Ideo Helps Businesses Apply Design Thinking for Success

Any business in any industry can benefit from adopting a design thinking-based approach to innovation, according to the CEO of Ideo, Tim Brown.

In today’s business environment, creativity and innovation are the ultimate drivers of competitiveness, so businesses need to find ways to unlock the creative and innovative potential of their workforce.

What most are doing wrong is focusing solely on effectiveness, Brown says, ignoring the big picture and the need for a change.

 

New Business Accelerator to Launch in Atlanta

A group of 10 businesses in partnership with Georgia Tech and the Mayor of Atlanta have announced the launch of a new tech business accelerator, dubbed Engage.

Applications will start to be accepted in early spring, with plans to take on as many as 48 companies over a three-year period.

The accelerator will offer successful applicants a 12-week training and workshop program plus mentorship from the organizers.

 

Insurtech is the Hottest News in Fintech

Insurtech has been drawing a lot of attention recently and, according to several venture capital funds, it is the most interesting segment of the emerging fintech sector right now.

VC investors taking part in a recent conference in London, the Economist Finance Disrupted, said that they are most likely to invest in an insurtech company right now.

The reason: there has been almost zero innovation in insurance until insurtech companies started popping up here and there, and innovation was badly needed.

 

Cuvva Gets £1.5 Mln in Seed Funding Round

Yet another insurtech startup has announced a successful funding round: Cuvva, a pay-as-you-drive business got £1.5 million in a seed funding round.

The round was led by LocalGlobe, with participants also including Tekton Ventures, Techstars Ventures, and Seedcamp.

The company’s specialty is quick short-term insurance covers that target infrequent drivers, offering them to pay — through an app — for their insurance via a top-up premium whenever they drive the vehicle.

 

VC Firm Sets Up Fintech Investment Fund

Venture capital firm Nyca Partners has amassed over $125 million for its new investment fund targeting fintech businesses.

The firm, led by Visa ex-President hans Morris, will focus on alternative lending services providers, digital investment advice, and financial infrastructure.

The fund comes as VC investment in fintech startups declines: according to one principal at Nuca Partners, it’s time for a second wave of fintech funding, aiming to foster links between startups and larger players rather than building new brands.

 

Family Businesses Top Innovation Ranking

Though it sounds counterintuitive, family-owned businesses seem to be much more innovative than other enterprises, according to a new research.

Family-owned firms have smaller R&D budgets and they dedicate less time to innovation but they compensate this by making the whole process much more efficient.

This focus on efficiency is driven by the risk aversion typical of family-owned businesses and another aversion: to waste.