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Building your capacity and capability to deliver your own virtual learning incubators

Here is an example of an virtual incubator model design for one our clients. We recommend starting with understanding the problems (leadership and execution gaps) of innovation inside your company, then design a systemic system to innovation (not another point solution), and then design the delivery with the right tensions and tools for an innovation support programme.

Innovation problems when creating new value...





"Innovation models in global companies across diverse sectors, (shows) projects fail between 70% and 90% of the time."

Entertaining too many ideas for innovation, not focused on why - Innovation not aligned with strategy and/or without constraints


Hiring innovation consultants, building your own incubator or innovation unit can end up being expensive, "more and more large companies have been outsourcing their intrapreneurial efforts. They pay upwards of $300K to $1 million"


Innovation projects either end up having to be signed off by many levels or have no senior sponsors/buy-in. Formalising ideas and innovation too early can be more harmful than good in establishing an innovation-culture or habit, making it not sustainable or repeatable





The often neglected part of innovation, is training for the people, at the individual level, to innovate. "Yet, it is not the direction in which most innovation-seeking firms seem to be channeling their efforts.

There is a lot of talk about innovation, but very little gets done. 

Innovation workshops are full of inspiration and frameworks, but very little tangible progress is made with ideas. 

Chief Innovation Officers/Managers, Head of Business Unit









Business Model





Focus on...

- Build and test at least 2 variants of the solutions

- Sign-up early adopter customers
- Demonstrate impact on revenue margins, costs, etc) in order to decide on 1 idea to take to SCALE


Who (You?)...




A virtual team of 2/3 comprising frontline/customer facing staff and executive sponsor

A virtual team of 2/3 comprising frontline/customer facing staff and product/service developer and designer

A dedicated team depending on the solution

- Create 3 variants of the problem definitions (core, adjacent and disruptive)

- Discover job-to-done

- Test 3-5 different pretotypes with end customers/users

- Decide on 2 to take forward to SOLUTION.



- Test at least 2 variants of the pricing (revenue model)

- Test 2 go-to market strategies

- Test key partners to accelerate delivery and reach

- Signup mainstream customers

- Integrate into BUSINESS UNIT

Time/Your capacity...


-Identified top 10 problems to be solved, according to organisation strategy

- Build a business-model for sustained lean innovation

- Select 3 problems and teams (core, adjacent and disruptive) to go through Search

- Build a visual innovation portfolio in SharpCloud





Our Minimum Viable System - Services...

(8 week sprints)


Our capacity and time...

16+ hours of one to ones with your virtual chief innovation officer, 20+ hours of co-creating, 20+ hours of "getting out of the building"


16+ hours of one to ones with virtual co-founder, 20+ hours of co-creating, 15+ hours of knowledge, 50+ "getting out of the building interviews. 

Depending on the solutions taken forward. We offer virtual Chief Technology Officer, Chief Design Officer. 


Depending on the decision on which solutions to scale. We offer virtual Chief Marketing Officers and Commercialising Innovation experts.


Full-time staff: Depending on the solution 


Part-time: Over 8 weeks requiring 50% of virtual team's time


Part-time: Over 8 weeks virtual requiring 8 hours a week (20% rule)

Part-time: Over 8 weeks, requiring 4 hours a week (10% rule)


Top down





Collective identity

We don't do ideation, workshops, conferences, one-day innovation jams, or weekend hackathons.  Our professional development training is unique in that it's sustained, over a period of time, it's intense, content focused, active (they get to live it), real (something true to gain or lose), supported with regular feedback, and autonomous to inspire ground-breaking ideas. 

The co-founder approach that Co.Creator brings allows us to push employees out of their comfort zone, whilst providing support from week to week. We are NOT mentors, advisors, consultants, teachers or executive coaches. We will act like what you'd expect from a co-founder, coming up with the answers together, and in the words of silicon valley "get (right) shit done". 

Bottom up

The SEED phase delivers on the need for top-down direction by becoming senior sponsors. SEARCH, is then inviting bottom up approach to solving those problems with front-line staff who are closest to customers.




Learning & Development


Individual identity

Balance the six tensions of leading innovation

Co.Creator challenges employees not to fall in love with the solution. We constantly push to fall in love with the problem, take the harder path of exploring multiple paths at each stage (SEARCH AND SOLUTION).  90% of product launches fail, often because they are based on faulty initial assumptions about the customer. Co.Creator challenges them to discover deep customer insights, develop ideas with strong competitive advantage and then run low-cost experiments to test underlying assumptions. Only then does it make sense to invest in developing a product or technology. Ideas not demonstrating results are killed off fast. 


We deliver a structured way to make innovation happen, with a combination of knowledge (how to build a lean start-up), mindsets (around fail-fast, multiple experiments), skills (customer development, business model innovation), and introductions to the right people (a senior sponsor, successful entrepreneurs, investors, customers in an international network). Co.Creator provides week by week structure, at the same time allowing individuals to kill off ideas from week to week.

Innovation truly flourishes within constraints, with  company strategy being one key intelligent constraint.  These constraints are determined as part of SEED outputs. Individual employees feel empowered to solve problems they've self selected to solve (SEARCH), with collective spirit is evoked by knowing the why behind what they are doing (SEED)

This model is designed for now new hiring until SCALE. Employees have their day jobs they still have to deliver against. As employees and ideas move through the different phases, SEED, SEARCH, SOLUTION, progressively the time allocated to working on the idea increases, thereby reducing the risk of investing too much into ideas that do not deliver.  The 8 weeks is long enough, to give employees time and space to experiment, but short enough to foward with a sense of urgency.

This virtual incubator was designed to be...

Innovate as co-founders, not consultants, building your staff capacity

Low-cost, innovation on a subscription accessible to BUs

Create system of innovation, not point solutions

to make innovation happen at speed, no reports

custom designed one page tools (a few examples)...

Diagnostic Test to map as-is and to-be innovation strategy


Innovation Canvas - to map core, adjacent and disruptive hypotheses


Customer scripts that focus on jobs-to-be-done, pain, gain, solution and committment questions


Value Proposition, half completed to invite collaboraters to co.create with you


Pretotypes (websites for example) to test with real early adopter customers


One page tools (a few example)...

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