The corporate response to tech and startups across the Australian business landscape has changed dramatically over the last 12 months: think of the companies now lining up to sponsor and nab a desk at the likes of Stone and Chalk, York Butter Factory, and River City Labs, or the number of corporate hackathons, accelerators, and incubator programs being launched every week.
Catching this wave just as Malcolm Turnbull launched the National Innovation and Science Agenda last December were Peter Bradd, founding director of both StartupAUS and Sydney’s Fishburners, and Jack Delosa, founder of entrepreneurship school The Entourage.
The pair banded together to launch The Beanstalk Factory, an organisation that works hands on with companies to help them create and implement corporate innovation programs to boost their internal capabilities.
As Bradd explained it, The Beanstalk Factory looks to enable corporate entrepreneurs to be high performers.
“It does this by identifying and removing blockages inside an organisation, which are holding the corporate entrepreneurs back. It then coaches these corporate entrepreneurs in finding problems worth solving and getting their products to market,” he said.
It helps through strategic vision planning, training workshops, coaching, rapid prototyping, helping to recruit an innovation team, and identifying opportunities in the social sphere, which incorporates topics such as content marketing, how to build and manage a qualified community, and advertising strategy.
Since launch in December, the organisation has signed on a rather impressive client base, with the likes of Telstra, News Corp, Monash University, Myer, Suncorp Group, and the Queensland Government among the big names.
“Some of our clients have a burning platform and they need to urgently find new revenue streams, as their existing ones become a thing of the past. Others are internally driven by their CEOs who want to achieve growth and take the opportunities that are available to them,” Bradd said.
The organisation’s approach is practical, with Bradd saying that a “flashy PowerPoint deck” is not going to achieve real outcomes.
“Jack, I and our team are authentic and practical. We’ve got a wealth of knowledge to draw upon and apply those models across industries to solve real problems. Every company is different, every one of them has a different culture, history, team, future, and resource level, and each program needs to be tailored to achieve greatness. We don’t simply point people to an online training portal and expect that to give them the support they need – we help people on the ground to get their jobs done.”
The work of The Beanstalk Factory essentially puts into practice sentiments expressed by senior executives of ASX20 companies through a report released by StartupAUS last December, which found after a roundtable that the majority of companies now believe it is a ‘must have’ to be exposed to the processes, tools, and mindsets that startup entrepreneurs use to build disruptive technologies, and that doing this need not be difficult.
As more companies come to understand this, The Beanstalk Factory has also added a number of big names to its own roster, welcoming founder, investor, IoT expert and former head of consumer products, technology, and UX at News Corp Australia, Stuart Waite to its digital transformation arm and former CEO of MoneyBrilliant Jemma Enright as entrepreneur in residence.
Heading up experience design is Adam Faulkner, while Luke Metcalfe, founder of NationMaster and Microburbs, will be joining the team to work with clients on their research and actionable insights.
Bradd said corporates are keen to work with these startup leaders, an opportunity they otherwise would not have had given these figures are unlikely to go back to work as employees within enterprise after experiencing startup life.
For the experts too the opportunities are exciting, with Waite saying, “Helping major enterprises transform operationally and culturally to take advantage of emerging digital technologies is a passion for me. I look forward to facilitating entrepreneurial thinking and high growth outcomes to some of Australia’s leading organisations.”
Image: Peter Bradd. Source: Supplied.