Companies may have hard times during crises, the consumer is spending less, the market is not growing, banks are not willing to give loans, governments needs to economize etc etc. In the end, many companies are not growing, have to save money and don’t invest.

Companies don’t invest in innovation, on the other small and often also medium sized companies are creative and look for a different way of innovation. Below an idea:

The Business Innovation Hackathon

In Berlin I met Matthias Patz, an Innovation Manager @Deutsche Bahn. He told me about the “Business Innovation Hackathon” he organized in Stuttgart (Germany). I liked the idea very much, and I expect for Medium sized companies with an owner or general manager who is able to make fast decisions (so the company is not infected by “politics”) it may be worth to try.

It works as follows:
On the one hand, companies can use this event as part of the impulses of creative people to play Longericher way and take ideas for new businesses to be more specific. Participants, however, get an insight into selected areas and offers from businesses and learn the methodical use of innovative tools in the strategic environment and solve a variety of tasks.

The “Business Innovation Hackathon” combined activities from the “Business Innovation” event with the format of a “Hackathon” . “Business Innovation” here refers to the process for developing new business models, products and services. The term “hackathon is originally from the area of rapid software development. The speed of “hacking” and its focus towards a real output we have now transferred to the business world! So there is no IT used, but pencils, paper and sticky notes.
“Every business model has an expiration date – such as yogurt. When you want like Apple co mastered the art of continuous change.

During the Hackathon the “Business Model Canvas” by Alexander Osterwalder is used.


The “Business Model Canvas ” is used successfully in business for many years , such as IBM , Erricson , 3M, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers. For example, Nespresso can raise the expenditure of households by 300% through the reinvention of the private espresso consumption.

The ” Business Innovation Hackathon ” is consists of two audiences:

  1. Companies with existing business models
  2. Participants (from students to professionals) who are interested in participating companies or new methodologies.

1 The added value for companies lies in the exchange with external business- people to existing products or services.

Faster innovation and product life cycles provide companies always face new challenges. Stagnant or even declining growth of individual products have a negative impact on the overall portfolio . The format of the “Business Innovation Hackathon” will help to make “poor dogs” or “cash cows” again “stars”.

They explain the business model of your existing products. In interdisciplinary teams , the workshop participants will outline the existing business model and process in no time. This means , in small groups by changing the nine components ( such as pricing , customer segmentation , value proposition or Distribution) developed a variation or a completely new business model , which has the potential to turn a “Poor Dog” another ” Star” .

2 Participants gain a deeper insight into the product portfolio of the company present and able to participate so close. In addition, participants learn how to use new tools around the theme ” Business Innovation Design”.

Source: (translated to English).

If you are interested to “hack” your business innovation or get more information then contact me via the contact form.

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