It’s exceedingly difficult for startups to break into legacy-sector industries.
Large corporates, however, have the resources to help startups succeed: domain knowledge, manufacturing capacity, distribution, sales, etc. In many cases, however, those large corporates haven’t yet been able to solve vexing problems that could have a 10x impact on the business.
Through ProblemSpace, corporates challenge new ventures to propose innovative solutions to gnarly problems.
For the entrepreneur, proposing a solution to the well-defined problem of incumbents is the first step in winning the legacy-sector corporate as a customer and powerful ally.
This process establishes the relationship between the corporate and startup with a foundation of mutual respect and trust, overcoming an otherwise dangerous stumbling block for many entrepreneurs.
ProblemSpace is a powerful AI-powered platform that legacy-sector corporates use to surface the entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial-minded academics most likely to solve gnarly technical problems. ProblemSpace is also a consultative service, collaborating with our clients to better define their challenges, evaluate proposals for commercial and technical viability, and establish commercial terms with entrepreneurs.
In 2016, Nolan Browne of ADL Ventures led a Ted Talk entitled Profits + Economic Growth: Innovation Paradigm for Risk-averse Industries. In his talk, Nolan postulated that partnerships between corporates and entrepreneurs could help introduce new products and disrupt legacy industries.
In 2017, ADL won an Innovative Pathways grant from the Department of Energy to pursue the idea. Problemspace.io emerged from the Innovative Pathways grant.
View Nolan’s Ted Talk that served as the original inspiration for ProblemSpace, an ADL Ventures business.