“Help2Type”, which enables people with sight impairments to feel keys on a touchscreen, is just one of over 700 employee ideas that have been developed and implemented at Swisscom in the last few years thanks to the “Kickbox” innovation method. Kickbox was created by Adobe’s former head strategist Mark Randall and has been further developed by Swisscom with the innovation software Getkickbox. This offers all employees a low-threshold access to the in-house innovation process, which the software makes structured and transparent. Whether it’s a sudden brainwave or a sophisticated, well-thought-out innovation – everything can be fed in directly.
Now this idea is going worldwide: the newly formed start-up “rready” is set to emerge from “Getkickbox” within Swisscom’s Digital Business Unit at the beginning of May. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Mark Randall, inventor of the Kickbox method and former Chief Strategist and VP of Creativity at Adobe, is actively involved as a mentor. “The rready team has made impressive use of the Kickbox method to create an innovative solution for businesses all over the world.”
After all, this idea has already been proven to work, and not just at Swisscom. Three years ago the present-day founders of rready, David Hengartner, Reto Wenger, Ralph Hartmeier and Vinzenz Leuenberger, joined forces with Swisscom to launch “Getkickbox” onto the market. A great success, the software-supported solution is now used by companies like Siemens Energy, Post Luxembourg, Implenia, LGT and Baloise. “The Kickbox software has turned keywords such as innovation and intrapreneurship into an easily understandable process in which everyone in our company can participate,” explains Tibha Patel, of Digital Business Incubation at Siemens Energy.
Siemens Energy rolled out the program worldwide. At LGT over 50 ideas were submitted within a few weeks and Implenia used the program to support several dozen intrapreneurs digitally and across different locations. The rready founders have thus demonstrated how they are able to use Getkickbox to promote innovation in the most diverse sectors ranging from industry and finance to tourism. The idea is now being given the conditions it needs to expand further both nationally and internationally within an independent construct.
The potential for this is huge, but, rready also supports cross-company collaboration. For example SBB, Switzerland Tourism and Swiss Travel System worked together to find sustainable business ideas, supported by the Getkickbox software. “Getkickbox enabled us to collaborate with SBB to launch an innovation campaign with several companies on the subject of sustainability,” says Sandra Babey, Market Manager Spain & Portugal at Switzerland Tourism.
rready is also well-placed financially. The financing round led by the venture-capitalist company FYRFLY, based in California and Switzerland, involved the two institutional investors Equity Pitcher and Verve Ventures, as well as the entrepreneurs and business angels Felix R. Ehrat, Bernd Schopp, Jürg Stucker and Roland Schönholzer, who all have many years of management experience in executive positions in various business fields. Swisscom remains involved in Getkickbox as a minority shareholder and manages the participation via Swisscom Ventures. FYRFLY Venture Partners’ founder Philipp Stauffer is convinced of the software’s international potential: “I see great potential in the digitisation and automation of innovation processes. And not just within companies, but also in partnerships comprising several organisations, for which rready supplies an easy-to-use, motivational platform for the global market, which delivers measurable results.”
The rready team rounds off its exploratory Kickbox approach with a software platform, with which innovation processes can be scaled easily and efficiently. “Our experience shows that employees are a company's greatest capital. rready therefore offers software solutions for promoting innovation by employees. Over the next few years we want to become category leaders in corporate innovation and establish networks between global companies and innovation projects,” says David Hengartner, CEO rready AG.
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