology that’s dedicated to delivering innovation in small, incremental steps.
29. Livework Studio
What they do: Livework claims to be the first service design agency in the world. The company operates studios in London, Rotterdam, and São Paulo.
Services: Livework’s Digital Acceleration offerings help organizations explore opportunities for new technologies that address customer needs. They also assess and align the organization with a shared digital vision and roadmap. Service Innovation solutions provide research, product and service development, an innovation portfolio management.
Key differentiator: A Customer Centricity Assessment developed through academic research and years of practice. The assessment can help an organization understand how customer-centric it is—and how well-equipped they are to improve.
What they do: Jump is a leading strategy and innovation firm with over twenty years’ experience creating new businesses and reinventing existing ones. Jump uses a hybrid approach to growth that combines strategy, social science, and design.
Services: Jump builds capabilities with training services for management teams, while providing ongoing counsel to business leaders. Also available are research and innovation strategy services that deliver new business concepts, financial plans, and more.
Key differentiator: Demonstrated expertise in a number of industries, including Automotive, Food & Beverage, Healthcare, and Media & Entertainment.
31. Mach 49
What they do: Mach49 is a management consulting firm that builds growth engines for the Global 1000. Founded in 2013, Mach49 has since developed its own “teachable, repeatable, and scalable” approach to corporate venture building and investing.
Services: Mach49’s advisory services help corporates leverage internal talent, customers, and assets to launch new ventures; create internal incubators; design and manage a CVC Fund; maximize startup partnership value; and improve innovation culture within their organizations.
Key differentiator: The firm claims a 90%+ success rate for its engagements.
32. McKinsey & Company
What they do: McKinsey & Company is one of the world’s largest professional services and consulting networks. They act as the trusted advisor and counselor to many of the world’s most influential businesses and institutions.
Services: Research, training, advisory, and so much more. McKinsey growth and innovation services help companies to build their businesses by identifying granular growth opportunities and to improve their performance through innovation in products, services, processes, and business models
Key differentiator: McKinsey’s widely known and proprietary Eight Essentials of Innovation framework doubles as a diagnostic tool to benchmark innovation performance.
33. Mind The Bridge
What they do: Mind the Bridge is a global innovation advisory firm for corporates and startups.
Services: For corporates, Mind the Bridge provides educational programming and advisory services. It also offers advisory services on licensing, investments and due diligence, and M&A. An array of services are also available to startups. Entrepreneurs can attend Mind the Bridge’s Startup School, a customizable immersion program of workshops, events, and mentorship. Mind the Bridge also hosts corporate matching events to bring together startups and corporates.
Key differentiator: Scaleup Summits. At these highly curated, invitation-only, events hosted by major international stock exchanges, corporates, investors, and scaleups come together to do business and learn about innovation opportunities.
34. Momentum Design Lab
What they do: Momentum Design Lab is a global product design firm dedicated to using innovation and human-centered design to create meaningful user experiences for global brands, startups, and enterprises.
Services: The firm provides a number of innovation-related services, including capabilities assessments, opportunity identification, product roadmapping. In addition, Momentum delivers an array of product and experience design offerings that’s backed by tech and big data solutions.
Key differentiator: Globally rated the #1 UX Agency on Clutch.co 4 years in a row.
35. Nex Cubed
What they do: Nex Cubed is an investor and innovation partner that invests in, accelerates, and scales frontier tech companies. They provide early-stage capital, corporate relationships, and access to a global ecosystem of startups, investors, corporates, and governments.
Services: Nex Cubed provides corporates with innovation scouting, research, and education sessions. It also partners with Fortune 500 companies to develop new ventures from scratch. Startups gain access to Nex Cubed’s accelerator resources and global ecosystem of mentors, advisors, investors, and alumni.
Key differentiator: Regional Centers of Excellences bring together major players and top founders in the Digital Health and FinTech industries.
36. PA Consulting
What they do: PA Consulting is an innovation and transformation consultancy whose roots date back to 1943. The mission of the firm is to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world through the power of ingenuity.
Services: In addition to its array of technology and professional services, PA Consulting offers robust business and product design solutions. Its innovation services use customer insights and disruptive business models to build new growth areas. The firm provides guidance through the innovation pipeline, from concept formation to running pilots and launching to market.
Key differentiator: PA Consulting uses its expertise to support innovation in seven industries: Consumer and Manufacturing, Defense and Security, Energy and Utilities, Financial Services, Government, Health and Life Sciences, and Transport.
37. Pilot 44
What they do: Founded in 2014, Pilot44 is an innovation lab focused on helping top brands leverage modern, lean practices to accelerate disruptive innovation and drive growth.
