Automakers the world over are always brainstorming for new business ideas that gives them the first-mover advantage and long-term sustainability. Daimler is one of them, always on the lookout for new business ideas with big potential.
In one of the first such competitions, all employees in Europe have until the beginning of December to submit their ‘big thing’ on the ‘DigitalLife Crowd Ideas Platform’. The search is on for ideas and business models targeted at the figure of 100 million. These can be, for example, clicks, new customers, sales, kilowatt-hours, autonomously driven passengers or freight containers. Whether with cars or commercial vehicles or in the field of mobility and financial services, there are no limits on the creative potential of employees. The competition was launched by Lab1886, the company's own innovation lab with an incubator of the same name.
"With the ideas competition, we are continuing our successful innovation drive. We also aim to harness the creative potential of our workforce in order to come up with new, big business ideas. No-one knows our company better or what potential is available there," says Bodo Uebber, Member of the Board of Management with responsibility for Finance and Controlling/Daimler Financial Services.
"With Lab1886, we have a suitable incubator that employs start-up methods and unconventional approaches to successfully develop new and innovative business models to market maturity."
The competition combines the online submission, voting and evaluation of ideas as well as their funding. From the ideas that are voted the best, a panel of experts from DigitalLife, the driver of the digital transformation at Daimler, and Lab1886, Daimler's innovation lab with its own incubator, will select the top 15 ideas. In January 2018 during a crowdfunding week, all employees will be able to fund those ideas using a framework centrally provided for that purpose. From February to March 2018, the three winning ideas will then receive intensive technical support from Lab1886 experts using professional start-up methods. After a positive assessment by a panel of experts, further work on the realisation of the idea can be carried out in the incubator for a period of up to twelve months.
Lab1886, formerly Business Innovation, acts as an innovation lab at Daimler AG with its own incubators in Berlin, Stuttgart, Silicon Valley and Beijing. In addition to state-of-the-art hardware and software, Lab1886 provides qualified staff to give Daimler employees expert support in turning their ideas into new business models, going as far as the spin-off of new subsidiaries. This means that the entire innovation process, from idea and incubation through to commercialisation, can take place internally within Daimler. Lab1886 is part of the Daimler CASE initiative. CASE stands for the fields of networking (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric). The four CASE fields are an integral part of the corporate strategy of Daimler AG.