Thinking Outside The Square: Corporate Accelerators.As some of you know, as a serial entrepreneur and disruptive innovator, I'm a big believer in the concepts behind Clayton Christensen's Innovator's Dilemma, which explain how disruptive innovation almost always takes incumbents by surprise. Over the past ten years there have been hundreds of cases where incumbents have been completely surprised by the creative innovation of the world's startup communities. The basic idea of the Innovators Dilemma, if you're unfamiliar with it, is that disruptive innovations often hit the market by in ways that incumbents dismiss something that doesn't fit their understanding of the market, and thus the incumbents tend to ignore it. Incumbents tend top brush it off as being too inferior or too insignificant or too low-end, thus justifying them maintain their current direction. What they often fail to take into account are the basic trend lines, trends of momentum that show adoption rates that devastatingly transform industries. The disruptive innovator tends to improve their product at a much faster rate, leveraging their superior agility and customer development engagement, in a process of continuous growth and value creation to a point where it's actually good enough to shift an entire industry's sense of value and quality. When you look at innovative markets throughout the past decade, you can see it happening over and over again. Amazon's Kindle, Square Point of Sale, PayPal, Spotify, and the list goes on. So it highly encourages me when I read of incumbents that are making a change. In the recent issue of Distro, they dived into Nike's recent Nike Plus Accelerator. Spawned within Nike's Digital Products division, now famous for the Nike+, Nike's mission is to bring motivation and inspiration to every athlete in the world. Nike+ launched in 2006 as a collection of digitally enabled products and services to motivate all athletes to exceed their potential. The Nike+ Accelerator, powered by TechStars, the #1 startup accelerator in the world. Mentorship-driven seed stage investing for web and software companies. Nike's accelerator will hosted 10 companies for a three-month, immersive, mentor-driven startup accelerator. The focus is to allow companies to leverage the Nike+ platform, and NikeFuel, to build offerings that inspire and assist people to live more active, healthy lifestyles.
How It Works10 partner companies will be chosen and given the tools and support they need to succeed:
- Access to the Nike+ APIs, Nike+ mobile SDKs, and Nike+ FuelBand Dev Kit (Beta) - you will be among the first in the world to receive this access
- A Nike+ FuelBand for each team member
- Tech support from experienced developers who've built companies, or built with Nike+ Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
- Code and solution reviews during the program
- Mentor sessions with Nike executives and leaders in the start-up community
- Two Investor Demo Days: one at the Nike World Headquarters and one in Silicon Valley
Real Access to Decision MakersAt the end of the Nike+ Accelerator, each team will present to Nike executives, mentors, angel investors, venture capitalists, and tech industry leaders.