Back to the garage.

Starting gun for the global innovation network.

Change the Game.

It all started with the Leadership 2020 initiative. Altogether, eight so-called ‘game changers’ have been identified to help master the challenges of today and tomorrow. On your marks! INCUBATOR – Back to the Garage. Under the leadership of the three pacemakers – Arwed Niestroj, Katharina Beck and Susanne Hahn – Daimler has established an internal, international innovation network which is intended to enable employees to realise their full potential and actively shape the path to the future along with the company.

‘Innovation is both an opportunity and responsibility at the same time. The start-up workshop will give that pioneering spirit some additional momentum. As a sponsor, I am proud to be a part of this team,’ says Bodo Uebber, sponsor of INCUBATOR – Back to the Garage and member of the Daimler executive board. In her role as pacemaker, Susanne Hahn can only agree with him, and adds: ‘Our greatest challenge will be using and integrating cutting-edge innovation processes. At the same time, we have a great opportunity to incorporate the innovative spirit which we all share into a company-wide approach.’

Disruption in five steps.

In the future, we hope to sniff out new business ideas and innovative expertise within the Daimler Group even sooner. Pioneers and people who think outside the box need to be rewarded. Each employee deserves the opportunity to present his or her suggestions, which is why we have developed an intelligent, multilevel system that unearths this potential as early as possible.
All it takes in the first step is to grab and hold on to a good idea. The second step involves presenting this idea on a new crowdfunding platform. By using collective intelligence, the best ideas will be selected and move on to the next round: the ‘Shark Tank’. During this third step, the idea will be put through its paces by relevant experts and decision makers. If the feedback is positive, the suggestion lands in recall and can be developed further within the framework of the Daimler Incubation Campus. The best part is that the person who submitted the idea participates in every stage of their idea’s development.

In the fifth step, the idea – which has now become reality – leaves the Daimler Campus to prove itself in the real world. In this way, the start-up spirit can be practised up close and personally to help shape the future of the company.

Decisions by investment.

So how does approving innovative ideas work in an international company with various divisions strewn across the globe? Quite simply – virtually and digitally. If visions of choppy video conferences just flashed into your mind, you can rest at ease. We have a new tool that makes virtual collaboration child’s play: approval by crowdfunding.

A creative Daimler employee presents their groundbreaking idea on the Internet platform by uploading a ‘sales pitch’ or a video that explains the idea in detail. There the members of the Daimler Campus Community can rate the project and make comments. The ideas are evaluated by Daimler employees investing in the ideas, for which each employee has a virtual budget available to them. This budget is transformed to a real budget following successful approval. The winning innovators then take their ideas into the Shark Tank. There, the best ideas are pitched to a panel of experts and investors. If the idea is approved by the Shark Tank panel, then the investment budget collected can be used by the innovator to implement their idea.

So it is almost as though you are surfing around on Kickstarter or Start Next – only it is an internal Daimler crowdfunding platform. Participation is voluntary. At the moment, this tool is being put to the test during its pilot phase in Sunnyvale, USA.

Daimler Campus Kick-Off.

On 11 October, 100 Daimler employees came together for the Daimler Campus Kick-Off in Stuttgart. Together, they laid the foundation stone for the global innovation network, which is intended to facilitate future exchange and strengthen networking between institutions, processes and initiatives on the topic of innovation. Whoever combines resources in such a meaningful way and keeps decision-making paths short makes the processes which drive innovation transparent and is a true practitioner of start-up culture.

As part of the Daimler Campus Kick-Off, the framework conditions for the start-up network were made more concrete and the requirements of the Campus were further developed. This short documentary gives you a chance to look back on that inspirational day with us. Let’s change the game.