Services: Pilot44 breaks its innovation services down into three categories: Research & Insights, Venture Building, and Digital Transformation. The Research & Insights Team delivers opportunity analyses and market research. Venture Building designs, develops, and incubates new growth ventures. Digital Transformation is dedicated to exploring and piloting the latest solutions and startups, among other services.
Key differentiator: A track record of working with large, highly complex partners during its short history.
What they do: Prophet is a global consultancy that helps its clients face disruption and unlock uncommon growth. With nearly 30 years of experience, Prophet provides branding, marketing & sales, organization & culture, and experience & innovation services.
Services: Prophet’s innovation strategy consultants deliver Ideation & Rapid Concepting, Pipeline & Portfolio Development, Strategic Transformation, and Service Design solutions. These services are complemented by Prophet’s broader service offerings, which include brand positioning, organizational transformation services, and much more.
Key differentiator: A history of success with top organizations in Aerospace, B2B, Education, Entertainment, Healthcare, Retail, and other industries.
39. Plug and Play
What they do: Plug and Play is the world’s largest early-stage investor and accelerator. With an expansive global footprint and ecosystem, Plug and Play runs over 60 accelerator programs every year in a number of major cities.
Services: Startups can apply to join Plug and Play’s stage-agnostic accelerator programs to access resources and support around the world. Meanwhile, corporates can rely on scouting and engagement services to meet the right startups for their needs. Platform partners also gain access to Playbook, Plug and Play’s in-house software that enables tracking of engagements and more.
Key differentiator: An unmatched network of over 30,000 startups.
What they do: R/GA is a global design and innovation company with full-service creative that designs businesses and brands for a more human future.
Services: R/GA possesses robust Business Transformation, Experience Transformation, and Marketing Transformation practices that form the foundation of its branding, design, and creative services. R/GA Ventures provides innovation services to help corporates identify and partner with disruptive startups, while supporting startups with financial and creative resources.
Key differentiator: Award-winning, innovative branding and creative practice that harnesses the latest technologies.
41. Runway Innovation Hub
What we do: We’re is a Silicon Valley-based innovation company accelerating the success of global innovators and entrepreneurs. We provide innovation consulting services for corporations and coworking, mentorship and acceleration programs for startups. Since 2013, we’ve accelerated the innovation efforts of 40+ corporations including Fujitsu, IBM, and Emirates, and supported the growth of 300+ startups like Duolingo, Atomwise and Iterable.
Services: We help global organizations navigate trends, identify growth opportunities and identify, partner, or invest in startups to generate tangible business results — such as accessing new technology, diversifying revenue streams, and reaching new customers. Our 40+ corporate clients span 25+ industries and include some of the world’s largest companies like Fujitsu, Lenovo, IBM, Silicon Valley Bank, and Emirates.
Key differentiator: A lean, practical approach that’s focused on client relationships and delivering custom solutions to unique challenges that achieve real results.
What they do: Founded in Switzerland in 2006, Sketchin is part of Bip Group, and one of the fastest-growing design studios in Europe. The agency works with businesses of all sizes to design innovative products, services, and experiences.
Services: Focusing on building digital experiences to future-proof businesses, Sketchin provides design services and strategic input toward new ventures, products, and experiences. The firm also offers research, education, and advisory services to foster future-forward mindsets.
Key differentiator: A pop-up product & design team as-a-service offering that enables businesses to leverage design services during innovation sprints and new projects.
43. Silicon Foundry
What they do: Silicon Foundry is a membership-based advisory platform for leading global corporations.The firm fosters relationships and collaboration between members at its San Francisco co-working and throughout its widespread, worldwide network.
Services: The advisory platform delivers innovation consulting services to its corporate members. Through strategic input and networking, Silicon Foundry connects members to strategic partnerships and development and investment opportunities.
Key differentiator: A diverse corporate membership that includes leading global organizations in an array of industries, including British Petroleum, Delta Air Lines, Deusche Telekom, Ford Motor Company, and Estée Lauder.
What they do: Denver-based Strategyn has provided corporate clients with product strategy and innovation consulting services since 1991.
Services: Strategyn’s innovation training program provides an in-depth education on the firm’s time-tested theories and methodologies. The firm, though, also provides innovation management services, as well as research and guidance for innovation, marketing, and product strategies.
Key differentiator: A patented Outcome-Driven Innovation® process that has an 86% success rate. According to Strategyn, this represents a five-fold improvement over the industry average.
What they do: Strategyzer was founded by Alexander Osterwalder, popular author and inventor of the Business Model Canvas method. The Swiss firm is best known for its innovation management software platform with over 22,000 active users, including enterprises and startups.
