Garage360 program participants in an intrapreneurship session.
It is a "key project" that "should allow us to innovate and lead the transformation of mobility"; it has become the "true catalyst of our culture of entrepreneurship" and "it is a privilege to have this type of proposal", which makes it possible for us "to be even faster than some conventional startups, if we count the overall development time of an initiative".
Paco Pérez Botello, President of Volkswagen Group Spain Distribution, expressed his satisfaction with the Garage360 project, implemented by the Opinno Barcelona team for the last two editions, on his social networks.
Garage360 is an intrapreneurship program that seeks solutions through innovation that respond to the company's strategy challenges. It does so by taking participants through four program areas. Twelve solutions and teams have been guided through each edition, from the initial registration of the idea to its execution. In comparison between the first and second editions, in 2021 and 2022 respectively, participation has been increasing, covering 33% of the company at the launch of the program and 7% in direct participation with intra-entrepreneurs. As a complement to the solution design process, Garage360 offers valuable content on industry trends through virtual and in-person presentations and round tables.
During the last edition, a total of 18 content impacts on Web.3, Data-driven, Intelligent Revenue Management, connected vehicle, Customer Behavior, optimization, sustainability and innovation (including podcasts, methodological tools and inspirational tips from experts). In addition to connecting Volkswagen Group Spain Distribution collaborators with 7 pioneering companies in technology and innovation; Amazon, Lego, Mediapro, Visyon, Smart City, WERock Capital and FREE NOW to share best practices around these topics.
Giving visibility to internal talent
Among the added values and objectives of the program are the resolution of challenges for the company, the proposal of innovative ideas, the merging of profiles in a multidisciplinary environment and the promotion of internal talent.
"The idea is to promote an exponential company culture, that is, that innovation does not always have to come from outside, but that we are able to catalyze it from within, to develop the ideas that are proposed, incubate them and accelerate them," explains the Opinno team.
To this end, Volkswagen Group Spain Distribution launches three to five challenges faced by the company every year. And who better than employees to propose solutions? From this point, Opinno sets in motion a rigorous process that lasts about eight months, during which it accompanies and supports both the company and the employees through various stages, or levels:
- Accelerator: this is the core of Garage 360, in which several teams (made up of staff members from different areas) sign up and share their knowledge to propose possible solutions to corporate challenges. They then make a final presentation (pitch) to the Executive Committee. Out of all the ideas presented by the teams, a winning team is selected based on the criteria of scalability of the project, implementation, degree of innovation, multidisciplinary nature of the teams and feasibility in terms of profitability.
- Knowledge & networking: area in which sessions are held with experts and key players in the ecosystem on topics of interest (metaverse, data driven ecosystem, etc.) that inspire and enrich the participants of the program.
- Grand Prix: cross-cutting gamification proposal for all activities to encourage participation and obtain benefits throughout all stages.
Throughout this process, the support that the Opinno team offers to the company and its employees is provided in many different ways and formats: methodologies, tools, session preparation, ideas development, support in the presentation of the pitch and the availability of a network of expert mentors in each of the challenges that help them to take into account technological and economic trends and even legal obstacles. These actions allow the organization to implement an innovation management model that is complemented with actions that connect them with the local and global ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship; thus, Opinno generates opportunities to attend leading events, conferences and international missions with leading companies and universities.
One of the most significant missions carried out within the framework of Garage360 is a trip abroad, as the main incentive for the winning team of the Accelerator. For the second edition, the destination was Boston, taking 12 representatives of the company through an itinerary that took them to the most important companies, startups and universities for the innovation ecosystem, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Microsoft, Senseable City Lab, among others.
Fostering cultural transformation
The road traveled has involved many hours of networking with VGED's business, but above all with its collaborators, thereby managing to promote teams that drive innovation from within their areas. This has also entailed overcoming challenges, such as motivating the automobile company towards its cultural transformation.
At the close of this edition, the biggest challenge is to support the winning team in the implementation of the project. The team has developed a POC (Proof of Concept), as a first functional approach to the proposed solution that will follow an evolution process with a next stage of MVP Development.
"The Bootcamp is helping us to see all the details that need to be taken into account in our project and is giving us tools to present it in a structured and professional way", "It is a great opportunity to materialize ideas that arise in our day-to-day life and that our usual tasks do not allow us to pursue them", "I am taking part in Garage360 to put my grain of sand in the creation and development of possible ideas that may be key for the future of our company".
The second edition has now come to an end with the final presentation of the team to the Executive Committee and the closing event. And at the same time, the third edition is being planned, which is expected to be a bridge to take Volkswagen Group Spain Distribution to this cultural transformation in which innovation is the driving force.