Discover, Refine, Scale, Repeat.

We help teams lay the foundations for intelligent innovation by embedding a framework to systematically develop profitable new ventures.

Year after year.
Campaign after campaign.

80+ Countries reached
£32m In value created for clients
£8m In cost savings generated for clients
14 Ventures successfully launched
Bird & Bird PWC GKN Capita Oxford university press Vodafone British Red Cross Konica minolta New entrepreneurs foundation New entrepreneurs foundation School of social entrepreneurs School of social entrepreneurs

What we do

Our process in a nutshell

Discover

Identify the right problem and opportunity area.

Develop a comms plan that gets your team excited about tackling it.

Train in-house innovation champions to help your team identify and articulate their ideas.

Refine

Apply technology to collect ideas in a consistent, structured and repeatable way.

Review the portfolio and select the most promising options.

Select contributors to pitch for further investment from the business.

Scale

Support from Pollen8 with advice around how best to resource, grow and maintain the venture.

Manage your portfolio of ventures to avoid duplication of effort and to keep tabs on your investments as a whole.

Repeat

Launch your next set of ventures...

What clients say about us

“I am constantly astonished by the range and depth of skills which they are able to bring to bear. We look forward to having Pollen8 support on a broader range of innovation activities in the near future.”
PIETER GUICHELAAR Vice President and General Manager Additive Manufacturing GKN
“Working with the Pollen8 team is a delight! My team loves their attitude and creativity that brought our programme to life. They’re tireless, super engaged, adapt quickly, I’m looking forward to the next steps of making our shared vision happen!”
LAURA TURKINGTON Senior Manager, Business Development & Innovation Vodafone
“Continuous innovation is the way to survive and succeed. This programme helps gather, filter and support ideas that can help us enhance who we are as an organisation.”
CATHY TEMPLE Vice President Human Resources Oracle

Our view on innovation myths

Myth 1: ‘Innovation, like any creative pursuit, is always messy and random.’

Our take: Innovation can and should be elegant, systematic and orderly. It’s not about random sparks of genius, it’s about building an organisational capability that helps you focus your efforts. Every big business today has an HR system, a sales system, a CRM system, why not an innovation system?

Myth 2: ‘The best ideas come from creative agencies, labs or charismatic lone geniuses.’

Our take: It’s the people closest to the everyday problems of the business who are the richest source of untapped creative potential in most organisations.

the best ideas come from the most unexpected people, working in roles where they can spot opportunities an agency would never stumble upon.

Myth 3: ‘Innovation is all about the Eureka moment.’

Our take: If you’re hunting for light bulb ideas, you’re starting in the wrong place. Focusing on the right questions, clearly articulating the problem to be solved and systematically working through how to address it is far more important. Ideas are just the helpful byproduct.

Myth 4: ‘Innovation is best done behind closed doors or it might unsettle (or get contaminated by) the wider business.’

Our take: Transparent, free-range innovation is the best way to engage staff, and stop your most creative problem solvers from leaving. Or worse, becoming frustrated and giving up.

Myth 5: ‘Innovation requires rigorous strategic analysis from consultants.’

Our take: Innovation is about creating a culture and framework where the people on the ground are inspired and empowered to do the hard work. We follow Peter Drucker in believing that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’.

Myth 6: ‘Once you’ve got a great idea with the right team and resource behind it, the job’s nearly done.’

Our take: If only that were true. In reality, it’s impossible to predict which initially promising ventures will stall and which ugly ducklings will soar. The key is to spread your bets via a portfolio of ventures, giving yourself the best possible chance of success.

Case study

GKN’s 10x programme

Our programme with GKN resulted in the development of an entirely new Electrical Aircraft department.

GKN has a huge amount of engineering talent all across the globe, but it’s not always easy for one team to know what another is working on (or has already explored).

GKN 10x - GKN pitch event

We designed and implemented a programme called “10x” that ran for 8 months in 16 countries across 3 business units. It was supported by our online platform, a global network of “champions”, and a comms campaign that touched 20,000 employees. We discovered a broad range of ideas and flew selected finalists to London for a week-long boot camp that resulted in them pitching to their executive board.

One of those ventures was so impactful, it led to the creation of a new department within GKN with the aim to develop Hybrid and Electrical Propulsion Systems for the next generation of aircraft. The initial investment made to launch the programme paid for itself within 5 months through the launch of another single venture.

GKN 10x - Idea refinement workshop

About us

We are driving change

We are a vibrant, interdisciplinary team of creative problem solvers. Since 2015, we have been on a mission to bring elegance, rigour and structure to the world of corporate innovation.

Achievements

  • Winner of Lean Startup Summit (2016)
  • Founders Factory & Founders Forum (2016)
  • Fuse (2016)
  • New Entrepreneurs Foundation Award (2016)
  • WeWork Creators Award (2017)

Meet the team

Neha Bajaj
Designer

Sam Knight
CEO

Miki Tsuganuma
Product Designer

Tsvetina Chankova
Innovation Consultant

Euan Mackie
Product Experience

Jon Twigg
Tech Partnerships

Martin Dudek
Head of Creative

Zuwena Ngozi
Finance Manager

Dom Walker
Developer

Ben Dunham
CTO

Roberto Pla
Designer

Callum Watts
Head of Consulting

Tom Humphreys
MD

Hayden Perry
Developer

Maya Knight
Innovation Consultant

Stephen Smith
Innovation Consultant

Stay in the loop

Subscribe to our monthly update to keep up with innovation challenges, new features on our platform, insights into our work life and other things that keep us up at night.

Contact us

Lets talk about innovation

London

WeWork London Fields
115 Mare Street
London E8 4RU

Jobs3

Innovation Consultant (Full time)

Marketing Manager (Full time)

Visual Designer (Full time)

Pollen8 is a trading name of Outsourcing Innovation Limited, registered in England No 09535121. Registered Office: Epsilon House, Enterprise Road, Southampton Science Park, Southampton, SO16 7NS. VAT Number: GB 217648395