TRANSFORM calls on social enterprises to apply to the open call

To help scale bold ideas to tackle the world’s big social, environmental and economic issues, TRANSFORM, the joint initiative between Unilever and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), is now calling on social enterprises to apply. To invite ideas and promote collaboration to further catalyse impact, TRANSFORM uses Exago’s open innovation software.

TRANSFORM was founded in 2015 to support social enterprises that meet low-income household needs in developing countries. The partnership is currently supporting 19 projects across nine countries, which have so far benefited over 400,000 people.

TRANSFORM’s aim is to enable 100 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to gain access to products and services that have been shown to improve health, livelihoods, the environment or wellbeing by 2025. To achieve this, earlier this year, the partnership announced the expansion of the joint commitment from £10 million to £40 million and is now welcoming new ideas and projects.

Do you have an idea TRANSFORM can help scale?

TRANSFORM is looking for social entrepreneurs and innovators with ideas for market-based solutions in three areas:

  • Delivering products in hard-to-reach rural locations, with a particular interest in Nigeria, Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
  • Providing sanitation to low-income urban and rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
  • Raising awareness and demand for safe, affordable drinking water in highly dispersed rural households across South Asia, with a particular interest in Bangladesh and India.

Projects must demonstrate the potential to be financially sustainable, target low-income household needs in an innovative way and focus on one of DFID’s priority countries. TRANSFORM offers grant funding up to £300,000 and bespoke business support to take ideas to scale.

For more information and to share your ideas, visit


Visa and Exago’s partner launch programme to accelerate Brazilian fintechs

Visa and Kyvo Design-Driven Innovation, an Exago consulting partner, are looking for Brazilian financial technology start-ups to participate in Track, their new business acceleration programme. Five will be chosen for the six-month programme, split between São Paulo and Silicon Valley in the US. Applications are open until 31 March.

Both Visa and Kyvo will support the selected candidates in defining their business models and in developing designs, products, services and marketing tools and strategies. Each start-up can obtain financing of up to R$ 235k (over €70k) in technologies, while also having access to Global Silicon Valley labs’ (GSVlabs) exclusive strategies and methodologies and its network of 170 mentors.

Kyvo has recently become a representative of GSVlabs, the powerful innovation ecosystem platform, and the exclusive user of its acceleration methods in Brazil – completing a full circle with the partnership developed with Exago, which is more closely focused on idea selection and building.

Kyvo Design-Driven Innovation is an innovation consultancy that employs service design to improve clients’ experiences of services and digital products. Kyvo has created 3D, a 3-step design process that employs different visual tools to deliver a great experience and relevant results to clients, fully complementing Exago’s innovation management solution.

KPMG’s survey reveals how collaboration is central to success

Exago has partnered with KPMG in Portugal to promote the first global ‘Innovation Survey’ to companies operating in the country. Survey findings show how companies that systematically pursue collaboration opportunities have a significantly higher rate of commercially successful product launches and nearly twice as much revenue growth.

Three hundred participants at the European level took part in the survey, 39 of which were from Portugal. Overall, KPMG’s analysis concluded that good innovators in organisations with a budget allocated to innovation strategy and an idea management solution in place also have the largest share of revenue coming from successful new products launched in the last three years.

The data reveals as well that investing in product development and enhancement impacts positively on revenue growth. Yet it’s interesting to see how companies that focus on innovation to find new sales channels and on customer experience and satisfaction improvement have benefited from even higher revenue growth rates in the last three years (> 5%).

However, where innovation is concerned, the journey for companies is still a long one. There is a lack of well-structured innovation management processes to stimulate it and a lack of experience, as the battle to recruit talented innovators is growing.

The survey includes an in-depth analysis and insights from KPMG’s global experts and Exago’s CEO on subjects such as:

  • How is idea management structured?
  • Why is collaboration needed?
  • Where do companies focus their efforts, how do they finance innovation and what are the companies’ challenges?
  • How are corporates responding to the drivers of innovation and positioning their strategies?
  • What separates good from bad innovators?

You can check out Portugal’s results here. A short summary is also available below in English.



‘1. Collaboration is crucial to success
Companies that systemically search for collaboration opportunities secure a higher success rate for their products and almost double the increase in income.

2. The building of broader innovation skills demands a more complex transformation process
In spite of evidence that supports the focus on collaboration efforts, only a few companies enjoy effective collaboration, as it requires a complex transformation process at both a cultural and an operational level.

