The Innovation Exchange Calls on Businesses to Join Ireland’s B2B Marketplace

The Innovation Exchange, Ireland’s exclusive B2B innovation marketplace which matches large corporates with innovative scaling technology companies to address digital transformation challenges, has issued a call to action to businesses, both large and startups or scaling, to register themselves on their marketplace before the Christmas holiday period and hit the ground running in 2023.

The marketplace was launched in February this year and to date has over 200 scaling technology companies engaging with it along with 23 large corporates. Since the launch, 5 deals have been concluded with 20 more in the pipeline. Two additional deals, involving multinational companies and indigenous technology start-ups, are expected to be finalised before year end, bringing the total to seven deals done by The Innovation Exchange.

The deals are designed to accelerate digital transformation for large multinational businesses by connecting them with indigenous scale-ups. One of the major benefits of The Innovation Exchange is the fast-tracking of deals. In the most recent collaboration between Exertis (DCC plc) and Digital Workplace, the deal was agreed six weeks from the first pitch.

The initiative works by members submitting proposals to specific corporate challenges which are published via The Innovation Exchange platform. The corporate partner and the solutions provider then follow a clear framework which if successful at each stage, results in a deal being done. To date, 18 challenges have been published with 290 submissions received. This has resulted in 40 pitches having been made with 20 moving to the next proof-of-concept phase.

Raising the bar in 2023

In 2022, 18 corporate challenges were published, including from the likes of Ryanair, Axa Insurance, ESB and Dawn Meats. The Innovation Exchange has announced today that it expects to publish over 25 corporate challenges in 2023. In addition, it has announced an expanded learning platform and new masterclasses focused on leadership, selling, procurement and negotiation. The Innovation Exchange will also host a minimum of four in person networking events in 2023.

Nationwide roll out

In 2023, The Innovation Exchange is expecting to expand its regional outreach structure to ensure that the programme and its marketplace is benefiting Irish technology companies the length and breadth of the country. Galway Technology Centre became the first official regional channel partner in November 2022 and the number of The Innovation Exchange channel partners is expected to reach ten by the end of 2023.

Member engagement / collaboration

As well as facilitating collaborations between large corporates and scaling technology companies, The Innovation Exchange also promotes collaboration between the solutions providers themselves in an effort to promote the idea that a joint approach to challenges can provide the corporate partner with a more complete solution.

To promote deeper engagement between members, The Innovation Exchange will be hosting a meet and greet on Tuesday, 13th December at The Alex Hotel in Dublin. Businesses which would like to attend can sign up here. It will allow like minded founders to meet each other but there will also be a recap of the year and a sneak peak of what The Innovation Exchange has in store for the year ahead.

Speaking on today’s announcement, Conor Carmody, Programme Director of The Innovation Exchange said, “We’ve been delighted with the uptake by large corporates and start-up and scaling businesses alike since we launched the programme in February of this year. Our hope is that The Innovation Exchange becomes a mini-hub where we can connect large corporates, be it domestic or Irish-based foreign businesses, and indigenous innovative scaling technology companies and close the gap between these businesses and build long standing relationships, which will ultimately be beneficial to the Irish economy.

As we come to the end of 2022, we wanted to make sure that businesses who may be interested in being part of our innovation marketplace sign up before they take a well deserved break for the Christmas season and hit the ground running in 2023.”

The Innovation Exchange is operated by Furthr (formerly Dublin BIC), who specialise in providing start-ups and scale-ups access to funding via its venture capital arm, Furthr VC, in conjunction with Skillnet Ireland, a business support agency of the Government of Ireland, with a mandate to advance the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led workforce development.

The latter has committed €5 million to the new initiative, which addresses the barriers that exist for scale-ups engaging with corporates and will support over 1,000 companies between 2022-2025. The funding model does require a nominal contribution from all participants which has been set at a one off payment of €250 for the scaling technology companies and the large corporates are expected to contribute €2,500.

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