Client
The global head of innovation for a diabetes and obesity care provider wanted to establish an innovation hub in China and required support building local capabilities.
Challenge
A diabetes and obesity care provider had a sizable market presence in China, but the management team believed that their competitiveness was hampered by the lack of localized solutions. To address this gap, the company planned to build an innovation hub in China. The global head of innovation knew that building local capabilities would be a long-term effort. In order to sustain momentum, it was important to establish quick wins to demonstrate value to the core business. Mapping the startup ecosystem was a natural first step that would simultaneously provide insight into market trends and establish a base of potential partners for joint solution development.
Objectives
Approach
IoT ONE was engaged at an early stage, before the local organization had been built up, in order to accelerate the delivery of results to the core business. Among other activities, we worked with the local business units to define interest areas and begin mapping the startup ecosystem. The first step was to define the scope of the search, such as technology domains, startup maturity, and market focus. We then built a long list of all local startups that mapped to this scope. The list was then refined through desktop research, startup interviews and internal discussions. Finally, the results were summarized and shared with internal stakeholders, from R&D to sales. This ecosystem map provided a knowledge foundation that will be systematically built upon in the coming years as the market continues to evolve.
  • Define the scope of the startup scouting initiative, including technologies, maturity level, and market focus.
  • Build a long list of all local startups that map to this scope.
  • Refine the long list through desktop research, startup interviews and internal discussions.
  • Summarize and share results with internal stakeholders, from R&D to sales.
  • Systematically build this ecosystem map as the market continues to evolve.
Result
  • IoT ONE built a database of over 250 Chinese startups across five prioritized disease areas. Startups were mapped to several company archetypes (e.g., prevention, treatment, recovery management) for each disease area to identify concentration patterns.
  • After shortlisting the most promising and relevant startups, successful business models were evaluated in order to inspire ideation for business model innovation.
  • Two partnership cases and one investment case were prioritized, with one case being fast-tracked for development by the management team.

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