How it Works
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 been able to solve vexing problems.
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 them as a customer and powerful ally.
This process starts the relationship between the corporate and startup on a high level of mutual respect and trust overcoming an otherwise dangerous stumbling block for many entrepreneurs.
In 2016, Nolan Browne of ADL ventures led a Ted Talk titled: 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.