3. Business model innovation offers significant opportunities in a world dominated by innovative products
The main focus in all industries is product development and improved process development. However, the creation of new selling channels, alternative income models and the discovery of new or present needs might have the same level of impact as the innovation of the company’s main functions and the product itself.

4. The war for talented professionals is ongoing
Most of the time, the main challenge that companies face in terms of innovation is related to lack of people with the required competences and the necessary experience.

5. Fine innovators have an implemented innovation policy
Companies that have implemented process management and innovative governance models enjoy a high rate of success with their products and a significant share of their income comes from products launched in the past three years. However, only 16% of companies use this approach in the management of their innovation programmes.

6. In spite of the importance of commercial deadlines, the inability to meet deadlines is where most projects fail
Meeting deadlines in the project’s chronogram is the main challenge of ongoing projects, with about 30% of projects falling behind schedule. The speed of commercialisation is particularly important as it can generate a competitive advantage.

7. Collaboration is anchored to your comfort zone
Research and Development (R&D) collaborations are particularly important, even if companies often find themselves limited to only business partners. Collaboration with universities, start-ups and incubators is much less common. Different kinds of collaboration partners have different strong points and contribute with different skills and resources. For that reason, diversifying collaboration partners offers more opportunities than maintaining a single collaboration with only one type of partner’.

Exago’s partner is the exclusive user of GSV acceleration methods in Brazil

Kyvo Design-Driven Innovation, an Exago consulting partner, is now the representative of Global Silicon Valley labs (GSVlabs) in Brazil. By joining forces with the powerful innovation ecosystem platform, Kyvo can use the group’s exclusive accelerator strategies and methodologies with start-ups in Brazil, while also having access to 170 mentors’ expertise.

This partnership creates a bridge between the entrepreneurial communities in Brazil and Silicon Valley. It will also work to help large organisations create and connect to start-ups through a scalable business model – a method used by companies such as Intel, 3M, AT&T and JetBlue in the US.

Kyvo is an innovation consultancy that employs service design to improve clients’ experiences of services and digital products. Fully complementing Exago’s innovation management solution, Kyvo has created 3D, a 3-step design process that employs different visual tools to deliver a great experience and relevant results to clients.

Hilton Menezes, co-founder and strategic designer at Kyvo, explains that this new partnership with GSVlabs also complements the one developed with Exago: ‘The programme is focused on corporate venture. So, a large corporation can use Exago’s idea management platform in a pre-acceleration phase, and after idea selection and building, we can now spin off a business to rotate as a start-up within this new acceleration programme.’

With its headquarters located in the Silicon Valley, within the San Francisco Bay Area, GSVlabs’ activity is concentrated in professional campuses within select growth hubs around the world. GSVlabs brings professionals, start-ups, corporations, and investors together to accelerate dynamic businesses. It is part of the Nasdaq-listed GSV Capital, which has invested in companies such as Facebook, Dropbox and Spotify.

ASO Company holds innovation conference in Istanbul

Exago’s partner ASO Company brought together over 100 innovation and human resources managers and some of Turkey’s leading firms – such as Siemens, LinkedIn and Vodafone – for its Corporate Innovation and Intrapreneurship Conference, this month in Istanbul. At the event, Exago’s Idea Market software offered grounds for debate on open innovation best practices.

Aylin Olsun, managing partner of ASO Company, says, ‘This conference has shown us that it is possible and desirable for big brands and companies to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset to stay nimble and innovate faster. Tools such as Idea Market can help them build up and widen capabilities to find new and better solutions and become more appealing to the most talented employees.’

With the Millennium Generation bringing businesses new challenges and ‘dreaming of doing things and work they feel can have a real impact’, attracting and retaining top talent has become more demanding, Olsun explains. ‘Corporate innovation and intrapreneurship programmes can provide companies with the opportunity to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions while creating a strong employer brand and strengthening the organisation’s innovation capacity.’ These structural changes only become possible with leadership, cultural change and human resource evolution.

Throughout the conference, participants were invited to get actively involved and share experiences and concerns about how innovation projects can adjust to existing corporate structures. Inspiring start-ups also presented their models for new ways of working and making internal cultures evolve. Social intrapreneurship and its impact on motivations and methods to align intrapreneurship programmes with corporate operations were some of the topics addressed.

One of Exago’s newest partners, ASO Company is a leadership management and human resource consultancy platform specialising in leadership, D&I and corporate entrepreneurship. The company provides solutions and services for leadership and cultural change.