Services: The Strategyzer software platform centralizes innovation strategy and workflows to enable better collaboration. Beyond its platform, however, Strategyzer provides a wide range of education and training opportunities, including on-demand, self-paced courses and custom in-house workshops. Enterprises can also enlist the firm for their innovation management needs by tapping into Srategyzer’s Growth Portfolio services.
Key differentiator: The firm’s Business Model Generation and Value Proposition Design methodologies are used by millions worldwide.
What they do: With a market cap of $27 billion, Techstars is a formidable global innovation network and startup accelerator. Each year, Techstars chooses over 500 early-stage companies to participate in accelerator programs around the world.
Services: Applications to Techstars accelerators are quite competitive. Startups that make the cut are connected to Techstars’ massive network of mentors and provided with funding and fundraising opportunities, education, and more. Corporations that partner with Techstars are connected with curated selections of startups for partnerships and POCs.
Key differentiator: The highly competitive admissions process presents corporations with the opportunity to partner with some of the most disruptive and highly sought-out startups.
What they do: U+ is a digital innovation management consultancy that’s brought over 80 businesses to market and created over $1 billion in new value.
Services: U+ delivers a diverse set of innovation consulting services, including goal definition, customer profile generation, and more. It also supports the execution and scaling of innovation efforts with a full stack of marketing, design, and tech capabilities.
Key differentiator: Extensive in-house tech and DevOps expertise that includes a team dedicated to cloud consulting and architecting in AWS.
What they do: Born in Finland in 2013, Viima is an interactive idea management software platform that strives to make it easier to collaborate and manage innovative ideas.
Services: Viima’s SaaS solution takes a board-based approach to innovation management. Employees, customers, and other stakeholders can all submit ideas. The platform provides space for discussion and tools to evaluate and prioritize ideas. Viima also offers online coaching for innovation leaders and managers.
Key differentiator: Viima is the most widely used innovation management software.
What they do: WhatAVenture is a global innovation company based in Vienna. Its team of 45+ entrepreneurs delivers innovation advisory services and builds new ventures from scratch.
Services: WhatAVenture supports corporates by assessing and developing innovation strategies and current business models. It also delivers international startup scouting and facilitates collaboration through intrapreneurship and innovation challenges. Its venture-building team works independently and with partners to create and invest in new businesses.
Key differentiator: A history of supporting leading companies in the DACH region that’s translating into more global success.
50. ?What If!
What they do: Opened in 1992 and acquired by Accenture in 2019, ?What If! is an innovation management consultancy that’s driven by the question in its name. With experience across a wide swath of industries, ?What If! innovations have generated over $70 billion.
Services: ?What If! services focus on two areas. Product, service, and brand design solutions drive growth, while capability-building, education, organizational design solutions build cultures that sustain it.
Key differentiator: A dedication to experimentation. ?What If! methodologies apply experimental methods to products, services, and company cultures.
What they do: Headquartered in Shanghai’s bustling business community. XNode works with corporations and startups to support innovation efforts in China. Building from its
Services: XNode’s core innovation services for corporates include growth strategy and research, innovation program and accelerator building, educational workshops, and innovation design sprints. Startups can connect with Chinese market experts, mentors, corporates, and join accelerator programs—both virtually and at XNode’s co-working spaces.
Key differentiator: XNode works with global organizations but uses specific methodologies tailored to achieving innovation goals in the Chinese market.
52. Zero 360
What they do: zero360 is a Berlin-based consultancy that supports its customers in all phases of transformation and innovation. The firm aims to help its clients create new opportunities and master the transformation challenges of the 21st century.
Services: The firm’s services span the full continuum of the innovation process. Research capabilities cover customer and market research, as well as technology scouting. Meanwhile, zero360 designs everything from products and services to startup labs and accelerators. They also provide educational programming and organizational design services.
Key differentiator: Impressive and varied work with international players listed on Germany’s DAX30 list.
This guide has covered a wide range of business and innovation consulting firms.
If you’re looking for an agency to help accelerate growth in your organization, keep in mind three things:
- Align your search with the business goals of your organization (think: what are the most important things we need to accomplish?)
- Develop an RFP or brief that breaks down your objectives, the scope of services you’re looking for, as well as your expectations from the vendor.
- Discuss internally with your team the most important criteria for picking the right agency (services, areas of expertise, client profiles, methodologies, etc)
Not sure where to begin your search for a partner in innovation?
Download our 5-step guide to finding the right innovation agency below!
How to Find the Right Innovation Agency
Use our 5-step guide to help you identify the best innovation agency for your organization. Inside, you’ll learn…
- The #1 thing you need to do before searching for an innovation consultancy (hint: it’s not writing an RFP)
- How to develop an effective project brief (so you can significantly improve the quality of proposals your organization will receive)
- Simple strategies for building your list of agencies, evaluating candidates, and more
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